It’s hard to believe Twitter has only been around since 2006. Now up there with LinkedIn and Facebook as one of the world’s largest social networks the microblogging site has seen a somewhat unprecedented growth; with the number of tweets sent daily increasing by 1,400% to over 50 million in the last year alone.
With a number of celebrities and companies now ‘tweeting’ the site which has been used primarily to keep in touch with friends is now being used by many as an additional channel in the recruitment process.
Before you start
What’s the point? – The most common mistake made by a number of companies is diving right in without giving a second thought as to why they are actually signing up. Don’t just begin a Twitter campaign because 'everyone else is doing it’. Sit down with whoever is in charge of the account and put together a strategy. Even if it’s fairly basic, it’s important that you cover a number of points including the types of candidates you’re trying to reach, what you’re going to be tweeting and particularly what the targets are because unless you know your goals you won't be able to measure your success.
Who’s going to be responsible? - Remember this is an ongoing task so give it to someone who has the time to maintain the account. But that doesn’t mean giving it to a trainee. Give it to a member of your team who has a good understanding of the market and ideally someone who already has a solid network of connections.
Setting up the page itself is fairly straightforward but it’s worth keeping the following in mind to help attract the best candidates.
Choosing a name – This may sound obvious but make sure you go with something as close to your company name as possible, if anything for search engine purposes alone. You are only allowed 15 numbers or letters (and the underscore character) and even if you’re not planning on tweeting at the moment it may be worth claiming your companies name because it may save some unnecessary hassle at a later date.
Designing your page – Your account should look professional. The first time some people interact with your company will be through Twitter so try and keep your branding inline with that on your website. Update your bio, upload an image as an avatar and customise the design of your page with your contact details so prospective candidates can easily get in touch.
Time to tweet
Once you’re signed up and happy with how your page looks it’s time to begin with your tweets.
• Make sure you feed your audience with relevant news to keep them following you. Generally candidates will want to know about jobs and any further advice which will help them get those positions.
• To shorten the URL’s we recommend using bit.ly which is very quick to use and it also provides you with stats on the clicks to your links.
• Start following those of interest in your area. By continuing to keep your page up to date with interesting information the rule of thumb is that for every three people you follow, at least one will follow you back.
• Don’t forget to promote your account at every opportunity i.e. website, email signatures and mailshot’s.
Whilst twitter is simple, to get your message across in 140 characters you need to apply some focus and embrace the fact you can reach a worldwide audience. There’s no doubt maintaining an account does take time so put some of the points above into practise to help get the best return for your efforts.
To follow Firefish: http://twitter.com/FireFishNow
Wendy McDougall is Chief Fish of Firefish Software. In her spare time, you'll find her playing squash or feeding her inner geek with the latest technology!