Twitter Replies & Mentions – Now An Even More Important Distinction

Twitter Lane by Duncan Hall

I’ve written about the difference between Replies and Mentions on Twitter before, but with this week’s changes to Twitter profiles, it’s even more important that you understand the distinction.

We all know that referencing someone’s twitter username with an @ symbol in front creates a link to their profile in your tweet.

Did you realise that where you place that @username can have a big impact on the visibility of your tweet?

So, what’s the difference between a reply and a mention?

When a tweet begins with @username Twitter interprets this as a reply. Only those following both you and the person you are referencing will see the tweet in their timeline.

Here’s an example of a reply:

A mention, on the other hand, references someone’s @usermane in the body of a tweet and all your followers can see it. This is why you sometimes see people putting a full-stop in front of a reply – so that it is visible to all of their followers.

Here’s an example of a mention:

With Twitter’s new profile layout, anyone viewing your profile will not see your replies without an extra click… who’s going to bother with that?

Twitter Tweets & Replies

If you go to our @UKSourcers Twitter profile and click “Tweets and replies” you will probably see some updates that wouldn’t otherwise have had come up in your main Twitter feed. You’re probably quite relieved that you didn’t have to see us saying “thanks” or “good luck” to people that you don’t follow.

So, if you’re just shooting the breeze with your friends and colleagues on Twitter, use replies as normal.

If you’re trying to spread content far and wide, or give someone kudos, make sure you mention @usernames in the body of your tweet, not at the start, so that all your followers see.

Attitudes to Social Media for Recruiting & Sourcing

Growing Social Media by mkhmarketing

There seems to be two camps in the recruitment community.

  • The blasé – they’re not convinced by Twitter or Facebook as useful for recruitment and they’re certain that they couldn’t possibly search or use LinkedIn any better. Don’t even mention Google+ or Foursquare without getting laughed out of their office.
  • The worriers – they seem very concerned that if their recruiters don’t know about every online search tool and technique going then they’re missing out on something fundamental to their success.

I think both could learn a lot from each other.

The first camp is well grounded, not ready to waste time on something that might not work when they could be doing something that they know will give results. The vast majority of the time, candidates are hanging out just where you would expect them to be. If you have 5 great candidates in your database or ATS, why wouldn’t you contact them first?

The second group is curious, hungry to learn and always think that they could be doing better. When their network is all tapped out and LinkedIn isn’t giving them the results they need, they have more ideas up their sleeve.

On the other hand, the blasé are closed minded and almost definitely missing out on great opportunities. The worriers are too concerned about finding talent via “the next big thing” instead of just finding the best possible person for the job.

Open mindedness without drinking too much of the Kool-Aid – is that the sweet spot?

Image credit.

Supercharge Your Twitter Use With Lists

Twitter buttons by Garrett Heath

Have you started using Twitter but unsure how to really get the most out of it for recruiting and business development purposes? Twitter Lists can really help you become a part of an engaged community.

Here are 4 types of list that can help you super-charge and focus your time on Twitter.

The Unmissable

There are some people whose tweets you have to see. You best friend, your mum (maybe), your clients, or breaking news about your favourite band (you wouldn’t want to miss gig tickets!). A list containing some or all of these people can help you check only the most essential tweets if you’re in a hurry.

In this category, I have a “VIPs” list for friends and family, a “Clients” list for those I work or have worked with and a “Doctor Who” list.

You might want to keep some of these lists set to private, especially the “Clients” one!

The Attention Grabber

If you want to grow a following on Twitter then you need to get people’s attention. Simply tweeting your guts out isn’t always enough.

You can of course follow lots of people and hope they will follow you back, but a high ratio of following to followers can look a bit desperate.

This is when I use lists.

Create a list and add the sort of people you would like to have as followers to it. I use this approach on the UK Sourcers Twitter account. I add any recruiters I come across on Twitter to a list called “UK Recruitment Types”. If they then check out the account and choose to follow, I make sure to follow back.

By their very nature, this type of list has to be set to public, rather than private, otherwise no one will know they’ve been listed.

