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I'm just a girl in the world.. that kind of likes to write. Mom of 2 teen girls & work as Talent Attraction & Marketing professional. Oh, & I'm addicted to my phone, Social Media, HR/Talent Marketing & Caffeine... you can learn more about me at www.linkedin.com/in/theonecrystal

Just Because it’s Social Media, Doesn’t Mean it’s “Playtime”

The other day I was talking with a former co-worker & friend over coffee.  She made the off-handed comment about our former co-workers, “We’re all jealous… you’re so lucky to get paid to play on Facebook all day. ”

*Sigh*  They don’t get it.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that comment & truth be told, I’ll joke that I get paid to be on Social Media … but there’s much more to what I do than playing around on Facebook & tweeting all day.  In fact, the status updates & tweets that fly around under my handles don’t even make up 25% of what I need to accomplish as a Social HR professional.  And I’m not alone…

While social media responsibilities have certainly made their way into the job descriptions of HR professionals, Recruiters, and Talent Marketing professionals; it’s certainly not a primary focus.  We still have to do all of the things we did before; but now we need to work that in, too.  In addition to the aforementioned roles, now we have “Digital Strategists” & “Social Community” professionals; who create/manage the online presence for their organizations, brands, products.  For company & ‘profersonal’ purposes, it’s important we’re seen day in/day out on multiple social platforms; creating engaging environments for interests/relationships to flourish.

When it comes to creating engagement in recruiting, there’s a lot more than saying, “I have a job to fill” or “We’re hiring” or making off-handed comments about what everyone’s having for lunch.  You have to inform, inspire, challenge at times, & have a genuine interest in the people you’re reaching out to.  They’re more than just avatars or numbers; these “handles” you talk to represent real people with real goals that we have a responsibility to pay attention to.  We have to understand organizational and consumer psychology; as well as often create digital marketing materials to entice them to have offline conversations with us. It’s part of our jobs.

To do this, we have to spend time paying attention to current trends, analyzing what’s going to be hot, culling content in blog/news articles, white papers & various research; sharing funny antidotes (that we first have to find), and creating our own content that our target audience will respond to.  This? Takes a significant amount of time… and that doesn’t even count the time we need to spend responding to the people who reach out to us on various social platforms & proactively “reaching out” to our target audience on their social landing pages. Then we have to create schedules & themes to ensure cohesiveness with the overall internal & external brand objectives.initiatives we’re working with.

Inevitably, early on most of us have asked the question (usually in frustration) “Who has the time to get all of this done?”  Even some veteran “Social Media Pros” complain that there’s ‘not enough time to do the activities required to sustain influence within our associated communities while actually working.  Even those of us that are supposed to be providing solutions can perpetuate the perception problem that working in social media isn’t really work at all.  Fortunately, though, there are a plethora of existing and emerging tools that help ease the time burden associated with consistency.

For those of us that find a personal assistant to handle the administrative/research side of our ‘#Social Work’ anything but reality; utilizing those tools becomes almost a productivity imperative.  Personally, I’ve got a watchful eye on Social Media Content Management Systems such as BundlePost to help me not only schedule content for my applicable hash-tagged communities; but find the content on the net for me as well.  TweetAdder, Hootsuite, and TweetDeck have long held a place in my world for making Twitter Chats happen & managing 8-12 different Social Media identities.  Wordpress, Twitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn’s associated mobile applications have made it possible for me to be completely connected with my communities at all times; allowing for more ‘real-time’ responses & stable engagement levels.

For many like myself, we then have to take those online conversations offline & handle traditional ‘old school’ recruitment responsibilities of evaluating, matching, and recruitment life-cycle management.  That, in and of itself, is a full-time job for many.  When you add in the aforementioned?  It’s about 10-12 hours a day of real, focused work; if the stars align & we’re really lucky. In a sense, I guess we ARE lucky in that most of the Social professionals I know are truly passionate about the work they do – which helps the massive amounts of it seem a little less overwhelming.

But make no mistake, it’s not playtime – Social Media professionals have to work … and unlike many others, ours never really turns off.  #nowyouknow

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3 Comments on “Just Because it’s Social Media, Doesn’t Mean it’s “Playtime””

  1. Susan Avello 03/05/2012 at 10:01 am #

    Reblogged this on HR Virtual Cafe.

  2. Mallie Dein 03/05/2012 at 10:10 am #

    Wonderful post. Thank you for voicing a concern and a cause for disgruntlement that touches so very many of us in the industry. Factoring in the time for research, learning our clients’ voices and more play such a huge role in the overall success of a social media strategy and campaign, yet we’re just playing or wasting time?

    • TheOneCrystal 03/05/2012 at 11:51 am #

      Thanks – yeah, that’s a common misconception & unfortunately, it’s one that many of us IN the field laughingly perpetuate… not realizing the harm it does for all of us. I was talking w/ an old boyfriend the other day & explaining my revenue streams for my firm w/ some new clients. His response was completely innocent, “You get all that for doing that FB stuff?”

      Yes… and no. The “FB stuff” is the end step to TONS of work done beforehand in marketing, psychology, public relations/communications, business partnering & HR. It’s just no one (or few) sees those steps. So, that’s our battle – educating business on the work behind making the end-step look seamless… like it IS playtime, perhaps?;)

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