By Ashley Baxter
As an online marketing consultant, I get the chance to talk with business owners and professionals from a variety of different industries. People often ask me if social media can truly help build their brand. The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, if you know the best ways to use it.
When some professionals start out, they treat Twitter just like a paid advertising channel. They may push out 50 tweets focused on how awesome their business is and declare social media as a failed effort when they get no followers. This is the wrong way to go about it.
If you want to be successful, you have to know why you should use Twitter in the first place. Here are some of the key uses for Twitter as a tool in your professional life.
Use Twitter to… Get a New Job or Client
People post all kinds of things on Twitter. That includes posting when they have an open position at their company or are in need of a new vendor to provide services. Previously, I connected with a President of a company who tweeted that they had an open position. Through that connection, I was able to bypass some of the red tape and get my resume straight into the hands of key decision makers.
Use Twitter to… Build Relationships
Twitter is a great way to build relationships with people you meet in real life. At conferences or networking events skip the business cards. Trade Twitter handles instead. Having that person in your stream will give you a chance to briefly reconnect when they post things that interest you. Those small interactions can lead to big gains if they need services you provide in the future. It keeps you front of mind and increases your chance of winning their business.
Use Twitter to… Make Brand New Connections
An easy way to find new connections is to search for them on Twitter. Use their search function to look up people that are talking about subjects that are relevant to you. Follow those people and support them by retweeting their tweets. You could also try to strike up a conversation with them based on something they have said. Many professionals use this as a way to connect to high level executives that they wouldn’t have a chance to communicate with otherwise.
Related: Does Social Media Exhaust You?
Use Twitter to… Grow Your Audience
Every person on Twitter has the benefit of being their own broadcaster. This becomes even more beneficial when you build a large audience that listens to what you have to say. Doing that helps you position yourself as an expert in your field and also builds a larger network of people that may support you professionally. One example would be Gary Vaynerchuck who built a community of almost 1 million followers. He leveraged that online audience to become positioned as an expert in social media. He then used that celebrity to become a now famous public speaker, author, and corporate adviser.
Use Twitter to…. Learn Hot News before Everyone Else
Twitter is a hot source for breaking news. As citizen journalism grows, some of the biggest stories can be found on Twitter well before they are announced on traditional media outlets. Imagine knowing about industry changing events prior to your competition. It could be the leg up you need to stay far ahead of the pack.
Which one of these ways to use Twitter could help you boost your business or professional reputation?
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