Which, is amazing if you’re awesome… not so amazing if you aren’t. You can get a true sense of who a person is by looking at all of their social networking profiles. What someone updates on Facebook may speak to how they engage with their friends and family. Their LinkedIn profile will give you a feel for their professional side. Their Flickr page may help you discover what their typical day is like, vacations they’ve been on and if they have an artistic side. Their tweets let you know what’s on their mind right this second and their blog can give you a sense of what they truly care about. Of course, this peek into their life only truly works if they are active in social media. But, on the flip side, if someone isn’t engaging in social media, that gives you an insight to their personality as well.
The same theory holds true for your organization as an employer. It’s of the utmost importance to manage your reputation online. By engaging in social media, you are able to monitor and influence your organization’s presence on the interwebs. There is a conversation about your organization taking place on social media sites and online in general whether you like it or not. It’s best to join the conversation and spread your overarching message rather than letting your brand become vulnerable because of trolls on the internet. For every negative blog post, comment, video and tweet you must combat it with 10 times as many positive blog posts, comments, videos and tweets.
Just as you stalk a potential candidate via social networks before extending an offer, rest assured, potential candidates are stalking your organization back! Current and former employees are able to sound off about what they love and hate about working for your organization on their social network profiles and on sites like JobVent. This site allows current and former employees to rate their company on pay, benefits, work/life balance, career potential and other variables. It also contains a comment field for the employee to specifically share what they love/hate about their employer. The ratings are averaged to give employers an overall score that can be used for comparison against competitors. Negative ratings and comments could be the deciding factor in whether a candidate accepts your job offer. Managing your online reputation can be broken down into two phases:
Monitor Your Reputation – First, be aware of the conversation regarding your organization. Find out what real people are actually saying about you as an employer. This knowledge will empower you to combat any negative messages being spread online. You can easily continually monitor the conversation about your organization by using the following tools:
Google Alerts– Sign up to receive email updates every time your company is mentioned online.
Technorati – Monitor the blogosphere by using this blog search engine. It also provides each blog post appearing in your search results with an Authority, the number of other blogs linking to the website within the last six months. The Authority helps you gauge how much influence each blog post has so you can react accordingly.
Twilert – Use this service to receive email updates with tweets pertaining to your organization.
Preach Your Brand and Overarching Message – Although you can’t control what is being said about your organization online, you can influence it! If there’s no positive content regarding your organization and only negative content shows up in search results, what are googlers supposed to believe? They’ll eat up the damning comments with a spoon. However, you can control what’s on your own website, blog and social media profiles. Turn them into opportunities to spread your brand’s overarching message.
Start a blog – Ensure the content posted adheres to your branding message. Update your blog as frequently as possible to boost your page rank within search engines. Demonstrate to your past, present and future employees that your organization is engaging in thought leadership in your respective industry. They’ll gain respect for your organization.
Keep your website updated – Make sure your site contains the freshest information regarding your organization. Let candidates know why it’s great to be your employee!
Join Facebook, LinkedIn or any and all other social networks – Use social media to engage with potential, current and former employees. Boast about current happenings and job openings at your organization. This will keep your audience engaged and might even land you some boomerang hires.
But most importantly, when engaging in social media, be true to yourself and your organization. Don’t lie or exaggerate to make your work environment and values look cooler/different than they actually are. Otherwise, you’ll be attracting the wrong candidates who will come in with different expectations as to how your company is actually run. It’s best to be transparent and honest when engaging current, potential and former employees online. Besides, the truth will come out anyway… it always does.