Monday, September 30, 2013

Is Pushing Social Media A Good Idea?

Over the last three and a half years I've integrated social media into my personal and professional lives. I am a very social person, so imagine the perfect fit for me when twitter, facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and many other tools suddenly were important tools my business as a human resources leader. 

Quite frankly, I'm not sure how anyone can be truly effective in HR if they are not using these tools for business.

Making The Jump
I'm often asked about my level of social media engagement and I offer the same answer every time. I started slowly...did lots of watching and learning...and then gradually started to participate.  For those that believe getting active on social media requires a massive change in their life to suddenly "get it" they are way off the mark.

Nothing in life happens overnight (think of the starving actor who waits tables for ten years and then is "discovered.") Relax. There is plenty of time to figure out which tools are best for you, and how to incorporate them into your work.

To Push or Not To Push
There is a new reality to the era of social media. Whether or not you have the desire (read here --> are afraid to try) social media, the truth is you have to. You no longer have a choice, particularly if you want your organization to be considered current. As leaders, it is very difficult to "tell" our team members to use social media tools yet not be active ourselves. 

That is why I started. That is why you need to start too. Leading the way is still part of the leadership job description, right?

What about pushing others outside of your span of control who absolutely should be active on social media? Is your Marketing Executive active? How about other members of your company's leadership team? Is your CEO active? Article after article show that CEOs need to be on social, and that those that are active are trusted more than their own company's press releases.

If you're a social media leader inside your organization should you push others to get engaged? It's a difficult position to be in. 

Pushing too hard means you'll risk driving a wedge between you and your colleagues who are intimidated or who don't understand the power of social media as modern business tools. Conversely, not advocating strongly enough means you're letting your organization down.

Which approach is best?

How About You
Regardless of what you think about social media it is now a dominant force in the world of work. Adopting it yourself is a required first step; but pushing it across your organization is a much trickier prospect. What are you doing to make sure your organization doesn't look like it has it's head in the sand? 

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.



  1. Hi,

    I don't think you really answered why as a HR professional social media is relevant. Ultimately, that comes from defining your objectives and what success looks like. Working on social media is taking time from doing something else - for example meeting employees or mentoring managers - so it has to be assessed on the basis of whether it helps you achieve your goals.

    I suspect it may well be relevant as a career tool for you personally: and it may well fit your personal style perfectly. I'm less convinced that I'd want to see my HR team spending time on social media - they're not the PR department.

    1. Thanks for your comment anonymous. I'm afraid that you may have missed the overall impact of social media relative to recruitment, brand awareness, and how you can share the culture of your organization externally.

      Researching the role social media plays in recruitment (see LinkedIn) is a good place to start. The benefits are extensive, measurable, and cost-effective.

      Good luck!

      Good luck

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