If you are seeking for a job, specifically in the age of social and digital media, you need to bear in mind controlling and updating the social media privacy and profile as the first step. This is also known as your digital footprint. You don’t need to be the CEO of a company or in a particular job to be glared upon these days.
Why your Social Media profiles matter in job hunting
Being a student, as an example, and sharing too many wasted (drunk) photos could have an equally important or sometimes catastrophic effect on your public image, depending on your circumstances.
Companies and businesses these days often have a social media conduct (or similar digital conduct) policy in place for employees. However, teams still use social media (increasingly) for work-related activities, including checking out job applicants online to assess activities and behaviours on social media. Unfortunately, your digital footprint can have a huge impact on the biases formed and decisions made about the applicant.
Besides, hiring you or having you linked to an employer can also affect their brand perception knowingly or unknowingly. This goes for both employers (businesses,) employees and total talent, i.e. contractors and contingent colleagues included.
Employer branding is utilized to describe a firm’s reputation as an employer, business partner, service provider for customers and more.
In the challenging candidate-driven market, especially within total talent – which includes permanent employment, contingent and interim staff, it is increasingly important to maintain a positive brand image. It is equally important for employees and workforce to be mindful that their actions indirectly impact on the business. Especially if they hold public and/or senior positions in the business.
Likewise, as individuals, we leave a digital footprint. We don’t necessarily call it “personal branding” unless we are driving it that way, yet it’s very important.
Haven’t we all heard of the cases where an individual has said or done something publicly in their personal lives which has affected their employer, resulting in termination? Read a few stories here, if you don’t believe me.
Now, of course, this post isn’t meant to scare companies and people off – it is in fact here to help.
Awareness is the first step to recognise the good and the not so good in things around us. The benefits of great social media and digital footprint for both businesses and individuals alike are tremendous. Online is the “first” place mostly you will be noticed and that is the first opportunity for connecting with the right target market, be it candidates or customers.
So, here are top tips on using social media and digital channels for the best results:
Tip 1 – Being Visible & Easily Searchable
As individuals, this may not be high on the agenda. It should not be, especially if you want to be as private as possible. If this is the case, look at all your social media settings and ensure you make yourself “unsearchable” on google via Facebook, Instagram etc. personal channels.
However, as professionals, you should always be visible via the right platforms.
As businesses, being visible and searchable should be high on your agenda. It is increasingly difficult to rank on top of Google or show up on the first couple pages. That does not mean that you do not put an effort in a good website, top engaging content for your level of customers and talent. Engage in all the right channels including personal social media channels.
One thing I observe is that larger businesses do a lot, of course, because of the budgets they carry. But for smaller or medium sized businesses – you do not have to attack all channels or do so much. You only need to focus on 2 – 3 main channels that work for you and your sector.
Look at some of the tips here, especially if you are a startup or a small to medium-sized business.
Tip 2 – Positive and Right Messaging
This is common sense, of course. But we do know how sometimes positive messages can get lost in the hype of creating a “post title” to attract attention. More clicks mean more conversion!
WRONG. Better content, positive messaging which is to the point of delivery is a lot better. You may get more clicks with a controversial title or mislead post, but you will lose trust and certainly lose the authenticity that you and your business may genuinely possess.
You may not always have good news to share. Especially when it is related to market trends, business updates or markets, but it needs to be shared from a knowledge sharing perspective as well as updating people lens.
But, if you are an individual or a business that is not in the news business you can keep it as authentic as possible. It doesn’t have to be big bold titles of catastrophic disaster with a silver lining hidden somewhere.
Personally, I like to read material that is both consistent with the point made, informative, useful and a bit entertaining, just like my attempts to add humour to this post which is getting lost in sarcasm, or just too bland. Maybe it’s the British in me!
Tip 3 – Frequency of Publishing
Frequency can be key. I.e. how much is too much and how much is too little. Now, that’s an art that you need to figure out based on your target audience and sector; their needs, businesses requirements etc.
For me, just posting rubbish for the sake of frequency is an absolute No! I would rather retweet interesting content, if I don’t have something interesting to share. Or I might share someone else’s content where I relate to it and like it, with right credits than create something just for the sake of it.
Once you pinpoint the frequency your audience appreciates, create great content that will help. It doesn’t matter the size of your business. If you have the right policy and guidelines in place you can empower your colleagues and employees to publish interesting, thought-provoking and, in many cases, helpful content for your audience.
You can use this as a guide for your teams, just let us know when you do – so you do not get into copyright issues.
Tip 4 – Authenticity, being yourself
You will note the point I raised in tip 3 to allow your colleagues to share great content which reflects the authenticity of your brand. Are you a controlling brand, or are you a brand that trusts its colleagues and contractors, within reason of course? This aspect then very neatly ties into your employer branding exercise. You become a brand and a business that trains and encourages teams and individuals to be themselves and bring credibility via authenticity.
In recent years we have seen several individuals and businesses gain great traction and momentum by simply being themselves. They begin genuine in their solutions and attitudes. At the end of the day, people work with people, trust people and only build relationships with … “people”. Hence why it is important to translate your authenticity and individuality. This reflects your brand and also positively promotes the business and solutions your offer.
Tip 5 – Taking care of your teams
Last but not the least on my list is, again, very important when it comes to businesses and social media. Taking care of your teams and your people.
I don’t want to be the one to keep repeating this because it feels common sense, and who wouldn’t take care of their teams? Let’s face it, most businesses still only see permanent staff as their teams and treat them equally when it concerns inclusive attitudes.
The employer branding may aid you easily and attract great talent, but it is the aspect of equality and inclusion that will keep the total workforce engaged and motivated. Like many businesses, you may still question why you need to have your contingent and contractor / interim workforce included in this exercise.
Well, let me tell you why. Simply, more and more talent is choosing to work flexibly. As more businesses need flexible staff, if you take care of this asset (yes people are your biggest asset), than you not only leave a great impression as a business and team but you also have a fan and a great expert at hand when you need them again.
Most who read this e-guide may think they know these things, and yes, we do know these things. It’s the basics and mostly common sense, but aren’t we all surprised when we see bad social media management. Even more so, bad talent management esp. in contingent and contractor space?
Businesses still use this talent as a commodity to get things done. That’s the point of our platform solution InteriMarket and especially this e-guide. There as a reminder or as a little pocket handy guide when you need it and if you want to just look back at some of the examples and links for inspiration.
For further reading here are some useful links, we have not used content from any of these as our content is unique from our experience, so this to help you additionally where you need: