“In the year ahead, expect enterprises to embrace social media tools – including internal networks, real-time chats and wikis – for uses that go way beyond the familiar applications for marketing and community building.”
Here are a few of the departments besides marketing that could be making good use of social networks:
When one thinks about social media and HR at the same time, LinkedIn is the obvious connection. The network, which allows users’ profiles to act as livingresumes, offers obvious HR benefits such as posting jobs, LinkedIn Talent Advantage, a suite of executive tools for recruiters. But as Tiffany Black explains for Inc.com, even on LinkedIn, it’s actually getting social that can bring the most benefit.
“You should start by building connections to people you already know,” says Black. “This could include former co-workers, current clients, local entrepreneurs and even friends and family. Because you never know who someone else may be connected too that could make for a top-notch candidate.”
That’s true of the other networks as well. And while we typically consider Facebook a place for personal profiles and marketing pages, Black says posting job notices in Facebook ads or status updates on business pages has the added advantage of targeting your message to a specific demographic.
Don’t forget about Twitter, either.
“You can engage with candidates and see what topics they tweet about,” writes Black. “There is also the opportunity to market events you will be attending.”
For HR recruiters interested in finding the best of the best, social media allows for a very wide net to help snatch them up.
While social media hasn’t become much of an actual marketplace quite yet, sales professionals can still find a great deal of value in them. For instance, if the first rule of sales is likability, social media is a great place to carve out such a reputation.
“Whether in-person or over 140 characters, likability will forever separate closers from steak-knife winners,” says Shannon Duffy forMashable. ”Sales reps should routinely participate in social media training.”
While the sales team is out there being likable online, Duffy recommends carefully targeting exactly whom they are chatting up.
“Your company’s social media team should follow your top accounts and prospects so they can alert you to major company news and help salespeople get ahead of trends,” Duffy says. “Beyond monitoring, the social media team should also have a role interacting with prospective brands. Have them retweet announcements and congratulate customers on key wins.”
In the same way that social media has helped people all over the world stay in touch and grow closer, so can a social network bring a workplace together. Steve Nicholls, author of the book Social Media in Business explains to The Globe and Mail how creating internal social networks can do just that.
“This will bring the company closer together by facilitating formal and informal communication between different departments as well as lower and upper management,” he says.
A Facebook group or custom social network can create a space for that communication to occur. Additionally, Nicholls says regular internal information sharing can be made easier to access with a Wiki platform that allows articles, webinars, videos and more to be posted and viewed by staff around the clock. Finally, social media can often give staff members a voice who may feel comfortable communicating in other ways.