Getting The Most From Twitter As An HR Professional
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Everyone has heard of Twitter and, with over 500 million ‘Tweeters’, the platform is an invaluable source of information and news for any given topic. With so many people ‘Tweeting’ every day it is often a daunting and time consuming task to pick the best and most reliable individuals or Companies to follow as well as increase your own followers and maintain your own ‘Tweets’. In this article I will explain how to set up your Twitter account, some points to consider and who to follow.
Considerations when using Twitter
Create your Twitter account with an account name relevant to your Company (CiphrHRSoftware). There’s no point in using a random name simply because you find it funny. This won’t work. Make sure that the information in your profile is clear, concise and grammatically correct as this will often be where your potential followers gain a first impression of your organisation. Use your company logo for your profile image, so it will be the image that will stick in the mind of followers (remember, it will be beside all of your future tweets).
Who to follow on Twitter and ‘why’?
You need to know why you are following certain people or brands on Twitter. This may sound obvious, but knowing in advance if you are just looking for the latest Human Resources news in general or something more specific, such as ‘HR Technology’ or ‘Time and Attendance’, will help you to narrow down your search terms and find those people that are posting information that specifically meets your requirements. For example, if I was searching for people to follow for my job here at Ciphr I would search for terms such as ‘HR & Social Media’ or ‘Future HR Technology’. Following anyone and everyone that has ever Tweeted anything related to HR may seem like a good idea at first, however, this will probably result in 90% of the messages you subscribe to being irrelevant. Credit: Bruce Clay
If you regularly visit certain websites to read about the latest HR news then it would well be worth following them on Twitter too. Many sites often ‘tweet’ information that does not appear on their main site and, quite often, there will be several people responsible for the site with individual Twitter feeds giving you different perspectives of the information that they offer.
There are various websites to help you search for Twitter users to follow and suggest the ‘best’ ones based on various factors. This is not only important for finding great people to follow and to keep you informed of the latest news, but also as a potential opportunity to interact with these resources and create new working relationships. Re-tweeting and mentioning these people in your updates increases the chance of reciprocation and improves your online impact and visibility.
Basic Operations on Twitter
- ‘Tweeting’ – Posting a message directly to Twitter that you have created. This is done by typing in the field marked ‘Compose a Tweet’ to the left of the screen.
- ‘Re-Tweeting’ – This is sharing another Twitter user’s Tweet. Hovering over the message will display the option to ‘RT’ their message and also add a comment if you wish.
- Messaging – Similar to Facebook, this is a direct message to another user. The message is not visible to your followers.
- ‘Mentioning’ – By typing ‘@’ and then the username of the person that you want to mention, that user will be able to see that you have included them in a Tweet (great for interaction and relationship building).
- Hash Tags – Using a ‘#’ in front of certain words marks them as the keywords for your Tweet. When users search for certain terms, this will increase the chances of your Tweet being included in the search results.
Managing your twitter account
Next, it’s a sensible idea to find a good app for managing your Twitter account. This is important as you can create specific lists containing a number of users that you follow for different reasons. Many of these apps will also allow you to see side by side columns showing (among others) people you follow, those tweets mentioning you and direct messages. Most of these apps are available both for PC and smart phones. They include;
- HootSuite – Both for PC and as an iPhone app
- Tweedeck – Both for PC and as an iPhone app
- Echofon – Both for PC and as an iPhone app
- Twitterific – as an iPhone app
It is important when publishing ‘tweets’ for a company that you do not refer to yourself as ‘I’ as you are representing your company’s brand, instead use words such as ‘we’ or ‘our’. Using ‘I’ gives the impression to your followers that you are speaking as an individual and not part of an overall Brand. It is also important to ensure that when Tweeting for your organisation you have a clear strategy and message, if you have a number of people from your company updating Twitter then it is important that they all use the same terminology and do not give mixed messages to your followers.
Try to keep your tweets to a limited number each day, for consistency. About 5 to 10 at regular intervals is a good benchmark. Try not to publish a number of tweets at the same time. Instead, schedule them to publish throughout the day. By scheduling or publishing tweets in this way you don’t ‘spam’ your followers and still maintain regular updates. Tweets should always include quality news and links. Remember your followers will be checking their account at work and you don’t want them to think your Tweets are wasting their time.
Don’t be afraid to Tweet about the company’s ‘behind the scenes’ stories, including current projects and upcoming events. The main reason people are turning to sites like Twitter is to obtain the very latest news about those they follow. So don’t disappoint your followers!
Always try and respond to questions from your followers (especially if they are not positive). This way they will know that you are engaged with them and your Tweets are from a human and not just posted to ‘tick a box’ for the company’s Social Media requirements.
Running promotions and competitions exclusively for your Social Media followers will encourage people to follow your Tweets and visit your website.
Always be gracious to other Twitter users that share your messages and send them a ‘thank you’ message. This way you will build rapport and potentially future opportunities.
‘Follow Friday’ or ‘FF’ messages are a good way of building relationships with several users at once. Each Friday you can Tweet something like “FF @CiphrHRSoftware @CIPD @HRIQ” which is a recommendation Tweet to your followers for those Twitter users that you mention.
One of the main features of Twitter is the limited number of characters you can use (this is 140). With this in mind, you should get straight to the point with any Tweet that you publish Using hash tags will allow you to include certain keywords and it is a good idea to use URL shortening sites such as goo.gl or TinyURL to reduce the length of your link address. For example;
‘New article on the Ciphr website called Getting The Most From Twitter As An HR Professional is available to view at https://www.ciphr.com/blog/getting the most from twitter as an hr professional‘
can be shortened to;
‘Getting The Most From Twitter As An HR Professional – https://tinyurl.com/8kzzpwc #HR #Twitter’ Credit: NJI Media
One step further with Twitter
Once you have an established Twitter account and are following and being followed, you may need to start looking at tools to help administer your account and provide statistics. Again, there are many different online tools and services that you can use, such as;
- cotweet – Collaborate on updates, monitor responses, track engagement, and analyse results.
- Twuffer – Allows the scheduling of future Tweets.
- Commun.it – More of a Twitter tool for organisations, Commun.it allows you to analyse the most influential users you are connected to, your ‘supporters’ and potential new leads.
There are a number of tools available to automatically publish Tweets when new content is available on your company website. These are great as they automate the process and reduce your administration, depending on your website platform. Run a search in Google or ask IT for their advice. It is also a good idea to place a link to your company’s Twitter account on your website.
Twitter for recruitment
Twitter is also a great way to advertise for current vacancies within your organisation. One advantage of building a large follower base is that these people are potential candidates for vacancies which may arise. On the flip side, you are able to review any potential candidates’ Tweets to find out their interests and if they have interacted or taken an interest in your brand in the past.
Offering an incentive for referrals is another great way to spread the word to a wider audience than just your direct followers or even those people on Twitter. Offering a finders fee to anyone who mentions the role to a suitable candidate they know can be a great incentive and increase applications.
Increasing applications for vacancies may inadvertently increase the administration and time involved in the recruitment process. This is where an on line Recruitment system, such as Ciphr iRecruit, will be beneficial. For further details please email us!