Are you a Tweet Manager, a Twitter User or Both?

Allow me to ask the question to anyone reading..

Are you a Tweet manager or a Twitter user? Can you be both? If you’re a Tweet manager, you’ll know all about what I’m going to talk about. If you’re a Twitter user, a human being and a human doing then you’ll probably, hopefully not go anywhere near all this.. I don’t agree with it myself but can understand there being uses and needs which are being met. How ethical those needs are is a whole different blog post entirely! (I never realised I was so fascinated with ethics!)

I’ve got absolutely no problems in mentioning it by name, some would and have said that I’m giving the service free publicity. Maybe so, I believe however that it’s up to the individual to make that choice.  Feel free to check it out for yourself at Tweet Manager

So there you have it, above are the main ‘features’ of Tweetmanager.com -

1) Auto follow users based on specific key words. (Turning a manual, discovery based, enjoyable tool in to an automated, robotic and faceless beast where you don’t know whether you’re connecting with a human or a bot.)

NB. I enjoy the manual process of finding and following. I follow someone based on personal parameters, of which a robot would not ever be able to do. If someone was to think that it wasn’t me choosing to follow them but a bot doing so because they had used certain key words any credibility I had would be shot to pieces.

2) Mass Message – Sending any message to 1,000 or less users at the same time. There is no two ways about it, this to me is spamming. As a personal user, I can’t see there ever being a time when you would have the desire or need to want to send the same message to up to 1,000 people. It’s spamming, pure and simple. PRO’s – Please exercise tact and humility, don’t use this tool to mass message.

3) Auto Reply – Set automatic canned responses to people who @ reply you. I’m not sure how this is meant to work, at all, ever. No one person is like a drone who says the same thing over and over again. If you know someone like that you’re quickly going to walk away aren’t you? Why do the same online then? There’s a question of relevancy for starters, one message to one person is not applicable to the other.

4) Auto Post – No. Just No.

5) Feed – This I know has it’s uses. The most popular / well known is probably Twitterfeed. When Jed Hallam went away for a week on holiday recently for example, it was as if he was still there, knocking out great content. Instead, he wasn’t physically doing so, Twitterfeed was. Jed had written some articles up before hand and set a day and a time for Twitterfeed to broadcast them to his followers. A genius idea I thought. I like this. I’m just wary of someone / a brand having a page on Twitter where all they do is automate content through Twitterfeed. That’s great that there’s content there in the first place but Twitter is about getting involved with conversations on a human level. If someone asks a question and you can answer it, go ahead. It’s a fluid tool because you can dip in and out of it asking, answering questions along with learning about new articles that others have recommended or sharing a useful link with others.

6) Dual Manage – Similar to the ‘Feed’ above, this has it’s uses. The most popular of the moment is probably Splitweet. Having used it myself, it’s actually really useful if you use / manage more than one Twitter account. It’s positioned as a brand monitoring tool, but I actually use it just to keep a track of different Twitter accounts and is one place where I keep all the info required.

So what are the types of people using Tweetmanager? Well, for the most part they are I’m hoping using it for good and not for such activities like taking short cuts and massively trying to increase follower numbers over a very short space of time. Or for spamming their followers with sales messages. Or setting a bot to post for you with continuous canned responses.

Question, Ok, a few questions. - Does using a tool like Tweet Manager make you a pro-active Twitter user? Does achieving organic numbers mean you’re non-proactive? Is being non-proactive actually a bad thing? I pride myself on the amount of people following me being completely organic, built up over a period of time.

Although you can’t automate the process of people following you, you can automate following people and that’s what I don’t agree with.

I’m not here to compete.

How to use Twitter to find your next job.

It was particularly apt that I came across this WSJ article entitled ‘Twitter yourself a job’ today of all days and also incidentally via Twitter. I came across it through Mitch Joel who was retweeting a message from Steve Rubel (phew, that was some mouthful!)

FYI – retweeting is the art of broadcasting a message on Twitter that has been written by someone else but you feel will be of interest and value to your followers.. think of it as a kind of mini chain mail but one that has a use and purpose and doesn’t tell you that you’re going to die if you don’t send this email to 20,000 people in the next 12 seconds.

So why is it apt? Why should I care? Here’s why.

