This is a short presentation I gave to a group of HR Professionals on why I use social media, the benefits, how to get over some stumbling blocks, and why I think everyone should just have a go!
Slide 2: I work in HR in my day job, and outside of that I’m quite active on Twitter and social media channels. I make weekly videos for AHRI where I talk about what’s happened in HR and social media for that week. So I guess you could say… I quite like social media and would happily advocate for it!
Slide 3: My story starts with me moving from Australia to Singapore in my first year out of uni. I found myself in a small HR team, and separated from my networks. Very soon I realised I was lacking mentors and networks, so I decided to seek it through an online network. I started writing a blog I called ‘Whipper Snapper HR’ and joined the HR community on Twitter.
Slide 4: Social media helped to build my subject matter confidence in talking about HR, and also in talking about social media. Social media connected me to incredible people and networks that have followed me wherever I’ve lived. It provides a constant stream of fresh ideas and challenges, it keeps me on my toes and out of a comfort zone in what I know about HR. And finally, it taught me great attitude lessons about generosity and the power of generosity with time, praise and feedback in building networks.
Slide 5: I think that social media has done some incredibly powerful things for me, and I could understand people feeling like they would need to aim for ‘fame’ if they dive into social media. But numbers aren’t everything – you don’t need huge numbers of followers and you don’t need to be connected to a huge number of people to be feeling the rewards of participating in the online HR community.
Slide 6: By dipping your toe into social media, be it participating in a Linkedin Group, or starting a podcast, I think this will help build your confidence in just having a go! It will connect you to great people who share common interests, and it will mean you have informed opinions about social media and how it can assist your organisation.
Slide 7: Here are a few of the reasons I think that HR people may have hesitations around social media.
Time – a few minutes a day count most. By keeping your streams full of people you know have valuable content, you will be able to tap into rich content in short amounts of time.
Confidentiality – you can join the HR community without talking cases, and if all else fails, pet pictures work!
Where to start? – become a commenter. The 1% internet rule is that 90% of internet users ‘lurk’, 9% of internet users contribute and only 1% of internet users create content. So if you aren’t someone with a burning desire to be a content creator, the best place to start is just by contributing with comments, feedback, and shares.
Slide 8: There are so many formats in social media – and after a day at a computer I completely understand that reading more text on a computer screen isn’t always appealing. I really encourage having a play with formats that you would enjoy experimenting with, and just having a go!
Slide 9: Cringe moments will happen – things will be typed that just don’t translate – typos will go unnoticed… in my favourite Ted talk by Matt Smith, he talks about the physical manifestation of cringing, and how that affects our reaction to failure.
Slide 10: So it’s important to practice things like Failure Bows when you’re doing things like playing with social media… if you make a mistake, take a bow with a cheesy grin and arms up, like a trapeze artist would after making an error… it’s not the end of the world, and you don’t need to beat yourself up about it. It’s important to have a healthy attitude about failure and remember, everything moves so fast in social media, it will be forgotten in no time!
Slide 11: Your biggest asset when joining an online community is generosity. Be it through commenting, retweeting, sharing links to content in your blog, or just sharing well wishes – you can build up strong participation really easily. And you’ll also be regarded as a valuable part of the community that people recognise. It doesn’t have to be about being the best, the most famous, the funniest or the most widely read – and for me personally, that takes a lot of the pressure off, and I can just enjoy it for what it is: some great people I am really lucky to share with and learn from.
Slide 12: I think it’s important to come back to this point of remembering why you started when you get into things like social media – it’s about making relationships – not shouting out in to the world “listen to me!”
Slide 13: So my final thoughts, and how I sign off every week in my AHRI video on social media, “if you’re having fun (and it’s not at someone’s expense) then you’re doing it right!”
Slide 14: I hope I’ve given some reasons to have a go at trying out social media beyond the comfort zone of a resume on Linkedin and a Facebook profile… so if you’re keen to get started, I highly recommend this book by @HR_Gem and @TimScottHR – it’s right down to the nuts and bolts of starting out with social media and getting involved in the HR community. Awesome stuff!
Slide 15: This book helped me so much when I started up my blog Whipper Snapper HR – if you’re keen on creating content, I highly recommend this!
Slide 16: And this book has great ideas on how to build your online portfolio, and how to share what you’re working on. It’s quirky and fun.
Best of luck – I hope you aim to try something new in social media and have some fun with it!
Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.