How to Get In On the HR Conversation

Mary-C-LongBy Mary C. Long, Chief Ghost, Digital Media Ghost

When thinking about Human Resources and social media, notions of walking on eggshells, being politically correct, and biting your tongue might come to mind. But HR professionals are actually heavily engaged on social media platforms, so if you’re looking to connect with them you ought to be aware of what they’re talking about.

Leadtail and TalentCulture recently collaborated on the HR Professionals Social Insights Report to give readers a peek into the social media behaviors of some of the top HR professionals on Twitter.

Turns out, leaders in the corporate, agency, and consulting areas of Human Resources have a lot in common. So, what are they talking about?

  • Recruiting, leadership, employee engagement, and healthcare are among the most popular keywords HR professionals are using on Twitter.
  • Of the content HR leaders share, the top three digital publications are Forbes, Inc., and The Huffington Post, with more specialized publications like ERE Media and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) right on their tail.
  • Unsurprisingly, SHRM takes the cake for most talked about brand, but there’s also a lot of chatter about more unexpected brands, such as ESPN.

This is great info – and not all of it is obvious. That’s why it’s always key to base social engagement on the facts, not assumptions.

Human ResourcesKnowing what HR leaders are talking about is one thing, but how can you leverage that information to connect with the right people? A good place to start is by listening in on the feeds of some of the most prominent industry influencers listed in the report.

Among the topmost Twitter handles being mentioned and retweeted by HR professionals are @MeghanMBiro, @LollyDaskal, and @TimSackett. Taking the time to follow what these thought leaders, and others in the report, are talking about will give you the opportunity to chime in with your own insights once your niche is mentioned. Just be sure you’re smart about how you jump in.

Tip: Listen first, then engage.

Just like you wouldn’t interrupt a group of people chatting at a party without first listening to what they’re talking about, you don’t want to start tweeting at HR leaders without first learning what their conversations are about.

The full report provides extensive data on who’s talking, what they’re talking about, and from where they’re getting content. It’s a lot of information to be sure, so you’ll want to find a way to cut the fluff and hone in on what’s most valuable to your mission.

A great way to do this is to take a few minutes to cultivate your Twitter feed and angle it to your advantage:

  • Pull from the report those publications and people most aligned with your niche and let them know you’re listening by creating a public Twitter list, aggregating your most valuable players.
  • But it’s helpful to create private lists, too! Transparency is great, but some cards are best played close to the vest. Those lists you’ve taken a while to curate over time are valuable – you might want to think twice before sharing them with competitors.
  • Once your lists are in order, first keep a close eye on them for trending topics, and then schedule retweets and mentions to get in on the conversations that matter to you.

A little organization, combined with insights from the HR Professionals Social Insights Report, will make it easy to stay on the pulse of what’s important in the industry, and become part of the discussion. But be aware that consistency is key: the more consistent and thoughtful you are with your communication, the more likely you’ll be included in future conversations.

 About the Author: Mary Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost, where she’s been scaring up traffic for websites, ghostwriting and teaching clients how to “do” online since 2010. Named to Kred’s Top 50 Social Media Bloggers, a Leading PR Pro by Entrepreneur Magazine and an Expert Marketer by Inc Magazine, Mary knows how to find – and get you noticed by – your target audience.