Yesterday I was a panelist for two sessions on social media at the WPDI Diversity and Inclusiveness Conference. The focal point of our discussion was human resources issues: how can social media tools can help recruit and engage great employees, and what issues social media creates regarding HR management.
But as always, we also spent a lot of time talking about what social media are, how to think about and deal with them, and how they are changing corporate and organizational cultures.
And also as always happens when I’m on a panel, I learned new ideas and directions from my fellow panelists. They brought great information and ideas to the discussion. These are folks you need to check out: Jan Ferri-Reed of Key Group Consulting, Michael Couch of Michael Couch and Associates, Marben Bland, and Regina Anderson of the Regional Internship Center. Plus Justin Driscoll of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, who expertly guided our discussion.
Some key points that came up:
1. You and your organization need a strategy for social media. Knowing how the tools work is only part of the challenge; you need a plan that aligns your efforts with your goals.
2. Dr. Ferri-Reed suggested that younger employees who are versed in social media tools can act as “reverse-mentors,” training other employees (typically older) on how to use them and get benefit from them.
3. A question from the audience: Can you give any real world examples of companies benefiting from using social media? We had a lot of answers for this, ranging from Fiskars craft products to Comcast to companies conducting recruiting via online networking — we could probably have spent a whole session on case studies. Come to my next workshop and I’ll share some with you!