The Networker

When you go to an event, the networking aspect can be tough for those of us that aren’t quite as extrovert as others. Run a search on the event name and the event #hashtag in the weeks ahead and build yourself a list of all the twitter users attending. That way you can get to know them and exchange tweets ahead of meeting in person.

There are a lot of events we can’t go to as well – time and money are not limitless. You can however use the same method as above to access those attending events, even when you can’t be there yourself.

It’s up to you if you want to keep your list private or make it public and benefit from “The Attention Grabber” effect too.

The Infiltrator

This type of list is really handy if you recruit people in a niche community.

Create a private list of people that work in your niche, have a particular job title, or who work for a competitor. Then visit that list on a regular basis and reply to its members’ tweets – but only if you have something worthwhile to contribute. Be helpful, insightful or funny and become a part of this community. Engaging out of work hours is particularly good – what do these people watch on TV? If you watch it too, you can join in with their tweets. These people are more than their job titles, in the same way that you are more than a recruiter.

The next time you mention a job that is relevant to this community, they will be far more likely to share it for you.

The Cuckoo

Don’t have time to raise your own chicks create your own lists? Use the lists that others have created.

You could pick interesting people and rifle through the lists they are on and the lists they have created (if any). This is great way to find similar profiles.

You can also use the site: search command with Google to search for interesting Twitter lists. Try a search string like this with your own keywords instead: inurl:lists inurl:code|programmers|java|ruby|rails|developers

or perhaps target people based on the lists they are a member of: inurl:memberships recruitment OR recruiting OR recruiter OR recruiters OR HR

Let us know, how do you use Twitter Lists for sourcing?

Image credit.

LinkedIn Scrap Their Events App – Now What?

LinkedIn have announced that they will be shutting down the LinkedIn Events App on 26th November 2012.

LinkedIn Help Center: LinkedIn Events - Shutdown

I think this is a real shame as it can be a great sourcing tool. I have spoken many times about how powerful events can be for sourcers and that Social Media sites offer you the opportunity get something out of an event even if you are unable to attend – who has the time or money to go to everything?

If you’d still like to let your LinkedIn network know what events you will be attending then using LinkedIn’s status updates could be a good alternative. This also gives you the opportunity to say more about why you’re going than just using LinkedIn Events would have done.

LinkedIn’s Events App is, of course, only one small way to follow the plethora of breadcrumbs left online by event attendees. So, what other apps could we start using to discover events, promote our own events and source names of interesting people to talk to?

[Note: If the search strings in this post seem confusing then check out my Search Engine Handbook for Recruiters – it will explain everything.]


Event organisers use Eventbriteto manage ticket sales for their events and as a promotion tool. This makes it a huge, fully searchable, events directory. I would guess that most people reading this blog have registered to attend an event through Eventbrite at least once before, but have you ever used it to search for events?

Search for events on Eventbrite

Some event organisers make the attendee lists of their events publicly visible. This is really useful for us! You can search for events very effectively from inside Eventbrite or if you just want to find events that are displaying a list of attendees then try X-raying Eventbrite via Google or another search engine like this:

“industry keyword” (location OR location) “attendee list sort by”

Eventbrite is particularly good for: Event Discovery & Name Sourcing (if the organiser has chosen to display an attendee list). Similar Tool: Amiando

Facebook Events

Not every event on Facebookis for “Toni’s 30th Birthday Bash”. A lot of big conferences and smaller networking groups promote their events on Facebook. Try X-Raying Facebook to find events in your industry. A string like this might help you get started: inurl:events “industry keywords” location

The intitle:operator can be useful here as event names form part of the page title.

Social Developers London November - Facebook Event

As you can see above, there are often lists of those attending, invited, maybe attending… and you can see all their names just by clicking. Of course, some networking and event communities have Facebook pages. Take London’s Digital Sizzle community, for example. At the time of writing they have 512 likes on their Facebook page – if this is the sort of talent you’re looking for then these people are probably of interest. Facebook might not let you see those 512 names, but if you take a look at the page’s most recent posts and hover over where it says “3 people like this” – then you will see the names of those three people. No doubt three people very engaged with that page and those events. You can also see who has commented on and shared posts made by a Facebook page.

