Archive | Twitter RSS for this section

Why Twitter Sux

I just don’t get Twitter. It provides no real value to me, and it seems like a bunch of noisy people selling themselves.

That’s what I heard from someone in a meeting the other day.

Trying to be politically correct, I smiled and said, “well, if you ever want to learn more, just let me know.” But my inner thoughts were:

Really? It provides NO value to you?? So connecting with hundreds or even thousands of professionals that are potential customers, has NO value to you? How long have you spent trying to “get it” before throwing in the towel?  Aren’t you in sales? Aren’t you always trying to “sell yourself”, so you’re annoyed that everyone else is too?

I’m so glad I didn’t actually say all those things during the meeting.

The truth is, I would agree that, at first, learning the Twitter lingo and the “etiquette” takes some getting use to. Let’s say, a week.

I also think the reason people throw in the towel is they don’t know how to manage their account. All they know is “Follow. Follow. Follow. Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.” No real engagement. Just follow people, tweet out information, then cross their fingers that a lead will appear. Magically.

Come on.

Let’s take some baby steps to get you on the right track. I tell our teams all the time to focus on one “lead-type” at a time. Let’s say you’re looking to connect with Online Community Managers (wink).

I’m taking a risk by sounding like a “self help guru”, but here’s your One-Week Plan for “Optimizing Twitter for Lead Generation.”

Monday: Find Them.

  1. Go to sites like and search on “Online Community Managers.” You can even narrow the search by location.
  2. Create a list within Tweetdeck and name it “Online Community Manager.” Follow all those you find at Followerwonk and put them into that list.
  3. Open up that list as a new column within Tweetdeck. There you have a very narrowed conversation stream with only OCMs.

Tuesday & Wednesday:  Sell Them. Not Yourself.

  1. Go through your new column of OCMs and look at their bios. Do they have a blog? If so, scan their blogs for interesting posts. Tweet one out and give them credit.
  2. Comment on their blogs.
  3. Make a comment about one of their tweets. Engage them in conversation. You’re in sales, you know how to start conversations.

Thursday: Give it a rest.

  1. Don’t be super eager or “Big Brotherish”, but scan their tweets, and if something truly sticks out, it’s ok to say something.

Friday: LinkedIn.

  1. You’ve established communication with your potential leads, now send a “warm invitation” to bring them into your LinkedIn network.

Does Twitter take some time? Yes. Should it engulf your day. Absolutely not.

But now you have numerous new leads and LinkedIn connections that you didn’t have last week. Also, one added benefit, people on Twitter tend to connect with like professionals. So your newly found leads are probably connected with hundreds of others with similar skills.

But, if it has NO real value to you……


“What is the Internet Anyway?”

Before you read the rest of this post, please, watch this video. (Thanks Rich for sending this to me last week).

I can’t stop laughing at this video with Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric. I love the commentary about the @ symbol; especially Katie drawing it with her finger in the air.

Ok, so seriously, why is this video worthy of a blog post?

Can you recognize the same conversations being held today? It wasn’t to long ago that many news casters were saying:

“What’s this Twitter thing?”
“How do you tweet someone?”

Do we see the trend here? Once skeptical of email and the “massive computer network,” America’s top news organizations didn’t even know about the internet. Now, they couldn’t do business without it.

Disagree if you will, but I believe that “social media,” and in particular my favorite, Twitter, is doing for our generation what the internet did 15 years ago.


  • Every late-night talk show that I watch is using Twitter or Facebook to communicate with their audience. This morning on my drive into work, the morning show I listen to was using Twitter to ask  their listeners  to respond to a particular segment – all in real time.
  • Job seekers are finding jobs by leveraging their connections on Twitter.
  • No more sitting on the phone going through the maze of automated hell. Customer service departments are leveraging Twitter to respond quickly to their customers. See a personal example in my own life here.

When talking someone, I can immediately tell if they understand the power that Twitter has or if they still think it’s a colossal joke or waste of time.

I could list many more useful examples of how Twitter is changing (and has changed) communication, but the point of my blog is not to try and change your mind on Twitter. However, I do want the image of Katie Couric, and her initial conversations about the internet, burned into your brain. So that the next time you start to make fun of Twitter or brush it off as a waste of time, rethink how the internet has revolutionized our lives.

Targeting Candidates on Twitter

Lately I’ve had numerous MATRIX recruiters come and ask for tips on targeting a specific type of candidate on Twitter.

First, I remind them is that Twitter is not an “all you” media. Meaning, don’t expect to put a job out there, and in return have numerous qualified candidates immediately contact you.

