Social Networking and Translation: Twitter
Twitter comprises the immediacy of instant messages, the networking capacity of social networks, and the research resources of an Internet browser. On Twitter, information is shared immediately using only 140 characters per post. People receive their messages on their computers and mobile devices in real time while at home, the office, or on the go. By now, you are probably thinking of using Twitter to promote your translation services. One thing to have into account is that Twitter is a platform for socializing and not for marketing purposes, so you need to be careful. If you want to make the best of Twitter for your professional career, here are some ideas to put into practice.
When you first create your profile, make it professional. If you already have a Twitter account for personal purposes, create another one for your professional presence. Don’t forget to add a picture that appropriately represents your personality and professionalism! Include links to your website, blog, and other social networks. Twitter is great to redirect people to your more detailed profiles and online CV. When setting up your account, you will have the possibility of importing your contacts from your email and other media. This is important to get more followers. The more followers you have the more exposure your Twitter will receive.
Now you need to follow people and get people to follow you. Decide what translation institutions, Spanish organizations, agencies and colleagues in your field you are interested in and start following them. You can find companies and agencies in LinkedIn by using the advance search. In this way, you will find interesting translation organizations or professionals in your fields and you can check if they are in Twitter. It is a mutual etiquette to follow people who follow you, as a way of returning the favor. Likewise, it is a good strategy to follow people you want to be followed by.
Since Twitter makes it easy to get quick responses, agencies use it to keep in touch with translators and find candidates for some of their projects. For example, if they need a translator in a specific area or if they have an urgent translation, they can send a tweet to their followers, who will, in turn, retweet to their contacts.
Another good strategy is to link your Twitter account to Facebook. In this way, your tweets will appear in Facebook and reach your Facebook contacts as well.
Remember that Twitter is designed to socialize and not for marketing. Marketing is an added value that comes from being active in the community by replying to other’s tweets and engaging in conversations, retweeting interesting content, commenting, posting useful information and following other users. Instead of promoting yourself by saying “I am available”, the best thing to do is to decide which agencies and outsourcers you would like to work for; then you follow them, you read and comment on their tweets, that is to say, you create a relationship. Then, you can offer your services by saying that you like the style of the agency and you would like to be part of their team.
Find, Share, Learn
In the meantime, you can take advantage of the site to share your experience and knowledge and exchange information, good articles and tips. To make the best of Twitter, you need to enjoy being “up to date” or informed on things related to the translation world. You need to create interesting content to share with others. It could be your own material (a link to your blog) or some other useful resources you found on the web. Think as a professional and ask yourself “What do I have that I can share?” You may find that you can talk about the latest trends in the industry, the recent CAT tools launched, new workshops in medical terminology in your country or online, etc. Did you come across a great tutorial that really made it easier for you to learn some tool? Tweet it.
Stand up by building up your twitter style. For instance, if you specialize in literature, you can regularly send a phrase by a known writer related to words, translation or life.
In essence, Twitter can be seen as a worldwide public forum to exchange views an opinions. Ask questions on industry-related topics; interact with others by answering questions and discussing a certain topic. This is a good way to learn about the experience of your colleagues and expand network.
Here and Now
What’s happening? What are you doing? Talk about your present situation. This is the leifmotif of Twitter. So tell your followers about your current projects, tweet the workshops or seminars you are attending, etc. Tweet field-specific material. If you find a good glossary on a certain area, you can share it with your fellow translators. Soon enough, they will return the favor. In this way, Twitter may also become a tool to share useful resources that will facilitate your work.
– written by Julieta Spirito