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Ask Haley: Should my staffing company be on Twitter?

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Q: I’m hearing about Twitter everywhere. Should my staffing company be on Twitter?  Or is it just a waste of time?

A: To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question. And it’s one that everyone’s asking. To some, Twitter has become a mainstay of sales, marketing and customer service. To others, it’s a complete waste of time. So who’s right?

Before I answer this question, let me first share a few strategies for using Twitter and a few more tactical ideas for staffing firms.

Six ways companies are using Twitter:

  1. Become a thought leader. Share articles on your website, provide links to great blog posts, tweet unique staffing ideas, and provide links to other thought leaders. You can also follow others who are thought leaders to expand your knowledge base.
  2. Brand your company. Tweet information about the clients and candidates you serve, success stories you have had, and the types of jobs you fill.  Brand your Twitter background, and make your tweets a place to find information about jobs in your local market and information in your industry.
  3. Manage your reputation. Monitor what’s being said about you online using services like TweetDeck and SplitTweet.
  4. Build a community online. Keep in touch with clients and candidates who share similar interests. You can create a unique Twitter account for each community, and then tweet relevant information to each group. Communities can be a great way to build relationships, get feedback on your services and conduct market research.
  5. Improve customer service. Use Twitter to post last minute job openings, conduct special referral contests, and share up to the minute news about the local job market.
  6. Sell more. While direct solicitation is a no-no on social media, you can increase sales by giving people more reasons to want to speak with you. For example, you could create high value information, like a local market salary guide, and then use Twitter to let people know it’s available. You can also watch Twitter to find companies that are hiring, and then market talent to those firms.

And 11 specific ideas for staffing firms:

  • Cultivate relationships with candidates who are active on social media. 
  • Promote the content in your latest newsletter.
  • Post information on job fairs and other events you’ll be attending.
  • Ask questions and tweet answers to others’ questions.
  • Tweet jobs to candidates who want up to the minute info. 
  • Follow thought leaders in the recruiting profession (you can learn a lot from the ideas and tools they share). 
  • Follow thought leaders in the industries you serve (stay up to date with your clients–-and one step ahead of competitors). 
  • Solicit feedback from your candidates. 
  • Promote content on your website. 
  • Follow as many local HR people as you can–build personal relationships and learn about their challenges. 
  • Use hashtags to create  local groups or track local job opportunities.

So is Twitter worth the time?

Honestly, the jury is still out. Some companies are getting great value from Twitter. Most can’t find the time to make it work. My suggestion to you is test it out. Commit to spending a couple of hours a week actively working on your Twitter strategy.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Develop a strategy for using Twitter-–determine your goals. 
  2. Implement tools to listen, so you can see what people are saying about staffing and your firm. 
  3. Follow others who you can learn from or with whom you’d like to develop a relationship. 
  4. Encourage clients and candidates to follow you.
  5. Invest two to three hours a week reading, tweeting, and testing your strategy.
  6. Watch what happens, and adjust your strategy.

Good luck!

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