Social media rules change fast—there’s no doubt about that. As platforms evolve, technology improves, and all industries embrace the possibilities, there’s no ignoring the fact that today’s working professionals must learn to leverage social media best practices. Between the many examples of social media fails on the corporate side, and the fact that customers and clients now use social to engage with companies 24/7, organizations that succeed in 2017 will surely need to know how to navigate social media.
Let’s explore some of the major ways social media is changing the way we do business:
Fact: Social media is taking once-private information public.
How transparent is your organization willing to be in social media?
As usage of social media has become almost ubiquitous, citizens, consumers, and industry professionals alike clamoring for more transparency. A big question executives must ask themselves is just how transparent a company should be when it comes to things like internal inner-workings, financials, workplace policies, hiring practices, and employee relations?
Some companies are opting for complete transparency. Take the social media management firm Buffer, as an example, which published the salaries of all employees, as well as other company information like employee diversity breakdown, and company revenue. While total exposure might not be the right solution for your organization, as more businesses embrace this trend, you will need to have a serious conversation about the types of information your stakeholders and prospects will expect to know. You’ll also want clear direction as to where to draw the line in the sand regarding which issues and items must remain confidential.
From a hiring perspective, candidates are already doing research on your company to determine if it’s the right opportunity for them. By utilizing social media channels, you can help to control the messaging, so prospective employees are not relying solely on third-party reviews, which may not always be the most accurate—or positive. The more direct information you can provide, the more likely it is you will cultivate a sense of trust and attract like-minded candidates.
Fact: Companies are using social media to influence.
Have you given your employees the skills and tools to become employee advocates?
It’s no longer enough to have just a career page on your website. When HR and marketing departments work together to empower their workforce to share the company’s story on social media, those employees can become influencers and trusted authorities.
Some questions to consider: Do your hiring managers come across as approachable and knowledgeable on social media? Is your brand message shining through via your employees’ social profiles? If your answers to these questions aren’t a resounding yes—you may have some catching up to do to get your management team on board with social.
And not just the managers. Encouraging staff members at every level to promote your company brand on social helps expand your influence in the industry. As reported by HootSuite, content shared by employees gets eight times more engagement than content shared by brand channels. Allowing your staff to take the reins can successfully expand your reach and attract new followers.
Fact: Social media as recruiting tool is here to stay.
Is your message consistent, and is your company culture highlighted?
According to Jibe’s State Of Employer Branding survey, 88 percent of respondents said that social media was already part of their employer branding strategy. But just dabbling on LinkedIn or sending out the occasional tweet isn’t going to help you stand out. It’s important to work with marketing to develop a coherent social media content strategy, so that prospective candidates get an accurate glimpse into what your company culture is all about.
Being able to depict your workplace as one in which employees are engaged by sharing a look inside your office space and spotlighting different roles can help outsiders understand the company values and the story behind the brand.
Social media is no longer something that concerns only your corporate communications and marketing teams. The perception of your business by potential talent has everything to do with the social media policies and best practices you help put in place. By choosing the right level of transparency, becoming industry influencers, and shaping and spreading your message, you can make the latest HR social media trends work for you.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Social-Media-2017-Are-the-Rules-Changing-.jpg6671000Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2017-07-07 06:30:192020-05-31 18:51:27Social Media 2017: Are the Rules Changing?
Social media has been around for a while now. In fact, social media applications have never been more mainstream than they are today. Facebook, not surprisingly, is the big winner, with nearly three-quarters of American adults liking and posting and sharing daily—a number that jumps to a staggering 82 percent when you pinpoint the 18–29-year-old age range. Then you have the rapid growth of the visual-sharing social platforms: Video is on a fast climb to the top when it comes to social media popularity, and if you haven’t already, you should familiarize yourself with Instagram Video, Facebook Live, and Snapchat.
So, you would assume most of those users have a relatively firm grasp of what is considered appropriate in social media sharing, right? Wrong. In fact, you couldn’t BE more wrong. Consider the Emmy award winning TV anchor fired for her racially insensitive Facebook post. Or the Ohio school bus driver fired for posting a selfie—while on her bus—purporting to show her drinking from a beer bottle.”
Not convinced? How about the Texas teen who tweeted herself out of a pizzeria job after her boss saw her less than enthusiastic tweets (complete with ‘thumbs down’ emojis)? And then, in what might be the most head-shaking, “Just what were you thinking?” social media sharing story yet—there’s the Buffalo police officer suspended without pay for posting Vine videos cracking jokes about enjoying illicit drugs from the evidence room. He even wore his uniform in some of them!
