Twitter for Professional Purposes: 21+ Tips
 

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Expanded version of the slide deck from a webinar on October 18, 2013. Summary: Many people still don’t “get” Twitter – especially from a professional perspective – or are uncertain whether ...

Expanded version of the slide deck from a webinar on October 18, 2013. Summary: Many people still don’t “get” Twitter – especially from a professional perspective – or are uncertain whether there is any value in using it. Many others have set up an account but feel overwhelmed and/or unsure about how to maximize the potential benefits. Still others think they’re using it properly but really don’t know if they are. Courtney Hunt helps these Tweeters and more by sharing 21+ best practice suggestions for getting the most out of the Twitter experience. At the end of the session everyone will be better able to tweet without looking like a twit!

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  • Note on Slide 8: Twitter recently changed their About page, and this language is no longer there. Because they used to promote these ideas, and because they are still valid, I've left the slide in this deck. Twitter has made some other changes in strategic direction that I don't believe are necessarily in their long-term best interests. Click here for my thoughts on them: http://denovati.com/2014/01/twitter-changes.
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    https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/launch/nativeplayback.jnlp?psid=2013-10-18.0904.M.0547F773E902284358BA301314221C.vcr

    I listened to the first 30 minutes or so and need to correct one thing: Twitter currently has about 200 million accounts (I accidentally said 2 million - oops!) -csh
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Twitter for Professional Purposes: 21+ Tips Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Helping You Succeed in the Digital Era Twitter for Professional Purposes: 21(+) Tips Friday Forum Webinar Courtney Shelton Hunt, PhD (Curry ‘91) October 18, 2013
  • 2. Session Overview Many people still don’t “get” Twitter – especially from a professional perspective – or are uncertain whether there is any value in using it. Many others have set up an account but feel overwhelmed and/or unsure about how to maximize the potential benefits. Still others think they’re using it properly but really don’t know if they are. Courtney Hunt will help these Tweeters and more by sharing 21 best practice suggestions for getting the most out of the Twitter experience, including: – Leveraging Twitter for career management, business development, job search, etc. – Account/profile set up – Determining who to follow (and unfollow) – Building Twitter engagement into your daily routine – Using the right language and other conventions – Striking appropriate balances between: • quantity and quality, • personal and professional, • private and public – Using hashtags appropriately At the end of the session everyone will be better able to tweet without looking like a twit! Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved2
  • 3. About the Speaker Courtney Shelton Hunt, PhD Courtney is the Founder and Principal of The Denovati Group and an international consultant, speaker, teacher, and writer. Her background in business development, communications, human capital management, information technology, and academia, combined with her business acumen, enables her to provide a unique holistic perspective and strategic leadership to organizations. The Denovati Group enhances the success of individuals and organizations in the Digital Era through an alliance that provides thought leadership and guidance, research, consulting and training services, and a professional community that fosters the sharing of information and best practices. These objectives are accomplished primarily through: • SMART Resources (including the SMART Blog) • Denovati Solutions • SMART Courses 3 Visit denovati.com to learn more about who we are, what we do, and what we offer Copyright © 2014, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved3
  • 4. How to Use this Presentation as a Portal Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt4 1. Many of the slides in this deck contain active hyperlinks that should be fairly intuitive. 2. The hyperlinks are embedded in both pictures and text. For example, if you click on the photograph on the left, you’ll go to Courtney Hunt’s LinkedIn Profile. Or you can click on this text to go to The Denovati Group’s website. 3. It’s probably best to download the presentation and view it in “slide show” mode to activate the hyperlinks. 4. After you follow a link, you should be able to minimize your browser window to pick up the presentation where you left off. Please email denovati@denovati.com if you find a broken link. Thanks!
