Today’s guest post is from Janine Truitt who will be attending the Louisiana SHRM State Conference as a member of the Social Media Team. Janine’s career spans eight years in HR and Recruitment and she is best known for her blog “The Aristocracy of HR” (TAOHR) where she discusses Talent Management triumphs, blunders, and best practices. You can follow Janine on twitter at @CzarinaofHR.
I’m not sure where these countless “Keep Calm” messages keep emanating from but they are catchy and redundant. The catchy reason is why I decided to use it as a title. The other reason is it drives an important message I want to send to my fellow HR colleagues.
Dear HR Professional:
I want you to know that you can calm down. Social Media is just like real life only digital. There are altruists. There are pessimists. There are the people that won’t be caught dead engaging with you if you’re not part of their clique so guess what they do they contact you behind the scenes rather than engage with you openly for all to see. It’s like the jock that secretly has a love for all things nerdy and meets their nerd friend in an alley to read Moby Dick after school, but shoves and ignores the nerd while in school. I guess it is better to engage in private than not at all, because there are those that won’t give you the time of day ever. Can we say narcissism?
In any event, the same challenges and joys of engaging with people in real life exist in the social media space. People are no different in social media than in real life, they just favor social engagement of the digital kind.
If you asked someone ten years ago if they could imagine spending more time in front of a computer speaking to other people than their real-life colleagues, they would probably think you needed your head checked. Yes, there was My Space and the beginnings of social media but nothing like what it is today. According to a Huffington Post article authored by Sam Fiorella, “the total time spent engaging on social media sites is up to 37% as of July 2012.” It might seem strange to an HR professional that hasn’t already taken the social plunge that there would be such meaningful and profound opportunities to learn, engage, and collaborate via social media. The unfortunate reality for that individual is that they are increasingly the strange one for not taking advantage of something that is vastly becoming a business imperative. Newsflash: social media is no longer a trendy or a fleeting thing. Social Media is an ecosystem of active job seekers, passive job seekers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, professionals from every industry just looking to be a signal in the noise etc.
The moral of the story is: HR professionals may not see the need to be on a social network for personal reasons, but they should at least be willing to see the benefit in utilizing it for professional and business purposes. It is not a one size fits all sort of thing. Like most things in life and business, you should utilize the tools that provide the best return on investment. That is-don’t do social media for the sake of doing it. Be intentional about your reasons and what is best suited for your customer base. At least now, as you rethink your position on social media, you can breathe easier knowing that there are no unicorns or mystical characters in this space. It is the same ol’ same and you know what that entails so keep calm and take the plunge.
If you need support, consider coming to Louisiana SHRM State Conference from April 7-9 to get some tips from the social media team on how to get started.
image courtesy of Kelly Lux