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Can HR finally embrace social media?

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The HR function has to get a grip on social media if their organisation wants to remain competitive in 2013.

“Engaging with the array of social media sites that potential jobseekers use gives organisations a means to boost and enhance their reputation as an employer of choice,” Chris Mead, regional director of Hays in Singapore and Malaysia, said.

However, HR’s reluctance to utilise social media may not be unfounded. A report by Hays revealed American executives believed social media was one of the top five sources of risk to a business.

This is because social media engagement will require HR to monitor yet another avenue of employee communication, meaning it is important that someone who understands all the risks handles it.

“Deploy internal social tools with an objective in mind, a handful of internal champions, as well as a change management programme in place,” Margery Lynn, regional social media director at Dentsu Möbius, suggested.

Juan Sanchez, digital strategist at Waggener Edstrom, said social media is essentially no different from traditional marketing, in that it cannot be approached blindly without a strategy in mind.

“We cannot just launch our messages to the mass media like that; we need to first develop a full strategy and link everything within a consistent ecosystem,” he said.

Therefore, Mead said companies must remember content is king when it comes to social media.

Content presented on social media must “be consistent, high quality and channel-specific to add value and reflect well on a firm’s brand”.

“Getting this right can be hard and raises questions of message and brand control. An ongoing resource is needed internally or externally to post and monitor content and to interact with a company’s followers,” Mead said.

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