Don’t follow me on…

Twitter  is a great leveler and a real indication of where your brand stands. The reality is that some people like you and value your comments, some people don’t. The instant feedback element is part of what i like about the channel, as well as the opportunity to enter in to conversation and get feedback quickly. As twitter, and twitter use has evolved then the conversations and relationships on and off line have got closer and some real business relationships have been formed. When i spoke in Dallas at #Talentnetlive and at Recruitfest09 in Toronto, it was noticeably different that 80% of the delegates knew me or about me on some level without ever having met me. This is how social media has really changed the way we network.

Of recent, I’ve started following all the news from conferences worldwide. A recent blog by @HRMargo highlighted this, how twitter has enabled her to feel a part of many conferences that she would otherwise have been either excluded by budget/location or knowledge that it was taking place, the learning was exclusive to the lucky few who attended. I have recently organized #trulondon quite a low budget. The marketing has been almost exclusively via twitter, using the #trulondon hash tag and a wide number of blogs written about the event and we have managed to attract 12 top names in social recruiting as track leaders including Geoff Webb (@radicalrecruit) from Canada. This level of international marketing would have taken years and many thousands of pounds/dollars pre twitter. 

We all have our own views on how to build an effective following and maintain it. For me it is about conversation, contribution, helping where you can and sharing. For me, i make a regular habit of promoting my followers within my network and passing on links that i think might be interesting. I do this by retweeting links that interest me that i think could interest my network. I also retweet jobs in social recruiting that i see because i know that some of my followers are actively looking now and they may have missed it. My network is also international with about 70% of my followers being based out of the UK, and as a result i like to promote UK bloggers that I’m interested in and vice-a-versa. Through social media (and skype) the world is a shrinking place, and there is lots to be learnt from all cultures and recruiting markets. I see this as probably the biggest benefit of being involved in social networks, bigger than the business and brand opportunity is the self-development that comes from this instant library of bloggers and advisors in my twitter stream. If i like it, i want to share it.

There we come to the nature of twitter. Some people will simply not like your style, personality, volume or any number of other things. With a big following you can’t please everyone or you become pretty sterile, and how far away is changing your image from being unauthentic? The same people that talk brand image equally talk authenticity and originality. My advice is that consistency is the key, retaining a distinctive style. With nearly 3000 followers it seems to work o.k. for me. in the process i will lose some followers. without wishing to sound arrogant about it, i would invite anyone that does not like my style to unfollow, it’s really quite easy. That for me is one of the appeals of twitter, you choose who you want to follow and who you don’t, exercise that choice.

What prompted this blog was the comments from Peter Gold on a blog i wrote  quite a few months ago in another group.

Peters comments were:


“Maybe you were not on the list because you just RT everything anybody else says – where is the value to anyone in that? 100 tweets doesn’t make you good; 100 cold calls but not one new vacancy – what would be the point? You’ve some way to go Bill.”


Rather than be upset by this, it got me thinking about the comments, should i change how i tweet or continue as i do for the reasons outlined? i actually apreciate people being open and critical, even when they clearly have not read the full blog and subsequent comments.  My conclusion is what is outlined at the start of this entry. I may well have a long way to go, we all do and if my followers were decreasing i might be concerned but thats the beauty of twitter, if you don’t like what i do, don’t follow me or put me on your list. we all have that sanction and long may it continue.


To everyone in my network please retweet often. send anything you think might be interesting, i welcolme it and thank you for sharing. By sharing and engaging with your followers, and promoting others as well as yourself you build a trusted and valued network.


What are your thoughts on the best way to build a following and the value of a retweet? A great discussion for the social media circus track on Thursday. comment freely, i have broad shoulders.




5 comments on “Don’t follow me on…

  1. Bill-one of the points you made reminds me of something my Mother used to say:

    “There will always be people who like you; there will be people who don’t, so dearie focus on the ones who like you, and build those relationships with them; because your real friends already understand, and your enemies don’t give a damn.”

    This holds true in the world of twitter. Some people like chocolate, some like vanilla. It’s not right or wrong…it’s just a different flavor. People have preferences. People follow people they like. Moreover, people do business with people they like, and trust. This line of reasoning follows when it comes to making a decision about the recruiters I choose to work with. The litmus test is this: Do I like this person? Do I trust this person? Will this person do a good job for me? Can I count of the results they promise to deliver? The honest answers to those questions help me to evaluate and measure the success, or failure of the business relationship.

    What’s this got to do with your post? Everything. This week your colleagues and I will attend the unconference Trulondon. I plan to attend from the comfort of my home office in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thanks to you, that is possible.

    Because of the latest technology participants from around the globe will be able to follow the thought leaders in our industry. One of the questions I would pose to the conference speakers is: How does trust enter into the way you do business? How do you build it? How do you maintain it?

