Social media trends come and go, as anyone who mourned the loss of Bebo or the downfall of MySpace will be well aware of. Whilst Facebook has seemingly dominated our social networking experience over the past few years, it is the micro-blogging service Twitter that is currently causing the biggest stir in the online world. Scan through your Facebook news feed and chances are you’ll see a variety of egotistical statuses about what old school friends are watching on television or where they’re going out that night. Seriously, who cares?
Whilst many joke that Twitter sees more people comparing what they ate for breakfast or detailing everything they do in life, if used in the right way, it seems a far superior network to Facebook. Personally, I was quite late to join the bandwagon, only setting up an account just last summer, but I soon grew addicted to the wealth of instantaneous information at my finger tips. I initially joined to keep track of the riot activity across the country last August, and was amazed by the concept of live-tweeting: something that now affects the way that many of us interact with television, sporting events, and everyday news.
Imagine having your own personalised home page, where you can choose to have instant access to content from your favourite websites, magazines, news services and industry professionals. Throw in a few of your favourite celebrities to spice things up a bit, and yes, the odd breakfast-related tweet from your techno-savvy friends, and there you have it – Twitter, the perfect online network.
If that isn’t enough to convince you to join Twitter if you haven’t done so already, or you’ve signed up but aren’t sure how to make the most of the site, then read on. From a true Twitter-enthusiast, here are some of the best ways to utilise the internet’s most exciting social media site...
Keep up to date
Why trawl through news websites when all the main providers (Sky, BBC, The Guardian...) are tweeting links to their latest stories as soon as they’re up online? Many a story is broken on Twitter, and live events are often reported in bite-sized chunks as they happen. It’s a great way to catch up on missed television shows, sports matches, awards ceremonies... the list goes on.
Got a passion for PR? Then get following the people whose jobs you wouldn’t mind having one day. Dream of being a journalist? Most of the people you aspire to be like will have Twitter accounts. Unlike Facebook, it’s seen as suitably non-creepy to follow strangers on Twitter, and many will be happy to chat if you want to ask a few questions about their job. There have been instances of people finding their perfect internships or work placements on Twitter. If there’s a company that you’d love to work for, get following them, and you’ll stand more chance of hearing about any opportunities that arise, before the non-tweeting public. With graduates finding it increasingly difficult to enter the world of work, it really is about who you know not what you know. Twitter is your perfect means of access to those all important contacts, so be brave, and milk it!
Building your online presence
For many, Twitter is about creating a brand, and if you aspire to work in a profession that’s in the public eye (media, entertainment, communications) then social media is a brilliant way to build your online presence. If you blog, tweet about your posts. If you write for a magazine like Her Campus, tweet about it. If you’ve done something amazing, tweet about it. Whilst it may seem like bragging to tell all your followers that you’ve just won an award or landed a new internship, it could catch the attention of employers or potential mentors, and the more you tweet, the more you’ll build your following. Treat Twitter as a shop window, and learn to really sell yourself.
Of course, I wouldn’t be raving about Twitter so much if it was all serious – turns out it’s quite a good way to have fun as well. If enough of your friends are signed up it’s a great, instant way to keep in contact and often less hassle than Facebook and completely free. It can help you to pass the time during boring lectures, long train journeys, and you’ll definitely find a window open on your laptop during essay writing sessions. You can stalk your favourite celebs, get fashion tips from your favourite magazines, and browse a wealth of information without need to have multiple different tabs open.
Publicise Her Campus
Finally, if you’re reading this article then you’re obviously a fan of Her Campus Leeds, who isn’t? If you see an article you want to share, tweet about it. Tell all your friends and followers, tweet us at @HerCampusLeeds, and spread the HC love!
If you haven’t signed up to Twitter already, then what are you waiting for? If you’ve got yourself an account then hopefully the above tips will help you to get the most out of the experience. Feel free to get hold of me at @rosannapw if you’ve got any comments about the article, or want more hints and tips. Happy tweeting!