Twitter Benefits: You Should Have Them Too

Barbara Nixon discusses why she requires her students to take part in utilizing Twitter http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2010/02/24/10-5-ways-for-pr-students-to-get-the-most-out-of-twitter/.  I didn’t even know what  Twitter was or how to use it “properly” and “professionally,” until Barbara Nixon came along to tell us why we should use Twitter.  I’ve been an active user on Twitter for almost a year now(@Leh1185 ) and I love it!

Why do I love Twitter and why is it  beneficial to students? Here’s my story and maybe this will persuade more Public Relation students to use Twitter other than class requirements. I began using Twitter without having any knowledge of how to present myself on Twitter, who to follow, and what do people “tweet” about. Then, I began to follow my technological savvy professor (@barbarnixon) who follows various professionals in all areas of public relations. This is where my REAL story began. I began to follow the “prestigious” Twitter users and responded to their tweets even though they didn’t then respond to mine (or even know I existed). But, the more I responded, the more responses I received from them.

For the first time I thought to myself  Wow they responded to me! Why me (out of all people)?! These professionals still respond to me because I am active on Twitter without being required to do so. I also ask professional questions and general advice to them. For example, my “tweet” the other day said this: to all PR Pros: When job searching, should you have ring backs?  Not only did I get many responses from professionals, but they told me “good ?.”  The more questions I asked the more they could see how interested I really am in learning about anything from professionalism to being a team player to preparing for the “real world work force.”

As a result of being transparent on Twitter, I developed “connections” with these professionals, which is why I love Twitter and other social media tools. Now, they follow me (wahoo!) and know that I exist and not just another Twitter user. In other words, I stand out by being genuine, professional, and having a sense of humor. Some of them I now talk to not only on Twitter, but on Facebook and even Skype, which lead to exchange numbers. I’m not the most outstanding student, but I take what I learn from my professors and implement them without being told. From there, I ask other professors about various assignments, topics, and general discussions.

Being active on Twitter shows others that you are willing to try new technological advances and are open-minded, which goes along with the old saying “you never know until you try.” For me trying out Twitter was all about asking myself “why is Nixon teaching us Twitter when we should be educated on PR writing?” Let me experiment with Twitter until I give myself an answer to this question. Once I gave Twitter a try, I expressed my gratitude to Nixon and told her this: now, I know why you want us to use social media.

Students: You need to be well-rounded in social media because this question will be asked in interviews: What do you do to stay current in social media trends? If you’re only on Facebook,  what is your response going to be when you are competing for a job if the only social media site you use is Facebook?  You have to stand out and being active on Twitter is one way to do that (along with your resumé of course)!

I didn’t know about Twitter and I still don’t have that much knowledge on utilizing Twitter, but I read various novels to educate myself in how to use Twitter more efficiently and what other apps that can be used for your “Twitter” profile that Twitter doesn’t offer. For example, it was required by Nixon for us to read a novel on our major. For that assignment, I chose “Whuffie Factor” (@missrogue )  and then over Christmas break, I read “Twitter Power.” These two novels taught me how to improve my social media skills. I recommend every student to read a novel because another interview question that’s being asked is “what books do you read?”

  
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