Thursday, September 3, 2009

If I Taught Twitter 101

In the last couple days several universities have said they will begin offering a Twitter class for communication students. (Like at DePaul.)Is this a 3 credit course?

That got me thinking… what have I learned from Twitter that I would teach in a class of eager-to-learn students?

  • Sign-up. If you are dragging your feet, stop it.
  • Post a pic.
  • Customize your background. Don’t know how? Google it.
  • Include your website/blog/LinkedIn profile on the Web portion of your profile.
  • Make your bio short and witty.
  • Include your e-mail in the bio.
  • Consider your name a brand – market it.
  • Don’t waste your first tweets on the mundane ‘I don’t know what to say’ tweets.
  • Tweet useful/interesting things.
  • If you want your followers to grow tweet key words.
  • It’s not all about the number of followers you have, but rather their quality.
  • Be selective in who you follow, more is not always better. Follow those who you can learn from, who you find interesting.
  • Begin building relationships through replies.
  • Use hash tags to make it easier for others to find your tweets on a particular topic.
  • Join the various #chat groups. And participate.
  • Tweet interesting articles by offering a link.
  • Shorten links using or tinyurl.
  • Add your twitter name to your automatic e-mail signature, your LinkedIn profile too.
  • Glance at trending topics from time to time to know what the day’s topics of interest are, this could help you catch breaking stories.
  • Keep at it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Harnessing the LinkedIn Potential

This week I've spent a couple hours researching, thinking and talking to others about how to take better advantage of LinkedIn. Sure, I am on the site - have been for years. Yes, I keep my profile current. Still, I've not seen significant results from the site; while from other social media outlets, like Twitter and Facebook, I can see direct results. So, thus launched my week of discovery in how to harness the power of the networking site.

So far, here's what I've learned:
  1. Make sure your profile is complete. As painful as it may be to post that pic, or fill in the details on the job you had five years ago it's key to success on the site.
  2. Join groups. Find things you like, areas you are interested in, knowledge you have and join the appropriate group.
  3. Become an active group participant. Most groups have an 'introduce yourself' thread in the discussion area. Utilize that.
  4. Throw your work around. You can't be afraid to leave relevant links to your work, blog, publication, in the groups and on your page.
  5. Update your status frequently. No need to update as often as you send out a tweet, but it doesn't hurt to post short, pointed status updates daily.
  6. Find your contacts. LinkedIn only works if you've got a big network. Grow yours by looking up the various sources, editors and writers you've been in contact with during the week.
  7. Utilize the tools LinkedIn provides. @KristaCanfield sent me this link via Twitter on Monday. It's all about the success stories from utilizing the site. Read a couple, take away a point or two. Or try skimming the LinkedIn blog.
  8. Use keywords. This is especially important in your status updates. Pick words that someone may search when looking for an expert like you.
  9. Get recommendations. While it is a simple sentence or two from a former client or editor, these help build transparency and build up your reputation.