Social Media, and specifically Twitter, is just that, Social. It helps to build those relationships, that then could turn into placements, or referrals from those you’ve connected with.

At any rate, I do think there is a science to finding your exact target audience on Twitter. I’m sure most of you reading this could expand on my tips, but here’s just a few to get you started.

Let’s say you are looking for Java Developers in the Chicago area.

The first place I go is to Google. Reason: I want to connect with java pros in my area. So, I typically I run a  search like “Java User Groups, Chicago”

That then gets me a list of active user groups that specialize in Java, again that are local.

From there, I start digging. Going into each user group site and looking for signs of life on Twitter.

First I check to see if the User Group has a “corporate” Twitter account. That way I can stay in contact with the meeting dates and any news from their group.

Then, I look to see who’s following their group. Most of the time you will come across professionals that attend the user group, and other times you will find other recruiters. Either way, get connected with them.

Then digg deeper. Remember you’re trying to “connect” with their community. So, find some of the most active Twitter users in that group and see who’s following them.

I found this Java guy (blurred his name because I don’t have permission) and saw he has thousands of followers. Take a few minutes and peruse through who he’s following. Any other java pros that he’s connected with? If so, connect with them.

Lastly, pay attention to their conversations. Are they talking about an upcoming event? Does that event have a hastag i.e. #ChicagoJavaConf? See who’s talking within that community and connect with them.

Before long, you will have a solid list of targeted Chicago (potential) Java candidates.

In my next post, I’ll discuss your next step: Engaging them in conversation.

Using Twitter to Find a Job – A Real Life Example

In previous posts I have told you how you can build great relationships via Twitter. Also, Craig Fisher wrote about the “cool kids” that are using Twitter and other social media outlets to network. Now, I want to give you a real example of how Ben McCormack, a new MATRIX consultant, used Twitter to find a job.

I spoke with Ben a few days ago, and asked him to walk me through the job-search process he used on Twitter.

Did you join Twitter intending to look for a job?
I joined twitter about 8 months ago to start following experts in the Microsoft .NET Silverlight space. I noticed there were many industry experts on Twitter so I figured it could be a great tool to gain knowledge of a specific subject. I started following a guy by the name of Joel Spolsky. One day, I noticed a tweet that they were hiring a Support Engineer in New York. So I responded to the tweet and actually got a job interview. Though, I didn’t get that specific job, it made me realize that Twitter really can be a powerful tool in a job search.

How did you find your new job on Twitter?

Like I said, I wasn’t actively “looking for a job.” But, one day I noticed that one of your recruiters, Kelly Thielemann, started following me. I looked at her profile information and saw that she was a Technical Recruiter in the Atlanta area. I read through the information she was sharing on Twitter, and I liked it, so I decided to start following her.

A few days later, she sent out a job that she was looking to fill. It sounded interesting to me so I went ahead and responded to her. From there, MATRIX took care of the rest.

How often did you check Twitter for updates?
I use a desktop application called TweetDeck to arrange and organize my Twitter account. I stayed of top of the information that was being shared daily – usually every evening.

What I like about Twitter is you can be close enough to see what’s going on, but you are not obligated to respond.

Do you think Twitter is a powerful tool in a job search?
Yes. Definitely. Again, you can keep a pulse on what is going on in and around the “technical community.” My e-mail wasn’t clogged with “suggested jobs” and I didn’t have to browse through jobs on a career site.

Now, I know that Ben’s story sounds easy. And, not everyone will be followed by a Technical Recruiter in the exact city where they are looking for a job.

So, you need to be proactive and, just as Ben did, follow experts that are in your field. Run searches using or to find specific people or conversations. You can also find numerous articles about using Twitter to find a job.

The point is, Twitter really does work in a job search.

8 Ways to Say “Thank You” on Twitter

Great article by Brent Peterson.

When it comes to public expressions of social media gratitude, Twitter is in its own league. It has effectively created the perfect storm for reciprocity where a mutual exchange of favors is not only commonplace, it is required for engagement. You follow me, I follow you. You re-tweet me, I look for a way to thank you.

While a simple thank you tweet sends the right message, it says even more if you go above and beyond for someone. Twitter makes it easy.

Since professionals who consistently show appreciation for others are very successful (and happy) with life, I recommend the following 8 ways to tweet “Thank You” (in descending order of positive impact):

1. The Authorship Tweet

This is arguably the most powerful tweet. This form of appreciation involves researching a person’s articles on their blog and then re-tweeting a valuable article for your followers.

