The National HR Standards roll out and Twitter…

by Jaco du Plessis (@jacoduplessisza)

On the National HR Standards roll out conference we are going to utilise Twitter, as a communications tool to communicate with all of those who won’t be able to attend the conference and our international audience. We would like to assist you to connect with us and to feel part of this historical event.  If you are already on Twitter please follow us at @sabpp1.


Here is some pointers should get you started.

  1. 1.     What is Twitter all about?

It’s a platform where users share their thoughts, news and information in 140 characters of text or less. Twitter makes global communication cheap and measurable. Profiles are (usually) public — anyone in the world can see what you write, unless you elect to make your profile private. Users “follow” each other in order to keep tabs on and converse with specific people.

“Reading Tweets and discovering new information whenever you check in on your Twitter timeline is where you’ll find the most value on Twitter. Some people find it useful to contribute their own Tweets, but the real magic of Twitter lies in absorbing real-time information that matters to you.” (

Step1: Signing Up:

The first step is to download the app for your specific device(phone or tablet) or visit In order to engage in conversation, you must create an account with twitter by creating a handle (@….) Usually it is your name for example @jacoduplessisza. This will also be your username when you log in. Then choose a password. An email will be sent to you to confirm your email address.

Step 2: Following people or interests:

You will be asked to follow 5 accounts to activate your account. On Twitter, following someone is not necessarily an admission of friendship, but nonetheless affords interaction and conversation. Here is some accounts to follow:

–        Marius Meyer – @mariussabpp

–        SABPP – @sabpp1

–        Jaco du Plessis – @jacoduplessisza

–        HR Future Magazine – @hrfuturemag

Step 3: Understanding the Twitter jargon …

There are certain words and jargon to Twitter that you may already have heard in passing. These terms and their abbreviations are essential for understanding the network.

  • Tweet: A 140-character message.
  • Retweet (RT): Re-sharing or giving credit to someone else’s tweet.
  • Feed: The stream of tweets you see on your homepage. It’s comprised of updates from users you follow.
  • Handle(@): Your username. (Eg. @sabpp1) – Tip: ask people “what is your Twitter handle?” To engage with them on Twitter. It’s the new ‘business card exchange’ talk.
  • Mention (@): A way to reference another user by his username in a tweet (e.g.@sabpp1). Users are notified when @mentioned. Eg. Good to see @mariussabpp at the conference today. If you have place the @mariussabpp in front of the tweet it would be seen as a message to him. Eg @mariussabpp good to see you today at the conference.
  • Direct Message (DM): A private, 140-character message between two people. You may only DM a user who follows you.
  • Hashtag (#): A hashtag is a discovery tool that allows others to find your tweets, based on topics. It is a way of categorizing all the posts on a specific topic. You can also click on a hashtag to see all the tweets that mention it in real time. Eg. #hrstandars2013, #sabpp1, #goodtobehere.
  • Shortened URLs. To fit links into the short messages, Twitter shrinks some URLs down.

Step 4: Twitter Best practices

–        Build relationships on Twitter

–        Listen for comments about you

–        Respond to comments and queries

–        Ask questions

–        Post links to things people would find interesting

–        Retweet messages you would like to share

–        Use a friendly, casual tone

In Closing:

Read on for the Twitter basics, but remember that Twitter is an experience. The more you use it, the more enjoyable and resourceful it will become.


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