    The great philosopher, Aristotle suggests that personal ethos embodies our ability to present ourselves with credibility. As Recruiters, and HR Professionals, our reputations hinge on credibility. Often, one or two bad apples can spoil “the reputation” of the bunch. We have to overcome the stigma of “the evil HR” people. Or worse, the slimy recruiter.

    How we do that is measured in part, by our ethics, credibility, and the professionalism with which we conduct ourselves. There’s been a lot of banter among my colleagues as to whether or not HR is dead. I posit that the answer is no, but if we are not careful, we might kill it. It all boils down to whether or not we will choose to break out of the old molds, rise above the myth and stigma that holds us back, and emerge as the thought leaders of the future.

    Bill, I will be looking to you, and my friends at Trulondon to lead the way.

    Your friend and colleague, @HRMargo Margo Rose http://hrmargo.com

  2. Bill

    Interesting response from you regarding my comments.

    I find it interesting that you refer to me not having read the original post (not a good idea) which was a discussion forum so surely invites “discussion”. My comments are in response to your question – what can I do to get more followers? Can SEO help?


    WRT my comments. You were “shocked and concerned” that you did not come up on a list of recruiters to follow and became Mr Angry – nice intro which I am sure people warmed to. (Thought you were a consultant these days)

    I just thought WTF with the attitude hence my comments.

    It is easy to get as many followers as you want and keep them – I proved that with an exercise I did “just to see” how easy it was. Do my 5,000 followers make me a Twitter God – no. Does the number of people that unfollow me tell me much – not really as very few unfollow anyway.

    I know you RT without reading a lot of the posts – you have said this yourself so one has to wonder what value you believe you are offering. If you think it important to pass on everything from people in your special list then why not just aggregate and automate a Bill Botman profile so people know what it is for. A well chosen RT is of great value but not everything and anything for the sake of hitting 25k posts as quick as you can.

    Social media is not about being liked or disliked. The game is still being played and readers/followers etc decide not the blogger. You’ve done a great job of promoting the unconference and I’m sure it will go well but as for the BB brand – who knows what it stands for – what do you want it to stand for? If quality is one of your goals personally, I’d suggest you check your grammar and typos; but that’s just me. It doesn’t look great and won’t help with SEO if keywords are spelt inkorreclee.

    I could go on but won’t but do think you are trying too hard. As I said, you have a long way to go and, I don’t follow you for reasons that are obvious.

    Good luck for the conference.


  3. Margo,
    You should actually follow Peter; he writes some excellent material and has a very valid view point. In comparison to the North American community he is similar to @Animal in style, albeit a bit more low key. This kind of on line debate is great for forming opinion. In this case I have defended my style on twitter and Peter has explained why he would not follow me, and why he finds my twitter stream quite boring. I find that useful even if I choose not to follow his message on this occasion. There have been plenty of times when I have had my thinking shaped by abrasive comments from others.
    Looking at Peters comments I have taken on board his comments re: grammer and presentation. @AndyHeadworth helped me with the presentation of the blog by being constructively critical and no less harsh over the look of my first effort. I needed the blast to get the next one right and it made a massive difference. Twitter, like most sections of life need abrasive characters like Peter to stop it becoming a sterile environment. If we all go around loving each other only it would be way too sterile and boring. Peter has sparked a debate on twitter style, very unconference and just the kind of discussion that sparks up interest. Peter will be on my people to follow because his opinions on recruiting are very good and based on experience. You should read his blog, as should everyone. (http://blog.hirestrategies.co.uk). It is not as entertaining or frequent as Sirona Says (http://blog.sironaconsulting.com/), but then that’s just my opinion. We need more contributors that shake things up and keep us grounded and on our toes.
    I take this criticism as I would comment in the business; it’s about business and not personal. Please do follow Peter, even if it is so that you can tell him he is wrong. The practice of having the conversation/argument/debate is what we all learn from.
    Last point, thanks to Peters comments I will now read my blog drafts a bit closer and get someone to proof read it before publishing. I have realized that I have been blogging as I tweet, from the heart, and presentation wise that is not always great. I’ve learnt that from this exchange, so thanks Peter and get your red pen out. Peter has had a blog for a long time so he is entitled to comment on best practice. I’m off to make a twitter list of people you should follow because they will make you mad and make you think! Peter, you can get your red pen out now.
    Who would you nominate in the “people who make you mad but make you think category?”

  4. Bill

    I’m glad you haven’t taken the comments personally. Have you noticed how your number of posts/tweets have dropped below 25k now which I assume is because we can now RT via the Twitter UI? Not sure, just guessing.

    As for my blog not being as frequent or entertaining as Sirona – pah…… :p

    Margo – you are welcome to your opinion but to be honest anyone who makes such juvenile comments and petty threats as you do just shows you up as a bit of a fruit cake IMHO.

    As for you checking my work for grammar; you sound more like the Cincinnati Boiler http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/rbo/lowres/rbon53l.jpg

    Bill – you may want to check for any more followers like Margo before they turn up at your front door!!


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