Executive job seekers want to know which social media platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. – are the best ones for them to use, to accelerate their job search.
LinkedIn and Twitter are the ones I recommend most.
I typically advise that, if they have time for only one, it should be LinkedIn . . . and that LinkedIn shouldn’t be ignored.
If you’re job-hunting, chances are your competitors have a presence there and are at least somewhat active. You have to keep pace with them, to show that you’re equally social media savvy and up to date with the digital age. Better yet, being more visible and active than they are on LinkedIn will give you a competitive advantage.
I also advise that, if you’re inclined and have a little more time, consider getting busy on Twitter, too.
What I’m suggesting is creating a realistic social networking plan that incorporates both LinkedIn and Twitter. Realistic because, as a busy executive, I know full well that you have limited time to devote to your job search, and you need to focus your time on methods with the best ROI.
I was reminded recently of a conversation I had about the value of Twitter compared to LinkedIn with Hannah Morgan, job search social media expert and my co-creator of CareerBrandVideos™.
I hope the advice and tips Hannah offered in my interview with her (below) will push you to at least consider getting involved with Twitter.
The Case for Twitter Over LinkedIn for Executive Job Search Networking
Hannah began with why she prefers Twitter to LinkedIn:
Here’s what frustrates me about LinkedIn…
I can’t organize or control what shows up in my LinkedIn home feed. (Sure, I can engage/comment on people’s content I want to see more of, but that’s random).
I LOVE Twitter. It’s short, quick and jam packed with valuable information. But you have to know where to look. Since I use it regularly, I’ve curated a list of Twitter accounts of people who offer real job search tips and advice. Some are career coaches, others are recruiters or resume writers.
Sure, LinkedIn is great because you can follow people there now (without being connected). But I get tired of reading long stories, watching videos or seeing people go live.
Some Major Differences Between these Two Social Networks
She laid out some of the major differences between Twitter and LinkedIn:
“People on Twitter are more friendly and open to having a dialog. If a job seeker is looking for the inside scoop on a company, they’re more likely to engage on Twitter. You can more easily reach out directly to people. And if you mention someone on Twitter, they’re likely to respond to you. People on LinkedIn are harder to read, not quite so friendly, and less likely to respond to you.”
LinkedIn can be a limiting networking tool. For instance, you must have a paid membership to send an internal email (which LinkedIn calls “InMail”) to someone who is not a first degree connection of yours. Hannah suggested:
“If you’ve been trying to connect with specific people on LinkedIn and getting nowhere, see if they’re on Twitter too. If they’re active on Twitter, try @ mentioning them (placing their Twitter username in a tweet). It’s been my experience that you’ll have a better chance of getting a response.”
Unlike with LinkedIn, which has a robust job board, you won’t find much in the way of job postings on Twitter. But you will find company news feeds, talking about what’s going on in their companies and industries. This is invaluable information for market and industry intelligence gathering.
“From a news standpoint, it’s easier to get real-time information from a variety of sources on Twitter, than on LinkedIn.”
Use Twitter to Listen To, Connect With and Promote Others
To start, Hannah advises job seekers to use Twitter as a listening and personal branding tool. They shouldn’t focus so much on building a large number of followers, at least to begin with.
She wants job seekers to zero in on following and listening to the right people. She suggests creating a Twitter list for each of their target companies and adding to it various employees within each company. They should also create lists for industry influencers and anyone else the job seeker needs to keep an eye on.
What are Twitter lists?
According to Twitter Help:
“Twitter Lists allow you to customize, organize and prioritize the Tweets you see in your timeline. You can choose to join Lists created by others on Twitter, or from your own account you can choose to create Lists of other accounts by group, topic or interest. Viewing a List timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that List. You can also pin you favorite Lists to the top of your Home timeline so you never miss a Tweet from the accounts that are most important to you.”
How will you keep track of all those Twitter lists?
To help you organize your Twitter lists, you can then import them into a social media management platform like Hootsuite (Hannah’s favorite) or PostPlanner (my current favorite) and also create new lists there.
In your dashboard, you’ll see your multiple streams (from your Twitter lists) all in one view. You can also curate content and schedule tweets and other social media posts.
Next, Take Action on the Real-time Twitter Conversations You See
So, you’re doing a lot of listening using your Twitter lists and getting a feel for how things work.
Here’s an example from Hannah on what to do next:
“Let’s say you see a great piece of news shared by the head of marketing at a target company of yours, you can tweet and @ mention them, and they will see it in their feed.”
How Should Job Seekers Use Twitter on a Regular Basis?
The problem is, people don’t know what to say on Twitter, and finding things to tweet and crafting a compelling tweet can be time-consuming.
Hannah’s advice – Do a lot of retweeting.
Retweeting means tweeting again an existing tweet.
This can be as quick and simple to do as hitting the “retweet” button on any relevant tweet that comes your way in your Twitter stream of those you’re following, or those you’ve set apart on Twitter lists.
“Referencing great works and thoughts of leaders is a good way to position yourself as a thought leader. Job seekers probably won’t have much content of their own to share, like a blogger, but if they do publish content elsewhere online, they should certainly tweet about it.”
For help with this see my post, Twitter Executive Branding Strategy: The Beauty of a Retweet.
What You Should and Should NOT Tweet, and How Much Time You Should Spend on Twitter
Still incorporating plenty of re-tweeting, Hannah advises job seekers to craft their own tweets, including photos and images whenever possible.
“Executives are typically involved with trade shows, conferences and other professional pursuits. They should share this activity and any related photos on Twitter.”
But Twitter is a lively, congenial place. Hannah said:
“Not all your activity needs to be professional. It’s okay to share a photo of your dog taking a nap in the sun, or tweet about your community involvement.”
When you get into the groove with Twitter, Hannah suggests sharing the following mix of tweets, although it’s certainly not set in stone:
- 1/4 promoting/re-sharing target companies’ tweets
- 1/4 sharing industry news
- 1/4 focused on personal stuff
- 1/4 focused on your personal brand, sharing your own work and thoughts
How Much (or Little) Time Can You Spend Tweeting and Still Benefit?
“Spend 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Make it part of your morning routine. Many things are time sensitive and you don’t want to look unresponsive. If you only check in every few days, you’ll miss timely info, like breaking news from target employers. Scour the news and line up 2 or 3 tweets a day (they’ll probably be a retweet), and more if you can.”
And she added one caveat:
“Make sure that ANYTHING you retweet, you have read yourself. Often the headline is not indicative of the message or quality of the writing. But most articles should take only a minute or two to scan.”