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?