Twinterns Anonymous

Hi, my name is Jed, and I’m a twintern.  This is my story.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed a lot of posts tagged with #career lately.  No, I haven’t suddenly become an expert on careers (far from it really) – I’m twintering for Careerealism.  Founded by J.T. O’Donnell, Careerealism is a blog/discussion forum focused on offering advice concerning the shifting concept of “career.”  I first came across Careerealism as my graduation was approaching, and I started searching Twitter for career advice.  Careerealism runs a “Twitter Advice Project” that lets a number of career experts answers reader’s questions via Twitter, so that was something I quickly stumbled across.  And as I followed Careerealism’s tweets, I noticed that they were looking for twinterns.

Now I do have a day job.  I’m not going to talk about it here (ever), but as I was thinking about what I wanted to do after graduation, I decided to go ahead and apply for this internship with Careeralism, because, well, why not?  It’s not really something I’d ever done before, and since I am pretty interested in social media, it’s right up my alley.

So what do I do as a twintern?  I tweet.  The whole idea is to help grow Careerealism’s brand awareness and to spread links to and articles on the site.  It’s marketing on Twitter.  J.T. has really embraced social media with the entire program, including in how she communicates with us – meetings occur via Justin.tv and a private Ning network, where we discuss what we’ll be tweeting about during the week, how we’ll be increasing the brand awareness of Careerealism, and also career advice (it wouldn’t be a website about careers if we didn’t).

The twinternship is a ten week program, and we’re about half way through at the moment.  It’s actually quite an interesting experience, because while I’ve been using Twitter for over a year now, it’s always been as an individual.  Tweeting for a brand is…..different.  I’ve already written a bit on how I like to use Twitter, which probably is not how you like to use Twitter (that’s the whole point by the way).  And it’s certainly not how a brand “should” use Twitter.  For example, I started unfollowing people who annoy me recently.  Is that a good thing for a brand?  Probably not, as reciprocity tends to rule the day on Twitter, and as there are a number of services that will follow and unfollow people for you automatically, unfollowing people is a good way to lower your own follower count.  This, of course, is not ideal, so long as we carry traditional advertising metrics like impressions and clickthroughs over to the social media space.  But what if we don’t?  What if we focus instead on the quality of the relationships we build online?

I’d like to thing that building relationships and letting brand awareness and trust build organically is more effective than pushing a brand upon people – I know it is with me.  Then again, I’m not an expert, and I’m pretty new at the whole tweeting for a brand thing (something I hope to write on in greater detail soon).  In the meantime, why don’t you tell me what you think?

  • Hi Jed,

    What do I think? Well, readers will think I’m biased, but I think you are nailing this internship! I designed the 10 week program to be a true learning experience. There is a phrase I have come to love that shapes everything we create at Careerealism.com:

    Tell them and they forget.
    Show them and they remember.
    Engage them and they understand.

    Unlike other company internship programs, the goal wasn’t to get free labor that would catapult our business to new heights (that would be nice, but not realistic). Instead, I wanted to host a project that would engage people and allow them to have an experience they could leverage in the future. 4 weeks in and I can tell by your post that you are someone who will put this experience to good use in the future. What will we get in return? Well, I’m hoping the experience gives our site/company more credibility amongst new professionals like yourself. The old, “If you build it, they will come,” theory.

    Thank you for being a part of the program this summer and for sharing your thoughts here on your blog. Business tweeting is very different from personal tweeting, and both are valuable to learn. We are all businesses-of-one, so those that embrace and learn to use this technology now, will be ahead of the curve later. Very similar to those who learned to use computers early on in business, they all were able to demand higher salaries for their skills. I promise, learning to tweet will have it’s premium down the line!

    JT

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