Editor’s Note: Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool for facilitating business relationships, better connecting with colleagues and engaging individuals on similar topics. Guest blogger Johnny Makkar reports on his efforts to get fellow employees to take the plunge and try Twitter. These featured articles from the TouchBase Blog may also be useful.
Getting co-workers and friends started on Twitter:
Would you like to change the fact that not many of your co-workers are using Twitter? Encouraging and getting co-workers signed up for Twitter can be very challenging. When I mention Twitter to non-users, they most likely have heard about it but don’t know how it works or what benefits it will provide them over simply having a LinkedIn profile and communicating with connections through email. I wanted to get my co-workers on Twitter because the company I work for is global and I do not get to interact with many of the people in the other Sydney and London offices. So I drafted an introduction email and sent it out to all the staff. Here is an excerpt from that email:
First, watch this video if you have no idea what Twitter is about:
Second, read this guide by the Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, the largest online shoe retailer in the United States, at http://twitter.zappos.com/start. In summary, Hsieh wrote an open letter to try and get his employees to start using Twitter after he found value in it. He now has 448 out of his 1,600 employees using Twitter to get to know other co-workers and stay in touch with each other.
As a result of my outreach, I was able to get a handful of co-workers signed up. Out of those handful, a few have been using it consistently and some already mentioning to me how they see it can be valuable to them and the company as a whole. The CEO of my company was also very pleased to see that within a couple days, we got our first shout-out when one of our followers mentioned he attended a meeting with one of our clients and said that we rock. My full post about the experience Getting co-workers and friends started on Twitter, includes my introductory email and a follow up email. You are welcome to copy, edit, and send out versions of these emails our to your co-workers to get them engaged on Twitter.
If you need to show them further proof of Twitter’s benefits, I have another post, Using Twitter for business networking and even finding a job, that digs into one of many specific business and career benefits of Twitter. It outlines tips on how to grow your network on Twitter while keeping your career focus in mind:
Use the search at search.twitter.com to find specific tweets about companies and recruiters hiring. Search for specific titles you are interested in like ”community manager’ or more generic terms like ‘now hiring’. Also, check out TwitHire which is a free service that has begun aggregating all job related tweets. Take a look at this article which explains TwitHire in more detail.
Get creative with the ways you network on Twitter (or any other social networking site). Plain and simple, more followers will equal more opportunities. The people with the most followers on Twitter gained those followers from doing something very creative or because they are very knowledgeable in what they do and love to share that knowledge. That’s why they have thousand’s of people listening and why you should be listening to. They way I think about it, using Twitter effectively to follow an industry expert is similar to reading a book written by them. There is a huge potential to learn more from the person both ways.
There are new job opportunities mentioned everyday in tweets. These tweets are not only from users, but from some of the many companies who are ahead of the curve and realized there are other uses for Twitter besides public relations and customer service.
TREND WATCH: Recruiting and Job Hunting on Twitter. Twitter is proving increasingly valuable to both recruiters and job candidates. Beyond microblogging for market engagement, a great business use of Twitter is actively following candidates of interest (and candidates actively following businesses) to open up new recruiting and career opportunities. Subscribe to the TouchBase Blog for more on this and other “Microsharing for Business” trends.