Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

I’m Twitterpated!

*special thanks for Daniel Johnson Jr. for forcing me to start using Twitter 

Alright, I resisted this new phenomenon for a long time because I figured it was just something that teenagers used to tell each other about their latest high school drama, but recently I’ve discovered what a neat tool Twitter is for doing my job! 

For anyone not familiar with it, let me give you a brief idea of what Twitter is:
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?  Bloggers can use it as a mini-blogging tool. Developers can use the API to make Twitter tools of their own.

Sounds simple enough. Basically, it’s a way to update people on the mundane activities of your daily life. OR….a way to share useful information with your followers, or track the latest goings-on in your industry based on what others “tweet”. So, this is a way for you to stay on the bleeding edge of your interest areas – be those people, events, products/services, etc. 

So how does this become a tool in a researcher’s belt? Well, like any useful tool, it’s important to read the user’s manual first and figure out how to operate! And of course, practice makes perfect. And of course, there are the accessory tools. Twitter provides a link to the Twitter Fan Wiki, a site that houses all the neat little accessory tools that can be used with Twitter. These include search engines, desktop applications, downloads for PDAs, hacks, and all other kinds of cool things. 

For my purposes, I decided to go with TerraMinds, after a fantastic recommendation from a local buddy and podcaster, Daniel Johnson Jr. This search engine allows you to search for specific words or phrases based on the latest “tweets”, or within user accounts. Not only that, you can subscribe to an RSS feed that will instantly update you on “tweets” containing those keywords – even if you’re not following that person! Here are a couple of examples:

  1. public relations: I typed these words into the search and came up with a ton of people talking about PR. That’s good, but perhaps I want to narrow down a little to specific conversations…
  2. Waggener Edstrom: using these words, I can track who is talking about my company, and by subscribing to the RSS feed, I can get these updates instantly
  3. Competitor companies: by typing in the names of your competitor companies, you can track who is talking about them, who is working there, promotions, new hires, new business won, the possibilities are endless!

Here’s a screenshot from an example I did using Weber Shandwick, another PR agency:

Notice warrenss talks about two friends who were recently hired by PR agencies, one of whom tweeted right below him. At that point, all you need to do is start following these individuals and keep tabs on what they say! Or, you can subscribe to the RSS of your search and get instant updates in your RSS reader. 

Another example is searching the user accounts for competitor companies: 

From here, a good researcher can view the user profile and figure out locations and contact information, or just simply start following the activity of these individuals.  

Another good use of Twitter comes after you’ve developed a little bit of a following. You can tweet new job opportunities out to your network. Here’s a screenshot of some examples: 

All I typed up here was “job opening” developer. Granted, there’s not a lot here, but you can see what search terms might bring up more results, and I can certainly see this being used a lot in the future for viral marketing of job opportunities. Contractors can also use this to notify their networks that their contract is about up and that they are open to new opportunities. The possibilities are endless! 

I obviously have a long way to go before I become an expert user at Twitter, but so far I’m liking what I see. And on that note, I’d be pleased to have you follow me, and I’ll gladly return the favor. Happy Tweeting! 

PS: here are a couple other folks in the recruiting world who have written about their “twitdictions” J
Katie Tierney
Gautam Ghosh


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Wow – that’s the best write up I’ve ever seen on using Twitter from a sourcing perspective! You’ve convinced me to check it out…….
Have a great Friday-

Comment by Kelly

GREAT post Amybeth – just added a link on my Twitter feed :)). You’ve really captured the power of what Social, and esp Twitter has to offer. Your thinking is very strategic. It will be interesting to see how sourcing embraces the Twitterlands. I believe Twitter is another advancement in the evolution of Social and how we will communicate, build relationships and redefine continuous learning. Again, great post and VERY well done! Susan

Comment by Susan

Here’s another great explanation of Twitter.

(Twitter in Plain English)

Comment by MikeInAZ

Kudos Amybeth!

I have avoided Twitter for the same reason. Based on you exemplary post, I’ll check it out, in detail. The fog has now lifted.

All the Best!


Comment by Ray Towle

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