Networking without the Awkward: #TwitterChats

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Photo credit: http://www.unsplash.com

As an aspiring professional, there is a push to network and make connections in the world of PR, but the thought of reaching out to strangers can be intimidating. The question that’s been running through my mind has been, “How do I do that without being super awkward?” The answer is Twitter chats.

Twitter chats are fast paced chats on Twitter with other professionals that last about an hour. Making connections is easy, because someone facilitates the conversation, so the awkwardness is taken out of the equation. I participated in my first Twitter chat with @Buffer, and these are the four things I learned:

1. People are friendly

I was truly horrified of my first Twitter chat, because joining a conversation with professionals can be intimidating. I was scared that I wouldn’t know what to say, or that I would come across as unprofessional. I was so pleasantly surprised by how friendly and welcoming everyone was.

2. Maintain the connections you make

It’s easy to move on after the chats are over, but it’s so important to maintain the professional relationships you make. People remember people who are actively engaged with them, and that could benefit you both personally and professionally.

3. Be prepared, it goes FAST

This threw me off, I had no idea just how fast paced Twitter chats were. My phone was blowing up every 2 seconds for an hour, and I was not prepared for that. It’s good to go into it knowing that it’ll go quick (and make sure you charge your phone, so it doesn’t die mid-chat from the overwhelming number of notifications.)

4. Have an open mind

You’re going to meet people from all walks of life on Twitter chats, so make sure you go into it with an open mind, ready to listen to what everyone else has to say. I learned so much in my Twitter chat, and I would have missed out on a lot of wisdom and knowledge if I would not have gone into it with an open mind.

If you’re still wondering if you’re up for participating in a Twitter chat, check out the Storify of mine here, and I’m sure you’ll be hooked too. Now go, and make connections without having to worry about being awkward!

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