Twitter. I have to admit, I never thought I would be a big tweeter. Until early in 2012, I didn't understand how it worked. A bit embarrased to admit this, but I know I am not alone. I had no idea what a hashtag was, and didn't know how to follow people or how to be followed. Mentions? Are you kidding me? What did that mean? Direct Tweets? Again- no clue. I was using so many other social media tools, where would I have time for Twitter? Facebook and Linkedin were the sites I knew and used most.
Linkedin. I could 10 years ago, and can still say today that I have met or talked to most all of my contacts. I am proud of that. I was a fairly early adopter to Linkedin and understand its power. As a recruiter, as much as I get frustrated with the tool, it is simply something I can't live without. It was and is my business black book. I have spent the past decade building my network.
Facebook, that is my personal space. Family pictures, what is going on in my life. I know where to draw the lines of what is appropriate to post and what is not. You will hear my rants about college and professional football, and Major League Baseball, but I won't be inappropriate.
So again, where does Twitter fit in? Over the past year I have fallen in love with Twitter. I can't believe I haven't adopted this tool sooner. Personal Branding. This is where the business blackbook meets your interests. It can be about whatever you want it to be. I love networking with other HR and recruiting professionals. You may love hearing about the stock market from the richest and most wealthy and start following them. You can get information quicker and in the format you want it. The best thing about it? It is a giving tree. 24 hours of information. It is like watching CNN tailored just to you and what you want to hear about.
What have I learned over the past year? It is ALL about Direct Tweets, Hashtags, Mentions! I scratch your back, you scratch mine. It is the napster of writing. Information at your fingertips and sharing with alike minds.
Sold. Hook line and sinker. This is the real deal. If you haven't bought into it yet, you are missing out. I am learning though, to get it's full effect it takes time. Read, write interesting information, share- repeat. Amazing!
So- I am just getting started. A year into it I have 480 folllowers, not great, but I had to start somewhere. It has been exhausting, but I am gaining momentum. My goal for this year is to double that and then double it again and again. So I truly want to hear how the early adopters did it and what they have learned along the way.
I am writing this to talk about my quest. My quest for 1,000 followers. I will write blogs quarterly marking my progress. I hope to share not only my information, but industry news and trends that people will find interesting and thought provoking. This is not for self promotion, but I would like to be a guinea pig and chronicle progress and hopefully guide others along the way through experience and conversations with super tweeters.
I would love to hear how you developed your following. Please share comments down below if you are a super tweeter. Tom Bolt, Recruiting Animal, Jeff Bullas, Greg Savage- I have learned so much from your tweets. Others, join me in my quest. We can do it together. Send me a tweet, let's get this thing started! @WThomsonJr
A year from now you will realize what a giant waste of time Twitter really is. Do yourself the favor and shut it off now.
There is very little (or no) value in a constant stream of what thousands of HR, Recruiting, Blogging, Sourcing, Social Media Preaching and the other crowd of "early adopters" will bring to your desk......unless, of course, you recruit those people. If so - then #CarryOn - and #Godspeed
Jerry, in your opinion, which social media tool will be around in 10 years? Or, will everything go back to the basics?
If you have spoken to all of your contacts you're not using Linkedin correctly.
If you are asking me to follow you on Twitter you aren't using it correctly.
If you want to know why I say this call into my show tomorrow and we'll tell you.
The number is there. NOON EST.
I'm going to call in so I can ask @animal how it feels to be a super tweeter. :)
@Will I already follow you so I'm not much help on your quest... :) I do want to echo your thoughts on facebook - that is still very personal for me and I'm not sure I'm ready to open that up to people I don't actually know in person / personally. I tend to rant quite a bit about things like politics and religion lol.
Oh gawd, another one launches forth to gather followers. The roi in terms of time spent on twitter reflected in number of hires would probably be better if you spent the time sending post cards to people in the phone book in my experience.
Sounded like a good idea but you may find that most twitter users are one way announcers of jobs, opinion and where they are for lunch. If you need the social interaction just follow a bunch of people half of them will follow you back because they are gathering followers.
Twitter can definitely bring candidates... there are too many variables to say it will not bring candidates. "Good" candidates? "A lot" of candidates? Who knows? Just another tool in the toolbox...I wouldn't completely disregard anything, but obviously spend more time where it works. Maybe Twitter works for Will.
Thank all of you for your responses. The world around us is changing and the way we communicate is changing. It is amazing to me that I can be at a dinner table and everyone has their smart phones out and they are texting, tweeting, on facebook, playing words with friends, or are on pintrest. So, I know people and candidates are on Twitter and it is getting used more and more every day. Tweets pop up on their mobile phone. Things are changing. Linkedin is changing. Diversifying the way you recruit, using everything in your toolbox will only help you in the long run. Twitter is here to stay. By no means is Twitter going to be my primary avenue to recruit, but it will become increasingly used. Not a waste of time and 1,000 is a stretch for me, so I wanted to challenge myself, try something different, share and quantify results. I am not a Gen Y person, but there are more and more out there and we better get used to it.
If your using Twitter in the right way a 1000 followers isn't hard to get, I would advise all recruiters to spend 10 minutes on Twitter a day engaging with candidates and clients, as it is a great business development tool as well.
I'd like to modify my thoughts here just a bit. Will - I see you're a corporate recruiter. I think that puts you in a far better position to capitalize on social media like Twitter and Facebook than us 3rd party recruiters.
People (talent) will seek you out. There are most likely plenty of people that want to work "there". But "there" for us agencies changes all the time. No one is looking for me (as a rule of thumb) and my approach is always the "looking for them" - with a moving target going from a contract software engineeer in Nashville one week - to a full time SQL DBA in Detroit the next.
Twitter offers no value when it comes to the type of recruiting I'm involved in.
It may very well bring value to a corporate strategy. (Though I would still suggest against building a follow/follower stream of HR types.)
I love Twitter but don't use it to gain clients nor candidates. For me, it's sharing ideas and news instantly.