Aug 10

To Tweet or Not to Tweet: A Presentation to the VHRA

I’ll be facilitating a workshop tomorrow (Monday, August 16th) to the Vermont Human Resources Association.  The focus of the day is “Leveraging Social Media to Maximize Success in HR, Recruitment and Career Development” and it promises to be seriously kick@ss!

The lineup for the day is impressive and I am honored to be in the company of individuals such as Jennifer McClure of Unbridled Talent (@CincyRecruiter), Rich Nadworny of Digalicious (@rnadworny), Gahlord Dewald of Thoughtfaucet (@gahlord), Jennifer Graham of Competitive Computing (@jenniferggraham), Bibi Mukherjee of Curve Trends Marketing (@wookiesam), and Lisa Wood of Performance Web Soultions (@lisawood). There are others on tap as well, including former students @coreygrenier (now with Brandthropology) and @nicholemagoon (now with MyWebGrocer). The day will also feature @pmgnicole, @katmaund, @cresmer and @annzuccardy as well as Brandy Rudolph of Enterprise Services, Jeff Nolan of Dinse, Knapp and McAndrew and Kerin Stackpole of Bergeron, Paradis and Fitzpatrick.  Like I said, a great line up!

My workshop is about Twitter.  And while the title gives the impression that we’ll talk about the pros and cons of Twitter (which we will I’m sure), my emphasis will be on using Twitter in HR. It’s probably no secret that I believe that Twitter is a great tool that allows you to connect and engage with others — when used right. I’ll talk about what Twitter is, how I see Twitter and HR being a perfect pairing and how the HR professional/department can get started Tweeting.

So here is what my one hour session will cover as this is the post that I will send participants to for resources and information (it will be a paperless session on my part, and also a powerpoint free presentation too!). Just me, a room, a whiteboard, markers and an internet connection — and maybe some people.

  1. Introduction: Who am I to tell you to Tweet?

  2. Sort out levels of Twitter Use

    1. Tweetless – what’s twitter?,
    2. Grasshopper – I have tweeted about breakfast,
    3. Novice – I know the difference between an @ and #,
    4. Apprentice – I tweet and it updates my facebook status,
    5. Specialist – I tweet, I use third party aps, I have participated in a Tweetchat,
    6. Ninja – I use hashtags as throwing stars, tweet on the go, have live-tweeted a conference and maybe got a job interview or job because of it and I know what peeps are saying about me.

  3. Quick Vocabulary lesson

    1. “@” = Twitter name convention: @name
    2. “#” = Hashtag which indicates a specific keyword that others can search on: #vhra or #btv or #campchamp or #hrhappyhour
    3. “RT” = Retweet: when your original tweet is passed on to others either with or without comment. The more retweets the better!
    4. “DM” = Direct Message a private message between you and someone else
    5. “@name” = a message to that person and all the people who follow BOTH of you
    6. “TweetChat” = a chat session that is scheduled weekly or monthly using a specific hashtag. Participants respond to questions from the moderator in a free-for-all session that is archived online via http://www.wthashtag.com

  4. Twitter and HR: A perfect pairing

    1. External:
      1. Follow keywords having to do with the company = Listen
      2. Announce job openings = Recruit
      3. Vet applicants = Due Diligence
      4. Team with PR to share the “Good News” of the company = Brand Building

    2. Internal:
      1. Check employee sentiment = Morale
      2. Monitor/Share company news = Internal Communication and Recruitment
        1. Announce new initiatives/trainings/workshops = Internal Communication
        2. Announce benefit information = Internal and External Communication
        3. Share internal job listings = Internal Recruitment
      3. Avoid problem employees = Listen, Monitor and Watch

    3. Personal:
      1. Follow professionals in the HR field = Keep current, learn
      2. Participate in Tweet Chats = Network
      3. Ask questions = Finding answers

  5. Getting started on the road to HR Tweeting

    1. Appoint your Twitter “team”

    2. In consultation with Marketing and PR, set up an official company HR account that lists who the team is

    3. Brand the account with your Company branding (logo, colors, contact info

    4. Create a hashtag list (#jobopenings, #companynews etc.)

    5. Decide on the keywords YOU will follow and pay attention to (including the company name)

    6. Select a third party application to utilize to help you “listen” “follow” and monitor your HR Account
      1. Hootsuite
      2. Tweetdeck
      3. Peoplebrowsr

    7. Set up an account with Topify (http://topify.com/) which will help you in following people who follow you.

    8. Follow key HR individuals and influencers in your geographic region:
      1. TweepML and search on “HR” to find a great list of people to follow
      2. Twellowhood and look for businesses and key individuals in your geographic area to follow.

    9. Set measureable goals for success:
      1. X% new recruits through Twitter
      2. # of chats participated in that yielded new networking, exposure or learning opportunities
      3. X% of tweets are retweeted
      4. # of clicks on job postings

    10. Use Tools to help you monitor your goals
      1. Twitalyzer helps you to see your overall growth and influence as well as a host of cool metrics (which may or may not be important to you)
      2. Bit.ly is a URL shortner which will allow you to track clicks and mentions of your links (note if you use HootSuite, it comes with ow.ly)
      3. Have your web analytics team provided reports each  month on how much traffic is coming to the company website due to your efforts on Twitter

    11. Start tweeting! Remember to respond to others and join in conversations.
      1. Participate in #hrhappyhour or #u30pro (use TweetGrid or TweetChat to help you with the chat)
      2. Respond to questions
      3. Ask question
      4. Engage
      5. Have fun!
  6. Some things NOT TO DO:
    1. Do NOT set up an automatic follow-back. Vet EACH follower using Topify. Autofollows mean you will end up following spammers and pornbots which probably don’t fit your brand
    2. Do NOT set up an automatic DM for each follower. DMs are for when you know one another and need to have a quick private conversation — do not abuse it.
    3. Do NOT link your Facebook to your Twitter. Facebook allows for more than 140 characters which (normally) doesn’t work in Twitter.  Also you need different messages for different audiences.
    4. Do NOT measure your success by number of followers: that is a FALSE metric
  7. Resources:
    1. HRHappyHour: http://www.hrhappyhour.net/blog/
    2. Steve Boese: Professor and creator of HRHappyHour: @steveboese and http://steveboese.squarespace.com/
    3. Unbridled Talent: http://unbridledtalent.com/blog/
    4. Jennifer McClure: President of Unbridled Talent (and our Keynote speaker!) @CincyRecruiter
    5. Mashable Twitter Handbook: http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/

And there you have it — a whirlwind presentation with lots of links and guidelines.  Feel free to pass this on — I think it works for more than HR. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome and if I missed a great resource, please add it using the comments so others can benefit.