There is no doubt that social media has become ever-pervasive in our lives. To hear it from some, if you're not actively tweeting, blogging and sharing content on Facebook, you're not keeping pace and staying competitive in today's society. And in some industries, that is absolutely the case.
But is it true in our chosen field of recruitment marketing, and for those of you who are actively engaged in talent acquisition, branding and retention? Well, let's quickly debate that very topic...
I'll make a confession. I'm a wife and mom who has worked in this field long before there was Twitter...even long before there were job boards, so I am clearly dating myself.
But I do this to illustrate a point...I have witnessed first-hand the connections, and re-connections, that can be made through social media for personal and professional purposes.
My chosen social media "favorite" is Facebook. I check it once daily, and probably update my personal profile several times a week. And I have been consistently impressed with the people who are active on their Facebook profiles. My network ranges from a former high school classmate who is now the Chair of the Department of Physics at a major university, to grandmothers, to subject matter experts in the social media space.
So what does this all mean to you? The professional who is debating if social media is relevant for the organization that has tasked you with engaging the best and the brightest in your respective field?
These are just a few of the reasons why I know social media is here...here to stay...AND relevant:
- History is repeating itself. Think back, for those of you who can readily recall, to the pre-job board days. The parallels we can draw between our transition from print media to job boards, and now job boards to social media, are seemingly countless.
- The numbers are just too big to ignore. Facebook's member numbers now well exceed the population of the United States. And Twitter's growth is 396+% as compared to the previous year. Roughly one new user signs up for LinkedIn per second...yes, per second.
- Follow the leader. Many of your respective companies don't choose to, or cannot be, early adopters. But once you see the likes of Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Disney migrating significant dollars and resources to social media, for consumer and recruitment marketing, it's time to jump on the bandwagon.
- Candidate behavior has completely changed. We know Gen Y wants instant gratification. But so do the rest of us. That's why 90% of us have at least one mobile device, and over 30 million access social media sites on a regular basis...that's a 240% increase since 2009. Candidates can now be reached real-time, in measurable ways, via social media.
- The conversation is happening around you. You might as well be a part of it. We know many of our client organizations are still defining social media policy, and don't even know how they'd begin to address negative feedback on a social media outlet. But given the conversation is out there happening already, don't you want to help drive that process? Just one look at sites like JobVent.com, where employees can share what's great about their employers...and not so great...and you'll see what I mean.
These are just several of the reasons that social media has become exceptionally relevant. And if you don't know where to start, that's okay...you're not alone. There are numerous resources available to help your company frame social policy guidelines and begin to build a brand on key channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
So "to tweet or not to tweet?" I think the answer is an emphatic "Yes!" Connect with subject matter experts within your organization or externally to start the journey on leveraging social media. And I'll see you out there.