Social media platforms have become increasingly popular among businesses for hiring purposes. Widely used social networks have also contributed to companies’ revising their privacy policies to include guidelines for professional use of these networking sites in employee handbooks and company rules and guidelines. As human resource managers, businesses, and recruiters continue to utilize virtual recruitment strategies to find talent and maintain a presence online, it may be a good idea to add a Twitter account to the list of sites organizations use to attract new talent and engage employees.
Establishing Twitter as a Business Tool
Businesses are more open to using Facebook and LinkedIn to promote themselves and network with other industry professionals. Meanwhile, most organizations view Twitter as a personal social media platform rather than a professional one. However, Twitter is a great way to find potential job candidates, and company accounts can easily gain followers from employees, who may already be using this site, to help build a strong Twitter presence right away. Twitter helps companies connect with other industry leaders to promote and educate followers about hot topics and news updates and to spread the word about what your particular business or company mission is.
Creating a Twitter Account
It’s actually very simple to create and maintain a Twitter account—first things first, you have to remember that Twitter only allows users to “tweet” messages up to 140 characters in length. Secondly, building a presence on Twitter requires a daily commitment to post, search, and respond to followers. To create your business Twitter account, follow these steps:
1. Go to www.twitter.com
2. Create a username and password
3. Upload a photo that best represents your brand or business
Yep, four easy steps will get you going on Twitter. At the initial sign up, Twitter allows the creator to import established email and other social contacts directly from your computer. This is a great way to build an immediate contact list with business partners, employees, industry leaders, and company clients.
After the initial account setup, it’s also imperative to create a biography for the organization. The biography should include, but is not limited to, what your business does, what your company wants to talk about, and searchable keywords you want your account to be associated with, advised the source.
What Do @ and # Mean?
To build a following you’ll need to understand what all of the symbols on Twitter mean.
Account names are preceded by the @ sign. Whenever this symbol is used on Twitter followed by a username it’s called a ‘mention’ and the user that is mentioned will be notified. This symbol is used to communicate with other users. A common misunderstanding on Twitter is using the @ sign to begin a tweet. If that happens, the only people that will see that mention are those that are following the sender and the user mentioned. This is why users send tweets that start with ‘.@’, so everyone following the sender will see it.
The other frequently used symbol users will run into on Twitter is the # sign, also known as a hashtag symbol. Twitter users incorporate the # sign and words, phrases, topics of interests, and so on to discuss their interests, news, and ideas. This is a great search tool for companies to utilize in order to start conversations on Twitter with users who share the same interests as their organization. Tweeting #hashtags also allows others to see what your company is interested in. If they like the same things you do, you can potentially gain a lot of followers.
How Can Twitter Benefit Companies
Aside from marketing your business or brand name, Twitter has many benefits for HR professionals and recruiters. Establishing a company Twitter account is a great way to promote employee engagement. Companies can assign one or two workers to completely manage the account, making them responsible for starting discussions and finding business contacts and potential job candidates. If the account is better managed by HR or another manager, employees can still contribute to business conversations on Twitter to help bring in third-party contacts for the organization.
Finally, the benefits of having a Twitter account can help recruiters search and connect with high-caliber candidates for job vacancies. These connections may occur by following other industry contacts, employees, and business leaders. Social Hire blogger Marcie Taylor suggests the following recruitment strategies for leveraging twitter as a recruitment tool:
1. Use #hashtags that include keywords associated with job openings
2. Maintain industry connections by actively participating in chat sessions
3. Search for topics you know potential candidates are interested in
It’s also a good idea to tweet pictures of the office, employees (with their permission), and business events to attract job prospects. Most candidates will appreciate and respond to positive employer cultures. Twitter is a marketing opportunity to showcase why your company is a great place to work.
You won’t truly know how beneficial Twitter can be as a social networking and marketing tool until your organization gets plugged in. If your company is seriously thinking about creating and maintaining a Twitter account for business purposes such as engagement and virtual recruitment, it’s best to take the time to explore all of the site’s features.