Many independent consultants recommend the social media presence as Facebook Page and Twitter account are for free. The accounts are free, but the value added presence is not. HR has to dedicate resources to the development of the valuable content, and it has to invest into the active social community around the company. The costs of building the social media presence can be enormous, and the social media strategy should include the cost estimate of the implementation of the recommended solution.
The company should not start using the social media without a clearly defined vision and goal. The social media can absorb enormous amounts of money without any visible impact on the decreased costs or increased performance of the company. HR should avoid “have-to-follow” strategy in this area.
The real social media costs
The social media are about the interaction. The dedicated employee has to find appealing information and has to publish information on the regular basis. Just few organizations are lucky to have a large and engaged community without any major investment. Others have to invest heavily to build the influencing social media presence.
HR cannot make a decision about being small and staying small. The social media need a strong and constant presence. The small presence means no influence, and it does not bring any benefits. The organization has to build a strong and focused presence to be successful. The management has to risk. The social media strategy can fail, as influencing people is one of the toughest tasks.
HR has to make a serious decision about the requested benefits from the social media presence. The social media strategy has to describe clearly benefits for Human Resources and benefits for the organization. HR has to invest into finding, developing and influencing different social communities, and it cannot expect quick returns of the investment.
The costs of the social media are not just about another employee on the payroll. It can be a minor cost for the organization. The employee has to make a proper research of the social media and has to analyze the behavior of the main competitors.
The employee has to pay for access to many social media analytical tools. The specialist has to dig the right topics. Sure, the social media specialist can dig these topics by observing the communication on Facebook and Twitter, but it is a task for months. The analytical tools can be a cheaper solution. They can help to find the social media angels, and they can identify topics to tweet about as they are interested. The company should not re-invent the wheel.
The social media specialist (or social media expert) needs cooperation from other HR employees. Based on the social media strategy they have to prepare the content that can be published. They have to keep the confidential parts of documents internal, and they have to prepare still fascinating information to be published externally.
The social media usually need to be supported by the specialized corporate website. HR has to budget the costs of the specialized website and has to allow the social life on such website. The prepared solution can be taken like a basis, but it has to be customized.
Social Media Costs Conclusion
The social media can bring enormous cost savings in the area of the recruitment, graduate recruitment and talent recruitment. However, the company has to be strongly recognized in the social media, and it has to be strongly present in online communities.
The company cannot realize any benefits before it is widely visible in communities, and it recognized as the influential and beneficial source of information. The social media are not cheap. The development of the strong online presence is expensive. The realistic costs have to be included in the social media strategy.