How Twitter Is Changing the Way We Interact
I have a confession to make…I’ve become a bit of a Twitter junkie. If you had asked me eighteen months ago why Twitter
is such a popular tool I would have shrugged my shoulders in bewilderment. At the time, I too was puzzled as to why so
many people were using this channel to read “tweets” about what people were doing all day. I thought aren’t people
already using Facebook for that?
As a social media professional I kept circling back to how we could leverage
Twitter as a strategic channel for engagement and marketing. I often struggled
with how I could use this channel for recruitment. Earlier this year I attend a
Brainstorm conference which had one day dedicated to how to use social
media for campus recruitment. Although I am not a campus recruiter, I did
know that Twitter was an important channel for students and new graduates.
Chelsea Newton and Michael Mahoney from Talent Formula delivered an
amazing workshop reviewing all the relevant social media channels. One
comment that really resonated with me, one powerful statement that I still
think about today is this; “…If you are looking to put together a social media strategy, you have to be on the channels to
understand how they work.” It sounds so obvious, but it was really profound. Right then and there I logged into my
dormant Twitter account and started tweeting to Michael, Chelsea and the group about what I had learned and
observed. It was enlightening, powerful, and liberating. People were actually responding and re-tweeting me!
A few weeks ago, I was reading an article in Canadian Business magazine (yes an actual magazine) talking about how
Twitter has changed the way we watch TV. The article stated that 70% of TV viewers now watch shows with a smart
phone/tablet in hand; using them as a second screen in TV viewing 1. So, I have another confession to make…. I too have
adopted this practice. On Sunday nights I arm myself with my
iPad and tune in to watch one of my favourite shows, The
Walking Dead. Through a simple #hashtag thousands of us
around the globe tweet our comments, reactions, predictions
etc. before, after and during the show. Many of the actors also
tweet their own commentary encouraging further conversation.
TV shows such as the Talking Dead take questions from
Facebook and Twitter as discussion items for their show. It
allows for much broader participation and engagement. The
ability to interact with people in a shared conversation through
Twitter has changed the way I watch certain shows.
As I use Twitter more and more, I realize why it is so popular
1. Quick updates- You can share a thought, observation,
picture or comment on the fly. It’s easy to do.
2. Expands Sharing- The integration of Twitter on other
social media platforms and websites allow you to share pictures, articles, webpages, comments, updates, etc. to
your followers that is easy to consume. Re-tweets are also fast and networking friendly.
Canadian Business Magazine; October 25 , 2013
3. You can participate in conversations- You may say, can’t we do this on Facebook? I’ll
answer it one word. #Hastag. This humble, yet revolutionary invention allows people to come
together and participate in conversations. At the last conference I attended, conversations and
observations were shared collectively through a hashtag. Even if you couldn’t participate in
person, you could still be part of the conversation and contribute your ideas, thoughts and
4. You can follow people without being intrusive- Twitter has limited profile information. The idea is to converse.
Most people feel comfortable “following” other
people they don’t’ really know, but want to get to
know. It’s the perfect bridge between Facebook
5. You can have a single opinion or a unified voiceTwitter is a great way to rally people around a
single cause. Good or bad. Product launches can
generate oodles of hype and amplify brand. In the
case of JP Morgan, it can also provide a unified
voice for disgruntled people sharing feedback and comments about the company.
So after a few weeks of my Sunday TV + Twitter ritual, I circled back to my initial question; how can recruitment use
Twitter in a more meaningful way? It’s no surprise the primary strategy is still based on a job board approach. While this
may be low hanging fruit, it’s still missing the essence of what Twitter really represents; engagement. A few months ago I
wrote a blog post about Bilal Jaffery who got a job at Enterasys through a tweet back to the CEO. The lesson is social
media is more powerful if you take the time to converse. It means investing in creating a pipeline of people you would
like to have a further conversation with. So how do you do that?
1) Build up your follower base- As you start to follow other
companies, you may notice people who are of interest.
Start to follow them. Get to know them.
2) Participate in conversations- I can’t stress this enough. To
make yourself visible you have to participate in
conversations. So add your two cents!
3) Be responsive- Conversations are two way. If you are
tweeting you should also re-tweet and respond to tweets.
4) Direct Message People of Interest- When you see someone you want to talk to direct message them.
5) Don’t Spam- Don’t tweet just for the sake of tweeting. It’s better to a have a few quality tweets (including jobs)
instead of hundreds that clog up peoples tweeter feed. You will be “unfollowed” pretty quickly and it could
damage your reputation.
Twitter is viable contender in the recruitment space. Many companies who have followed the steps above have touted
success through product sales, brand recognition and hires through its usage. McDonald’s, AT&T, Cogent Company and
Enterasys are just a few examples 2.
I hope these few tips will help you start thinking about how you can use Twitter for recruitment. I would love to hear
from you so please tweet to me. @annzaliebarrett
By Ann Barrett, Director eRecruitment & Social Media Strategy