I have a really long title for today’s post. It was actually not a title I chose, it chose me. I am at HR Florida this week and attended the blogger dinner. We had chocolate covered fortune cookies for dessert, YUMMY, and being the strange blogging people we are, we decided before we opened the cookies that we would each use our fortune as the title of our next post. So, that’s how mine chose me.
It was actually quite fitting though because I participated on a blogger panel here at the conference. Steve Boese, Franny Oxford, William Tincup, Mark Stelzner, and I were asked to take questions from the audience on a wide array of social media topics. It seems that the overall feeling of the crowd is fear. Fear of social media, fear of use of tools, fear of what employees will or won’t say online, fear of loss of productivity, fear of not having a strong enough social media policy, fear of not knowing how to punish employees who get out of line. FEAR. The thing is, if each of us spent that time that we’re dedicating to our fears on thinking of ways to positively address the issue at hand, we’d all be so much father along in recognizing the ROI of social media.
The panel addressed numerous questions and some of the key takeaways were around how to get started, how to train yourself on the tools, how to capitalize on the opportunity cost of social media, and what each panelist recommend as a “must do” for the participants. Here are a few thoughts on those themes:
How to get started
- Use tools like Twitter and Google Reader. They will help you check out what is being said about your own organization and your competition.
- Set up a Google Alert for your organization. That will tell you any time your organization is mentioned online.
How to train yourself
- Use sites like CommonCraft and YouTube to find videos that will demonstrate how to sign up for social media sites. There are also numerous videos that show you how to use each site.
Capitalize on the Opportunity Cost
- Mark Stelzner of Inflexion Advisors and Voice of HR gave a great example of the evolution of a user of social media. First, be a taker. Use the sites to help you do research on topics related to your field. Next, be a giver. Begin sharing links to content that may be relevant to followers you have. Also, if you are a giver, you will begin to generate content to share with others in the industry. The final step is to be a stimulator. Few people want to get to this level, but if you do, you will not only be generating content, you will be stimulating others to take action or collaborate.