Communicators, It’s Time to Board the Twitter Train

One of the most frequently asked questions at PR and HR professional and networking events these days is “Do you use Twitter?”

Granted, social media is a hot topic, with companies marketing products, managing their public image, and building customer loyalty via YouTube channels and Facebook pages. 

Local TV newsrooms urge viewers to become fans on Facebook and upload images of breaking news and current events to the station’s Flickr page. 

Celebrities and politicians alike have embraced Twitter as a way to manage their visibility and raise awareness of their activities.

But not everyone is on board.

In fact, when I answer that yes, I do use Twitter on a daily basis, most PR and HR professionals alike are quick to dismiss it as a fad and something that has little relevance to the “business” of communications.

I disagree.

Look, I know all the arguments against using Twitter as an employee communications tool: 

  • “It’s a time-waster.”
  • “My employees are on the shop floor/at the service counter and don’t sit at a computer all day.”
  • “What if someone Tweets a profanity?”
  • “Who cares what Ashton Kutcher is doing?”  (OK, that one is mine.)
  • “Where is the ROI?”

All of these are valid arguments against adopting Twitter as an employee communications tool.  Sure, I can cite you companies that are using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yammer and a myriad of other social media tools as part of their comprehensive employee communications tool kit.  But you’ve heard those arguments before and you still aren’t convinced.

So let me tell you how I use Twitter:  as a professional development and research tool. 

There are some great resources out there that Tweet the latest workplace statistics and communication research findings.  I follow them and scan their Tweets to see if there is anything I can use to help one of my clients or even prepare me for a pitch to a new client.

There are professional and educational organizations, as well as industry experts, who offer free training, either via informational blogs or webinars and live chats.  I participate in as many as I can and apply that knowledge to the projects I’m supporting.

And there are recruiters and professional organizations that Tweet job openings and tips for effective resume development and interviewing.  I share those leads with friends and clients who are actively (or passively!) looking for work.

It’s time to stop dithering and board the Twitter Express, if for no other reason than to prepare you for the day when you are out on the job market again.  After all, when was the last time you saw a PR or communications job posting that didn’t require expertise in social media?

Susan (a.k.a. www.twitter.com/RinkComms)

About Susan Rink

Susan C. Rink is president and owner of Rink Strategic Communications, LLC (www.rinkcomms.com) and presenter of the "Take Note" podcast series (http://www.youtube.com/user/RinkComms).
This entry was posted in Communication Best Practices, Social Media and Employee Communications and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Communicators, It’s Time to Board the Twitter Train

  1. JB Haber says:

    Susan,

    I agree that Twitter has some amazing information and provides great links (to people, information, etc.). I do use twitter (jbhaber). I follow people (yes, even Ashton K.). They follow me (even Jodi Picoult). Since the people I follow are from different “walks of life” (professional, friends, hobby, community, etc.), the messages are all jumbled together in no organized fashion. And if I don’t check twitter for a few days, I’ve literally missed thousands of messages. I think there are tools out there to reign it all in, but how am I supposed to try them all?

    So … I don’t completely get it … yet. How can all that stuff be organized in a way that makes it useful for me.

    Even better, how can I demonstrate Twitter to my company, family, community groups when it’s all just a jumble?

    Tips? Tricks?

  2. JB Haber says:

    Sorry, I went over my 140 character limit in my message above!

  3. Susan Rink says:

    Hey, Jon! Thanks for the comment. I, too, have a couple of frivolous follows (@dongeronimo and @mikeo’mearashow to name a few). Do you follow @mashable? Great info on social media trends, usage and lots of good research and stats.

    As for organizing streams, although I don’t use them myself, TweetDeck and HootSuite are great tools to help you sort through the clutter and organize your follows by topic matter. I’ve also looked at TwitterForBusyPeople, which organizes recent activity for your follows.

    Hope this helps, Jon. Thanks again for the comment,

    Susan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s