Talent Circles

Friday, April 10, 2015

How to Grow an Employer Twitter Chat

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Twitter is a unique recruiting tool that just keeps getting stronger. I mentioned in part one of this Twitter chat series that there’s something wonderfully challenging about parsing your message down to 140 characters or less, but it’s what makes Twitter a great recruiting tool and so digestible as we read dozens, if not hundreds (or for some of us, even thousands) of Tweets each day.

It’s for that reason that I began holding Twitter chats years ago, and why I still think they’re incredibly valuable in recruiting. They’re simple to host, can be low cost or free (depending on how you advertise) and give candidates a rare opportunity to connect with recruiters. What more could you want?

As great as Twitter chats are, though, success doesn’t happen over night. Most start out small and expand slowly over time as word spreads and your following grows. They require a great deal of planned guerilla marketing and consideration of the value they bring to the talent community. If you want people to spend their free time engaging in this way, your Twitter chats need to serve a purpose for candidates.

If you’re ready to reap the benefits of an active, engaging Twitter chat, here are the ingredients you need to make it happen:

A short, simple hash tag
Your Twitter chat hashtag helps participants keep up with the conversation and files all the messages in the conversation for reference later. Choose a hashtag that has staying power (don’t base it on a weekly theme – keep it the same every week), is simple to type and isn’t being used elsewhere on Twitter.

Actively involved candidates
How do you get candidates involved? Ask them! Put out a call for them to suggest questions and topics for your chat. They’re much more likely to participate or tune in if their specific question is going to be answered.

Regular hosting
People have to get in the habit of attending, so keep a regular chat schedule. I recommend weekly chats for the best results.

Broadcast your chat
Yes, it is work related, but that doesn’t mean your friends and family aren’t interested. They may even pass the info along to a potential candidate. Don’t be shy about what you’re doing; let the world know.

Seek help from allies
Invite guest hosts from within your company, particularly if you have multiple openings in that area or a lot of interest from candidates about a specific department.

Guest host other Twitter chats
Gain exposure and experience by guest hosting job search chats like #internpro, #jobhuntchat and #omchat, which already have a following.

Creative marketing wins on Twitter
Get creative in your marketing, shout it from the rooftop and focus on growing your Twitter following beyond the chat because it’ll give you an even broader audience. And don’t forget to take advantage of email signatures and LinkedIn headlines to market your Twitter chat.

Find an ally in marketing
Connect with other people or organizations for a mutually beneficial relationship that will help you grow your following.

Use social advertising
Don’t be afraid to advertise outside of Twitter. Cover all your bases and use Facebook and LinkedIn advertising to promote your chat as well.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She's the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.


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