Social media has changed and evolved the way individuals interact with each other on a daily basis. It has made communication more convenient and created a variety of professional opportunities in the form of marketing and advertising. There are many businesses that have successfully incorporated the use of social media into their marketing strategy and have reaped the benefits.
There are many companies and HR professionals that remain hesitant to make the change. Communication via social media can differ greatly from offline face-to face interactions and some HR professionals are sceptical, on if it is appropriate for the workplace. However, there have been some companies who have demonstrated that social media is an effective means of communication. Social media can be used for customer service, recruiting, brand awareness and more.
Understanding how to properly utilize social media is crucial for any individual interested in incorporating it into professional interactions. Social media is a new strategy for HR professionals to implement into their recruitment process. Social media extends access to a variety of demographics that otherwise might not be reached.
There are over a 100 million users active on LinkedIn alone. There is the potential to find experienced and knowledgeable professionals to fulfil vacant positions in nearly every industry sector. It was reported that 22% of LinkedIn users log in on a daily basis to interact and network with other professionals around the world.
LinkedIn is a resource that provides individuals with a platform to market their individual skills. In 2015, LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com. Lynda.com provides instructional videos about a variety of topics and disciplines. Potential job seekers may not be actively applying for work within their niche on a daily basis, but it is likely that they are sharing content about it on LinkedIn or learning from related content on Lynda.
LinkedIn users often choose to follow and watch specific companies, while they complete their education, training or wait for the ideal position to open up. HR professionals may find that there are more varied potential employees compared to submissions made by traditional application methods. The information that LinkedIn requires while signing up enables recruiters to search through profiles and determine potential matches for positions.
Resume submissions through traditional methods offer high quality professionals, but may only target a small demographic. LinkedIn can expand the demographic reach of applicants and create more possibilities for recruiters.This is not to say that all professional interactions and potential possibilities via social media are limited to the use of LinkedIn.
Facebook has 1.59 billion users and its user base is continuing to grow. There are 70 percent of Facebook users logging in on a daily basis to check their feeds and read new posts from pages that they follow. This insinuates that,there is potential to network with other professionals outside of LinkedIn. Compared to other social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, Facebook has the highest amount of adult users at 58 percent. LinkedIn has 1 million users, but only 23 percent of these users are adults.
Therefore, those seeking to network and share potential ventures with older professionals in the industry may find that it is easier to locate this demographic via Facebook rather than LinkedIn. LinkedIn could be more suitable when looking for young professionals, who are still pursuing education.
Interacting via Facebook has the potential to provide additional information about potential prospects, as compared to interacting with them via LinkedIn. Facebook provides an opportunity to learn more about other people’s interests and personality outside of their professional circle. This can be important to companies who are seeking to hire or collaborate with well-rounded individuals.
Unsurprisingly, it is not uncommon for hiring managers and recruiters to ask for Facebook profile links, as it provides recruiters with a glimpse into employee behaviour and general personality of potential employees. Individuals that portray themselves positively via Facebook may demonstrate higher levels of professionalism, than individuals who post inappropriate information on Facebook.
If networking and hiring other professionals via social media seems too risky, there are other ways in which social media can be harnessed to achieve powerful results. Popular social media sites can be used to increase brand awareness and garner interest from followers. Investments in social media marketing have increased over the past few years has increased from $9.74 billion being spent in 2015 and $11.72 billion spent in 2016.
The amount of time that people are spending on social media is significantly increasing. This can be seen evidently in the funds companies allocate for investments in social media campaigns. It has been predicted that social media marketing spending will increase by a minimum of $2 billion each year.
It has been predicted that in 2018 approximately $15.36 billion will be invested into social media marketing. A strong social media campaign demonstrates brand visibility, not only to consumers and potential candidates, but also to other clients and professionals within the industry.
However, it is important to understand that brand visibility and awareness is not only influenced by marketing campaigns alone. Direct brand visibility can also be obtained from professionals engaging on social media on a regular basis. This can be networking with other professionals within the industry or posting related content to garner attention.
Active participation on different social media sites demonstrate that both the individual and the company are interested in sharing and interacting with different audiences across geographies. It demonstrates versatility and offers different medium for customer engagement and relatability.
Associating and advertising employees’ with their position within the company provides a personalised touch, and helps build the overall brand image to appear friendly. It also highlights that each employee plays an active role in contributing to the company brand as a whole. For HR professionals, this could be as simple as sharing professional advice or holding positive interactions with customers on social media.
To learn more about harnessing social media potentials, take a look at the adjoining Infographic. This Infographic is created by Skilled.co illustrating 115 unknown facts about social media.
Author credit: Josh Wardini , Editorial Contributor and Community Manager at Skilled.co. With preliminary background in communication and expertise in community development, Josh works day-to-day to reshape the human resource management of digitally based companies. When his focus trails outside of community engagement, Josh enjoys the indulgences of writing amidst the nature conservations of Portland, Oregon.
Image credit: Freepik