The names you gather on Facebook can be cross referenced with a Google or LinkedIn search.

Facebook Events are particularly good for: Name Sourcing
Further Reading: Cracking open Facebook by Balazs Paroczay


Lanyrd is an app that helps people discover events via their Twitter networks. If you use twitter then you probably have quite a chunk of followers that work in a similar niche to your business.

Sign in at Lanyrd with your Twitter credentials to find out what events your network is going to be attending. You can even get weekly event suggestions sent to your inbox. Build 2012 seems to be very popular in my network this week:

Build 2012 on Lanyrd

Lanyrd allows people to register both that they are attending the event or if they are just interested and would like to track the event. This means that you often get a lot more useful names (with links to their Twitter profiles) than you would do from a straight forward attendee list.

If an event is popular on Lanyrd then its attendees are probably going to generate quite a lot of tweets on the day too – remember to set yourself a reminder to monitor Twitter on the day of the event to find more attendees. The page above tells us to use the #buildconf  hashtag. I’ll say more about hashtags later.

Lanyrd is particularly good for: Discovery and Name Sourcing.
Similar Tools: Plancast


Meetup is a great hybrid of community and events. Some people join an event community on Meetup but never actually attend an event. Like Lanyrd, it gives you that bit extra compared with a standard attendee list. PHP London on

The URLs for groups and people profiles make X-raying Meetup really easy too.

Take the PHP London meetup group. It has 1,696 members who will all have a profile page. If I wanted to find developers with experience on eCommerce sites I might try a string like this:

(magento OR ecommerce OR “e commerce”)

Meetup is particularly good for: Name Sourcing, Promotion
Further Reading: How To Source On Meetup by Peter Kazanjy on the SourceCon blog


Not everyone on Twitter will be active on Lanyrd or Plancast. Once you know about an event, Twitter can be a really powerful to way to discover who is attending and why.

These days most events have a #hashtag. If you are unsure how hashtags work then take a look at my post explaining how recruiters can use hashtags.

An event’s hashtag can sometimes be slow to emerge. It is worth leaving a search running for “the name of the event” in quote marks weeks, even months, before a big conference or expo.

If attending or sponsoring an event, I will often build a Twitter list of all those I find that look like they will be attending. It’s then easy for me to spend a little time ahead of the event interacting with those people via Twitter. This makes meeting up on the day much easier as you already feel you know each other and feel part of a community.

Twitter is particularly good for: Being there even when you can’t attend, Name Sourcing, Discovery & Promotion.
Further Reading: What is a #Hashtag?

Do you use any other sites to identify great events and the talent that attends them?

Why Are Twitter Lists So Great For Recruitment?

Twitter Lane by Duncan Hall

Twitter has a great feature to help recruiters and sourcers find relevant and respected twitter accounts – Twitter Lists. This feature isn’t very well promoted though so might not be immediately discovered by new users.

If you are an active Twitter user then you will not have failed to notice a few notifications appearing in your “@Connect” section saying that someone has added you to a list or two. You might even have created a few lists of your own.

What are Twitter lists?

A Twitter user can create a list and add Twitter accounts that interest them to it. You don’t have to follow a person to add them to one of your lists. Once you create and name a list you can start adding people to it right away using the little drop down menu on their profile.

Adding someone to a Twitter Lists

A twitter list can be public (other people can see who is on it and choose to follow it) or private (only you know who is on your private lists and only you can make use of them).

Finding Someone's Twitter listsYou can find someone’s Twitter lists by visiting their profile on and looking at the options on the left hand side of the page. You can view @UKSourcers’ Twitter lists here:

What is so great about Twitter Lists?