  • 5. Click on image to access cartoon on Mashable Yes, They would have Tweeted 5
  • 6. 11 TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED
  • 7. Welcome to Twitter Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved7 Find out what's happening, right now, with the people and organizations you care about
  • 8. About Twitter Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved8 Not a “social” network! Powerful “listening” channel
  • 9. Two Twitter Truths 1. Everyone can benefit from having a Twitter account 2. The best way to determine Twitter’s potential value is to give it a try – It is perfectly appropriate to open a Twitter account with the intent to just listen – Focus on using Twitter professionally rather than personally, including staying current with local, national, and global news Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved9
  • 10. 1. Know Your Goals/Objectives  How do you want to use Twitter? – Personally – Professionally  What value do you want to derive? – Exposure to news – Learning – Connecting – Career management – Business development  How do you want to engage? – Listen – Share – Exchange Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved10 I tweet because…
  • 11. 2. Choose a Good Handle (username)  Keep it short – ≤ 10 characters (max is 15)  Devise something that connects to your personal and/or professional identity  Be careful not to infringe on someone else’s brand  Make sure it won’t embarrass you, your colleagues, or your organization (i.e., no cutesy names or nicknames, no off-color humor)  Think about how the handle will read/sound to others, particularly when it’s viewed in all lower- case letters  Be careful when using numbers, especially in combination with letters. 0 and O and 1, I, and l can be hard to differentiate, depending on the screen font people use. Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved11 Note: You can change your Twitter handle without having to open a new account
  • 12. Setting Up Your Profile 12 Source: http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/ultimate-twitter-profile-infographic/
  • 13. 3. Include Decent Images  At a minimum, you need a profile image – Don’t need to restrict yourself to a headshot – Use an image that accurately and appropriately reflects your professional identity – Make sure you have the right to use the image – Pick something that is both clear and attractive in a thumbnail version  If you add a header image, make sure it complements your profile pic  Be cautious about adding a profile background – Less is more – Should complement your profile pic and header image Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved13
  • 14. 4. Add Your Name, Website, Bio  Name: Use your real name (20 character limit)  Website: If you don’t have a website (or blog) to link to, link to your LinkedIn profile  Bio (160 character limit): – Okay to use key words rather than trying to craft a sentence – Focus on your professional identity versus your personal identity • Okay to include some relevant personal information • Be careful about including things that could be misperceived or might undermine your professional brand – Avoid blatant promotion, humblebrags, cheekiness and other things that could be offensive or misconstrued – If you have a LI headline/tagline you like, and it fits, by all means include it here Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved14
  • 15. Profile Samples Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved15 Look at various profiles to see what does/doesn’t work. Remember: less is more.
  • 16. Profile Sample 1 Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved16 Pros • Plain background • Good profile image • Complementary header image Con • Hard to read the bio info due to the busy header image, especially on a small screen
  • 17. Profile Sample 2 Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved17 Pros • Simple background; QR code • Good profile image • Complementary header image Cons • Part of background text is cut off • Hard to read the bio info
  • 18. Profile Sample 3 Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved18 Pros • Good profile image • Complementary header image Cons • Background is too busy; part of text is cut off • Hard to read the bio info
  • 19. Profile Sample 4 Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved19 Pros • Good profile image • No header image Cons • Background is way too busy and a bit too self promotional
  • 20. Profile Sample 5 Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved20 We like to keep things super simple!
  • 21. 5. Set Up Mobile Access  Tweets are like headlines: easy to digest and manage in small bites  That makes them perfect for “interstitial time”  When you’re commuting or traveling  While waiting for someone  Before you’re ready to get out of bed in the morning  To facilitate that  Set your account up to send tweets to your phone (i.e., via 40404)  Download one of the Twitter apps to your phone and/or tablet Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved21
