The use of community media in a Human Resources perspective is a major issue today, whether it be brands’ presence in these networks, e-reputation, new behaviour from job applicants or new collaborative work methods.
The insights below explain why we have recently created a Twitter account devoted to HR (@CareersSocgen), developed a web TV for Careers (http://careers.socgen.tv) and launched a blog on Mission Handicap (http://www.tousuniques.fr/), and why we are also about to launch an internal social network.
Internet users are a media, decision makers, journalists
The development of “general public” monitoring tools (RSS flows, content feeds), best price finders, blogs and social networks have given web users influence they are aware of: they can sort, produce, choose, circulate information and therefore influence opinions. They can influence purchasing or voting choices.
In my opinion, companies have to make the most of this new reality of co-production between web users and brands by creating ties with “friendly” decision makers.
The company is transparent
Clients, shareholders, staff, service providers, suppliers… both current and former, everyone is having their say online, and the most virulent are often those who are most intent on being heard. As a company, we can no longer “lock” our discourse onto its internal reality. Hidden information and distorted reality will clearly be severely sanctioned.
The brand will be rejected if actions and discourses clash.
A premium for being first
Twitter has highlighted two important factors: I first and foremost see the instantaneity of information and the recommendation process, with a premium for being first. Excesses are of course possible, not to say probable, but it is no longer about changing the rules of play, its about adapting and adopting a new approach that is more tactical, more opportunist.
We have to learn to sometimes favour reactivity (to be the first) given that, in any case, quality will be multifaceted.
The web is democratising reputation
A company has to accept dialogue, criticism, the sharing of its discourse with web users. At the same time, we have to know how to fuel, in a coherent fashion, every facet of its personality (institutional and commercial, local and international employer, social and economic player, a representative of both shareholders and staff) that become intertwined in the big Internet democracy.
A company has to move from an image rationale to a reputation rationale, to accept it will not always be in control of the topic, place or timing of its interventions.
Internet users will only become close to the brand if they know they will be listened to, and if their experience of the brand provides them with real added value. For the company, it’s not just about knowing how to manage all these discussions/reputations, a necessary condition for its discourse to be audible, but also about making its actions and its speeches coherent and, lastly, becoming aware that customers / web users worming their way into the company’s organisation are an opportunity. Traditional marketing integrated customer feed back in order to adapt its offer to demand afterwards; conversational marketing will combine offer and demand within an iterative co-construction that will make the company’s limits porous.