Tuesday, December 20, 2011

5 Simple Steps for a Social Media Audit

Social Media continues to be a strong branding tool for recruiting Gen Y. However, when recruiters mention it to Executives they struggle to gain buy in. This article will outline 5 simple steps to conduct an audit and shape your 2012 social media plan to set you up for success in the new year.

Building a business case includes understanding why there is business rationale to using social media and speaking to Executives in the language they understand – dollars & cents. This means building a case that includes targets and ROI metrics. To design your targets, first understand why you want to use social media, audit your current use, and build a case to showcase your plan.

Potential HR & Talent Acquisition Uses for Social Media:

      Recruitment & Promotion
      Employment Brand Management
      Employee Onboarding
      Executive Culture Check
      Knowledge Sharing, Training and Development
      Employee Reward and Recognition

Once you understand the ways in which you want to use social media, start shaping your business case. All business cases have 3 main components:

5 Simple Steps to Creating a Business Case & Completing a Social Media Audit:

1.      Conduct an Audit:
·         Who? Audit yourself & your top 3 competitors
·         What to look for? Understand trends (i.e. which platforms everyone is using) & what hook is being used on each platform
·         Where? Audit  main social media properties (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare) and then integration via widgets of social media into their traditional job sites
·         When?  Do it NOW! Determine a regular frequency to complete an audit (at least every 6 months)
·         Why? Your New Hires & Existing Employees are already talking about you. Be part of the conversation

2.     Determine Metrics to complete in regular Audits to help determine ROI

Examples include: Sentiment, Post Frequency and type, Engagement, Growth and Share of Conversation versus competitors.

3.     Set Objectives

Having targets allows you to measure learnings, mistakes & successes. Many social media objectives are around branding versus always clear applications, interviews & hires. Setting social media targets should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely). Ensure you understand ROI and ask the right questions like:  What is the impact of shifting 1/8 of the advertising budget to build a Facebook page? Determine priorities that make sense for your recruiting targets and filter distractions.

4.     Work Your Plan

Remember as you work on your plan that you must:
·         Have a regular presence on social media sites
·         Listen and adapt ongoing as social media sites are always changing
·         Set monitoring and reporting standards for your organization/department
·         Assign responsibilities
·         Seek support & increased education with: internal departments and external resources  (tool kits, consultants, contractors)

5.     Work Smart

Use tools to work efficiently and effectively.
      Determine Content Mixture and Themes for each Platform
      Develop Regular Communication Calendar
      Automate Activities with Tools: Excel, Social Mention, Hootsuite, Google Reader, Crowd Booster

Good luck in evaluating your current social media activities and in building a 2012 business case for increased investment in graphic design time and recruiter time. With regular activity you can drive increased hires from this tactic.

Remember that social media is only one piece of a successful Gen Y recruiting strategy and must be used in conjunction with strong on campus branding and a strong Employment Value Proposition. Good luck!