  1. People more knowledgeable than you do all the hard work: people create lists of people that share their interests. I have a list of Star Trek fans, I know that they are all massive Trekkers but very few of them probably mention this in their Twitter bios. I also have a list of Sourcers that are based in the UK. People often create lists of other people in their industry or people they met at a particular event. This is really useful curation.
  2. Follow targeted people fast: You can follow someone else’s list with one click or choose a few people off their list to follow in your main timeline. This makes following a very targeted group very quick to do.
  3. Follow accounts without them knowing: It would be nice to be able to keep tabs on your competitors on Twitter without getting their attention, wouldn’t it? Keep an eye on them without adding to their follower account? You can by listing them on a private list.
  4. Never Miss Important Tweets: Now that I follow more than 2,000 people I’ve had to get creative to prevent missing tweets from the people that I care about the most. This has led me to create private lists like “Clients” so that I always know what they’re up to and can help them out if needed and another list called “VIPs” for my closest friends and family so that I don’t miss their news.

What do you use lists for?

Have I missed anything – How do you make use of Twitter lists?


You might also be interested in:

Image Credit.

What is a #Hashtag?

#hashtagsHashtags started life on Twitter but have started cropping up all over the web.

What are Hashtags?

They provide Twitter users with a way to add context to their tweets. Here’s some examples:

Tweeting about a TV program or sporting event, like the olympic opening ceramony

Tweeting from a conference like The Social Recruiting Conference

Taking part in a contest run by a consumer brand

Tweets relevant to a particular location or town, like Reading

You can turn any word into a hashtag simply by putting the # symbol ahead of it. You can’t have any spaces or special characters in a hashtag.

Before using a hashtag for the first time, it’s worth looking to see how people use it. Run a search on Twitter for your chosen tag to see if it is being used and how.

I have used #rdg as an example above. #Reading is already being used by book lovers all over the world so it would make no sense to use it to talk about traffic, weather or events local to the town of Reading in Berkshire. Residents have chosen to use #rdg instead.

This shows how important it is to check a hashtag before using it. By using a hashtag, you are making yourself a part of an online community.

How are recruiters using hashtags?

1. Learning

Twitter chats are a great way to learn. A Twitter chat is a discussion that takes place at a predetermined time using a hashtag to help participants keep track of the debate. Popular Twitter Chats for recruiters include; #TalentNet #TChat #HFChat #JobHuntChat #CareerChat.

Recruiters also use hashtags to share relevant links and information all the time, like: #socialrecruiting and #uksourcers.

2. Sourcing

Hashtags are great for spotting people in other industries doing exactly what recruiters are doing above and more.

Just last week I discovered that nurses have a fortnightly Twitter chat on the tag #NTtwitChat.

This sort of things goes on in many industries. Do you know if there is a Twitter chat for users in your market places?

You can also track events happening in your niche. For example, there is a meetup of the London Ruby Users Group today. You can track who is attending using the #LRUG hashtag.

3. Advertising, Promotion and Branding

This option is much more tricky as it’s very easy for an inexperienced Twitter user to look like a spammer when they try to use a hashtag to promote a job.

There was a time when the #rdg hashtag was flooded by recruiters trying to promote jobs in the Reading area. This might make sense to us as recruiters and sourcers but those Tweets were only relevant to very few Reading residents – only a small percentage would be looking for a job at all and even fewer would be appropriate for it. It can actually be quite damaging to the brand of a recruitment business. Something like #rdgjobs, promoted very occasionally on the main #rdg tag would have been a better strategy.

The same happens when you take an industry hashtag to promote jobs, you can end up displacing the original users of the tag, making your efforts pointless. Better to invent your own tag and promote it occasionally on the main tag.

Hashtags like #jobs, #job and #careers are very popular, but are used so much that it makes it unlikely your one job would be seen. They can still be useful though as job seekers can team up the hashtag with an industry, skill or location keyword to find jobs relevant to them.

Using Hashtags with your non-job content is probably most important.

Research tags and find one that has a community and content relevant to what you are planning to share. You want to be enriching a community by providing genuinely useful and interesting content.

If you are using a tool like or hootsuite to shorten links to your content then you will see what content gets the most clicks. Most people find that hashtags greatly increase engagement factors like clicks, retweets and @replies.

How are you using Hashtags?

Twitter Search Gets An Important Overhaul

Twitter birdYesterday Twitter announced that they have made some major improvements to Twitter Search. Some of the new features may be important in helping you engage with a targeted audience.

