Leadership is a very broad topic. You could discuss leadership in the area of management, consulting, writing, entrepreneurship, start ups, and even non-profits. Or you could focus more on leadership training, and development. With a topic that has so many sub-divisions, it’s hard to find a focal point. This makes it really difficult to figure out what book or blog you are going to read next. Do you read a book or blog on Management, or on finances?
Being a person who is focused on mobilizing leaders, I find myself reading and learning about many different areas of leadership. However, there is one area that I see very little discussion being done in, yet it is a crucial part of leadership. How we use social media!
Today I would like to focus on how we use Twitter. I have had a Twitter account since college. Like most people, I opened the account for one simple reason……. Because I could! I opened the account, filled out my profile, and found a random picture of me and put it on there. In a matter of 5-10minutes I had a Twitter account. (@Derek_D_Dix)
I started to post random thoughts (I wish it was dinner time), and (dinner was good). I even would post things on there like (I can’t wait to go out of town this week-end). [this was stupid, but that’s for another post sometime.] The point is I had a Twitter account just because I could! I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t put any thought into how it made me look, and I sure didn’t think about how it could affect me in the future (after I graduated).
So is there anything wrong with just having a Twitter account just because I can? Short answer………YES!
You see, first impressions mean a lot. With the help of the internet, there are many ways to make a first impression (Twitter, Facebook, Likened, Google+, Pinterest, etc.). It will do you absolutely no good to have an account in each place on the web, if your first impression is different for each account! So I have put together a list of 4 ways to make the best use of Twitter account (I’m assuming that Twitter is your main social networking site at this point, possibly the only one you have).
Make Your Profile Professional: On Twitter it is so easy to fill your profile with stuff that really doesn’t help you. Like “honor student” or “poor college student” or “world changer.” While each of these things might be true, none of them will help you to get a job, land an interview, get clients for your small business, or warrant respect. You see I had my profile filled up with this type of stuff. Yet when I began looking for jobs, I found this wasn’t the way I wanted to present myself. So I spent 2-4 hours editing and revamping my Twitter profile to make me appear like I take things seriously (no one wants to hire someone who can’t even take their online profile seriously). Make your Twitter profile professional, it will be the best thing you can do, and will save you lots of time in the future.
Pick a Professional looking Profile Picture: NO, don’t go out and spend a bunch of money having a professional photographer take your Profile Picture (I guess you could if you wanted to, just seems like a waste of money to me). What I mean by ‘professional’ is one that you wouldn’t mind attaching to a job application, or sending to your grandma. This eliminates those shirtless pictures from your swimming trip last summer, and definitely eliminates that one of you enjoying a cold beer at the baseball game (Don’t EVER put a profile picture of you with alcohol! It will NOT help you). Take a nice picture that you wouldn’t mind attaching to a resume.
Be A Regular: It is really easy to join a site like Twitter, be on it all the time, or never at all. Both of which have their consequences. It is possible to be on the site too often, and not enough! Each person is a little different, but this can make or break your online presence. I personally find it to be a waste of my time if I’m on Twitter soo much that nothing has changed since the last time I was on. I personally prefer to check the site 3-4 times a day. My reason: Because this allows me to post regularly (each time I’m on = 34X a day) as well as keep up with those I follow. The key is to find what works for you. There is no right or wrong amount of time to spend on Twitter. However, if you want to get serious about your appearance on social networking sites (to be explained later), then being intentional about your time on each site is going to save you time in the long run.
Post with Discretion: This should go without saying, but unfortunately I see this all too often. You just had a great dinner at a fancy restaurant, so you post ‘great dinner at Out Back Steak House.’ Or you are frustrated with the traffic so you pull out your phone and post ‘retard in the red car, MOVE!’ These are what I call “WASTED” posts. They don’t show you in your best light. You want to make sure that you post things you find interesting, or profound. Thoughts that you think others will actually care about. Also- We don’t care that you just ate your mom’s homemade spaghetti. We are happy for you, but why don’t you share something that will impact me, like her recipe?
Having a Twitter account is much more than just opening the account and posting random thoughts. You MUST be intentional about what you post, and how often you post. Hope you find a love for Twitter.
What do you use Twitter for?
How often do you check your posts?
How do you determine what to post?