Chat it like a boss. And be boss about it. Prompt the ’70s jive talker to say, “Man, your career gravity is boss!” OK, that was silly. But participating in Twitter chats isn’t; in fact, doing so is one of the quickest ways to generate some #CareerGravity. Strive to get really good at chatting in social media. Make it second nature to your efforts to promote yourself online.
What Are Twitter Chats?
It’s all about the almighty “#”—the pound sign, a.k.a. the hash tag. Contrary to what you might have heard on the evening news, Twitter isn’t one big, directionless mass of countless millions blurting out trite information about their daily lives. That would be pointless, and sure, a large contingent of Twitter users indeed are there just to tell us the brand of coffee they brewed this morning, and not much else. But just as many, and probably more, are there to tweet about business and their online professional brands. Your job is to find them, and for them to find you. And the hash tag’s job is to help you do both those things.
Here’s how it works:
- Find relevant hash tags. What are your career interests? Maybe your’re interested in public relations, marketing and promotions. Chances are that fellow Twitter users interested in public relations, for instance, regularly incorporate the hash tag #publicrelations or #pr into their tweets (yes, that’s what hash tags look like). Frankly, anyone can create a hash tag around any topic. Here is a good place to search for hash tags and determine the level of activity they generate (e.g. number of tweets including them).
- Identify Twitter chats related to your areas of interest. Chances are that your areas of interest, as well as areas of interest closely related, have regular Twitter chats devoted to them. What are Twitter chats? They’re scheduled conversations, usually weekly (though some are biweekly or even monthly), during which untold numbers of tweeters congregate to talk shop. OK, actually, they tweet shop. The point is that you should be networking with these tweeters.
- Participate regularly in Twitter chats best suited to your goals. Here’s how: Preset questions typically drive a Twitter chat, hosted by one or more power tweeters who take turns blogging previews of their chat episodes, thus sharing in advance with potential participants the questions to be asked. All hosts will then initiate the tweeting and retweeting of short URLs taking clickers to these previews. Follow the hash tag, and you won’t miss these links. As for the chat itself, there’s no invitation necessary. Simply drop in at the scheduled time, answer questions as they’re tweeted, and interact meaningfully. A Twitter chat is a place for friendly debate and to make professional contacts. Think of them as business afterhours, mixers designed for professional networking.
Again, several Twitter hash tags and one or more Twitters chats probably intersect with your professional interests. Find these hash tags, follow them, and include them in your tweets. Furthermore, identify and participate in the chats that give you the greatest chance to network with others who might help you to advance your career goals. If you’d like to learn how to put together a full-fledged, viable online footprint for your career advancement, sign up with us at #CareerGravity. In return, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of the #CareerGravity Blueprint.