Many of the new Twitter Search features don’t seem to be live across the board yet.

Spelling Corrections: Twitter should now make suggestions if it thinks you have spelled a word incorrectly. I have tried deliberately misspelling words, but am yet to see this feature in action.

Related Searches: Twitter will now suggest you other searches that you might be interested in. It sounds like Twitter will suggest search terms that provide more results for you. I am yet to see this feature in action for a search other than Twitter’s example of ‘Jeremy Lin’.

Real Names and Usernames in Results: According to twitter “When you search for a name like ‘Jeremy Lin,’ you’ll see results mentioning that person’s real name and their Twitter account username.” When I search for ‘Katharine Robinson’ though, it does not return results mentioning @TheSourceress too. This feature does work with Twitter’s ‘Jeremy Lin’ example – I can only suppose that the feature is a work in progress.

Probably the most useful new Twitter Search feature is working and working well

Results from people you follow: 
Up until now, when you ran a search on, you got the option of seeing ‘All’ tweets or just the ‘Top’ tweets. There is now an added option to see results from only the ‘People you follow’.

It shouldn’t be underestimated just how tricky this was for Twitter to build – with Tweets coming in at 250 million per day, separating them out by an arbitrary list of users must have been a technical nightmare!

Twitter have got this feature working perfectly though – I have used it already to see what my network is saying about the Formula 1 racing at the British Grande Prix this weekend, rather than sifting through the noise of all the tweets about the F1 today.

The ‘People you follow’ results are a great feature if you are using Twitter to engage with a particular community. For example, I almost exclusively follow UK based recruitment professionals from the @UKSourcers Twitter account. I want to engage with that community because those are the people I want to work with. I don’t always want to talk to them about recruitment though – I have other interests and so do they. I can now run a search for ‘cheese’ or ‘F1’ or ‘pie’, see which UK recruiters are talking about those things and join in.

I expect that those of you using Twitter for recruiting purposes have accounts that follow people who are all involved with your particular niches – the exact people you want to engage with. You now have a tool to help you find people in your niche community that share other things in common with you. This will help you build more meaningful relationships.

This feature also adds incentive to corporate Twitter accounts to follow back real people – they will now be missing out even more by not following back those that have shown an interest in their brand as an employer.

How will you be using these new Twitter Search features?

5 Things Not To Do When You Join Twitter

Twitter "Keep Calm" Poster - by Manish Mansinh on BehanceTwitter is great if you are starting to explore Social Media or looking to learn more about Sourcing. It has been instrumental as part of my professional development and led to virtually all my business, one way or another. Twitter has helped me discover loads of useful content and meet many very smart people.

I had the luxury of learning how to use Twitter when it was a much quieter, more relaxed place. There were hardly any businesses or celebrities yet – I remember the day that Stephen Fry joined. There was no pressure to be getting “ROI” out of it – it was just a fun way to connect with like minded people.

It seems easy to succumb to these pressures now and end up not getting the most out of this fantastic platform.

So, when you join Twitter, please don’t…

Excessively tweet links to jobs

The Problem: Lisa Jones of Barclay Jones recently wrote about this problem on the UK recruiter blog, I recommend having a read. While Job tweets are of interest to active job seekers, the majority of people are not actively looking for a new job and might need a more subtle approach. Plus – it’s REALLY BORING!

What to do instead: While jobs are a very easy thing to tweet when you are a beginner, you do have a wealth of experience in your industry and in recruitment – why not demonstrate this on Social Media? Take a look at this list of 20 things for recruiters and sourcers to tweet about. You could always set up a separate Twitter account that just tweets links to job, but be clear that this is all it does and let followers know how they can actually talk to you.

Follow loads of people at once

The Problem: Following people is probably the best way to get their attention, so don’t waste it. When you first join Twitter, you won’t have said much and you won’t be entirely sure what you are doing. If someone follows me and they haven’t tweeted yet then I am unlikely to follow them back as I don’t know what I will be signing up for. The same goes for someone that has only Tweeted five times – I don’t know if that person is just dipping their toe in the birdbath or if they will stick with it.

