Tag Archive for twitter

Thank you Twitter!

I got a tweet today that got me thinking and reminiscing. I’ve had a Twitter account for 4 years today.

 

My first tweet was: “Can anyone see this?”. The answer was yes, but just the first person I followed. When I started tweeting, I didn’t really have any expectation. I had heard Radio One DJ Chris Moyles talking about Twitter, and figured that it was worth giving it a go. I had around 100 LinkedIn connections and a LinkedIn group. That was the extent of my social media activity. I was an old school recruiter. What could get out of Twitter with just 140 characters to use? At first it just looked like a lot of noise, and I was making most of it. People talking about Sandwiches, Matt Alder complaining about things, motivational quotes from dead people, motivational quotes from alive people. What would ever come from “wasting” my time taking part?

For a newcomer it was pretty confusing. Lots of advice, rules and twitter etiquette from people who had a whole 6 months experience, about how many tweets a day I should post, how often I should retweet, who to follow, to be transparent (but not say what I really thought because that would be bad for brand) etc etc. Before that day I had never thought of myself as a brand, I still don’t really. I decided to listen to all this sage advice, and do the exact opposite. I don’t really like convention. If you read my blog, you might know that.

I was in a bad place back then. I’d just closed my training business and had no work. I had time on my hands, and too much of it, and so I started. I could pretend to everyone (including myself) that I was busy, and so I just started tweeting. 100+ tweets a day, retweeting incessantly, in 4 years I have sent out 56,825 tweets to date, 30,000 in the first 18 months, and I connected with everyone. No real strategy or objective, no targets or anything else. I loved this new medium and the conversations I was having and I made lots of friends and got noticed and connected quickly.

What I klike best about Twitter is that I can find the conversations I want or have an interest in and I can join in. I can connect and speak to whoever I want. I don’t need an invitation or to ask permission. That is what was different about Twitter, and I’ve just kept connecting, talking, listening and identifying what I might be able to offer my network commercially, and the places I might be able to contribute.

I don’t know where I would be now or what I would be doing if I hadn’t sent that first tweet. I’ve learnt more from links I’ve seen and connections I’ve made over the last 4 years than I have in the other 42 years of my life. I’ve made many good friends, some of whom I’ve met. I no longer believe you need to meet people in person to be friends, that is an old way of looking at the world. I’ve built a global event business on a hashtag with #tru. I’ve spoken at, hosted or attended over 100 events on 4 continents. I know being social in approach and thinking works. I’m living proof of R.O.I. I’ve worked with companies like the BBC, Oracle and Hard Rock Cafe integrating social recruiting. I work with great recruitment product companies like RolePoint, Joberate and Colleague. I get paid to write content, whitepapers and even a book. I hope I give back some value when people need it. I could never give back as much as I’ve taken out, and it all started with one tweet:

Can anyone see this?

Bill

 

What I’ve learnt from 50,000Tweets #TruLondon

I went over 50,000 tweets earlier this week. I joined twitter in May 2009. My first tweet was “is this working”, followed by “Can anyone see this?”. I had no idea in those days where twitter would take me, or really what I might get back. I was just curious about this channel that everyone was talking about,, where messages could not exceed 140 characters.
It seemed a kind of crazy place. I know that if I was measuring the R.O.I, I would have given up after a few months.
Without wishing to sound over evangelical, twitter has changed my life and my business beyond recognition, and in ways I would never have anticipated. I can honestly say that if I was measuring R.O.I. and looking at what I was getting back, I would have stopped at 250 tweets. There is very little business I can trace back to one tweet or another. I have not sold many tickets to events or won consulting business from a link i have tweeted, but what I do know is that virtually all the business I do is because of the network of people I first connected with on twitter, and that is what I see Twitter as, the introduction channel.
I tend to follow new people most days. I don’t automatically follow people back because they have followed me. I don’t even rush off and check a bio to see if they are “worth” following, because my view is that anyone who has tweeted something that got my attention in a busy stream, is worth following. I don’t expect people to follow me back, only 40% do. I don’t count follower numbers, because the only matrix that is really important to me is shares, retweets or @ messages. That tells me if people are choosing to interact with me or not.
I’m not concerned about people who unfollow me, that is they’re  choice and prerogative. I don’t hold by the practice of mass unfollows, If someone was worth following once, their worth following unless they spam me with porn, free i-phones or really irritate me. I have learnt that as my network has grown, both in terms of follows and followers, some people interact with me every 6 months or so because of something I’ve tweeted, or they might ask for my help with something because they perceive me as having some level of knowledge of something, or they may respond to my request for help. What I do know from these occasional interactions is that even when we are not talking, they are watching. Thats what most normal (I don’t consider myself in that category) do. I’m more interested in the people I don’t know than the people I do, that’s why I try to follow new people every day. I spend most of my time on twitter either following #’s, taking part in chats or responding to @ messages, or asking my own questions.
According to the “experts” I should have no followers because I tweet a lot, retweet often and take part in chats that can flood the stream. It doesn’t seem to have done me any harm, and I will not be changing that approach any time soon.
I have learnt so much from all the content that has come to me via twitter, and although I connect in all social channels, most of the relationships, business or otherwise, originated from a tweet, and as twitter has no geographical boundaries,they are global relationships. Without twitter, these would not have happened.
I don’t think about brand, authenticity or transparency or any of that stuff when I’m tweeting, I just tweet what comes naturally and it seems to work.
This year I will be hosting 29 #tru events in 5 continents. All the track leaders, attendees and sponsors involved can be traced back one way or another to a network that originated on twitter. I can’t measure that via click-throughs, links or visits, but I know that it’s a fact.
Your approach to twitter should be just do it, tweet, spread your net wide and see what happens.
Thanks twitter for everything!

