Widgets Magazine

Rules of Engagement for Engaging IT Pros on Twitter

You may have noticed that audio visual professionals enjoy an occasional Tweetfest amidst a lot of general Twitter fun. But do our friends in IT use Twitter to the same extent that we do? Is it a useful and acceptable platform for engagement with IT pros? Do they even tweet?
They tweet, of course. Twitter is a smart, fast-paced platform, so it makes sense that many in IT would use it. But the IT guys and gals we know are not fixated on IT when they’re there. They’re smart, well-rounded people who have a lot of interests—news, politics, humor, entertainment, and more. Some of that ties into IT and some of it doesn’t.
We recently published an article about AV hashtags and how they are used as a gathering point for AV professionals. The IT scene is a little different. You’ll see #ITLife and maybe the occasional #ITGuy and #SysAdmin hashtagged to tweets, but you may notice less socializing and more sharing of news and knowledge. You’ll likely see the IT bunch using hashtags like #cloud, #security, #infosec, #cybersecurity, etc.
If you’re hoping to make connections and gain information, Twitter is a great place to engage the IT pro. However, if you’re want to “market to” them, that may not the best place for you to focus your advances. Spiceworks reports that only 25 percent of IT professionals look to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for information about products and services.
One comprehensive study of IT professionals on Twitter, IT Professionals’ Information Behaviour on Twitter, concluded that they use Twitter more for professional reasons than for personal. Because of this, they also determined that IT professionals are more likely to interact with those outside their immediate circles because of their willingness to obtain and share information. According to a 2016 IDG report, 26 percent of IT leaders use Twitter for business, and 12 percent share information about IT purchases there, showing that those who do use Twitter for business are willing to share and tweet their product knowledge and experiences.
So go ahead and check out what your IT friends are doing on Twitter. See who they follow. Don’t worry—we don’t like to think of it as stalking as much as research. And networking. Once you’ve done a little looking around, ask a question or start a conversation.
Of course, people and accounts vary, and these are generalizations. But if you ask us, “Do IT folks tweet?” We’ll suggest you tweet out to some of those you know and see what happens.
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