A Social media primer for SHRM Chapter Leaders

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Using social media to push your brand

I recently spoke at the HR Florida State Leadership Conference.   My presentation topic was Using social media to push your brand.

People who came to the session may have hoped to hear me offer a blueprint for chapters to set up a social media program, but that was not what I covered.  I have never put together a social media program for a local chapter, although I have done a lot of social media work in the HR space.   So what did I cover?   A bunch of stuff –  brand in general, social media in general, how it can help or hurt your brand.

I also gave some advice for chapter leaders to consider if they really wanted to get their chapter started in social media, including a condensed version of my slide deck which I have uploaded to SlideShare.

High Level Social Media Observation

Social media is not rocket science.

It is really just the same type of thing we do in HR every day – communication, but with a more pointed 2-way messaging.    ž

Policy is important, but it is not the priority.   It is not even the starting point.   Developing an understanding of the platforms, and the way the medium works is the highest priority. Policy and strategy flow from there.

As you consider the adoption of social media for yourself, or for your organization, you need to consider two concepts:

  1. how social media might be used to benefit your brand
  2. how social media might be used to harm your brand.
ž You need to develop plans for each, because  if you are in business, and especially if you are a major brand, you are already involved in the dialogue whether you are using social media or not.
Here are some thoughts on what to consider in developing your plan:

These steps can get you started in protecting your brand with social media:

  • žMonitor your brand
  • Stake your claim
  • Adopt preemption strategies
  • žEngage proactively in social media
  • žHave a rapid response strategy

Getting your chapter started

  • žHR Florida may be the leader in the USA.  Consider looking at what they do as a case study.
  • Consider getting started by adopting with at least one platform if you are not ready to go full tilt.
    • Blogs are great for sharing information
    • Facebook is great for conversation / events
    • LinkedIn groups offers a semi-private platform
  • Develop policy and guidelines

Philosophical advice for leaders

  • žSocial media is not just about marketing.  Social media MUST be about engagement.
  • You must believe, and lead by example.
  • Let your “chapter”  hair down a little, and have some fun!
  • You must view your audience as a community.
  • Don’t treat your social media platforms like a bulletin board for publishing announcements.  If you do, it will fail.
  • Social media requires commitment and resources.
  • Help is available!
  • All SHRM chapters should have a social media person on their leadership team.
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