With Twitter announcing it has 10 million active UK users, you’re probably thinking that you’d like to get into using it, if you’re not already. If you can’t quite find your voice, these suggestions might help you get started.
The most important things to think about are your followers and your objectives
Who do you want to follow you?
Make your tweets interesting or useful to them. Think about your candidates, industry colleagues and peers, clients or other stakeholders.
Why have you signed up to a social site like Twitter?
Do you want to get more clients, find more candidates, make friends, meet new people in your area, learn about something, or all of the above?
Answers to these two questions will help you generate ideas of what to talk about. Here are some of my thoughts, not all of them will suit you, your followers or your objectives.
If you tweet as a brand:
Links to job vacancies
This is probably what a job seeker really wants. It’s not very engaging to someone passive though. A lot of brands find it helpful to have two twitter accounts. One sending out only jobs and the other for conversation and other interesting tweets. It’s important to be transparent to your followers – if one twitter account tweets nothing but jobs, make that clear and tell people where they can interact with you elsewhere. e.g. @TescoCareers and @Get2KnowTesco
Make the most of Twitter Memes like #FollowFriday and #CharityTuesday
#FollowFriday has probably been around for as long as the hashtag itself! Mentioning a person and adding this hashtag lets your followers know that they might want to follow that person. It is often shortened to #ff. e.g
— JJ Miller (@Love_London) May 18, 2012
Does your business support a charity? The #CharityTuesday tag has a big community of fundraisers and charity types – they will probably retweet you and generally share the love if you talk about your charity work or give a shout-out to the Twitter account of a charity you support (on a Tuesday, of course). e.g.
Links to blog posts or other useful social content from your company
Does your company have a blog (or several)? You might have a YouTube channel already. This is great content with real human voices from inside your business. You can share this with your twitter followers by tweeting links to this content.
If your followers aren’t sending you questions yet, search for people asking some that you might be able to help with. Alternatively, you could tweet the answers to questions that you often get asked by candidates during the recruitment process.
Interesting industry news
What are the best sources of news in your industry? Who are the biggest bloggers? Subscribe to their RSS feeds (I recommend using Google Reader for this) and pick out the best news to tweet for your followers.
Every industry has conferences, expos and networking events. Are you sponsoring one? Is someone from your company going to be speaking at an event? Are your employees going to be attending? Find out if the event has a Twitter account and/or a #hashtag then interact with the event and other attendees on Twitter. Ask those going to the event to send you a photo or send some tweets from the company account. If they’re tweeting from the event, do they mind being retweeted by you?
Are you based in one particular location? Are your offices based in one country or are you global? If you are based in one place, tweeting about local news can make you seem more real and engage the local community. If you are a global brand, showcasing this with views from your different offices or details about local holidays can really highlight your diversity.
Awards and Achievements
What is your company great at? Have you got any awards? Have you just won a great contract? Let your Twitter followers share in your celebration. e.g.
Capgemini UK one of The Times 50 Employers for Women 2012 ow.ly/aVrEC
— Capgemini UK People (@CapgeminiUKppl) May 15, 2012
Competitions or freebies
This can work well if you want to grow a following more quickly. Offer people something in exchange for following you or in exchange for tweeting about something. Make sure you target the right people though – a tweet in exchange for an industry white paper can work well. Take a look at Pay with a Tweet.
If you tweet as a human being
Talk to your peers and industry thought leaders
Twitter is a great way to network. If you’re engaging with well-networked individuals in your industry then they’re more likely to help you out or recommend you when someone is looking for a new job.
What you are working on today
Are you looking for Supply Chain experts or are you arranging interviews for Product Managers? It will help people get a feel for what you do and the kind of people you recruit for. The occasional tweet like this is a very subtle way of reminding people what you do.
People respond to passion. I get far more @replies when I talk about things like Star Trek, Cheese or Percy Pig sweets because people know I’m passionate about those things. It’s also easier to speak to someone for the first time if it’s not about something work related. Once you’ve exchanged tweets about a charity or good cause, it’s more likely you’ll talk again about something work related next time.
Your thoughts and opinions on hot topics or industry issues
When sharing links to news and blogs you can add your own thoughts, this helps set you up as an expert too. Add value with your own insights rather than just tweeting a link and a headline.
People remember those that help them out, even if you only point them to someone else that will be able to help them. Be helpful whenever you can on Twitter.
People love to feel helpful. Ask people to recommend a tool or for their opinion on a topic of interest. Try not to ask something that’s easy to find out on Google though – that’s just lazy.
Join in with an event’s backchannel on Twitter by tweeting other attendees and sharing your thoughts with the event’s #hashtag. This will help grow your Twitter network with relevant industry people and meet more people face to face. A “nice to meet you” tweet can encourage a mutually beneficial Twitter follow.
Are you off out to celebrate a big placement? Is there cake in the office because it’s someone’s birthday? Tell the world – and don’t forget to take a picture of that cake!
Sharing life’s minute detail might seem trivial, but it’s what adds up to make a person real. You’d be surprised how much response I get when I tweet something mundane about my socks!
Twitter Chats usually centre around a hashtag and take place at the same time every week. A tool like Twubs can help you keep up with the tweets and send your own thoughts. You might be interested in #JobHuntChat, #CareerChat, #HFChat (Hire Friday) or #CHRChat (Connecting HR).
Different things appeal to different people and unless you start tweeting you won’t find out what your followers respond to. You also need to embrace the fact that it might take some time for people to notice you. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it leaves you free to make mistakes, experiment and generally push the limits on what to share without annoying anyone. You might just stumble on something great!
What works for you on Twitter?