2. The List Addition

As outlined in my last post (Hire the Person on the Most Twitter Lists?), the greatest benefit derived from the new Twitter List feature is that it serves to validate real contributors on Twitter. A great way to extend thanks to someone is to add them to one of your lists. I maintain a top career resources list, but also a good people to know list as a way of giving thanks to other professionals.

3. The Re-Tweet

When someone shares one of your tweets, rather than simply saying thanks for the RT, glance through their twitter feed for something you can share. (For reference, a great resource who re-tweets quality articles is Susan P. Joyce).

To be honest to all the people who don’t use Twitter and question how I can keep track of tweets from so many people all at once (although I have friends who follow many more), my response is you can’t. My source for articles to re-tweet is typically my twitter lists and the twitter feeds of people I know demonstrate a sense of gratitude via the techniques on this page.

4. The Dialogue Tweet

A logical (and intended) way to engage a fellow Tweep is to create a dialogue. When looking for a way to thank someone for sharing your article, for example, respond to them to generate a few more shared tweets for your followers to witness (and hopefully join in the conversation).

5. The Group Tweet

The Group Tweet is actually more valuable than the Personal Tweet (#6) because it often connects the people on the same tweet. Group Tweets are a common end-of-day way of saying thanks to multiple people. Two professionals who consistently show appreciation via Group Tweets (and are great people to follow) are Steve Keating and Phyllis Mufson. Notice their respective number of followers and lists. People follow people who have an attitude of gratitude!

6. The Personal Tweet

The Personal Tweet extends thanks to one person at a time. Personal Tweets are commonplace for me when I am tweeting on my blackberry and want to extend thanks in a timely manner. I recommend including the person’s first name in any Personal Tweet.

7. The Follow Friday

#FF has become an international weekly event – so it is easy to spot every Friday even in foreign languages. It is simply about giving props to other tweeps once week. #FollowFriday is comparable to the Group Tweet (#5) but can be less timely and impactful if you are thanking someone for sharing your content on say a Tuesday.

8. The Direct Message

The Direct Message is certainly better than showing no appreciation at all. However, I do not use or recommend DM’s for saying thanks. Even with the best of intentions, my concern has always been that these DM’s may say to someone new.. “Thanks for sharing my wisdom with the world. Please don’t let anyone know we were talking.”

Whether you are looking for a new job or building your business credentials, a little gratitude like simple Thank You Tweets go a long way!

UPDATE: The Power of Twitter for Customer Service.

Last month I told you how the doors that I bought from the HomeDepot leaked and caused my newly installed hardwood floors to buckle. I used Twitter to voice my frustrations with the situation and within two hours the HomeDepot responded to my tweet. They found my tweet by doing searches on social media.

Through numerous @tweets, direct messages, and a few phone calls, HomeDepot came through and are covering the damages in full. What’s even better, is that I was never “bumped” around from department to department as I am when I try to call other companies about issues.

Because of Twitter, they found me and began working towards making me a happy customer once again.

Below are what my floors looked like when they began buckling. They have gotten worse since this photo was taken, but soon this whole ordeal will be behind us! Thanks Stephanie @HomeDepot!

This was our floors soon after they started to buckle. They have since gotten worse.

Tweeting about Pimples?

I’ve not jumped on the bandwagon for following celebrities on Twitter. Sure, I might be “following” Ashton just because I wanted him to win the challenge, but other than that, I could care less about their updates. One reason is because some of them are helping stereo-type Twitter as a “I’m sitting on my backporch” update status that is mindless and pointless.

 For example, Miley Cyrus was recently tweeting about her pimple problem. Seriously? Nasty!

And because she’s a celebrity the tabloids were having a field day with it. That’s the reason she officially deleted her account last week. Check out this post from the Enguage blog to read more Miley’s Twitter drama (and a link to the rap video she made about it), but more importantly how companies and individuals are having great business and branding success with Twitter.

 And please, squeeze your pimples in private!

“. . Twitter . . . Really?” The power of social media for customer service.

My hat is off to Home Depot and their social media savvy customer service reps.

Recently the french doors they installed leaked, causing most of the newly purchased hardwoods in my house to buckle. I tweeted about my frustration with the leaky doors, and within 2 hours, Home Depot has contacted me via Twitter to research the problem.

Not only did they message me, but they actually gave me a specific name and number of a person to call to escalate my issue for faster resolution. Below is an image of the first of many “tweets’ the Home Depot and I had.

Tweets from Home Depot

Tweets from Home Depot

When I told my wife that the problem was being worked out she said “all because of Twitter . . . really?”
Many thanks to Stephanie at the Home Depot; my new “twitter friend”