Social Media Self-Sabotage
Sadly, stories like these are just the tip of the iceberg. You can barely turn around these days without tripping over posts where disgruntled employees use social media to complain about how much money they (don’t) make, moan about their day-to-day workload, or comment inappropriately about the latest hot topic news story or global catastrophe.
You might think “Oh, well, employee fired, end of story – not going to affect my business, my reputation or my earnings.” Wrong again. There are myriad stories of companies whose employees have made epic social media missteps on behalf of their employer..
A large corporation tweeting about scones and other “comforting” breakfast foods, post-Boston Marathon bombing? It’s been done. A highly stylized image of the Challenger space shuttle disaster, posted on July 4th weekend? Done. A company trying (and failing wildly) to capitalize on a trending hashtag about domestic violence by tweeting “#WhyIStayed—You had pizza!” Sigh. Yes. Also done.
That said, I’ve written before about the benefits of using social media, especially for your recruitment and hiring: Increased candidate diversity, higher employee retention, higher candidate volume and, lower costs per hire, to name just a few.
So the last thing I want is for anyone to be afraid—the goal is to avoid social media missteps and digital brand failures. And, the easiest and most effective way you can do that is by having an up- to-date (and regularly updated) company-wide social media policy in place.
Social Media Policy Particulars
The NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) has been weighing in on social media policies for a few years now, with mixed “reviews,” for lack of a better term. I am not a labor lawyer, so I advise everyone to do some Google searches, and read about the NLRB’s stance when it comes to individual corporate social media policies. Here’s a good place to start.
Aside from the NLRB, you also have to take into consideration the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), whose mission is “To prevent business practices that are anti-competitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers.” It all comes down to kindergarten—play fair, folks. Consider relationships and disclosure as the golden rules of social media engagement. As SocialMediaToday.com writes, “…relationships must be disclosed so that people know which information is coming from a competitor or affiliate of a competitor. If you are paid by a brand and then endorse a product or service, that should also be disclosed.”
Here are a few areas you must be considerate of when you are checking over and updating your social media policy, so as not to run afoul of the FTC.
Online reviews and comments: Your employees must never post negative comments or reviews of your competition’s goods and services without first disclosing where they work. This is called astroturfing, and is, unfortunately, a somewhat common occurrence—until companies get caught, that is, as Samsung did a few years back.
Blogging: Any time you receive a product or service for free from another company, or if you have affiliate partnerships with another company, and you write about or mention them in an article, you must disclose these relationships or risk hefty fines. The FTC has published a guide which has “…set forth the general principles that the Commission will use in evaluating endorsements and testimonials, together with examples illustrating the application of those principles.” You can read it here.
Online Advertising: Is it crystal clear your ads are ads? Do you make every effort to ensure it’s crystal clear? If you don’t, you might get your knuckles rapped.
The takeaway from the above? Number one—play fair, and number two, remember that it’s YOUR responsibility to ensure your employees are fully versed in the rules of disclosure. And, that you actively have taken steps to train them. A quick read of a companywide email is not enough. Social Media Policies: Some Quick Considerations
Social media policies vary from company to company, and industry to industry, but there are a few “building blocks” that you should use to create the foundation of your corporate guidelines.
Your employees don’t have the same level of knowledge: Never assume. We all know how that usually ends up, and it’s never good. Just because Sarah is a Millennial, who works in marketing and Joe is a boomer toiling away on the factory floor, don’t assume that Joe knows nothing about social media, and Sarah is the digital native. Your social media policy should be part of a company-wide training plan, and you must include everyone on your staff.
Clearly map out your expectations for your corporate social channels: What might be acceptable content for a Tweet might be the last thing you want to see posted on your company LinkedIn page. You might have (and allow) more fun on Facebook, but require your Twitter account to remain a space for courting influencers—ergo slightly higher-level. It is your responsibility to use precise language to describe all of your social media platforms, and what the expectations are for each when it comes to posting corporate content.
Map out productivity expectations: Laying the hammer down when it comes to social media usage while on the job simply won’t work in today’s digital age. That said, you should lay out clear expectations as to how much “on the job” social media activity is acceptable, and where you will draw the line. Responsible employees who regularly hit deadlines and make good on deliverables should not be penalized for a bit of mid-day chatter online.
