This week we’re talking about another social media tool: Twitter. We’ll be discussing what it is, why it’s important for career service professionals everywhere and some best practices to engage students in fun and creative ways.
What is Twitter?
Chances are you already know what Twitter is and how it works. This section might be boring for those of you who are active users, but stick with me, I’ll promise to keep it brief.
Twitter is one in a cluster of important social media tools that have changed/are changing the way we communicate.
It is a microblogging platform that enables its users to post small bits of content colloquially known as “tweets.” If you’re wondering, “tweeting” takes many forms; you can post text, videos, articles, images, and any other kind of content imaginable. The only stipulation is that your post stay under 140 characters, which is, in actuality, a lot harder than it sounds.
Why is it Important?
During the last couple of years, not only has the number of people using Twitter steadily increased, but young adults remain the largest percentage of users. In fact, 59% of Millennials have a Twitter account, and more than a quarter of them are active. This makes Twitter an important tool for promoting your office’s events, programming, and soft content to a new wave of tech-savvy students.
With that said, here are some best practices for when your office’s Twitter account is up and running:
Host a Twitter Chat with Recruiters
Have a company who consistently recruits on campus take over your Twitter account for an afternoon. During that time, your students can ask recruiters questions about company culture, career possibilities, and other related topics. This gives your students access to recruiters through one of their preferred mediums while allowing them the flexibility to ask questions from wherever they are.
For an example, check out the University of Michigan, who recently started doing exactly this:
Students simply tweet questions at the designated time and recruiters from the company respond via the career center’s Twitter account:
Start a Campaign Using Hashtags
I’m sure you all know about hashtags. People use them casually all the time. But, you can also use them strategically to promote events and weekly offerings.
For example, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Career Services Office tweets a unique career tip each week. They use #CareerTip to identify each tweet as part of the overall #CareerTip series:
By doing this UW brands the series. The idea is that students who become engaged with this content will remember the hashtag and look forward to the upcoming weekly tip. Doing this also allows students to easily look up past tips by simply searching #CareerTip on Twitter. So, by using hashtags, you create a branded content offering that engages students AND a content library that can easily be searched and used by your students.
Know Who To Follow
This often flies under the radar. Your goal on Twitter is to promote content to students in order to engage them in career programming. Following the right people will help you do this.
First, follow industry leaders. That means anyone and everyone who is involved in the career conversation. Follow organizations like NACE, other career centers, and outspoken career service professionals. This will help you stay up-to-date on the industry. It will also help you stay on top of content. Of course you want to be promoting your own content, but you can help bolster your unique content by curating others’ content. Let the community help you.
If you find a helpful NACE article, tweet it. If someone posts an interesting video that your students will find useful, tweet it. Following the right people will give you a ton of good content ideas.
You should also make sure to follow engaged alumni, companies, recruiters, and a few choice students. See what they’re talking about. Engage with all. Build a healthy following and place yourself at the center of the career conversation.
For guidance, Twitter provides you with some suggestions of who to follow in the upper right-hand corner of your page:
Before I let you go, I want to point out that, when posting on Twitter, you should always keep your audience in mind. Consistently post engaging and dynamic content that will appeal to students. Here are some examples of career centers that do this:
- @careercenter - University of Michigan
- @CareerCoachNU - Northeastern University
- @UMDCareerCenter - University of Maryland
- @LSCareerService - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Here are some examples of career service professionals that do this:
- @BentleyCareerSB - Susan Brennan
- @faroukdey - Farouk Dey
- @christiangarcia - Christian Garcia
- @nyuwasserboss - Trudy Steinfeld
If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.