Get Human Resources Involved in Social Media Marketing

10 Point HR Checklist for Social Media Marketing

Your social media marketing isn't getting doneWhile it sounds counter intuitive, human resources plays a critical role in your firm’s social media marketing plan and execution.  Data shows that, in reality, HR’s role in a firm’s social media efforts expands as experience with social media marketing expands.

Many forms of social media marketing require support from areas of the organization where the marketing department may have no clout. Often this is in the form of content development, technology support, customer service and investor relations. Therefore, it’s useful to get Human Resources involved in your social media marketing initiatives to ensure that your “support” staff understands what’s required of them and have their jobs expanded to include these responsibilities.

Here are ten elements where Human Resources can support your social media marketing efforts.

  1. Develop social media guidelines or policies. While many companies are starting to have social media guidelines for their employees, in order for them to be effective, they require monitoring and administration of any obligations.
  2. Track employee’s social media behavior to enforce your firm’s social media guidelines. Are there any infractions of your guidelines? If so, what management actions are required and have they been implemented?
  3. Adapt social media marketing job requirements and goals to existing job descriptions. If your social media marketing plan depends on people from outside of the marketing department, it’s a good idea to expand their job descriptions. Otherwise, it’s likely that your social media needs will drop to the bottom of employees’ to do lists.
  4. Provide companywide social media training to expedite social media adoption across your organization. This can take a number of formats: in-house training, Lunch and Learns, online courses or third party presentations. Getting a group of cross-discipline  employees together in an offsite venue enables participants to forge relationships while they brainstorm ways to enhance their jobs.
  5. Hire additional headcount to support social media marketing efforts. These can be new employees, consultants or outside resources depending on where your firm is on the social media curve and your firm’s approach to the use of outside support. Your human resources department will be needed to develop new job postings, screen consultants and hire new employees.
  6. Ensure internal recognition and rewards to employees who voluntarily take on social media responsibilities. This can take a variety of formats from public signage and internal newsletter features to gifts and monetary rewards.
  7. Start or enhance alumni outreach. Use of social media platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook can facilitate engagement with former employees. The paybacks of maintaining these relationships can come from new hire recommendations, new supplier and distributor relations and re-hires. Many top consulting firms have perfected their alumni networks because it reduces costs.
  8. Reduce hiring costs. The effective use of social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to get out the word about job openings can reduce or eliminate the need to pay fees to headhunters and career sites like Monster and CareerBuilder. For example, New York based agency, Deep Focus, used Facebook to announce their recruitment open house.
  9. Use social media platforms to check new employee backgrounds. The goal is to determine whether this person will fit within your organization and whether the prospect’s social media behavior is in line with your firm’s policies. To prevent issues, make company guidelines public.
  10. Keep crisis management plans up-to-date with appropriate personnel information. Since HR is responsible for all personnel changes, they can provide useful input for this vital, often overlooked function.

Bear in mind that each firm has a different approach to human resources and its role in corporate management. At a minimum, senior management should use this checklist to ensure that your company maximizes your its social media efforts and rewards employees where appropriate.  It helps to keep employee morale up and can reduce costs.

Do you have any suggestions that other firms will find useful? If so, would you please add them in the suggestions section below?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit:  Aaron Jacobs via Flickr

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