Tweeting on both sides

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Tweeting on both sides

We all recognise the importance of meeting people face-to-face and last week I had the opportunity to do just that with lots of people I’m connected to via Twitter. I was invited to attend what was billed as “the first UK HR Tweet Up” (#ConnectingHR), an event organised by Courtenay HR and advertised via Twitter and LinkedIn. Its aim was to gather HR professionals and Communicators together to discuss all things social media and provide people with a chance to network.

It took place last Monday at the oddly named The Square Pig pub in Holborn, London, and was well attended. The room was packed with people all interested in cramming in as much knowledge (and arguably the free drink!) as possible during the session. @joningham and @garelaos hosted the event and the lively atmosphere generated some really interesting discussions. Highlights for me were chats with Abi Signorelli and Jon Weedon ‘in real life’ rather than virtually.

Another highlight was listening to an HR professional share their worries about social media (before confiding they had never actually used Twitter but ‘assume it is a negative thing’). I hope by the time they walked away I had removed some of the seeds of doubt. The key finding for me from the whole evening was amazement that people who haven’t tried something for themselves can form such strong views. I’d like to think I wouldn’t pass judgement on a car and ban it without taking it for a test drive first. It surprised me the amount of people with very strong views and concerns on social media tools, who hadn’t tested the water first themselves. I think events like this are a great idea to get those discussions and the creative juices flowing, so well done to Courtenay HR and I look forward to the next one.

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6  responses on Tweeting on both sides

  • vox-popPRcareers

  • 8 April 2010 at 7:19 am

That event sounds really interesting, and doubly so by the fact it was advertised on Twitter + LinkedIn.

I was really sceptical about Twitter before I joined but now I see that it really is a beacon of communication.

Do you think there will be another social media tool that will change how communicators and PRs act?

  • admin

  • 8 April 2010 at 11:12 am

Hi, thank you for your comment, I’m glad you’re enjoying using Twitter too. I think that’s the key – giving it a go if you’re feeling sceptical. I think there are many tools which are causing everyone to act differently, there are lots around, however I think it’s the behaviour shift which is most interesting. Sites such as LinkedIn encourage you to network ‘horizontally’ as well as ‘vertically’, connecting with peers across industries, which is opening up other worlds of possibilities and in turn influences the way people act, Rachel.

Good on you for softening up the HR person on Twitter. I don’t think Twitter’s for everyone–mainly, it’s for people who need to form connections and share ideas outside traditional geographic and org-chart boundaries, and I know from experience the perils of its over-use.

At the same time–it’s always key to remember that social media and social communication are far older than the current suite of tools. The only real difference these tools make is that they give us the ability to structure, manage, grow and accelerate social conversations far more powerfully than we were able to do without them.

Keep up the great work and put me on your blogroll, please. 🙂

Mike in Brussels

  • admin

  • 14 April 2010 at 2:18 pm

Hi Mike, thank you for your comment. Hope you’re doing well. Good points, well made. Am happy to add your blog to my blogroll; will do so now, Rachel.

This is a great post, and really interesting that there is a conference for Tweeters to interact off-line! I wonder if we have anything like that here in Los Angeles. I’ve met some great people on Twitter and have started intriguing conversations that I’d like to have in real-life. Why is that interesting conversations always have to happen in the virtual world! *wink*

I agree with Mike (from Brussels) that Twitter certainly isn’t for everyone. I started tweeting in November and began taking it seriously just this year. Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, Twitter is much more on the “superficial” level where you don’t dive in to who you are as a person, but much rather post your opinions on a topic or share information with others. By no means do I think Twitter is “superficial”, but it’s more difficult to get to know the person through 140characters and a small bio. Facebook, to me, is my personal space in which I don’t usually add people I don’t know in real life, whereas I’m much more open on Twitter and try to build a personal virtual identity as a (in-progress) social media marketer. I wrote a blog entry about the different ways I use Facebook and Twitter if you are interested in checking it out 🙂

http://tinyurl.com/y2sfotc

Thank you for your post and I look forward to reading more of your entries!
*add to bookmark*

Janice from Los Angeles

  • admin

  • 15 April 2010 at 10:52 pm

Hi Janice, thank you for your comment. Why not set up a Tweet-Up in LA? In fact there are probably some going on right now! I’d encourage you to choose a venue, pick the topic, put the word out and see what happens 🙂
I was interested to read the post you linked to and look forward to checking out your blog further, Rachel.

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