Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read other user messages called tweets. These tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters that are displayed on the author’s profile page. Over the past year the amount of SAP content being shared on Twitter has grown by leaps and bounds.
I realized early on in my career that there was a lot of SAP information available in the marketplace and the primary challenge was being able to find it and stay on top of it. While I use Google Reader as my main tool to stay current on SAP information over the past year I have started to use Twitter not only as a social networking tool but to occasionally find new content or even better, new sources of information I can start following.
I often get asked from SAP professionals how they can utilize Twitter to find and follow SAP content and enclosed is a five step process that I think you will find effective.
1. Find Friends – Twitter offers the capability of finding people from your contacts on Gmail, Yahoo, AOL and Linkedin. This is a good first step and you should scan through the list to see if any of your SAP contacts are using twitter and review their “tweets” to see if you would like to follow them.
2. Search – Now that you have your “friends” identified you can use Twitter’s search functionality to find SAP topics that are of interest to you. I would recommend starting by typing in SAP for example and you will get many great suggestions.
3. Following – Now you should review individuals that you are following and see who they are following to get an idea on people you may have missed. I would recommend reviewing who @jonerp, @pixelbase, @sapmentors and of course @sap_jarret follows as I have found each to be very selective in their following as it relates to SAP. It is also good to do the same with people that are in your niche area which for SAP HCM I would recommend @stevebogner and @mgillet.
4. Lists – Now that you have a solid list of individuals that you are following you can put them in a list so that it will be easy to review their tweets. In my case I created a list called SAP (http://twitter.com/home#/list/SAP_Jarret/sap) and was very selective with who goes in there as I want to make the most effective use of my time. If you follow a list called SAP Mentors http://twitter.com/SAPMentors/sapmentors# for example it is the equivalent of following the 80 SAP mentors on the list. It is important to note that you can follow other individual’s lists and this is a good way of not having to recreate the wheel if you have limited time.
5. Review Following– On a regular basis you should review the individuals you are following to see if they are adding value to what you want to get out of Twitter as if you follow to many people it can become overwhelming. I have found personally that following 225 people is about the maximum I can handle and I am pretty selective in choosing who to follow. That said, if you provide valuable information that I find interesting make no mistake I will eventually be following you.
I spend about 15-20 minutes a day on twitter to contribute information and have found that because I spent the time upfront I am able to quickly review all the “tweets” from industry experts and almost everyday find some useful pieces of information. I am a big believer that information is one of the most important aspects to a successful SAP career and effectively using Twitter can help you in finding new and useful information. If you enjoyed this article and want to give twitter a try please feel free to follow me on Twitter at @SAP_Jarret