The third part of the blog mini-series, which is based on a recent white paper, focussed on measuring the ROI. This post, the fourth and final part will look at what the paper found in relation to social media policy and the right type of engagement. Check out parts one, two and three if you haven’t already and would like to before reading this.
Trust or control?
While social media has presented numerous opportunities to engage with a much wider audience, those opportunities have also presented threats. Firms often feel the need to exercise control over what is being posted on company social media channels as well as protecting their own data.
New recruits in some firms are asked to give a list of their current LinkedIn connections when they start which goes into their HR file. If they leave, they have to delete all other connections that they have made. Others firms have a guideline of not tagging the company in consultant’s personal social media engagement or not having their own work twitter accounts so that the marketing department can control the brand message. Another policy is a ‘common sense approach’ of not bringing the company into disrepute – although this encapsulates a multitude of different scenarios that has the danger of being somewhat subjective.
But should firms actually be protecting people from themselves? A further viewpoint is that education should be the primary focus rather than exerting control or assuming they know everything. Training new recruits to lock down the privacy on their social media accounts and educating them on the risks of doing anything stupid allows more trust to be given to consultants. After all, they are often accused of not engaging, so their engagement should be encouraged not prevented!
The right type of engagement
Consultants still need to reach out and engage in the right way. Just because someone has looked at your profile does not automatically mean they are interested in a role or a candidate. Consultants have to be given the right content – and the ability to use it in the correct way in order to engage in an appropriate manner – much like you would at a physical networking event.
Clearly, engaging online is not about selling, but the art of networking seems to be dying out for consultants. Many do not leave their desk whereas if they went to a networking event they would be interacting and asking questions – so why can’t this be transferred across to engagement online? Most consultants don’t seem to understand the difference between push and pull marketing. If they engage properly promoting the brand message making people come to them, all they have to do is post a job!
However, this partly falls down to the marketing department too, since they built up an audience there is a level of responsibility with them to keep that audience engaged. They should be giving consultants content to share and helping them engage by providing useful updates – not just adding people to the database. It is essential to keep the communications flowing – and this is just as important as attraction strategies.
To view the white paper that this blog series was based on, click here.