By now, it’s become common wisdom: harness social media as much as you can. While that’s true, there are some tools that seem easier than others when it comes to making connections and filling a larger job applicant pool.
More specifically, whether you love it or loathe it, everyone can acknowledge the power of Twitter.
Although the online communication tool is difficult for some people (like yours truly, who can’t seem to reach 100 Tweets to save my life), for others it seems effortless, and the rest of us can learn from their expertise.
Prime example: Steve Feinberg, a Minneapolis-based corporate recruiter with a wildly popular Twitter account called TheJobsGuy. He has just over 20,000 followers and is closing in on nearly 25,000 total Tweets.
Even though he’s been recognized as having one of the most influential Twitter presences in staffing, he still doesn’t connect with the site with the passion seen by many Twitterati.
“Social media is something I take seriously, but with Twitter, it’s not always easy,” he says. “You need to be on top of it all the time. The amount of constant Tweets can be a distraction.”
How did he get so popular using a site that he sometimes feels lukewarm about?
Here are some of the secrets behind his success:
Understanding the value to his business. He regularly puts up job listings, but for Feinberg, Twitter is more about building brand awareness and keeping an eye on the competition than about finding higher-level executives. Watching what other recruiters post and seeing how they do branding gives Feinberg a good look at their strategies, he says.
Establishing himself as an expert. Chiming in on different staffing topics and constantly sharing links to industry articles created a situation in which Feinberg became the go-to news source for people, and that created a steady stream of new followers.
Twitter can also be good for enticing people to your blog or company website, adds Kyle Meehan at PH Digital Labs, a Minneapolis-based digital marketing agency. He says, “Blogs and Twitter go really nicely together, because you can pull out insights from a blog and use them as Tweets, which draws people into wanting to read the whole blog post.”
Commenting on other people’s Tweets. Many people stumble with Twitter because they think of the site as a static board where people post their thoughts. But it’s more like a party line, where everyone is exchanging ideas, links, and photos and then repeating (via “retweet”) what other people have said. The more vocal Feinberg became in the community, the more followers he got.
Understanding the audience. Feinberg has found that people under 40 are more receptive to job postings on Twitter, while those with more experience gravitate toward LinkedIn. Because of that, he tweaks his strategy accordingly. He’ll put up some high-level executive job postings on Twitter occasionally, but for the most part, he focuses on listings that will appeal to younger followers.
Get people clicking. Part of the appeal of TheJobsGuy feed on Twitter is that Feinberg finds highly interesting snippets of information and then uses a Tweet as a tease to explore more content. For example, a recent Tweet was The Worst Interview Question (and How to Answer It), with a link to a Harvard Business Review article on the topic. In contrast, he didn’t write, “HBR says ‘What’s your weakness?’ is worst interview question.’” By framing it in the way he did, it encourages people to keep visiting the Twitter feed and using it as a launching point for finding more industry-specific links.
Mixing it up. Some Twitter feeds are a constant diet of links to other content, while others have only job postings or occasional insights. Feinberg attracts a large following because he combines all three major types, which keeps his feed from being stale or limited. Although he leans heavily on delivering links to outside content (like the HBR article), the inclusion of job postings helps to create a blend of Tweets.
Managing time wisely. Meehan recommends using a tool like Buffer, which lets you write a slew of Tweets, as well as Facebook and Google Plus posts, and have them posted throughout the day. This means you could write ten Tweets at once and Buffer will put them on Twitter at regular intervals.
For those like me, who find Twitter more of a chore than a joy, there’s good news: regular practice and Tweeting on the fly tends to make the task easier.
As Feinberg says, “I just consider it to be a part of my day. You can come across a great amount of information, and also get the word out through Twitter, you just have to be willing to put in some time to get comfortable with it.”