As a commercial printing professional, you probably already know the value of using LinkedIn to connect with business partners, colleagues and peers. But did you know Twitter is also a great place to connect with print professionals?

I recently participated in my second Twitter chat, #PrintChat, which happens every Wednesday at 4:00 pm EST and is organized by Print Media Center, and I found it to be a very valuable experience. For those unfamiliar with Twitter chats, these are virtual conversations that take place during a specific time on Twitter and can be followed with a common hashtag. The conversation begins with the moderator asking a question and each participant tweets his or her response. #PrintChat typically lasts an hour and includes at least five questions, which result in hundreds of tweets from dozens of people.

Why Participate in Twitter Chats

We print professionals work in a very technical industry with its own language, which means it can be difficult to find people who speak the same language. Tweeting from @FUJIFILMGS, I thoroughly enjoyed spending time reading my peers’ experiences and perspectives on the print industry, as well as sharing some of mine.

I was excited to find #PrintChat because it meant having the opportunity to chat with people who share my passion for the printing industry.

Other Ways to Engage with Print Professionals on Twitter

#PrintChat is fun and informative, but it only happens once per week, so I encourage you to find additional ways to engage with your industry peers. Below are a few tips.

  1. Follow #PrintChat participants, as well as colleagues, companies and trade publications. Make sure to skim through your Twitter feed occasionally to read what they are tweeting. If you like a tweet you see, either “like” it or tap the Retweet icon (it will then show up on your Twitter feed).
  2. Create a Twitter list and add print professionals and your favorite trade publications to it. This is a great way to skim through print industry-only tweets. Read these instructions for creating a Twitter list.
  3. Search hashtags to find people and content that interests you. For example, I am particularly interested in wide-format printing, so I type #wideformat into the search box to read what people are saying and find new people to follow.

Social media is here to stay, so I hope you will take advantage of this powerful tool for professional development. Follow me on Twitter at @BeckyBusiness.