Conversation Starters: Twitter

There's been a lot of buzz about Twitter in the past year – the exploding micro-blogging social network service. Here are the seven things marketers and PR pros in the HR marketplace need to know:

We're working on a new eBook tentatively titled "Conversation Starters" that's all about social media marketing and social networking for the HR space, and Twitter will definitely be a part of that. Savvy recruiters and salespeople already get services like Twitter and have been using them a lot longer that I have.

Our goal is to keep it simple, succinct and strategic for you all. There is already a butt-load (yes, I actually wrote butt-load) of best practices information on the street about Twitter and other social media services, some engagingly in-depth, like the post I just read this morning titled The Ties that Binds Us - Visualizing Relationships on Twitter and Social Networks, which referenced a new report called Social networks that matter: Twitter under the microscope from the Social Computing Laboratory, HP Labs (which I'm actually going to read). Or the one that just popped up from @BillVick (that's how you list a Twitterer), one of recruitment's bright voices, who shared the post The 90-10 Rule for Successful Twitter Networking:

Have you noticed all the electronic and tree-based books that have come out on Twitter? There's an amazing amount of verbiage being thrown at us for such a simple service. The sheer volume of training guides, paper books, and in-depth courses on using Twitter is kind of weird when it surrounds a service that worships brevity, 140 characters at a time.

Um, yes, I've noticed. I can barely keep up with my blog reader from my Outlook feed reader. (Is that an oxymoron?)

Recently, one of my "tweeps" (Twitter followers) asked how she should explain Twitter to someone on the street. She said she tried, but only got an eyes-glazed-over return stare.

I joked and said "Say it's a highly productive time-waster." She laughed. I thought about and clarified:

It's a highly productive , laser-efficient, transparent conversation starter for social media networking, marketing and PR.

That's only 123 characters; remember, you can have up to 140.

Regardless of its critics, the ones who claim it's a time-waster, Twitter is an invaluable social networking tool for personal and business branding and marketing. We've found prospects and connected with media and just plain talked shop with other industry folk.

In its simplest form, here are the "The Five Steps of Twitter Success" a fellow Twitterer shared with me recently:

You can find more detailed guidelines here titled "Seven rules for establishing a corporate presence on Twitter" (

Be careful – it's like jumping into a particle accelerator – the return is in the shockwaves, not the impact.

Here are just some of the HR suppliers, journalists, bloggers and thought leaders who you can start following today (by all means there many, many more – these were just the folks tweeting this morning):


@cheezhead (Joel Cheesman – Cheezhead, mJob)

@clachnit (Carroll Lachnit – Workforce Management)

@ejobfairs (eJobFairs)

@forrester (Forrester Research)

@i4cp (The Institute for Corporate Productivity)

@InternQueen (InternQueen)

@jasonaverbook (Jason Averbook – Knowledge Infusion)

@jessica_lee (Jessica Lee – Blogger, Fistful of Talent)

@jimholincheck (Jim Holincheck – Gartner)

@JohnSumser (John Sumser)

@recruitingblogs (Jason Davis –

@StevenRothberg (

@successfactors (SuccessFactors)

@TalentSynch (Talent Synchronicity)

@ToddRaphael (Todd Raphael –

@workforcenews (Workforce Management)

Post by Kevin Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn)

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