  • 22. 6. Find Good Accounts to Follow  Accounts to target – Local, national, and international news sources – Professional and industry associations – Academic and research institutions, including your alma mater(s) – Your own organization, clients, prospects, competitors – Organizations you’d like to work for – Bloggers and thought leaders  Tips – Make sure you’re following official accounts – Get ideas from checking out the accounts followed by others and/or those recommended by Twitter – Review an account’s activity before deciding whether it’s a valuable source for you – If the volume of activity becomes overwhelming, find a way to dial things down by unfollowing some of the noisier and/or less valuable accounts Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved22
  • 23. 7. Restrict Your Followers?  Assuming you don’t plan to start tweeting initially, you should make your account private by selecting the “Protect my Tweets” option – This way, no one will be able to follow you without your permission – Doing so will not affect your ability to follow others  Once you’re ready to add your voice to the public chorus (on a regular basis), you can unprotect your account Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved23
  • 24. 8. Build Twitter into your Schedule  Tune in at least once a day –Start with a 5-15 minute commitment –Vary the time of day to determine when the best activity occurs –Increase the allotted time as needed  Scan tweets and either –Follow the links to items that pique your interest, or –Forward them to yourself via email to read later Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved24
  • 25. 9. Learn the Language/Conventions  Ways to learn  Immerse yourself in the Twitter stream and glean meaning from the activity itself  Watch what others do (but don’t assume it’s all good)  Check out the Twitter Glossary or the Twitter Basics section of the Help Center  Basic Twitter symbols and terms  @ is used in front of a Twitter handle to directly reference an account; it also creates a hyperlink to their account  #, aka a hashtag, is a way of collecting tweets around a specific topic or theme; it also creates a hyperlink to a page of tweets that include the hashtag  RT = retweet (i.e., sharing someone else’s tweet)  MT = modified tweet (i.e., resharing someone’s tweet after modifying the text)  FF = Follow Friday, a way of recommending specific accounts to follow (fading practice) Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved25
  • 26. 10. Leverage the Lists Feature  Lists, which can be either public or private, are a great way to organize tweets  List criteria you can use – Personal vs. professional identity – Type of Tweeter • News • Bloggers and thought leaders – Areas of interest • Clients and prospects • Organizations you want to work for • Industries you track • Competitors • Topics and functional areas Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved26
  • 27. 11. Avoid the “Following” Trap  False assumptions and expectations  Low numbers are bad  There is an “ideal” following ratio to strive for  You should follow everyone who follows you  People you follow should follow you back  Games people play  Buying (fake) followers  Unfollowing people who don’t follow back - especially immediately  Twitter “one-night stands” Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved27
  • 28. 8 TIPS FOR TWEETING WELL
  • 29. You Don’t Wanna be “That Guy”
  • 30. Things to Keep in Mind  Your objectives – Avoid mistakes that can hurt your individual professional and/or organizational brand(s) – Maximize your ability to maintain a high signal/noise ratio – Appeal to rookie/casual users, who are likely to have a much more narrow view of acceptable behavior than active/ardent users  Caveats – Many early adopters and successful Tweeters break many of the best practices rules – but that doesn’t mean you should emulate them – There are no absolutes, but taking a conservative approach – especially in the beginning – can’t hurt – As your experience and sophistication increase, you may decide it’s worth taking a few risks and experimenting Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved30
  • 31. 12. Quality trumps Quantity  The quantity/quality balance for an individual or organization depends on a variety of factors, including: – Goals and objectives for engaging on Twitter – Characteristics of the organization, industry, and key stakeholders – Characteristics and preferences of followers  Things to keep in mind – Curating content based on quality helps followers deal with information overload and increases your value to them – If the quality of the content being shared is good, people will tolerate higher quantity – Inappropriate tweeting can quickly undermine overall perceptions of quality – If you’re viewed as a noise-maker rather than a signal-provider, people will tune you out, which means even your best content will be missed  If you don’t have something substantive to share, don’t tweet Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved31
  • 32. The Tweets per Day Sweet Spot Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved32
  • 33. 13. Craft Your Tweets Well  Limit your tweets to 140 characters; 120 if you want RTs  Abbreviations and other Twitter conventions are generally okay, but –If you have room, there’s no excuse for bad grammar, sloppy writing, and unnecessary shorthand and text speak  Also avoid unnecessary jargon, slang, crude and foul language, and inflammatory wording  Always “think before you tweet” – and if possible, get someone else to review a potentially sensitive tweet in advance Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved33
