Twitter: More than just a 140 characters

We have all come to know and learn twitter as the micro-blogging site for chat, discussion and interaction. It’s become an essential for anyone familiar with social media and looking to expand their network.

As a recent college graduate, I used Twitter as a means to search for prospective employers, expand my PR network and keep in touch with old friends. That was the intention just a year and now, it’s entirely changed.

With the invention of a “hash tag,” people can participate in forums and discussions about specific topics on Twitter Search. We’ve seen lately people starting discussion about #CES2009 or #Gaza, to share insight and connect with other citizens about worldly topics. 

I would come in and out of these discussions, until I started following @PRSarahEvans and participating in her weekly #JournChat and newly created #PRAdvice.

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Due to Sarah Evans’ large PR network and the popularity of Twitter, PR professionals and students have used these hashtags- #PRAdvice and #PRIntern- to converse with mentors via the digital world. What I love is that any student utilizing this tool is surpassing the other students who are merely relying on traditional tactics to secure an internship or jobs by person-to-person interaction. Twitter has no longer become an update in 140 characters or less, but a way to promote yourself, share ideas, and expand your professional network.

I encourage everyone to visit these discussions, participate and provide feedback. Has it been helpful? The day I chose to join the discussion, I enjoyed seeking answers and wisdom from invested professionals, yet offering advice to current journalism students. That day alone I expanded my twitter network by 35 people.

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4 thoughts on “Twitter: More than just a 140 characters

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head here! It sounds like we’ve had very similar experiences in discovering the huge value of social media. Twitter is such a powerful tool for connecting with like-minded people, and I’ve developed some very valuable relationships through it. I love how social media is opening up doors for people who embrace it!

  2. Jessica, thanks for explaining the hash tag. I had heard about it but had not yet explored it. So when you log onto Twitter, do you then check both twitter and let’s say #pradvice?

    I just looked up #pradvice and wanted to reply to someone who posted there. I found that you must include the hash tag #pradvice in your tweet for your reply to appear on the group’s twitter page. I leave this comment for those who didn’t already figure this out.

    Excellent post, Jessica.

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