Most of those whom I “Follow” on Twitter include far-flung friends, whom I don’t get to see or talk to as often as I’d like. Twitter is the most quick and casual of social media, and for me this is a great way to use it. It’s fun to reconnect a few times a day reading their “Tweets” to all their followers. Sometimes I read & laugh & wish I had more time to spend with them in person; sometimes I respond (using @theirTwittername in my reply, which sends a message to all my followers, including that person); sometimes I even forward their Tweet to others (using RT, i.e., Re-Tweet in my reply.)
Generally just “being out there” on any social media doesn’t get you noticed. You have to work it, be active in some strategic way to be visible to the readers you want to attract (and of course different audiences respond to different bait.) Once you’re active, though, and have started attracting the attention of some of your hoped-for audience, you will also begin to get Followers you hadn’t known were out there. That was the case today when I got a Follow from StLouis_Jobs.
I got the notice in my Yahoo! e-mail, went to my Twitter account and clicked on StLouis_Jobs to check out that account’s Tweet Stream. In the first 10 or so jobs listed there, I found both entry level and high level listings. So I returned the Follow. I can always Unfollow at any time.
If you’re not on Twitter, you may not know this, but you can return the Follow (so now you both see each other’s Tweets), you can Block that Follow (sometimes you will get adult sites with live cams, etc., sent out by Spam bots, and I just block those), or you can do nothing, which lets the other follow you and keeps you free from their Tweets. The follows you accept, block or ignore will depend on what you want to get from your Twitter account, and you can define that (and refine that) on a daily basis.
So, I hope this helps get some of you on Twitter if you’re not yet on it, if only to be knowledgeable when it comes up in conversation. Nothing makes someone look more like a workforce dinosaur or a workforce newbie who’s missing the train than saying, “Duh, I don’t know a thing ’bout Twitter … .” Techno-savvy is a job requirement today. Being able to talk knowledgeably about these things is also good for your self-esteem, which is critical when you’re in job search mode. Every contact, every conversation is a potential link to the next job lead. Don’t waste a single one of them telling anyone, even a good friend, how dumb and out of it you are when it comes to technology!
See you on Twitter!
PS In addition to following far-flung friends, I also follow a few local people I have never met, but whose lifestyles inspire or intrigue me. They have become pen-pals of a new age technology over the past several months.
I also follow my Senator, Claire McCaskill, and a few others who are important to my world. It is definitely Senator McCaskill, personally, sending the Tweets from her account. No doubt about it. Some public figures don’t send their own, but she does, including pix from the Senate floor, etc. I sent her a picture taken of her speaking at UMSL last week (shown here), and it went out from me about an hour after she finished over Twitter using TwitPic, a mini-application for sending photos over Twitter. My tweet said, “Senator Claire McCaskill at UMSL today; taken w/ Blackberry by the Marketing Manager at Lawrence Group.” Talk about news traveling fast, plus I got our company name in front of the Senator, whose vote on certain issues affects our company, directly!
I also follow Brent Spiner, aka Commander Data from Star Trek: TNG. He tweets infrequently, but you can tweet him directly with an @BrentSpiner message.
Most recently he was tweeting about American Idol. Apparently he is a fan.
His “update” is usually turned off, meaning he won’t be sending you a message back, but regardless: HOW COOL IS THAT????