Privacy and confidentiality: And, perhaps most importantly, consult your legal team, and cross your Ts and dot your Is, when it comes to company privacy and confidentiality concerns. Your employees need to know what information is considered proprietary, what they can and can’t share when it comes to corporate performance or working conditions. Those guidelines must be crystal clear. And again, as I mentioned above, here’s where it pays to be up to speed on the NLRB’s take on things—sharing information about compensation, working conditions, and manager performance may be considered protected speech that cannot be restricted.
The bottom line is this: None of us want to end up being tomorrow’s front page social media disaster story, but our world today is mobile and digitally driven, and it’s not going to change anytime soon. Social media has become our “town square,” a place where people connect and communicate, sharing intimate details about almost every aspect of their day to day lives. And that includes information about their workdays—the good, the bad, and the ugly. By being proactive rather than reactive, and having sound (and regularly updated) corporate social media policies in place, both you and your employees can feel protected and comfortable when venturing into the online social media space.
What do you think? Do you have a solid social media policy in place? When’s the last time you’ve given it a good once-over? Do your employees have easy access to it? Do you talk to your employees regularly about their social activity, and how it relates to their work? I would love to hear your thoughts.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/SocialMediaAppsStock-e1394999558532.jpg466700Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2016-07-21 06:30:182020-05-31 15:47:36HR: Why Social Media Policy Matters More Than Ever
For better or worse, much of today’s world of work now plays out on a relatively open, social stage. Many of us — employers, employees and job candidates alike — welcome this as progress. However, it also raises core legal questions about transparency and confidentiality on all sides of the employment equation.
It’s like a scene from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. How do you know if you’re openly exchanging too much information? Too little? Or just the right amount? What business practices are accepted in your organization? What does common sense tell you? And what would a lawyer do?
Fortunately for the TalentCulture community, a smart, HR-savvy attorney is in the #TChat house this week to advise us about these issues!
Our guest expert this week is Mary Wright,former General Counsel of Ogletree Deakins, a premier employment litigation firm, and founding Editor of HR Gazette, a daily online newspaper for HR professionals and employment lawyers.
To kick-off this week’s conversation, I spoke briefly with Mary in a G+ Hangout, where she explained why it’s time to recast “privacy rights” workplace issues in a more positive light:
#TChat Events: Transparency vs. Privacy in the World of Work
This promises to be an enlightening week for HR and recruiting professionals, as well as employees and job seekers everywhere. So join us with your questions, concerns, ideas and opinions!
Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Mary Wright about legal issues and implications surrounding privacy in the workplace — from the perspective of employers as well as employees and job candidates. Tune-in to the interview LIVE online, and call-in with your comments and questions!
Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move the discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, for an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:
Q1: What does transparency and privacy in the workplace mean to you? Q2: Are transparency and privacy essential to orderly and efficient workplaces? Q3: What are the most common legal mistakes employers and employees make with one another? Q4: What can business leaders do to balance the two and avoid legal trouble? Q5: How does technology enable and hinder transparency and privacy in the workplace?
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mary-Wright-.jpg274547Tim McDonaldhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTim McDonald2013-09-21 11:40:102020-05-25 17:58:10TMI? Fresh Take on Privacy by an HR Lawyer #TChat Preview
It’s no secret that social media has become a game-changing influence on customer-facing business functions. The immediacy and transparency of social business requires a whole new level of flexibility and responsiveness from marketing and sales. But along with that shift, organizations are feeling an associated pull to integrate social tools and processes into other business functions, as well.
This is both a tremendous challenge and opportunity — with potential to transform every aspect of business life. So naturally, there are profound implications for Human Resources. But as TalentCulture‘s Meghan M. Biro noted in a recent Forbes.com post (5 Ways to Rockstar HR Leadership), common sense can be a powerful guiding principle — especially when innovation is in the air.
This shift isn’t just about socializing HR operations with new technology. At a deeper level, it’s about the cultural shift that HR can choose to model and champion for others. When disruption is a way of business life, resiliency is its closest ally. Therefore, as change becomes the only constant, HR leaders can play a critical role in moving their organizations toward more adaptive, agile cultural norms.
Talent 2.0 — No Turning Back
This was the focus of yesterday’s #TChat discussion “HR Rockstars – Moving at the Speed of Business,” prompting 340 contributors to step into the spotlight and breathe life into the agenda with a nonstop stream of ideas that echoed across Twitter. In only one hour, 2,100 tweets generated 11.7 million impressions. That loud collective voice, scrolling by at breakneck speed, is a living example of social HR rock stars in action!
