I don't know about you, but I've been getting a lot of advice lately regarding social media. We get advice from everywhere: TV, friends, family, blogs and Facebook. I'll bet we've all got a bad case of "advice overload." You know the commercials for Microsoft's Bing? That's me. People ask me a question about Social Media, and my brain goes into hyperdrive. The most compelling lesson I've learned from all of the different advice has been BRAND, and making sure yours isn't watered down or lost in the mix.
Let's condense this down a bit. Social Media — we all know it's the newest digital trend. But the question is how do we utilize this growing media? Lori Charest recently blogged about how to get started with Social Media. She made an excellent point that should be reiterated until the proverbial cows come home: owning your online presence is a vital part of staying competitive. Meaning, don't just create profiles on the social media sites and leave it at that. You need to actively use these forums, and engage your followers.
Social sites are the industry networking events of yesteryear. Instead of handing out your business card and hoping you've made a lasting impression, candidates can come back and view your organization online any day, any time. It only makes sense that you have your best foot forward, with a strong brand that resonates through your social networking.
Your company's brand is your identity. It's your heart, your soul — it's everything that you are. Job seekers are becoming more selective by the day. With the Gen Y'ers and Millennials coming into the workforce, job seekers are playing by a different set of rules regarding the type of company they want to work for. Yes, money is still a factor, but applicants want to know they'll fit in well with the organization. Will there be flexible work hours? Can they work from home? Does your company participate in community service? Is there a casual dress policy? Can they access social sites on your network?
While it seems only natural to want to hide information about your identity online, Social Media is just that — social. Showing the face of the folks within your organization that Facebook, Tweet, YouTube, etc. can be a warm welcome to a job seeker. Let them get to know the identities of current employees, rather than hiding behind a locked door. Obviously, this is all within reason — applicants do not need to know about Sammy from Accounting's wild weekend or Sally from Marketing's new puppy. But do let your employees' personality shine through your social accounts. At the heart of it all, your employees make your organization great. Let the rest of the digital world see why.
Things have changed socially. Are you socially active or socially awkward? That question is now not only relevant, but crucial to your brand.
To learn more about being socially active, DM me on Twitter @kimberley_ann. You can follow TMP Worldwide on Twitter at @tmpww, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tmpworldwide.