A Social Media Strategy For Job Seekers - Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about how to use social media as a job search strategy. My experience in helping other people find jobs began during the dot.com bubble burst in the early 2000s. I taught a workshop that was designed to go beyond the basic resume and networking techniques taught in most career programs.

As I mentioned yesterday, the most important lesson was to get job seekers to think of themselves as solutions to problems. At one point, I bought some of those name tag stickers we frequently see at meetings, and had each person write, "I am a solution to _________ ."

We all found this to be a very useful exercise to help each person hone their job search around packaging themselves as solutions, rather than their number of years' experience.

The next thing we talked about yesterday was to create a blog dedicated to the problems you are very good at solving. Blogs weren't a part of my workshop back then as I wasn't on the technological cutting edge, but today a blog is the logical next step to getting the word out about your ability to solve certain problems.

Focus on making your blog a resource that will attract business people (i.e. employers) who need to solve these problems. I've written a lot on this site about how to blog even if you are not a great writer, hate to write or don't have time to write. If that is your lot, become a news gatherer instead. Link to other blogs, post YouTube videos or reprint articles from ezinearticles.com.

But if you go this route, I still urge you to write a couple of paragraphs of your own commentary to whatever content you borrow (and it also goes without saying that you should give the original author proper credit for his or her work).

How to Get Your Blog Noticed Using Twitter

Your blog can die a slow and lonely death if you are unable to attract readers to it. Traditionally, this meant patiently awaiting the kind graces of Google to notice your site or commenting on other blogs hoping their readers will link to your blog as well.

While I still encourage you to post comments, and Google may eventually put you front and center on page one of its rankings, Twitter is a fantastic tool to speed up the process (and obviously you want your job search to move along as quickly as possible).

For example, this blog has not yet been in existence for two months, yet it is getting close to 100 visitors a day and starting to get a trickle of readers commenting on the odd article. Compared to my past blogs, I am quite pleased with these results.

And I can credit Twitter to all of this success. Every bit of it.

How has this happened? First, Twitter followers reproduce like rabbits. There is a great article by Chris Garrett about how ALL the Twitter users he knows grow their Twitter followers faster than they do their blog readers. The article is at How to Grow Both Twitter Followers and Your Blog Subscribers, and I highly reccommend it to you.

My experience is in line with what Chris reports. Everytime I send a tweet, I get 3 to 5 new followers. And if someone retweets me, I get even more new followers. If I follow someone, better than 50% of them follow me. And if I retweet someone else's tweet, a few of them will follow me as well.

Over time, I've come to think of all this as the magic of Twitter. I don't really know how I am getting all these followers so quickly, and I really don't think about it too much. My job is just to write about the best possible, most useful, content I can.

What do I tweet about? Whenever I post a new article on this blog, I tweet about it. I tweet about it 3 to 5 times that day and I generally get about 5 to 10% of my Twitter followers to click through to that article. I also tweet about past articles on this blog because I regard everything I've written as an asset that should keep working for me.

But I only tweet about my own content about 30 to 40% of the time. I will often retweet good content I get from others, and I look for informative articles on the web to tweet about as well. I don't want my followers to regard me as a self-centered jerk who is only interested in pushing his own material all day long.

Now I've wandered off the job search topic somewhat, but I did so on purpose. As a job seeker, your job is to build your brand. Brand building comes from exposing your followers and blog readers to good content that solves problems, whether it is on your blog or links you tweet about.

This is exactly the same strategy a job seeker should follow. The purpose of your blog is to demonstrate that you are a solution to a set of problems. The purpose of your Twitter strategy is to extend the reach of that blog and attract more readers to it.

Hopefully the pieces of this approach is starting to come together for you. In the next article in this series, we will talk about how to combine your online search strategy with your offline search.
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COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown
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March 14, 2009 at 9:41 AM Anonymous said...
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March 14, 2009 at 10:11 AM Anonymous said...

thanks a bunch! I found this article on someone's blog who posted your twitter. Trying to keep track of what works is definitely a tough job, keep up the great work!