There is a huge difference between the deafening sound silence makes online and the lively sound of the heavily trafficked social media presence. People are starting and joining conversations every day, with or without you, for and against you. Just do a Google search of your company and location to see what people are saying; You’re likely to find mentions and hashtags all over the web on sites like Yelp!, Instagram, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter (just to name a few). If those messages are positive it’s great for your business and your social media recruiting efforts, and if they’re negative they’re offering you an opportunity to be a customer service star. Your interaction with customers and clients on social media also informs your audience about your corporate culture, and it’s one of the key ways potential customers or job candidates check you out before they connect with you – don’t underestimate its importance.
Your Social Media presence requires you to be present.
- Grab your handle: Figure out which sites your customers, employees, and potential employees are most likely to use and set up the same name on each site so you’re easy to find.
- Look Sharp! Use the same (and official) branding for each site. Make sure your posts use proper grammar and are always professional and reflective of your brand. If you’re a fun place to visit show it online!
- Watch the conversation: You can find out what people are saying about you through Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Netvibes, Google alerts and the like.
- Listen carefully! Don’t just hear the good things people are saying. Let the bad reverberate, as well and then figure out if you can turn it into an opportunity to provide great customer service online. Current and future employees are watching so remember you’re still a leader online.
- Show appreciation for your supporters and your employees. Be certain to follow-up those positive customer comments and shares with a thank you. Everyone appreciates a retweet or repost when they’ve taken the time to give you a shout-out. Give shout-outs to your employees online, let them know you appreciate them and aren’t afraid to show it.
- Cherish the “haters” (and thank them too). Complainers make great customers because they’re the ones giving you an opportunity to fix things. This is a great way to add transparency to your customer service process.
- Build your Community. Take five minutes twice a day to respond to social media. A fundamental human need is the desire to be heard let them know you’re listening. If it’s a quiet day ask a question and see who replies. The larger the community the better your opportunity to find great hires through your social media connections.
- Don’t be shy! When you’re ready to hire get the news out there and keep sharing. Your Snagajob postings are easy to share.
- Participate in the conversation. Define and manage the conversation, ask questions, share your responses to customer questions online. Lead by example – people will behave as you expect them to.
- Let your best employees drive! Set some ground rules, and let those employees who get shout-out’s and compliments build their/your fan base online. A friendly smile behind the cash register, or a server who remembers you want your mayo on the side is a path to repeat customers. Ask those employees to talk about their jobs and help you recruit online.
- Turn employees into brand ambassadors: Make sure they know what you expect if they talk about your company or their jobs online, and encourage them to share and repost shout-outs, positive feedback, and job postings.
- Be real. If you’re mad, be honest but respectful. Remember you’re representing your company and your brand. If you’re in a silly mood, be silly but not unprofessional. Put yourself – your best self – out th0re so you can attract the best employee’s.
Nobody can control every online conversation, but you can control the direction the conversations take – if you stay informed, speak up, and put your best self out there. Doing those things will help you advertise how you’re a great company, and employer, and why your business is a great place to work with.
Article originally published here.