When thinking about Human Resources and social media, notions of walking on eggshells, being politically correct, and biting your tongue might come to mind. But HR professionals are actually heavily engaged on social media platforms, and you ought to be aware of what they’re talking about. Why? Odds are you’ll one day be looking for a new job one day, and having solid connections can keep you consistently employed.

Leadtail and TalentCulture recently collaborated on the HR Professionals Social Insights Report to give readers a peek into the social media behaviors of some of the top HR professionals on Twitter.

Turns out, leaders in the corporate, agency, and consulting areas of HR have a lot in common:

•Recruiting, leadership, employee engagement, and healthcare are among the most popular keywords HR professionals are using on Twitter.

•Of the content HR leaders share, the top three digital publications are Forbes, Inc., and The Huffington Post, with more specialized publications like ERE Media and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) right on their tail.

•Unsurprisingly, SHRM takes the cake for most talked about brand, but there’s also a lot of chatter about more unexpected brands, such as ESPN.

This info is not obvious, which also makes the case for always basing social engagement (for yourself or your brand) on the facts, not assumptions.

Knowing what HR leaders are talking about is one thing, but how can you leverage that information to connect with the right people? Listen in on the feeds of some of the most prominent industry influencers, including @MeghanMBiro, @LollyDaskal, and @TimSackett, and jump into their conversations! But slow down there – don’t go belly flopping in there, you need to be smart about it. Here’s how:

Listen first, then engage.

Just like you wouldn’t interrupt a group of people chatting at a party without first listening to what they’re talking about, you don’t want to do that here either. Take a few minutes to cultivate your Twitter feed and angle it to your advantage:

•Pull from the report those publications and people most aligned with your niche and let them know you’re listening by creating a public Twitter list, aggregating your most valuable players.

•But it’s helpful to create private lists, too! Transparency is great, but some cards are best played close to the vest. Those lists you’ve taken a while to curate over time are valuable – you might want to think twice before sharing them with competitors.

•Once your lists are in order, first keep a close eye on them for trending topics, and then schedule retweets and mentions to get in on the conversations that matter to you.

And if it’s not crystal clear already, be aware that consistent and thoughtful communication will mean the difference in being included in future conversations – and considered for future opportunities or blocked into oblivion as a spammer. No stress! And good luck!