Let’s get real about Social Media for a minute, shall we? I’m always a little surprised when I walk into a senior leadership meeting with a company or client, and the lack of understanding and information that happens when we discuss the topic of social media in the workplace.
Only Small Percentages of Senior Leaders Experiment with Social Media Platforms
The business use for social media is many and yet only a small percentage of executives know about how to use social media or even try to experiment with adding different platforms, apps or tools into parts of their daily lives. What I can say is that I understand your frustration or maybe you the senior leader and am working hard to understand how social media can be used in your business. Over the course of the last 8 years, I’ve had hundreds or even thousands of conversations with senior leaders and leave them with one simple blunt statement when it comes to social media.
“Social media isn’t about you. You are the average employee, customer or user of social media, but it is your responsibility to understand and acknowledge it as a communication and engagement tool by these audiences.”
Believe me. I know it’s hard and maybe you are frustrated because even though the idea of social media is simple, there is a huge learning curve associated with understanding even one platform. Trust me when I say that trying something new is always hard at first just like when my daughter learned to tie her shoes. After investing time and effort, she learned how to tie her sneakers. This activity provided her a lot of freedom in going about her day. Learning how to use social media is the same way.
15 Social Media Statistics for Business Leaders
• Adding a photo makes you 36x more likely to be found on LinkedIn. Optimizing your own LinkedIn profile, your executive leadership as well as employees is critical to expanding your reach for recruiting, sales and marketing. I don’t have to tell you how important professionalism is in building business relationships starting with a professional headshot.
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• Globally, Facebook users spend an average of 50 minutes per day on their products. This includes Instagram, Messenger, What’sApp and Facebook as part of their sweet of social and messaging products. • Number of LinkedIn Profile Views in Q1 of 2016 was 45 billion. Imagine if your entire employee population or even your recruiting team had optimized profiles that you could use to send consistent brand and marketing messages.
• We spend 17 minutes a day on YouTube. YouTube is a great place to access tutorials about personal subjects like how to improve your golf swing as well as instructions on how to improve your use of Outlook software.
• 51% of recruiters Google a candidate as part of the recruiting process. It’s important that you provide employees especially hiring managers with training on how to use social media as well as how to avoid discriminatory social media practices. • There are more mobile phones than toothbrushes. Your phone is the most important piece of personal equipment for your employee population. Internet use on mobile has now outpaced our use on desktop computers.
• 1,471 people listed ‘Hugs’ as a skill on their LinkedIn Profile. While funny, this demonstrates an important reason to provide your sales leadership, recruiters and other employees training and guidance on how to effectively leverage LinkedIn. I’m all for hugs but this skill is taking up valuable real estate and might be sending the wrong message to professional contacts.
• 90% of job seekers use their mobile phone in their job search. Career sites and employment destinations need to be mobile optimized to make the experience for the job seeker as easy as possible. We want to make it easy for our best candidates to apply for our job opportunities.
• LinkedIn is the #1 social media tool for recruiters. Recruiters should have extensive training when it comes to LinkedIn in terms of searching as well as messaging on the platform. However, I encourage you to consider using other candidate engagement and search tools and pools where your competition is not.
• Twitter is the third most popular search engine. While some are proclaiming Twitter is dead, it is still the most effective source for breaking news. Twitter’s search functionality is only preceded by Google and YouTube.
• Only 13% of Millenials (13-34 yo) use LinkedIn. I’d like you to explore other platforms and opportunities to engage and communicate with your younger and now majority workforce. Snapchat, Instagram and then Twitter are this employee population’s favorite social networks. How is your organization using these?
• 21% of Buzzfeed’s web traffic comes from Snapchat. Snapchat offers a very personal and private way to engage and communicate with your friends and community using photos, video and other features such as in app calls. Snapchat if used correctly can be a great way to tell stories and engage with followers on the platform.
• LinkedIn reaches 37% of the U.S. population. LinkedIn only provides recruiters access to a very limited population of candidates. Don’t limit your company and your recruiters from being able to connect with talent quickly using alternative communication and engagement platforms.
• 96% of recruiters use some form of social media when interviewing & hiring. If you aren’t talking about social media at your leadership meetings, your recruiters are already relying on these platforms often without proper training, information, support and branding information to make the best impression with your job seeker candidates.
Social Media Adoption Takes Time
These same statistics are the ones that I recently shared with an executive leadership team who were discussing exploring alternative sales and marketing tactics with social media. We spent nearly an hour briefly discussing the use cases surrounding the different platforms. Snapchat seemed to be the social media platform most challenging to grasp its business use. Senior leaders left the meeting excited, but change takes time. This fact has left many innovators among organizations feeling disappointed, disengaged and stuck because social media moves fast and often organizational change does not especially when implementing social media when previously your organization has been leveraging little to nothing.
I’ve included a slidedeck that includes these stats for your use. Please download the slides, edit them and use them in your own leadership meetings. Change takes time but consistent and frequent conversations along with selecting several small pilot programs can help prove the business’s return on investment allowing you to grow your programs, experiment and try new things.