Twitter for business – find talent & be part of the conversation
It’s got over 100 million users around the globe; Stephen Fry’s a big fan and you’ve only got 140 characters to make your point.
Twitter – one of the leading online social networking services – is making big waves in how we communicate with one another. It’s also made a big impact on business – fast proving its worth in terms of brand awareness and recruitment.
Nearly everyone who is serious about social is on it, including your customers, all of which are fast realising its importance and embracing its new way of interaction.
So how can you use this micro-blogging service to the benefit of your business? And how can you leverage its reach to increase brand awareness whilst developing a talent bank?
A quick intro
We’ll assume you know the basics – you know the difference between a RT and a direct message, and a @mention and #tag. The aim of this post is to take you to the next level, to leverage Twitter for your business and online recruitment strategy.
But just in case, here’s a brief introduction – Twitter in plain English.
Who’s on it?
Everyone who’s serious about creating new communities and adapting their service to meet consumers’ changing needs.
A quick look shows all the big brands are on it: Tesco, Specsavers, Samsung and Innocent Drinks. But it’s not just the big names; many local businesses are on there too, and in some cases, are doing a far better job than the big names.
On a local basis, one way of conducting a search into your area is to use Twellow. Twellow positions itself as the ‘Twitter Yellow Pages’, and enables you to search for users by city. Sign up to start following candidates in your local area who display the skills you’re seeking (usually found in the bio).
Tip: there are also a number of paid-for tools to help you find people. If you’ve got the budget to spare, visit Tweetadder to find out more about automation tools to ramp up your activity.
Keywords are an essential part of the Twitter experience (in fact all digital activity!). You can use them to search for potential clients, find candidates with particular skill sets and even monitor your competitor’s activity.
Let’s say you are looking to recruit someone for your team. The most basic way to see what’s happening in the Twittersphere is to put your keywords (sales manager, marketing communications etc) into the search bar to see what’s trending.
Remember Twitter lets you engage with communities: which means you have the potential to interact with some very talented individuals online. So search for current topics to see who’s commenting on them, and how they’re commenting on them. If you’re searching for someone who really knows their stuff, this is a great way to see what kind of content they’re knowledegable about.
Twitter also has a number of accounts dedicated to sharing jobs, in which candidates will follow and search for the relevant #tags, but to give your talent search the edge, look at those who are part of the conversation.
Tip: Make time to research keywords. There’s no point creating a new #tag or using keywords that people aren’t following.
Managing your following
If you’ve been on Twitter for a few months and tweeting fairly regularly, chances are you’ve got yourself a growing following. You’ve most probably started to follow a list people – including clients, journalists, celebrities and suppliers – but the stream of tweets may be hard to follow.
A good way to do this is to group them into different interest or segment them by location, customer type or specialist area. Using the lists functionality on Twitter will allow you to group them – just create a new list, and assign every time you follow someone.
Another great tool to use is Hootsuite. This browser-based platform allows you to sign up multiple accounts, for example you may have a corporate Twitter account, one for regional teams, another for jobs and careers etc. If you’re using Twitter to recruit, you may also wish to put followers depending on specialism into lists – e.g. sales people, digital gurus, senior appointments.
Signing up is free and its list functionality allows you to create a number of streams, making newsfeeds easier to manage and view.
Tip: when creating lists, you will be asked if you want to make them private or public. Public lists will be viewable on your profile, so list them with care.
They key to a successful social media campaign is engagement. If you aren’t seen to be reacting to comments – good or bad – people will lose interest.
Twitter, in particular, is fast becoming a useful customer engagement tool. It allows you to provide real-time answers to anyone who wants assistance – fast.
Make sure to check your @mentions on a regular basis to answer any queries people may have. Especially when looking to build a talent bank, replying to messages is a great way to keep the conversation flowing.
Tip: decide how often you wish to tweet and don’t ignore bad press. This will of course depend on how you manage your brand reputation, but if you wish to seem responsive, engage on a regular basis – ideally a few times a day – to keep your company at the forefront of the audience’s mind.
The aim of social media is to build communities, share your knowledge and network. And the re-tweet (RT) function is a great way to accomplish this.
Communities don’t want you to sell to them; they want information; so by RTing interesting, useful information you will start to position yourself as a thought leader.
Use Twitter to push out your latest blogs. If you’ve just released a new whitepaper, or you’re blogging on issues and developments in your industry, use Twitter to share this knowledge and gain kudos.
By doing so, it becomes a powerful recall tool. So when/if the time comes and a candidate is looking to change jobs, for example, you’ll be fresh in their mind.
Tip: content is king. When sharing knowledge, avoid overpowering sales messages. The odd one is fine, but make sure you are seen to operate a ‘give and take’ approach. The more valuable information you share, the more followers… the more influence and reach.