Bill

A Recruiter's Guide to Twitter

Bill is on vacation this week in sunny Wales so he has kindly invited me (Jonathan Campbell, Social Talent, @recruiterblog) to write a guest blog on his behalf.

I run a free weekly recruiting webinar (nearly) every Wednesday at 4pm GMT and Bill helped me with last week’s entitled “Twitter: The Great Untapped Recruitment Tool”.

Here’s what we discussed:

  • Getting the basics right
  • “Push” Job Marketing Strategies and getting your Twitter SEO right
  • “The Long Game”: successful engagement strategies for recruiters
  • Bio & Location Search: Go straight for the jugular & head-hunt
  • When 140 characters is not enough: What can a person’s tweets and followers tell you?
  • Klout: What is it and do you have it?
  • To Follow or not to Follow: when is it time to just listen?
  • It’s all about the Apps: why Twitter.com is only the beginning
  • Hashtags and Lists: What do you need to know

You can check it out for free here:

If you’d like to view any of our previous webinars or sign up for the next one, check them out here.  If you’re planning to come to truDublin next month, give me a shout as I’d love to get some of our tru fans on as guest webinar presenters over the coming weeks as we get ready for the greatest tru yet!

Don’t follow me on…

Twitter  is a great leveler and a real indication of where your brand stands. The reality is that some people like you and value your comments, some people don’t. The instant feedback element is part of what i like about the channel, as well as the opportunity to enter in to conversation and get feedback quickly. As twitter, and twitter use has evolved then the conversations and relationships on and off line have got closer and some real business relationships have been formed. When i spoke in Dallas at #Talentnetlive and at Recruitfest09 in Toronto, it was noticeably different that 80% of the delegates knew me or about me on some level without ever having met me. This is how social media has really changed the way we network.

Of recent, I’ve started following all the news from conferences worldwide. A recent blog by @HRMargo highlighted this, how twitter has enabled her to feel a part of many conferences that she would otherwise have been either excluded by budget/location or knowledge that it was taking place, the learning was exclusive to the lucky few who attended. I have recently organized #trulondon quite a low budget. The marketing has been almost exclusively via twitter, using the #trulondon hash tag and a wide number of blogs written about the event and we have managed to attract 12 top names in social recruiting as track leaders including Geoff Webb (@radicalrecruit) from Canada. This level of international marketing would have taken years and many thousands of pounds/dollars pre twitter. 

We all have our own views on how to build an effective following and maintain it. For me it is about conversation, contribution, helping where you can and sharing. For me, i make a regular habit of promoting my followers within my network and passing on links that i think might be interesting. I do this by retweeting links that interest me that i think could interest my network. I also retweet jobs in social recruiting that i see because i know that some of my followers are actively looking now and they may have missed it. My network is also international with about 70% of my followers being based out of the UK, and as a result i like to promote UK bloggers that I’m interested in and vice-a-versa. Through social media (and skype) the world is a shrinking place, and there is lots to be learnt from all cultures and recruiting markets. I see this as probably the biggest benefit of being involved in social networks, bigger than the business and brand opportunity is the self-development that comes from this instant library of bloggers and advisors in my twitter stream. If i like it, i want to share it.

There we come to the nature of twitter. Some people will simply not like your style, personality, volume or any number of other things. With a big following you can’t please everyone or you become pretty sterile, and how far away is changing your image from being unauthentic? The same people that talk brand image equally talk authenticity and originality. My advice is that consistency is the key, retaining a distinctive style. With nearly 3000 followers it seems to work o.k. for me. in the process i will lose some followers. without wishing to sound arrogant about it, i would invite anyone that does not like my style to unfollow, it’s really quite easy. That for me is one of the appeals of twitter, you choose who you want to follow and who you don’t, exercise that choice.

What prompted this blog was the comments from Peter Gold on a blog i wrote  quite a few months ago in another group.

Peters comments were:

 

“Maybe you were not on the list because you just RT everything anybody else says – where is the value to anyone in that? 100 tweets doesn’t make you good; 100 cold calls but not one new vacancy – what would be the point? You’ve some way to go Bill.”

 

Rather than be upset by this, it got me thinking about the comments, should i change how i tweet or continue as i do for the reasons outlined? i actually apreciate people being open and critical, even when they clearly have not read the full blog and subsequent comments.  My conclusion is what is outlined at the start of this entry. I may well have a long way to go, we all do and if my followers were decreasing i might be concerned but thats the beauty of twitter, if you don’t like what i do, don’t follow me or put me on your list. we all have that sanction and long may it continue.

 

To everyone in my network please retweet often. send anything you think might be interesting, i welcolme it and thank you for sharing. By sharing and engaging with your followers, and promoting others as well as yourself you build a trusted and valued network.

 

What are your thoughts on the best way to build a following and the value of a retweet? A great discussion for the social media circus track on Thursday. comment freely, i have broad shoulders.