This excellent contribution is by my friend Cristian Gonzales. Cristian Gonzales works in Digital Strategy for Socialarc. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @galactic. You can also visit his Tumblr blog.
I used to work for one of the largest PR firms in the world. I was hired for an entry-level position on their digital team, which concentrated on finding insights for clients within social media. Though I’d never worked in social before, it felt as if the firm expected me to become an expert in the field within a very short amount of time. And part of what they expected me to know was everything and anything about Twitter.
From the beginning, I dismissed Twitter as a waste of time. I think part of my resistance to it had to do with my hostility towards the PR firm. It often seemed as if they wanted me to devote my entire life to the company. In some respects, my refusal to learn Twitter became a representation of my refusal to make the kind of personal sacrifices the firm expected of me. Needless to say, it didn’t work out.
After my experience with them, I needed a break from the media world and didn’t want to go anywhere near social media—especially Twitter. But after my breather, I found myself having more free time than I expected. So out of boredom and curiosity, I logged onto Twitter one day. It took me awhile to “get it”. There were certainly stumbling blocks along the way (my initial tweets were a hashtag mess), but very quickly I found myself enjoying Twitter and navigating its cluttered digital waters.
I quickly realized that Twitter could be more than a way to pass the time. If approached the right way, it could become a place to build a digital community, and network with people who might connect you to career opportunities. Though I wasn’t looking to go back into PR, I was interested in working in the media field again, and found myself talking to many people who worked within the industry on Twitter.
I eventually landed an interview with an agency called Socialarc. When I submitted my cover letter to them, I used my knowledge of Twitter and follower stats to help me stand out from other candidates. Twitter became a way to market myself and show that I could utilize and maneuver a landscape that not many people understood. My ‘Twitter angle’ worked, as part of the reason I got hired was because of my Twitter know-how.
My experience with Socialarc has been even better than I’d hoped for. I get to work on social media strategy and campaigns for clients like Visa (agency plug), and collaborate with an incredibly talented group of people every day. I feel incredibly grateful and lucky to have found an agency where I fit.
A part of me wants to say that my career in social media “all” started with Twitter, but that would be misleading I think. Still, Twitter is one of the things that pushed me to become a more valuable professional in the media space—specifically social media—and for that, I tip my hat off to the little bird. Thanks for being a pain…and my best friend.
Image credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/mokra