While many project managers are social media active today, there are still organizations which don’t understand the value of using social media, and specifically Twitter, in the work-place. This is a follow-up article on the previous social media article: 10 Ways to Integrate Social Media with Project Management
The value that Twitter can bring, is a whole new perspective on project management and this article will look at ways for project managers to become Twitter smart.
While Twitter is recognized as a social media tool that can assist with successful project delivery, it is often not taken seriously as a business tool. This is simply because of the vast amount of information that is available on Twitter at any one time–over 250 million tweets per day. To ensure that Twitter is a valuable tool, you need to be able to extract only information which is most relevant for you; otherwise, it defeats the object of improving project delivery. One way to do this is by using the #PMOT hashtag.
For those unfamiliar with Twitter, hashtags are a way to flag something, and “PMOT” stands for Project Managers (or Management) on Twitter. When you combine hashtags with Twitter you have an easy way to locate much of the PM-related content on Twitter in a single place.
How to become Twitter Smart
Here are some recommended practices to help you benefit from #PMOT:
- Identify people that you want to follow. Add them to a list. Be cautious not to try and follow hundreds or thousands of people, because you cannot possibly keep track of that volume of Tweets.
- Identify blogs, articles, sites that you can bookmark. #PMOT can act almost like an automated Google search for you–bringing search results to you without you having to go and work to find them.
- Identify curators – people who make the effort to find the best content and make it available with their own comments. There are plenty of project management sites that have a great daily publication.
- Stay current with what’s happening in your industry and profession. There are many industry organizations who actively contribute to Twitter (PMI, for example). Twitter can give you an easy way to stay current with what is happening with them.
- Find other activities to become a part of. #PMOT will lead you toward #pmchat, for example–an hour-long, weekly Twitter conversation from 12—1 p.m. North American Eastern time that gives you a chance to interact with other PMs and discuss topics/issues of the day. (If you miss the live chat there is a record of the conversation on Twitter under the #pmchat hashtag.)
- You still need to use judgment in consuming this content–there’s no point in bookmarking 100 different project management sites as you can’t possibly keep track of them all while still doing the job that you are employed to do.
Twitter for Organizational use
By now you can appreciate using Twitter as a personal tool for individual PMs, but there is also a lot of benefit for the organization. Consider how Project Management Offices (PMO’s) can use Twitter to improve project effectiveness and streamline processes. A tremendous amount of content is already developed to assist in the continuous improvement of the PMO, and much of it is available within the public domain.
Twitter not only helps to socialize the availability of that content–it can assist the organization in connecting with people who have used it before and share their experiences. It may also be used to initially connect with those people.
For organizations that have a page on their intranet containing links to websites that offer best practices, hints and tips, you can prevent that content to become outdated by using the #PMOT. This will help you find a lot of content that can be applied to your organization and to keep that links page fresh.
Be Twitter Smart by contributing
Twitter is not only a social media tool to consume content, but it also provides opportunities to contribute to Twitter discussions. When you represent an organization, as long as you keep to your company’s social media policies, you can use Twitter to do formal announcements, share information on the corporate website like job opportunities for example, share tips and tools etc.
As Project Managers we can also contribute as part of the PM community. This can be achieved by sharing your knowledge and experiences on Twitter by posting a useful link or a lesson learned. This way you can connect with people who have common interests and goals.
As a PMP and blogger, I’ve been using Twitter for a few years for all the reasons above. It has helped me to connect with project managers from all over the world, to easily find good information and RSS feeds to keep up to date with the Project Management Industry and of course, for exposure so that more people will find me and my blog about project management best practices and tools as well as recommended resources. Please subscribe here.
If you would like a head start on Twitter, you are welcome to follow me: Virtualpm
Here are my lists that I have created over time and lists that I follow:
- Projectmanagement – own list (210 members)
- Project management – Paul Slater (258 members)
- PMOT – Sam Palani’s list (251 members)
- Pmot – Andrea Hammer’s list (380 members)
- PM practitioners – Project Manager (137 members)
- PM_Pals – Lindsay Scott (284)
- PM resources – Project Manager (63 members)
Don’t forget to use Search #PMOT on Twitter to build your own lists or to find good lists to follow.
About the author: Linky Van Der Merwe is the Founder of Virtual Project Consulting. She is a Project Management Consultant and an IT Project Manager for the past 12 years and currently working at Microsoft Consulting Services.