While followers are great, quality of interaction is imperative. Emily suggests focusing on relationships, not numbers of followers, a challenge worth the rewards. Making friends on Twitter might seem artificial, but the more conversations you engage in on this platform, the more recognizable your name will be later on, as you shake dozens of hands at a trade show, a latte art throwdown, or from behind the bar.
Meeting people is one of the keys to success, for pretty much any industry. “When done well, Twitter can help a barista establish his or her professional network,” says Emily. Especially when “the large networking events are too far away or it costs too much to attend, since career advancement is often based on friendships formed in the industry.”
Consider your name to be synonymous with your voice on Twitter. If that voice is interesting and intelligent, people will be excited to know you and help you along your professional path.
Once you’ve established credibility and relationships via Twitter, you can leverage that worth into potential job offers. If there is a position you’re eyeing, start by keeping a close eye on the company’s Twitter and be involved in their discussions. If you’re in the market for a new job or just browsing, Twitter is a great way to keep tabs on which companies are expanding, merging, and potentially hiring. Sometimes job postings go up on Twitter before they go up anywhere else. Spending a few minutes a day reading your feed could pay off big time, especially if you’ve already carefully cultivated a strong presence and distinct voice.
—Regan Crisp is Fresh Cup’s associate editor.