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The Unwritten Rules of Social Media

Marketing is a great deal of fun these days now that Social Media is around.  But like everything else your social media strategy needs to be carefully planned.  There is a set of unwritten rules that you should get familiar with to ensure that you are following proper protocol.  Social Media is like a big dinner party – if you mess up - your future invitations will dwindle.

So what could you possibly do that would be so terrible as to get you banned from Social Media circles?  In order to understand this, let’s briefly review what’s available and how to make Social Media an unbelievable asset for your business.

For staffing and recruiting Social media offers extensive benefits.  Never before has there been such an outstanding medium available to circulate your branding and marketing message.  Because you are on the internet information gets shared very heavily if the information you are distributing can be of use to someone.  It’s a terrific opportunity to share what you know and therefore establish yourself as an expert in your field.

In order to become a prominent player in Social Media circles you have to post often and regularly.  That means that you will want to reach out to your audience from a number of different Social Media platforms.  LinkedIn®, Facebook®, Twitter® and your own corporate Blog are popular choices to spread the message.  However, there are many other options that are suitable for your posts such as other company’s blogs.  If your information is good you may be invited to share your stuff.  Or readers may repost your message by sharing to their Twitter® group or other Social Media circle.  In turn, others may see it and repost it, etc. etc. etc.  

So now that we can see where all this is going what’s really in it for the staffing firm?  It’s really all about message and exposure.  Then there’s this thing called SEO (search engine optimization) and rankings which you may already be familiar with.  Basically, all of these postings drive people to your website and then turn into leads which you can sell to.  Ever wonder why some companies come up first on searches?

The entire process is about cultivating prospects by keeping in touch with “the world”.  It helps to focus your posts on an audience that is likely to do business with you, but in the world of Social Media word travels fast and to many.  Although it takes some work, it is known to be one of the lowest cost means of advertising and one of the most effective.

There are some caveats to Social Media Posting.  First, post quality materials.  Next, make sure you post multiple times per week but not too often.   Of course it will take time to write the materials and also time to post.  To do it right, you probably need to hire someone or dedicate a staff member to spend several hours per week on social posts.  It is also good to have multiple people in the company participating in the posts.  Make sure everything is approved and proofed before it gets posted.  You have to be certain that the message being publicized is in line with your corporate views and practices.

 

That brings us to the “Do not do in Social Media”.  Let’s check out the top things you should never do.

The most important rule is that “this is not about you” but it actually really is.  You cannot get on a soapbox and preach about yourself.  Skip the advertising in your messages.  All of your messages need to be focused on helping others with some type of information that you are qualified to present.  The task is to give your audience something that they want and need and then subtly tell them who you are and where you could be found.  Never ever turn your message into an advertisement for your company.  If people want to learn about your products and services they will go to your website.  Therefore, you will let them know where your website is but that’s where it ends.

Twitter® is a fantastic place to “tweet jobs”.  This is actually a very nice service that some applicants may enjoy.  It is a very convenient for applicants to find out about opportunities if they like to use Twitter®.  Many software solutions allow this capability not only to Twitter® but to other Social Media platforms like Facebook®.  The important thing here is to personalize your tweets and not post a standard boring job message several times a day.  Mix it up with other useful posts so that you can increase your chances of attracting qualified applicants.  The same formatted repetitive tweet does not fit in with Twitter culture and you will harm your posting credibility.  People will get tired of looking at your posts and “un-follow” you – very bad.

Don’t approach complete strangers and ask them to befriend you simply for the purpose of selling them.  This will completely blow your credibility.

Do not lose sight of “the engagement factor”. Always engage with your readers,  Use media to show what your job opportunity is like, giving candidates a glimpse of what it might be like to work at your fantastic client’s company.  Provide ways that applicants can participate in your post. 

Do not accept followers that may not represent who you normally would associate with.  You are judged by the followers you keep so make sure you check out people who want to connect with your sites.  You want high-quality respected followers.

Never post without checking grammar and spelling.  Everything posted represents your company.

Never allow employees to post on behalf of your company without approval.  It is very important to have information in your company policy manual about social media posting.

Do not mix business with your personal account.  Always have a separate business account and “stick to business”.  Do not choose a screen name that may be unflattering to your company.

Do not create a LinkedIn Group simply for self-promotion.  Creating a client group is a great way to make your clients feel part of something and to provide exclusive information for clients only.  Remember that the group should be beneficial to the clients who have joined and not a forum for selling other than an occasional special offer or product announcement.  

Don’t abuse Twitter hashtags during a crisis.  A crisis is not an opportunity to promote your company.

Do not gather email addresses of LinkedIn users you are connected to and use them for a self-promotional mailing list.  This is a huge do not.

Social Media is meant to create reciprocal relationships.  Always give back.  When posting to sites do not post off topic.  Understand the rules of the site you are posting to before you post.  Be relevant and engage.  Avoid random posts.

Do not rip off stories from other blogs without giving proper credit to the source.

Last, before you post, remember that your post is a permanent representation of your company.  Some posts can never be erased and can be used against your company if taken out of context. Do not post if there is any uncertainty about the contents.

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