This post originally appeared in April 2012 on the multi-contributor site Project Social HR. Although now defunct, this is a great site to review for any HR professional who is looking to get into social media. Enjoy!
Shhhh…I work in Human Resources and I love social media.
It sounds ridiculous to say something like that in such dramatic tones, doesn’t it? But the truth of the matter is that there are many HR people out there who distrust social media. Some think that employees will play Farmville all day, others can’t understand why you would want employees being brand ambassadors: “Isn’t that what you pay your marketing department for?”
I think others are still lost in that world where Human Resources means SERIOUS business…of the hiring and firing type. Don’t get me wrong; those are serious issues. But sometimes HR assigns itself an almost parental role where we are immediately suspicious of anything new on the scene. Kind of like our grandparents when Elvis started swinging his hips. If the Arab Springhas taught us anything it’s that Twitter and Facebook are not just about fun and jokes. Anything the Iranian government tries to ban I’m cool with.
So why am I such an advocate for social media? I am a better HR person because of my involvement in social media. Here are three other short reasons why:
- I have connected with HR colleagues all over the world. With those connections comes an amazing diversity of thoughts, opinions and best practices.
- I actually know what employees are talking about when things spill into the social media sphere. When you know how this stuff works, it’s a little more difficult for people to try and put one over on you. Oh and even if your employees aren’t on Facebook (which they are), you probably should know something about it, because the NLRB certainly has some opinions on social media.
- Being in social media and promoting my blog through it has forced me to become more confident promoting myself and defending my opinions. You may work in an office where everyone agrees with your awesome ideas but in social media you are more likely to run into people who disagree with you. Debating and defending your opinions is valuable experience.
So now that I’ve talked for an entire post about how great social media is you are going to run out and join Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Foursquare right? You should! Think about standing at the edge of the pool, you dip your toe in slightly and start to feel the goosebumps but then your mean older brother comes by and pushes you in. Instead of slowly absorbing the cold and feeling every goosebump you are now completely drenched and your senses are in overdrive. The upside is that you are now completely acclimated and the water doesn’t feel cold anymore.
You didn’t have a mean older brother who did this to you? Okay forget it; just go jump into social media…head first! Deep end!