Dont discourage the use of social media; use it to your advantage

  11th October 2010      
 Company News, Employment, Recruitment

The use of Social Media in business as a PR and marketing tool to create a competitive edge, is gaining in popularity.  71% of businesses in Europe hold a twitter account, forcing employers to move away from compliance and restrictions on staff access.  However, some employers focus too much on negatives, such as staff using social media for personal use and how much company information they are sharing rather than the positive effect it can have on their business.

Restricting the use of social media websites during working hours can be costly and ineffective. Portable digital assistants such as smartphones and iPads have unrestricted access to social media sites which makes restricting use on work-based technology irrelevant. Thus, instead of trying to reduce the use of such a cost effective tool, should HR Professionals instead think about how to make their staff and business more productive through the use of social media?

It is important for HR Professionals to understand how people can be engaged in more social ways of working in order to develop relationships to make organisations more successful. HR can and should take the lead in using social media in order to increase competitive edge through improved internal and external relationships and brand awareness. This could also be viewed as an opportunity for HR Professionals to increase their contribution, and their credibility within their organisation.

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, can be utilised by Recruiters for their talent management system throughout their company.  It’s an open access system that’s easy to use and people are already using it, profiles are accurate and employees have the motivation to keep it up to date. HR Professionals can easily access profiles to query who is available and who has the appropriate qualifications for a project. This is a great, cost effective method of talent management compared to creating or purchasing expensive external software.

Twitter is an excellent mobile communication tool to keep consumers updated immediately; it provides a live aspect of ‘chatting’ therefore creates a more personal relationship between business and consumer.  It is an essential tool for creating client engagement due to the functionality which allows ‘followers’ to respond to feeds.

Additionally, Facebook provides the ability to supply more informative feeds and activities such as polls and quizzes to stimulate response and engagement.  Businesses can post blogs, group discussions, photos and company information, almost creating a mini, interactive website where consumers can contribute.  Facebook has an element of live communication however it is not emphasised at the same level as twitter.  Using a combination of both tools allows a business to engage consumers through the creation of a personal relationship as well as providing helpful information and potentially selling a product or service.

Here at Bond Williams we already use various social media methods such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and our online Blog to stay in contact with our clients, employees and job seekers. We find these are all great tools to engage with our clients and provide them with accessible, up-to-date information.  With approximately 70% of organizations banning access to social networks, we have now introduced a new system where we will send job opportunity updates to our subscriber’s mobile phones.  This not only makes our services more accessible during work hours but allows us to ensure that our job seekers are kept up to date efficiently.

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