Posted by Julie Tausend Burba
Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of expanding my professional network and professional opportunities by leveraging Twitter and LinkedIn.
I first started using Twitter as a way to get my newspaper headlines each day by following my favorite periodicals. This was a great option for when I was commuting by train and didn’t want to bring a lot of books and papers in my bag. Many of my IRL (In Real Life) friends had not yet begin using Twitter, so my use of the micro-blogging site was informational, but passive.
Still to this day, when someone asks me how to use Twitter and they don’t think the tech is useful to them since they are self-proclaimed Luddites, I provide them with the example above stating, “I get all of my favorite newspapers in one place!” With that example, they “get” Twitter (at least in the very basic basic use of it).
Then, when I moved from the NYC Metro area to Los Angeles, and consequently starting working remotely, I began using Twitter and LinkedIn more frequently. This allowed me to connect with and collaborate with professionals in the fields of Instructional Design and Educational Technology. I may not have been able to meet face-to-face with my network back in NYC, but these social networking tools allowed me to stay connected to my peers. And even more so, meet others!
I have two more stories to share with you.
One, I owe social networking to my latest professional opportunity. I am now a Contributing writer to EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Ed because I read one of their articles via Twitter (remember, I read periodicals via Twitter?) and replied to their Tweet with a relevant comment. The Web editor contacted me and asked me to write about the topic of computers in the classroom. And it’s been fun!
Second, I was reading through the hashtag #EdTech and noticed someone talking about an EdTech Meetup in Los Angeles and NYC. My heart stopped! I sent a message to the person and asked for more details about the EdTech Meetup in LA. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. He is based in NYC. However, he has provided me with valuable tips and resources on how to start my own Meetup. And it’s underway! I have a small group of interested participants and we’ll be meeting to discuss Instructional Design and Educational Technology. It’ll be great to have a network of ISD/EdTech professionals in LA to speak to and collaborate with. After we meet in person, I plan on hosting some synchronous TweetChats to continue the discussions online. Look for a future article on how the EdTech Meetup is progressing.
How do I Leverage My Networks?
Publicize my Web site (this Web site, in fact!)
- Each new article has a Tweet, LinkedIn update, and Facebook Status Update
- Use hashtags # to make sure the right groups of people sees the posts
- To start conversations with groups that share the same interest
- To view and contribute to already established conversations
Reply to Tweets
- With relevant questions or comments to establish credibility, start a dynamic conversation and to gain followers
RT or Retweet and follow industry leaders
- This is how I gain followers and get more information
My favorite use of Twitter and LinkedIn- Making Connections
- Not just with myself and others, but Introducing people to one another, for example “Dear @username, meet @username2, he has successfully implemented BYOD in his grade school class. Something we’ve been discussing.”
How do you use Social Media to advance your professional network and gain professional opportunities? Feel free to tweet me @julietausend or connect via LinkedIn.