The hour was marked with many high notes — most of which are captured in the Storify slideshow at the end of this post (see below). So, rather than trying to recap overall sentiment, the smartest way to honor the session might simply be to get out of the way, and let the highlights speak for themselves.
But before I step aside, I’d like to share several items that resonated with me:
“The speed of business is the speed of the slowest decision…” @IncentIntel
Implication: HR serves the larger organization — it does not control pace, flow or direction. However, it can influence those factors. This is where HR can add value, with proactive guidance.
“In a complex work environment, capacity to negotiate agreements & hold each other accountable is key. Speed can’t depend on hierarchy” @SusanMazza
Implication: By forging relationships based on mutual interests and trust, HR can create a framework that decentralizes decision-making, while minimizing friction and inertia.
“The best talent is not looking for work, but they’re social. Successful HR is networking to recruit talent.” @ValaAfshar
Implication: The strongest candidates are already working at the speed of business. HR must keep pace and catch them in that stream — or face the consequences of letting socially adept talent pass by.
With so many thoughtful, relevant ideas about how to move HR to the next level, I wonder: How many organizations have arrived or are even close to achieving a 2.0 vision? And how long will it take before it becomes a reality for the rest of us?
Let’s Keep the Conversation Alive! If you joined last night’s forum, which ideas were most meaningful for you? How will you apply them? Please tell us! Add comments below — or if you blog about it let us know by posting a Twitter link with the #TChat hashtag. We’d like to share your ideas with the TalentCulture community here and via @TalentCulture.
Coming Up on #TChat
Join us next week (Wednesday at 7pmET/4pmPT), as we dive more deeply into the concept of Employee Engagement. Look for a full preview next Monday via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Thanks again for your interest and your contributions!
Storified by TalentCulture · Wed, Oct 10 2012 20:45:18
TONIGHT! #TChat is jammin at 7pmET. Grab a front-row seat for “#HR Moving Speed of Biz” Qs https://talentculture.wpengine.com/culture/tchat-preview-hr-rock-stars-business-speed/ http://pic.twitter.com/4eXcQoDa @kkruseSocialMediaSean
There are thousands of them: Strategists, Specialists, Editors, Coordinators, Contributors, Community Managers. And that’s just in California. When you search for “social media jobs” on Indeed, for example, there are nearly 6,000 related jobs that come up. I have no idea what it would’ve been like just five years ago, but I’m sure it was only a fraction of that.
All things social have permeated the enterprise, as well as small to mid-size business. Both B2C and B2B companies, non-profits and government agencies alike are creating social media careers.
What’s really driving it all? Social recruiting and social marketing – sourcing applicants and sourcing buyers. Since the meteoric growth of social network populations, it behooves companies to source “leads” from these populations. Early adoption is over and we’ve headed right into the heart of mainstream social.
But there’s also a newer third wheel to this social media hubbub. It’s customer service community management. The democratization of the consumer’s voice has created more transparency than companies had planned on. And because they no longer control the message (how many times have you heard that in the past few years?), the buyer controls them.
In fact, some companies have gotten better at social customer service than their traditional channels. For example, last year I needed to cancel an online subscription to Adobe. I tried doing it online, emailing them and calling them, but to no avail. At the point of being livid with frustration, I went on twitter and tweeted from the rooftops for them to cancel my subscription. Within hours it was taken care of by one of their “community managers.” Amazing and fascinating at the same time. I’m sure you’ve read dozens of similar sentiments.
And now we’re seeing employment brand community managers around social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others as well as HR/recruiting technology vendor community managers. These are talent/lead acquisition relationship builders first, sourcers and salespeople second.
Yep, headed right into the heart of mainstream social and not a moment too soon. Get your social skills on everyone!
Join us tomorrow night on #TChat, November 30, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT), when we’ll take a closer look at social media careers today. @MeghanMBiro will moderate and here are the questions we’ll cover.
(EDITORIAL NOTE:To see highlights from the chat event, see the Storify Slideshow at the end of this post. Thanks!)
Q1: When you hear “social media careers” what do you think of?
Q2: What are the primary skills that make for savvy social media careers?
Q3: Companies are hiring social media everything, but what’s the best way to source and screen these applicants?
Q4: Do HR/recruiting departments need social media managers to help with employment brand? Why or why not?
Q5: Social media careers have to be community-centric and constantly engaging. Why?
Q6: What businesses/industries have the best social media managers? The worst?
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2011-11-29 12:22:432020-05-20 18:02:08Exploring the Heart of Social Media Careers: #TChat Preview & Recap
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