Don’t be afraid of the social media police - social recruiting has no rules
Rules, rules, rules……..do this; say that; tweet here, post there…… when are people going to realise social recruiting and specifically social media have no rules. Guidelines, successful case studies and indicators maybe - but no rules. Why does everyone think they have to conform to 'them'? What do you think is going to happen - are the social media police going to bang your door down?
I inadvertently proved that yesterday on LinkedIn, when a simple status update produced 18 comments and debate! What works for one person doesn't work for another; what one person likes, the other person hates.
In social recruiting, just because a method/process/action worked for company A, it does not mean that the same will work for company B. Everything has a different dynamic - types of audience, timing, message, the actual content, the platform etc etc
People like me (through presentations, speaking, training blogging etc) can show you the tools, how they can be used and how others have had success or failure using them. But the reality is it will be different for you. You have to try and experience things for yourself. Just because there are all these social platforms out there, doesn't mean you have to use them all. Twitter might work better for you than Facebook or Google Plus; or LinkedIn might not have the target audience for your marketplace, but YouTube might! The bottom line is that you don't know until you try.
The most important piece of the 'social recruiting jigsaw' is the end audience [that is if you actually know who the audience actually is!]
So, what is your audience?
It isn't you and your ego and it isn't your CEO or your HRD! Simply put, it is the people that YOU are trying to reach with YOUR message - customers, clients or candidates. Your message - whether it be a new job, news update, relevant information or simply just something useful you want to share - is for YOUR audience. They are the ones that matter to YOU [If they then care to share it with their own audience then that is the bonus].
Do you know who YOUR audience is? [I am hoping you have actually figured that bit out on your own?]
However here comes the kicker…….
Have you actually got any idea what objectives you have for you using social media? I mean, what are you doing it all for? Your status updates, your tweets, your check-ins, your Facebook updates, your tumbles, your blogs? What are you trying to achieve with it all?
Think about that for a minute. No, I mean really think about it….
For me, I got involved with social media for work. As my 'product' is people [in recruitment], I go to where they are - and that is the social networks. So over the past 7 years I have been figuring out how best to reach out to and engage with them on all the social networks. Some have had better success
than others. Initially it was candidate sourcing that I used social networks for, but for the last four years, I have been using them to reach out to and gain new clients for my Sirona Consulting business. It has proved very successful, with most of my company business originating from my social media efforts on LinkedIn, this blog, YouTube and Twitter.
So, do you know why you are getting involved in social media?
Is it to find new candidates, new clients, launch a new product, sell more widgets or simply to stay in contact with your network?
Don't kid yourself here - if you have no objectives of any kind (even if it is just plain voyeurism), then quite frankly you are probably just wasting your time, and you should take up something more time efficient, like gardening, knitting or making muffins!
I started this post by saying that there are no rules. Maybe I got that bit wrong because there are actually a few starter points that I actively talk about:
1. Understand what your objective for entering the social media wild west is.
2. Know your audience - the market, the people, the industry AND ALL the relevant keywords
3. Find where your audience are - research time - if they are on the social networks, which ones
4. Remember there are no rules - try everything. Just because it didn't work for your competitor, doesn't mean it won't work for you.
5. Social media doesn't have to be about the size of your budget, it is about the ideas and creativity of the message you deliver. That just you to engage your brain and think a little.
6. Listen and watch and read before you post and tweet. Understand what you are dealing with before getting started.
7. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, we all make them every day
8. Engage your brain before you engage with people on the different sites. Just think before you hit 'send'
9. Put a smile on your face and have some fun - social media can be a really fun place to be in!
10. Don't try and be anyone else but yourself. Social media is very transparent - try and be something you are not, and your @ss will be bitten very quickly!
Getting started with social recruiting can seem pretty daunting at first, but there are worse things you will have done I am sure?
Do the easy bit first, and actually figure out what you are trying to achieve with social media. The rest is easy after that……..honest
Picture credit Carol Hagen
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