Talent Acquisition

How Recruiters Can Use Twitter Keyword Targeting

“Keyword targeting” are the two keywords on everyone’s lips at the moment – this is of course in part to do with the fact that Twitter has only just recently launched their own keyword targeting marketing feature amid their own platform. The new feature poses exciting prospects for advertisers and marketers because it allows them to market products and services with loads more relevancy than ever before.

In the context of Twitter, keyword targeting means that we will be able to reach users who are using specific keywords and phrases, combine this information with their location, device, and even gender, and then send out relevant promoted tweets into their newsfeed. The feature also works to identify the appropriate tweets that users are engaging with.

Twitter’s example of how it works: let’s say a user tweets about enjoying the latest album from their favorite band, and it so happens that band is due to play a concert at a local venue. That venue could now run a geotargeted campaign using keywords for that band with a Tweet containing a link to buy the tickets. That way, the user who tweeted about the new album may soon see that Promoted Tweet in their timeline letting them know tickets are for sale in their area.

Of course, keyword targeting is nothing new and Google have been offering the feature to advertisers for a while now, using the keywords from people’s searches, but for Twitter, it’s the next big step in generating ad spend – something the social media giant needs as it strives to profit from its massive user base.

Keyword targeting and recruitment

So as exciting as this concept seems to be for advertisers and marketers who are in quite a frenzy over it, what does it mean for us recruiters?

Maybe not a lot due to the limited time we have.

As a social recruiter I can completely understand this discernment – on top of our constant search for great candidates, our relationship building with clients, and job posting and placement procedures, we have to find time to build online talent communities, write blogs, organize networking events and of course post tweets and updates ourselves. With the time it would take to set up yet another comprehensive campaign to run with Twitter’s keyword targeting service, I tend to agree that most recruiters will of course understand it, but just see it as nothing more than a “nice to have”.

I also do not think that Twitter will be all that interested in promoting the feature for recruitment anyway. This is because generally recruitment advertising isn’t a big enough spend.

Twitter is already having to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook for the attention of big advertisers that are prepared to spend big, so possibly recruitment is just seen as a smaller fish that’s not worth frying. Of course recruitment advertising across Google, Facebook and LinkedIn are in good stead – we use ads across these platforms to great success already because they allow us to target and attract candidates who are unreachable through traditional channels.

So if I don’t decide to give Twitter’s keyword targeting a shot myself, I am definitely looking forward to hearing the results and feedback from the recruiters out there who don’t think it’s going to be a waste of time. Like any new social media ad platform, it’s absolutely worth being trialed and tested. And in this case, there are actually great benefits to the feature that we haven’t had access to before – location, gender, and device.

Twitter says:

Setting up a campaign to target keywords in the timeline is very similar to the setup process for search. Enter the keywords you want to target, choose whether you want to use phrase match or unordered keyword match, and specify your other targeting options such as geographic location, device and gender.

What issues might it pose?

Geographic location, device, and gender — of course, the use of these words automatically alerts us to the issue of privacy. Twitter does encourage interaction and engagement, but could our candidates start to feel a little bit spooked if our promoted tweets are too tailored to the things they have been tweeting about? We all remember when Facebook ads first came out and were disturbingly too close to our personal lives.

And using keyword targeting to advertise to potential candidates not only risks scaring them off with how much we apparently know about them but if we tweet at them too much we also run the risk of annoying them. Their feeds could potentially already be flooding with other promoted tweets from brands and companies, so to continue to see more impudent tweets about jobs could become exhausting.

Perhaps it is in better taste to attract candidates by using the feature to share relevant industry news, information about events, or articles of interest. Building our talent pool by being seen as helpful rather than a hindrance.

If you have nothing necessary or helpful to tweet, then perhaps don’t tweet at all.

Related: When Did Recruiters Become Marketers?

By Amanda Ashworth

Amanda Ashworth is an agency recruiter with a passion for social recruiting, who now focuses on marketing. She blogs about the changes within the recruitment industry and social media. Follow Amanda on Twitter @RecSocially.