The agile organization changes markets; creates new opportunities and brings new ideas to life. Such a company requires quick thinking, incorporating of new ideas coming from external audiences, smart employees, rapid communication channels and connections like we have in our brain. This kind of the business creates a pressure to change the way how Human Resources acts. It has to share the same DNA, and it cannot afford to design new procedures and processes within months. Weeks and days the only deadline the leadership team knows. Social media has to become a natural part of the HR DNA to become competitive and a driver of the corporate culture. The HR Social Media Strategy helps to keep Human Resources on the top.
The HR Social Media Strategy is a strategic framework describing how to work with social media. Who is responsible, what has to be communicated, who are the target audiences, what channels will be used and what are the key topics and messages to be spread. Like any other strategy, it defines the pathway and the approach to aim to a desired target status.
Today, organizations live in an extremely competitive market. New agile businesses are undermining the stable operation of the older giants. The speed and innovations are a critical success factors. The same principles apply to HR practices. The business with slow and invisible Human Resources does not attract top talents. It does not retain smart employees and loses know-how. Social Media offers the speed, simplicity, engagement and retention. HR can build a reliable communication basis for employees and engaged external communities. HR can build a platform that makes the business faster, more innovative and challenging.
A great HR Social Media Strategy covers following areas:
- business involvement;
- target audiences definition;
- social media and social media tools selection matrix;
- policies and procedures design principles;
- social media performance measurement.
Everything in the commercial organization starts with the business need and the involvement of business leaders. They do not have to realize the need before HR presents the opportunities, additional benefits and related costs of the solution. Social media are not cheap if they are run and managed properly. The company has to spend resources developing the engaging content; it has to plan campaigns and keep the communication flowing both ways. However, HR has to design a business case that is positive. Otherwise, the leadership team will not be involved, and HR will continue the journey without the leadership buy-in.
The HR Social Media Strategy has one significant difference from other social media strategies. It has to work with two different target groups – employees and the external audiences. It makes it unique because once the groups have to be kept separate on one side, and second they should be mixed together. HR has to solve the issue of data privacy. HR has to find a simple approach how to define internal and external personas. Surprisingly, it can identify many employees who share the same social media profile with external audiences.
HR has to choose right social media channels to target external audiences. Moreover, HR should also set up internal social media channels to spread important messages for the business growth. Most employees do not read emails from the beginning till the end anymore. They read two or three sentences, and they just stop. HR has to find channels to engage everyone in the game.
Next, HR must reveal big topics for the engagement of internal and external audiences. Human Resources needs to combine the requirements of internal audiences with interests of the external followers. It has to incorporate the demands of the organization. Finally, the big social media topics need to be put into the regular HR Social Media Calendar to be followed consistently through the year.
HR has to set the environment for the proper development of social media channels in the organization. It has to develop the roles and responsibilities matrix. Just a few employees can be eligible to post messages internally and externally. They have to follow approved topics and the posting calendar. They should publish results regularly. Human Resources has to define roles for the publisher, the editor, and it has to set the Board to approve new topics and evaluate the performance.
The behavior of people needs to be regularly measured. The HR Social Media Strategy has to define the proper social media measurement. Each successful post has an impact that has to be measured. Human Resources has to find posts that works best and use them as the best practice for other posts in the future.
Human Resources Department needs to be a leader in social media communication. It has to cooperate closely with the Marketing and Communications Departments to influence employees and external audiences. The initial investments are not high, but the operation of the proper social media has high running costs. HR has to prove to the leadership team that the investment is worth of it.
Moreover, HR has to follow the defined structure of the HR Social Media Strategy. The strategy development should always start with the audit of the current status and then HR can start building on items that are present in the organization.