I’m starting work as a Social Media Strategist for Consolidated PR as of tomorrow, Monday 5th January 2009. I was hired through Twitter. No recruitment agencies involved, no external costs, no bells, no whistles. Just me, @PBizzle and Twitter. Well, a mutual friend recommended me to @PBizzle who then sent me a message and it all went from there.

That’s a pretty big deal when you think about the costs of recruitment for one new hire for the average company who would typically be looking in to advertising the position online, advertising in specialised print publications and on top of that, getting a recruitment agency like Reed on the case also. It all costs and learnings can be taken from this. You can eliminate all of those costs in one fell swoop and be seen to be a very forward thinking company at the same time.

You’ve probably seen a fairly heavy emphasis towards Twitter related content recently and that’s because although it’s starting to garner mainstream attention, there’s a lot of people out there who don’t get it. I’m trying to help, to provoke thoughts, to provide a sounding board. I’d be very rich if I was given £1 for every person that’s asked me “Why Twitter?” I’m not saying I ‘get it’ but I’ve been using it fairly religiously for the past few months and it seems like I’m learning something new about the tool daily.

How I did it and how you can do it too.

Due to my limited experiences thus far in the Digital / Social Media / Online PR realm if you’re looking at this and not involved in the slightest with any of the above then it can still be applicable to any industry. Replace Edelman for example with a company of your choice in said industry. They however, may or may not have a presence on Twitter.

1. Sign up to Twitter.com, most have their name @joebloggs, a nickname @joeyb or the name of their blog for consistency @joesblog. Mine’s @litmanlive to tie in with the blog. Using your name is the easiest for people to remember I reckon but I always seem to do things the hard way..

2. Write a bio. I don’t follow people without a bio. It might sound rude but I’m selective with the people I follow. I don’t follow everyone that follows me. Similarly, I like to follow people who share the same interests, more often than not work in the same industry or have a website that I visit regularly. There has to be some common ground or why am I choosing to follow them?

3. Think about the people who inspire you in the industry you’re looking to go in to. A few, if not quite a few of them will be on Twitter, dependant on industry.

For example, some of the first industry people I followed were:

@wadds, @bmcmichael, @chris_reed, @simoncollister & @dirkthecow

Similarly, who do you want to work for? Same applies. Do they have a presence on Twitter?

4. You don’t have to have a blog, but it shows another side of your personality to a potential employer. Put a link to it in your bio. One of the biggest drivers of regular traffic to my blog is my Twitter profile. With a blog, employers can instantly see what interests you (what you write about) and often reveals a lot more than any CV can.

5. Be yourself. Be true. Be genuine. Don’t write about things you don’t know anything about or say you can do things you can’t. It will become evident sooner rather than later. If you talk about the things that interest you then an employer would hire you for being you. They call it being transparent.

6. Bring something to the table. Have an opinion. What do you think about topic X or topic Y?

7. Help people out. If they have a question and you can answer it, don’t hold back, go for it. They’ll thank you for it and it’s a great way to build relationships with like minded people.

8. If someone follows you, say hi, they won’t bite. I engaged in random conversation a few times with my soon to be manager. Completely unaware that a few months later he’d be hiring for a suitable position.

9. Get job alerts on Twitter. Examples, Add EdelmanHR and keep up to date with positions available within the company straight in to your Twitter stream. Journalism.co.uk will also deliver all sorts of jobs, from Entry Level to Editor and ranging from freelance to contract to permanent!

10. Finally, I don’t wish to try and put a square peg in to a round hole, I’ve been there myself. All this online micro blogging malarky is not for everyone. It takes time to get in to, for some, weeks, months or a year! If you think it’s for you then it’s definitely worth the investment.

Would you recommend Twitter as a resource for job finding like WSJ?

My original motivation for joining Twitter wasn’t to find a job through it, I was interested in a new way of communicating, a tool which is a round the clock way of getting answers to questions from all across the world. It’s always on and always useful!

As I was finishing up with this post here’s something you should also take note of when joining Twitter.

4 Mistakes to avoid when using Twitter.

Brilliant advice.. from a 10 year old, they start ‘em young don’t they!

Here’s a few more links you should check out.

Using Twitter for finding a job

Living Under a Bridge – Job offer in 5 days

6 tips for Twitter job hunting

Job searching on Twitter