Twitter skeptics -- and they remain legion -- will find the idea silly … but it's not, particularly not in this case.
Of course Best Buy should be seeking Twitter experience in a candidate for a senior manager's position in "emerging media." Who would dream of landing such a job without first-hand knowledge of the most-hyped emerging medium in recent memory?
But that's not to say the company is going about measuring Twitter savvy in the right manner; it's not.
Nor does it answer the more difficult question of who among us needs to be on Twitter for the sake of our employers and our careers. (It's a question we're grappling with right now at Network World.)
From a Computerworld Canada story:
A recent job posting on Best Buy Co Inc.’s Web site for a Senior Manager – Emerging Media Marketing position based out of the company’s corporate headquarters in Richfield, Minn. listed two preferred job qualifications: a graduate degree and 250+ followers on Twitter.
Basic qualifications for the position include a Bachelor’s degree, “two plus years of mobile or social media marketing experience” at the director or strategist level, “four plus years people or resource leadership experience” and “one plus years of active blogging experience."
Again, I'd want any candidate for such a job to be an active blogger and have a hand in Twitter. However, an arbitrary number of Twitter followers will not separate the dabblers from the more meaningfully experienced, as was noted by employment experts quoted in the story.
Anyone can accumulate followers on Twitter. The real questions are whether you're actively participating and realizing any tangible benefits from that participation.
Although I'm not interested in working for Best Buy, I do meet the company's Twitter threshold, having attracted 1,653 followers since taking the plunge eight months ago. Over that span, I have sent 2,552 Twitter messages -- roughly 10 Tweets a day, seven days a week. While not by any stretch a Twitter heavyweight, that does put me in the top 1 percent of 2.7 million accounts tracked by TwitterGrader.com.
Yet I remain wholly unconvinced that everyone needs to be on Twitter.
Yes for would-be senior managers of emerging media. Yes for technology trade-press editors. No for CEOs. (A recent survey showed only two Fortune 100 CEOs are on Twitter, and it seems to me they have more to explain than the non-Tweeting 98.) Maybe for most everyone else.
As for you, your job and your future aspirations? The best way to find out is to give Twitter a shot. It's free, it can't hurt, you might find you like it … and you never know when you might need a job at Best Buy.
(Update: Just stumbled across this item noting that Best Buy in general is big on Twitter and that company CEO Brian Dunn has an account, albeit one that just barely would qualify him for employment in his marketing department.)
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