By Steven Duque
If you read our post on social recruiting, you have a sense of why social media are excellent tools for nurturing your relationships. Given that relationships are business currency, especially in recruitment, mastering what is becoming an increasingly preferred channel of communication (1) is critical.
Whether they’re strong or loose connections, old relationships or new ones, social media can be one of the best ways to keep in-touch with your contacts as a time-pressed recruiter. Why? Beyond being nearly ubiquitous, social media are:
- Multimedia. Just as the richness of the media you share makes your personal branding more interesting and relevant, rich media make your personal communications more interesting and relevant too. Sharing articles, photos, videos, and audio (among other media) can differentiate you as both a recruiter and friend. A picture says a thousand words.
- Mobile. Though email still (currently) consumes more of people’s time than social media in most developed countries (1), smartphone users spend up to 1.4 times as much time consuming social media than looking at their emails. For people constantly on the move, social media may be your best shot at getting their attention.
The underpinnings of good (social media) relationships
Like most relationships in the real world, good social media relationships are centered on:
- Common interests. One of the most powerful aspects of social media is their facilitation of creating groups online. You can leverage your passions for your industry and personal interests to develop and foster your relationships with others who share your passions. Following and listing relevant people and institutions on Twitter, joining groups on social networks, and engaging cohorts directly are among the many steps you can take to do this.
- Permission. Twitter aside, most of your social media contacts are permission-based. That is, either you or your contact accepted a request to be in contact. As a result, any communications you send (aside from unsolicited inMails via LinkedIn as a premium user) are also implicitly permissible, and avoid the negative perception of cold-calling.
- Authenticity. Both online and offline, people are more receptive to those who are genuine. If you are disingenuous (read: fake) about your interests, yourself or your communications, chances are that the people with whom you’re communicating will notice too. Be real. All the cool kids are doing it (or not).
2 Tips for building good (social media) relationships
Tip #1: Devote the time, effort and resources.
Take (or delegate) responsibility. Like all relationships, developing social media relationships takes time (even if it is comparatively less). Social media relationship activities — managing friend lists, writing comments, joining groups, participating in forums, being active on Twitter, etc. — requires investing time. And either you or someone on your team (who can speak on your behalf) needs to be doing it.
Engage early and often. Engaging your social media contacts early and often both establishes you as a thought leader and helps build a relationship with your audience as a trusted source of valuable info. But, it’s not just about linking to your blog or posting open jobs; get involved with your online communities and networks and provide valuable insight (even if it’s not from you).
Tip #2: Be a (good) friend.
Be real. Good relationships are grounded in trust, and trust is grounded in honesty. As both a professional and a friend, being fake will come back to bite you (Just ask Milli Vanilli). So, be real. People are increasingly skeptical, and can smell BS from a mile away. As a recruiter, negative perceptions are already playing against you.
Listen. One of the central tenets of building strong relationships is listening. This goes beyond using social media listening to gather business intelligence. It means thinking about and internalizing what people are messaging and posting, and using it to better understand them as both people and prospects to inform how you communicate with them.
- [Out of roughly 50k survey respondents] In the US, consumers currently spend more time on e-mail (5.1 hours per week) than social networking (3.8 hours). In areas of rapid development, however, social networking takes up more of users’ time (5.2 hours per week) than e-mail (4.2 hours) on PCs.
- bullhornreach posted this