  • 34. 14. Think about Multiple Views There are many ways people can view your tweets. Think about the impression you give off through all these views.  Via their own activity stream  Directly on your Twitter page  By following specific hashtags  Through Twitter searches  As RTs (retweets) by others  Via managers like HootSuite and TweetDeck  Through “feed widgets” on your blog/website  On mobile devices and tablets Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved34
  • 35. 15. Don’t Tweet Drivel  The banal aspects of your personal and/or professional life  Aphorisms and other “quotable quotes”  Unoriginal jokes  News that’s no longer fresh (think of the old Saturday Night Live “update”: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead)  Personal interests that aren’t relevant to most of your followers or related to your professional identity Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved35
  • 36. 16. Don’t Overdo It  Excessive Selling and Self-Promotion  Excessive (Re)tweeting – Repeat tweets (i.e., sharing the same tweet over several days) – Follow Friday (#FF) lists – Thanks for following, retweets, mentions, etc. – Retweeting messages  Indiscriminant live tweeting  Automatically (and/or thoughtlessly) linking Twitter to other platforms like Facebook  Automatic tweets (e.g., thanks for following) Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved36
  • 37. 17. Timing is Key  The “best times to tweet” vary, but for professional engagement weekdays during work hours are best  Know the time zone(s) for most of your followers and schedule accordingly  Develop tactics for tweeting during peak and off hours –Weekdays –Evenings –Weekends  Tweet at a consistent pace Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved37
  • 38. 18. Plan Your Tweets  Use tools to manage Twitter activity, to avoid large gaps in a Twitter stream followed by a clump of tweets (aka “cluster tweeting”)  HootSuite  TweetDeck  Buffer  Use scheduling wisely  Yes when content is not time sensitive  No when content is supposed to appear spontaneous  No when tragedy or crisis strikes  Warn people when you’re going to engage in live tweeting Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved38
  • 39. 19. No Private Chats in Public Spaces  Remember: most tweets are public  Carrying on personal exchanges via public messages is the Twitter equivalent of “cell yell,” forcing people to listen to (portions of) conversations they’re not a part of and have no interest in  Occasionally sending an @ message to someone who doesn’t follow you is unavoidable, but when you have a reciprocal relationship you should use the D feature  If you want to chat with a group of people, find another, more appropriate platform Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved39
  • 40. 2 TIPS TO AVOID MAKING A HASH OF TWITTER HASHTAGS
  • 41. Hashtag Basics Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved41  Hashtags are best for concatenating terms into a single string to create a short, unique identifier that is not otherwise available: – Common themes and topics, like #highered, #socialmedia – Conferences and meetings, like #E32012 for the 2012 E3 conference – Twitter chats, like #UChicJobTips  If your intent is simply to add to a conversation, there is generally no need to hashtag – A brand name, Twitter handle, webname, or url (e.g., Pinterest, YouTube, 37Signals, Razr Maxx) – A person’s name or popular event – Common terms
  • 42. 20. Use Good Hashtags  Find and use the most popular tags in your industry/profession  Make sure your tags are unique, clear and relevant  Hashtags are not case sensitive - you can use CamelCase for clarity, but that doesn’t change the meaning or relevance of the tag  Keep hashtags short and simple  Don’t inadvertently include spaces between hashtag terms  Don't customize hashtags beyond what's necessary Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved42 #SoMe = #some = some #NowThatcherIsDead or #NowThatCherIsDead ??? #HRTechConf Vs. #HRTechConf13
  • 43. 21. Use Hashtags Wisely  Don’t game tags or use them gratuitously – Kenneth Cole (#Egypt #Syria) – Superstorm Sandy (American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Gap)  Use hashtags judiciously and wisely – 2 max per tweet  Check Twitter and other resources to see if a hashtag is already being used, and in what context to make sure you: – Connect your tweet to a relevant Twitter thread – Don't inadvertently connect your tweet to an irrelevant - or worse, inappropriate – thread  Be careful not to set yourself up so that your hashtag gets hijacked in unintended ways (i.e., McDStories) Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved43
  • 44. A Decision-Making Flowchart Copyright © 2013, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved44 When in doubt, leave it out!
  • 45. ABOUT THE DENOVATI GROUP
  • 46. The Denovati…  Pronunciation guide: day-no-VAH-tee  Deconstructing the term: – DE = Digital Era – NOV = short for novani, Latin for colonists, immigrants, new residents – ATI = those who seek knowledge and/or are in the know The Denovati are Digital Era explorers, pathfinders and pioneers who seek to understand and effectively leverage social and digital technologies Copyright © 2014, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved46
  • 47. Denovati Digital Network Click here to learn more and join us on one or more platforms Copyright © 2014, Courtney Shelton Hunt - all rights reserved47