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                     Twitter: A Presidential Vantage Point:
                                   By Eric Spell, President, AgCareers.com

I have to be honest! Three years ago, I did not understand Twitter at all! But, many of us could say that! In fact, I had the following (prejudiced) attitudes towards Twitter:

  • It's a fad that will not last long!
  • I'll let someone else in the business tweet. I don't have time!
  • People that are on Twitter are not productive or are out of a job!

It was about 3 years ago, while attending an industry conference that I decided to give it a try and see what all the buzz was about. The host of the conference had arranged for attendees of various sessions to tweet ideas generated during the sessions. Prizes were given as incentives for select ideas tweeted during breaks. While the big screens in the rooms were a bit of a distraction, I could not help but notice some impressive things happening. For example, the sheer volume of people tweeting about this conference-even people that were not even present were engaging. In fact, there were people all over the world following this event via Twitter and retweeting in the process! Now, I'm no guru in marketing, but I quickly saw a LOT of good in that fact alone. Hence, a Twitter fan was born!

As president of AgCareers.com, I'm always interested in seeking ways to grow our following or audience. AgCareers.com will only be successful if we continue to lure active and passive talent to cruise our site for new career opportunities. Social media is one aspect of our marketing strategy in attracting talent to our job board. We also utilize social media to share some of our market research and follow industry trends. What has been interesting for me as a leader of our business with Twitter is the interesting connections I have made along the way. I often join a weekly Twitter conversation, #AgChat, where I've met industry professionals who have become business associatesvital to our success. Additionally, I have spent the last two years serving on a National board and have found that tweeting information from our discussions is a great way to allow stakeholders to interact and share their thoughts with the boardroom.

Below are a few tips and suggestions I would offer industry leaders to ponder to best utilize Twitter:

1.) Develop strategy of what and who to follow. You might consider following key corporate clients, news sources, key associations, sports teams, etc. You would be surprised how much current info you can obtain via Twitter!

2.) Do your own Tweeting! I have been amazed at how often I'm approached by some of my followers at events that say how much they value the fact that they know I do my own tweeting! Now, you must be careful to drive the following of your business on Twitter in the process. I must confess! Members of my team do forward me things occasionally to tweet and that's OK!

3.) Support the efforts of your marketing team! Twitter is an excellent way for a business leader to SUPPORT the overall marketing efforts. I stress the verb "support" because in a leadership role your social media efforts/actions should be in tandem with the marketing team and not in lieu of the marketing teams' activities.

4.) Have fun and be genuine! Twitter is a great place to show a little humor! You would be surprised about the number of people on Twitter that will notice humor tweets from a business leader. It's also a superb place to compliment or even brag about your team in a public manner!

If you would like to get a taste of my tweeting, I can be followed @ericspell.

Follow AgCareers.com on Twitter: @AgCareersOZ