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We Are Being Analyzed on Twitter for Marketing Purposes

Most of us know that the Big Brother is watching us on social media. So, whether or not we want to be watched is out of the question. The debate turns to: To what extent should we be monitored? And more importantly, are we being watched for a good reason?

Twitter, for example, will soon allow advertisers to target users based on their “assumed” interests and hobbies, according to this Wall Street Journal video. Twitter is able to do that because it knows what users like by analyzing their tweets, favorite tweets, retweets, interactions with other users, keywords in Twitter search, the following list, and the follower list.  

In fact, other big players in the market like Google and Facebook have been running targeted ads for a while, but I still think this could be good news because marketers will have an additional medium to reach target customers --- users on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter are different in many ways in my opinions. Besides, this could an important move for Twitter before it announces the IPO (initial public offering).  

Today’s technology allows marketers to closely watch consumers about just everything, from body temperature, motions, and heartrates in a shopping trip, to their shopping routines. I am not sure if consumers are happy about that, but I believe many marketers are. Would you agree? 

The business implications of monitoring internet users’ online behaviors, however, can go beyond marketing. HR is another good example. Social media has become a very important tool in recruitment and employee selection. Hiring managers can now analyze a job candidate’s online presence before making an offer. If a job seeker does not know how to present himself/herself with 140 words or how to leverage the power of social media in job search, s/he would miss many good opportunities.

If you are a HR professional, how do you use technology in managing an organization’s human capital? If you are a job seeker, what tactics can you use in job search on social media?

Besides Marketing and HR, what other departments can use social media for their advantages? How?

The Twitter logo was downloaded from


  1. In terms of marketing and "Big Brother Watching Us on Social Media" I think that advertisers have made a good use out of social media. People are willing to put their information out on the internet so it becomes public knowledge and pretty much anyone can get their information. The fact that companies are using that information means that companies are evolving with technology and taking advantage of all the information, that is out there on us, our interests and our hobbies, and using it to specifically target their audience and a lot of the time even personalizing it.
    In terms of HR and social media, one way that an HR manager could collect information on how the employees view their company and their work environment is to use Twitter. If someone is unhappy or if they have suggestions or anything really to say, they could briefly (up to 140 characters) explain, and using the # or the @ they could connect with the HR manager, making their feelings known but in an environment that some people may feel more comfortable in. Some people have a hard time communicating face to face, which is a down fall, but being connected with twitter with employees will be a good way to entice communication between employees and management.

    1. Very good point, Tara. My suggestion of using Twitter for internal communications is that we need to be very careful of employees' and the employer's privacy. Many HR issues are very sensitive and should be kept confidential. If Twitter is the tool being used, sending private messages help keep the conversations "private."

      As the semester goes, we will learn more HR issues meant to be kept confidential. Look forward to reading more comments from you.

  2. When it comes to marketers and our social media sites such as twitter, I do agree that this is great for them in that they can see our interests and what we enjoy. It gives them a more convenient way to see current trends and reactions to what is going on or popular in the world. Although this may be nice in some cases when ads come up of my interest, but for the most part these advertisers and marketers are way off. Many times they take peoples tweets the wrong way and try to reach out to us based on what they assume we enjoy. Sometimes peoples tweet do not properly represent them, as they normally just tweet what is on their mind in fewer than 140 characters.
    When it comes to HR and social media in the business world, I do see the importance of monitoring future or present employees on the World Wide Web. It is essential to keep a good look, and not have someone tweeting inappropriately on twitter, which can make a company look bad. It is always important to look professional which will make it easier to reach out.
    E. Ricco

  3. Twitter is clearly the future of social media, and possibly even advertising in general. There are rumors that the newspaper will be gone in 10 years, and that social media will be the #1 go to guide for the news. If this is indeed the case then Twitter will be used for all the latest news, advertising, local happenings, etc. It seems as if the marketers on Twitter and other social media sites recognize this and are attempting to prepare for the future by way of advertising and getting to know their users and what they are interested in, why are they using Twitter? All of this will factor in to making social media even bigger than it is now, it will become the hub for news, communication, petitions, and just friendly interaction.
    HR should definitely monitor the use of its possible employees via Twitter, it is becoming imperative in almost every job that you can run and have knowledge of how to use a computer past just the basic skills. By monitoring social media use the companies will see that that person is an active computer user and active on the web and can possibly do the job you are looking to hire someone for. Technology and social media are going to be a huge part of everyone's lives for many years to come, and the marketers are just trying to adapt and discover how to make it better for everyone using these social media websites.

