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In today’s tight job market, social media is a battleground. From ensuring the sanctity of a company’s reputation to ensuring a positive brand presence, an organization’s online business can be the difference between retaining or losing top talent. .
“Use social media from a position of strength, rather than fear,” Sree Sreenivasan, visiting professor of digital innovation at Stony Brook University and CEO and co-founder of Digimentors, told CNBC last week. Workforce Executive Council Town hall.
Organizations that are purely reactionary to social media have already lost the race, he says, and having both an external and internal social media strategy is crucial. Sreenivasan told WEC members that an important step is to appoint a “Head of Listening”, whose role can be filled by anyone or any team, with the aim of doing what many organizations fail to do – listen.
Here are the essential tips shared by Sreenivasan to ensure you are a good listener on social media as an organization.
Externally, organizations must be committed to finding useful comments on social media. Sreenivasan says companies should set aside time to monitor trends among social media posts and comments that mention the organization, as well as systematically conduct SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analyzes to strategize. of solutions. This requires responding to negative comments.
“If there are errors of fact, we have to correct them. Because then it becomes part of the record, and people say, ‘Oh, you never corrected it. So it must be true. ‘” Sreenivasan said.
Internally, HR has an obligation to train employees in the organization’s social media practices during their orientation, even more so with the growing importance of social media in daily personal and professional life. Organizations need to be clear about what they expect of their employees and set penalties for social media misconduct, not just be reactive to conflict. It is also a misconception that only young employees are the ones who need to be informed of the rules; higher-level employees are just as likely to make mistakes.
“Having these plans before you need them is so important,” Sreenivasan said. “Once [the crisis] happens, it’s almost too late because things [on social media] go so fast.”
However, organizations should not only use social media training to warn employees about what they can and cannot post, but to empower them to use social media in a positive way. “There are also good things that happen when employees show up on day one and say, ‘This is my first day at your company.’ That’s a beautiful thing,” Sreenivasan said. “They’re at their peak of excitement, and it ripples across the network, and thousands of people can see it. And it’s a great way to show how welcoming and open your business is.”
Tonal deafness kills – inside and out. Nevertheless, getting the right tone is not always as difficult as it seems. “What is common sense in real life is common sense on social media,” Sreenivasan said.
Even brands that have great external communications can fail internally. Important organizational practices should be translated digitally with the same care and consideration that they would be treated with in-person interactions. For example, HR can’t ignore how signs of layoff, like the blocking of company email, can arrive digitally before having a conversation. “The same things we have in traditional HR, traditional work procedures, we should also be thinking about digital,” he said.
Flooding social media channels with positive news is often a challenge, but to be more connected to the workplace, Sreenivasan says organizations should generate social content from their greatest resource: their workforce. . Not only does this enhance authenticity, but it also creates an overall community. Great things are happening in your organization; go out and show them off.
Sreenivasan, who was previously digital director at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, recalled a security guard in her 50s who was incredibly good at Instagram, and how she captured the platform’s attention with her positive social presence.
Offering small incentives, such as corporate gifts or contest entries, to employees who share their organization’s content on their personal social networks can encourage social activity and promotion throughout the organization.
Social media is not a passing phenomenon, and it is imperative for HR teams to have a strategic social media plan woven into the fabric of the lives of most of their employees and future employees. As the war for talent has become more competitive, smart organizations will balance proactive and reactive outreach to better connect with their employees.
“Giving our employees a chance to learn, teach and train them can make a difference,” Sreenivasan said.
To join the CNBC Workforce Executive Council, apply on cnbccouncils.com/wec.