This article discusses how to build your professional profile and enhance your network with the micro-blogging site, Twitter.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social media network designed for micro-blogging and calls itself the place to "find out what’s happening, right now, with the people and organisations you care about". It allows you to send short messages, or "tweets", telling the world in 140 characters or less what you’re thinking, doing or reading. Other users can follow you, and you can follow them.
Unlike a more traditional blog where you can passively consume the site's content without interacting, using Twitter requires you to build a network of users and businesses relevant to you, and get involved.
Why get involved?
Since the site's inception in 2006, the Twitter community has grown rapidly and generates over a billion tweets every three days. It has become a broadcast service for breaking news and is a means for those with a high profile, such as politicians and celebrities, to directly keep in touch with the public.
According to Twitter's "about" pages, the site "connects businesses to customers in real time — and businesses use Twitter to quickly share information with people interested in their products and services, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and influencers".
You can use Twitter not only to increase traffic to your website, but also to build your professional profile and enhance your connections and reputation within your industry.
If you’re not on Twitter, you're missing out on the conversation.
How to get started
Visit twitter.com and sign up for an account. Choose a user name that people will recognise and allows them to easily find and follow you. Update your biography — a short, snappy few lines will help other users decide whether to follow you. Once you've activated you’re account, you can send your first tweet and start building your network.
New to social media?
Connect with The Tax Institute and join the conversation.
Coming soon: Getting started with Twitter (Part 2).