    Jordan Maizus
    NSD 314

  4. I agree that social media techniques such as Twitter have been used as a successful approach by marketing and HR companies. Tracking the links that we go to, the tweets that we "favorite" or like and the people that we follow can give marketers a better picture of our interests and how to target us as an audience. Besides HR and marketing departments, I believe that the food industry as well at nutritionists and doctors can use social media for their advantages. We all know that a picture sometimes has a voice greater than the explanation written, and in these fields we need a better visual to see what we are getting ourselves into. For example, a restaurant may post new dishes or ingredients that are a "hot" topic and that can drag in more people to consume. Additionally, doctors and nutritionists could market new strategies, products, and treatments via social media that may allow the general public to learn more about things that they may have not been confronted with.

    Sydney Karp
    NSD 314

  5. The first and most obvious way to use Twitter for marketing purposes is to use the site to announce specials, promotions, or sales that your company might be having. This will get the word out quickly, and can reach thousands of your no credit check personal loan online customers at the same time. Because so many people are logged onto their computer for so many hours a day, this is a much more effective form of advertising than cold calling or mailing out flyers and brochures.

  6. Dr. Kwok,
    In todays society, technology is just a reigning factor in every aspect of life that is doesn't surprise me that companies and HR departments have now logged into social media to look at potential employees, and current ones. Because of this, i think it is highly important to keep a social life separate from a professional one, an example is Facebook vs. LinkedIn. I try to keep my twitter and Facebook for my social purposes, and i just recently created a LinkedIn for professional reasons. Social media is a huge marketing strategy for all companies at this point (as Facebook has been for a few years now) and it is just another reason how you should always watch what you post on the internet.
    Although i do find it a bit judgmental for companies to view a current or potential employees social media sites without their permission and make a decision based on what they see or read. Social media can be very helpful (if you use LinkedIn correctly) but also hurtful if the person isn't careful with their privacy settings and what they post.
    The advantages of these social media aspects are that HR can see what the person is interested in and if they get involved. If people use these correctly, they can really tell the human resource department a lot about themselves in a positive way.

    -India Kessler

  7. Of course, use of social media could be useful to marketers or recruiters because social media like Facebook, twitter have a lot of individuals' information. The companies can collect the information, and target them. However, I don't think this is right way to approach to private information. companies should first ask for agreement to the individuals before they access to their private pages. After they allow the companies to refer their information, it would be fine.

  8. In our society, everything is a business. Social media is the newest form of business because everyone is using it, it is an easy way to reach customers. Although I do not blame marketers for taking advantage of social media users, I do find it personally invasive in some cases. The stranger part about this is that society simply accepts that they are being followed and studied by these companies, and we don't do anything about it. On the other hand, it's not physically harmful to us, and we are already giving up our privacy by signing up for social media. Companies adapt to our habits, so they will follow the trends of where people are or what people are doing in order to improve their ability to sell their product to us.

    1. Can you tell me who you are if you are enrolled in one of my classes?

  9. Social media is one of the most popular ways to communicate today. For all types of businesses and even for doctors social media is one of the most effective ways to advertise business. Twitter is a a successful tool in social media for marketing and HR management. Twitter is a great way to interconnect between companies. With only 140 characters per tweet it is a technique to explain what you would like to say in such a few words. It is imperative to be careful about what one writes on twitter because if one is not careful about what they write they can potentially hurt their own company. Many companies are now hiring tech savvy people solely to work to publicize through social media.

    Samantha Fisher
    NSD 314

  10. I think that companies should be able to see what people are writing on social media and what social media people use. If companies do not want to hire a person because of something from social media, that is their decision and they have the right to do that. Private things should not be posted on social media or anywhere on the internet in general. People need to be careful what they write on social media websites because once something is on the internet, it is not only there forever, but can be found by anyone, including prospective employers. My rule of thumb is that if I would be embarrassed if my grandparents see what I posted, then I probably shouldn’t post it at all. I do not think it is fair not to consider someone for a job because of what a friend or colleague posted on Facebook or a Twitter feed or some other social media. These things are not always portraying someone in the best light, and even if they are meant to be funny, it is not the person’s fault. I think social media should be checked and used as a part of hiring, but employers need to be aware that something on Facebook or Twitter may not always be accurate and correct, and they need to look at other things as well.

    R. Herbstman

  11. Before twitter, many other social media have used advertisement to boost up their profit, Facebook would be the best example. It based on the user’s browsing history and preference to locate the ads on the right side of the website accordingly. This kind of strategy annoyed people because people expect it’s a tool only used for communicate with others but now it’s just like all the other merchandisers websites. But, it works, because it points to specific group of people, they tend to see those products that match their needs. If twitter keeps up with the rest and release this new way of advertisement, undoubtedly its profit will increase but its user experience will definitely go down.

    Zishen He, HPM 314


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