Social Media & HR Part 1: Twitter

At Benefitfocus’ annual One Place conference last month, I gave a presentation entitled '#winning: Using Social Media to Support HR Initiatives'. Since then, I’ve received great feedback from attendees asking me to expand upon what I presented. What better way to do that than in a series of blog posts?

Twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows you to send 140 character text messages or “tweets” at a time. Given the message length limitations, using it for HR purposes may not seem practical. However, with real-time sharing capabilities and the high levels of user engagement, there are a myriad of ways HR can use Twitter. 

My favorite thing about social media is how customizable it is. You can literally shape and use it in whatever fashion best suits your organization’s goals and needs. This is certainly the case when it comes to Twitter. How other users perceive your Twitter presence is entirely defined by you; the messages you broadcast and how you interact.

With that said, here are a few ways that Twitter can be used to support your organization’s HR initiatives:


1. Employee communication

Use Twitter to post reminders to your employees about important dates & deadlines or convey pertinent information relating to them. For example, reminders about benefits enrollment deadlines can be a great supplement to internal office communications. 


2. Corporate connectivity

In today’s global economy, HR Departments may be responsible for employees that span geographical boundaries. Social media can bridge that gap and be used to unite a fragmented/dispersed workforce around common goals. 


3. Gamifying wellness

Twitter is a simple, no cost method to support company wellness goals and initiatives. Wellness programs that incorporate social media and gaming have been shown to have much higher participation and engagement rates. For instance, hold a fitness challenge in your office and post the leaders each week on Twitter. This creates healthy competition and can help employees stay on track by holding them accountable, but also rewarding them for reaching established goals.


4. Recruiting

If you aren’t using Twitter (along with every major social network for that matter) to recruit, you are losing the battle for top talent. The next generation of job seekers use social networks to find employment and expect companies to list openings where they spend their time online. Try setting up a unique Twitter account just for recruiting, and post job openings on a frequent basis. 


Ready to jump in on Twitter but don’t know where to start? The resources below can help get you get going: 

Mashable: The Beginner's Guide to Twitter

Mediabistro: The Essential Twitter Dictionary