Last week, Twitter surpassed LinkedIn as the number one social network for sales professionals because it offers the ability to research and engage, especially those you are not connected to, and to do it all in real time. Twitter is my favorite social network for all those above reasons, but it’s challenging to understand and master. The social network has its own language, and its rapid fire pace can overwhelm users. It just takes time to understand and engage.
In 2008, I began to understand the power of Twitter. As a new mom, who was up at odd hours taking care of my newborn daughter, I was eager for a distraction other than C-SPAN at 2:30 in the morning. It was then I turned to Twitter where I was able to connect, build relationships and engage with smart and interesting people from all over the world. I fell in love and began experimenting with how to use the social networking tool to build my consulting practice in HR and recruiting.
For recruiters and talent acquisition leaders, Twitter offers a great opportunity to source candidates using its advanced search functionality, share job postings and connect with candidates in a non-abrasive and less formal way.
Keep Your Tweets Short – Under 110 Characters
Twitter’s character limit is 140, however, I recommend keeping your tweets between 110-120 characters. This makes it easy for others to retweet or RT and share with their networks and communities.
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— lululemonpeople (@lululemonpeople) September 1, 2015
Use Hashtags to Optimize and Improve the Lifespan of Your Tweet
The average lifespan of a tweet is 18 minutes. Hashtags allow you to reach a very targeted network that might or might not be following you. I consider hashtags the dewey decimal system of social media allowing others to find you by hashtag and build new connections and communities. Recruiters can use hashtags by job type like #javadeveloper, city name like #sf or #sanfrancisco, or the #job or #jobs hashtags to tell other Twitter users that the tweet contains information about a job or job opening.
Another popular trend among employer brands is to create a company specific hashtag that encourages the sharing by members of your recruiting team as well as employees. Check out #AskATTJobs and #teamamtrak.
— Adobe Careers (@AdobeCareers) August 24, 2015
Consider Twitter Job Cards
Twitter job cards offer the option to extend the life of your tweet. These are paid options either working with Twitter itself under their ad platform or with a number of the major job boards. You tweets live longer, graphics can be customized, tweets are targeted with the ability to go beyond the 140 character limit.
It’s easy to go all Twitter crazy especially when it comes to automation. If you are a large company, I strongly recommend that you do not automate all your job postings to Twitter. It overwhelms users with potentially hundreds of tweets, leaves a bad impression and is considered a form of spam by many. Highlight or spotlight featured jobs 1-5 times a day to get the most mileage out of your job postings. Below is an example of a hot alert shared by the @sodexocareers team.
— Sodexo USA Careers (@SodexoCareers) August 28, 2015
Personalize Your Message
Social media is about relationships and engagement which is why I recommend personalize your messaging. Answer candidate questions, engage in conversation using Twitter chats or in trending hashtags to increase your visibility and reach new candidate communities. AT&T has it’s own Twitter chat where they answer candidate questions about how to apply for a job at AT&T with #AskATTJobs.
— Jason Ward (@Ward864Ward) August 28, 2015
Use Visuals to Reinforce and Engage Differently
Social media tool Buffer found that tweets that contain images had a 18% higher click rate. Add images to your tweets that help visual your message or tell a story about your company. Don’t forget to use complimentary visual social networking tools like Vine, Snapchat, Pinterest, Pericope and even Instagram to connect with other social networks. It also allows you to recycle your graphics. Different platforms react and relate to images in different ways. Here are two of my favorite tweets from employers including HP Careers and Twilio Life accounts.
— HP Careers (@HPCareers) August 31, 2015
Twitter is a great platform to build relationships, engage job seekers and share information and resources about what it’s like to work at your company.It’s fast paced but takes time to build a following, create a flow, feel comfortable, experiment and engage. Like most social networks, you only get what you put into it and establishing a ROI on Twitter is what I call a slow burn. It takes time. I encourage you to get out there and start exploring with using Twitter in your recruiting and hiring.