By now, you have probably heard all you think you need to know about Twitter, and you either love it, or hate it. There are a million and one ways of approaching and using a service like Twitter. Some of the obvious ones are:
- Staying in touch and up to date the minute with your friends
- Following big-time celebrities like Oprah, Jimmy Fallon, Al Gore, Britney Spears, and you name 'em!
- Keeping up with the news way faster than traditional print and TV media (ie; Iran Elections).
What I'm trying to get at is that Twitter is a lot more than what the average person thinks it is. It is not only a social networking service, but a tool for business, professional networking, resource mining, and virtually endless knowledge.
Since I am in the Graphic and Web Design field, I will be talking about its relationship with Twitter and all of its benefits. More after the jump...
Following established Professionals: Being a web or graphic designer means that you have to stay up to date with the industry, and what the professionals are doing by keeping up with trends, news, and so forth. Most of the people I follow on Twitter directly or indirectly relate to my field. These people share their latest designs, talk about the latest trends, and link to countless inspirational and educational resouces. The amount of new knowledge I have discovered since I became active in the Twitter community is priceless.
Having a well-developed Twitter network: Say, one day, you run into a problem that you can't get a good grasp of, you Tweet a question and someone in your network is bound to respond with an answer. If they don't, then work on building up your network even more (you should never stop building, really).
On top of Twitter having professional benefits, it also has great socializing pluses. When you follow like-minded people, whether or not they're in your field of work, it's a given that you will be curious about what they're up to, and vise versa. When people in my network Tweet about things like social events and design conferences, I immediately take interest. These are the types of places and events that will help me professionally, and allow me to meet great people!
Finding jobs and hiring talent on Twitter: If you're new to the whole Twitter revolution, you'll find it surprising that people actually find jobs and talent (depending on what you're looking for) for work. When you're a part of an active network, someone is always looking for something. A few months ago, I was searching for a team of iPhone App developers. From the moment I Tweeted about it, I had 5 responses from interested candidates by the end of the day.
If you're a freelancer looking for some gigs, or even part/full-time jobs, you'll be surprised to find that Twitter is a good job search engine. I keep getting back to the point of networking with like-minded people. To put it simply, it's the best advice I have to offer. You will not only have fun interacting with people who you respect, but, along the way, you will gain life-long knowledge.
What's to come: I am currently working on a follow-up article that discusses even more (and fun) ways of taking advantage of Twitter.