by Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)Welcome to installment 3 of my series on social media marketing for job seekers. My first post was called Confessions of a Facebook Snob, which I followed up with Facebook and the Midlife Crisis, two posts highlighting what I see as issues for job seekers in using Facebook as a tool in the job search process.
[In a nut shell, I think job seekers need to be a little snobby when it comes to Facebook. Facebook’s real value to the job seeker is in its company pages and groups areas, less so in its “friend” connections, and too many people are wasting time there on things that aren’t productive to the job search (but still accounting for it as “job search time”).]
My approach to Twitter, however, is completely different (as it should be; Twitter is a different environment with a different etiquette). Second to LinkedIn, I believe
Twitter has some great potential for job seekers when used STRATEGICALLY.
Without a doubt, I am a Twitter fanatic…I love it. For this introvert, a better networking tool could not have been invented. I never have to worry whether I have anything stuck between my teeth. There’s never that awkward “hello” and “goodbye” moment. We get right to the point.
But my fanaticism for Twitter comes from a firm belief that it only is really effective when you have a clear target audience and you market to that niche.
Social media comes down to marketing.
(It’s important not to get confused about that. It might be a different kind of marketing from what you traditionally think of as marketing, but it is still marketing nonetheless. For more on that, don’t miss my post on Social Media Layering.)
The challenge is not to let it suck up all your time, especially on things that bring little value to your goal: finding the next career move.
That’s why niche marketing to your target audience is so important. The biggest benefit Twitter allows is for each participant to present or “brand” himself or herself in a certain way, and you can position that brand in front of your market relatively easily. The problem, however, is that people can get way off track with Twitter (I know from experience).
Here are some mistakes most job seekers make with Twitter:
- Combining business with personal. Conversations and genuine engagement is encouraged, but yapping with friends/family about personal issues while then turning around and marketing to the CEO of Intel is not recommended. Twitter does let you have more than one account. You should try that instead.
- Following too many trends. Because Twitter moves at such a fast pace, it allows for trends to come and go quickly, very quickly. If you’re not careful, you can get off message and off target following them all. Never forget why you are there and stay true to that purpose.
- Only talking about yourself. Honestly, no one is really interested in you…harsh, I know, but social media, despite some people’s hopes, is not changing human behavior. Just like you don’t enjoy sitting down to dinner with someone who can only talk about him or herself, the same is true on Twitter. People “like” or are interested in those who bring value to a discussion, who make them feel like they are being heard, who come across as problem solvers.
Overall, the great thing about having a niche market with Twitter is that it scales the Twitterverse down for you and lets you have a specific purpose for being there. It becomes so much more than a “What is happening?” toy. After all, the whole concept behind social media marketing (and conducting a job search is just another form of that) is really to turn these “toys” into “tools” that can work to your advantage.
So be sure to meet up with me on Twitter, and when you do, tell me (and my audience) what your niche is. I look forward to hearing from you there!