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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shameless Self-promotion

So I was lucky enough to have an article in the Financial Post...

So in a pure and simple self-promotion here it is for your reading pleasure:

You've already heard plenty about social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Many of you probably use them routinely - but as an employer, are you maximizing on their returns?


Social networks are all too often regarded as "trendy" or "for the kids," but in fact, businesses who utilize these tools even at a basic level can separate themselves from their competition.

Consider the following statistics for Facebook:

  • An average of 250,000 new registrations per day since Jan. 2007
  • More than half of Facebook users are college graduates
  • The fastest growing demographic is those aged 35 years and older
  • Canada has the most users outside of the United States, with more than 7 million active users
Despite these figures, the number of businesses and HR professionals taking advantage of an active online social presence are limited.


So What?

As Canadian digital marketing firm Twist Image's president (and HRPA 2010 annual conference speaker) Mitch Joel says on the cover of his recent book Six Pixels of Separation, "Everyone is connected. Connect your business to everyone."

Perhaps Joel puts it best when he says, "Your brand is not what you say it is, it's what Google says it is."

Basically, a company website isn't sufficient anymore - you need to create a richer online presence.

Simply creating a company profile on Facebook or LinkedIn can expose your organization to candidates you may not be reaching through your current means. Better yet, these methods are probably more affordable than traditional means.


How Can I Get Involved?

The first steps you take are up to you and may depend on the nature of your business, your role in the organization and the strategic direction you want to take.

One example is Ernst & Young. Ernst & Young have created a Facebook profile where they post jobs, interact with prospective employees, and draw attention to upcoming company-hosted events. Presently, Ernst & Young's Facebook page has over 38,000 "fans." This has been accomplished with little-to-no financial investment.

Other companies have gone as far as to advertise/post jobs on Facebook. Advertising on Facebook is based on a cost-per-click basis and a daily budget limit can be set, meaning it will cost you as much or as little as you care to spend.

Also gaining ground is the company TweetMyJobs (http://tweetmyjobs.com). Companies from FedEx to Sony have used TweetMyJobs "to reach targeted job seekers and the millions of Twitter users across the world." TweetMyJobs.com provides a 30-day posting for just under $20.

Essentially, exploring different social networks and how they can be applied to enhance your business is the first step. See what your competitors are doing (or not doing). Try creating a Facebook page for your company, perhaps a Twitter account, or advertise a job on LinkedIn – how you use these tools is only limited by your creativity!

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