What to do instead: Lay low for a week or two. Get your profile looking good with a well written bio and a profile picture. You should also get some Tweets under your belt and learn how the lingo works. Follow a few colleagues or people that you know use Twitter well (aim for about 20 people) that way you can learn from what they do – what sort of Tweets do you like to get in your stream? Once you have found your feet, take Twitter to the next level and follow some more people. Rince and repeat.

Thoughtlessly connect Twitter with LinkedIn and/or Facebook

The Problem: It’s very easy to think that you are saving time and being very efficient by sending all your tweets to LinkedIn or all your Facebook updates to Twitter, but it creates all kinds of jarring issues that newbies will find confusing and experienced Twitter users will find annoying. The language used on each of the platforms is different and Facebook and LinkedIn will allow you longer format updates than Twitter.

What to do instead: It is a minefield that I recommend avoiding. If you must do it, be sure to dive into the settings on LinkedIn and Facebook and understand what you’re really sharing and when. I have written about the problem of sending your LinkedIn updates to Twitter before.

Drop Tweet Bombs

The Problem: I read lots of posts about “doing social media” in 10 minutes per day and the like. While it is possible, it seems that most people think you should send out an entire day’s worth of tweets all at once. This will totally take over your followers’ Twitter streams. That is considered a bit rude in Twitterville.

What to do instead: I’d recommend using a tool like buffer to spread your Tweets out through the day. Also, if you decide to have your jobs or blog posts sent to Twitter automatically via an app like twitterfeed or – please dive into the settings and make sure that it won’t tweet 10 jobs at once. If you are unsure what you are doing – don’t do it!

Turn every word into a #Hashtag

The Problem: It is very simple – tweets containing lots of hashtags are difficult to read, eyeballs skip right over them. If your tweet looks fugly – I’m not clicking on the link!

The Solution: Hashtags are an important way to get noticed when you start out on Twitter, so don’t be put off using them. Keep hashtags to a minimum, one or two is usually plenty. If you want to use more then maybe try some A B Testing to see which works best – does a tweet with #jobs get more clicks and reactions than a tweet with #careers? You should ALWAYS check how a hashtag is being used already, if at all, before including it.

Do you have any Dos and Don’ts for Twitter newbies? Let us know in the comments 🙂

You might also find useful:
Twitter Tip: Replies and Mentions are not the same
Using Twitter for Recruiting – A Presentation from The FIRM’s Direct Sourcing event in Dec 2011

20 Things For Recruiters And Sourcers To Tweet About

Twitter Bird SketchA lot of people tell me that they’re not sure what to say on Twitter, or that they don’t think they have ANYTHING worthwhile to tweet.

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

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.

Answer questions
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?

Local Info
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.

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.

Your passions
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.

Answer questions
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.

Ask questions
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
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?

Twitter Tip: Replies and Mentions are not the same

I was inspired to write this post after presenting on “Twitter & Recruiting” at The FIRM’s Social Media event yesterday.

We all know that referencing someone’s twitter username with an @ symbol infront creates a link to their profile in your tweet.

Did you realise that where you place that @username can have a big impact on the visibility of your tweet?

When a tweet begins with @username Twitter interperates this as a Reply. Only those following both you and the person you are refernencing will see the tweet in their timeline.

If you go and check out my twitter profile, you will probably see me talking to a bunch of people you don’t know in tweets you’ve never seen. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to see me chatting about the weather to a total stranger?

Here’s an example of a reply:

When you mention someone – referencing their @usermane in the body of your tweet, everyone can see it.

This is why you sometimes see people putting a full-stop in front of a reply – so that it is visible to all of their followers.

Here’s an example of a mention:

(Thanks Wendy *blush*)

So, if you’re just shooting the breeze with your friends and colleagues on Twitter, use replies as normal.

If you’re trying to spread content far and wide, make sure you reference @usernames in the body of your tweet, not at the start, so that all your followers see.

Related posts:
5 things not to do when you join Twitter
20 things for recruiters and sourcers to tweet about