Why Not Social Media?

Unless you live under a rock you’ve probably heard enough about social media to make your ears bleed.  It was everywhere last week at the SHRM National Conference and as part of the social media team I confess I was out there preaching the gospel.

Why Not Social Media?

But the thing is for every person I met who was on social media; I probably met another 1 or 2 who didn’t find it useful or helpful in their careers or for their companies.  I’m not talking about a stereotypically close minded person.  The people I talked to are smart, intelligent, professionals.

I understand for some companies social media might not be the best way to recruit, retain or engage. But it puzzled me that some people did not see the value for their own career.

When I gently pushed I heard the following:

  1. There is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing – There is a lot of junk on social media.  There are some shady people out there too.  It’s easy to think Twitter and Facebook are just a mindless wasteland of advertising.
  2. Who’s got your best interest at heart? Every time I turnaround it seems like there is another vendor hawking another product that will solve all your HR issues.  But how do you figure out which vendors are worth talking to?
  3. Too much information – For someone with a 40+ hour work week, kids, family, friends or just a life it can be daunting to stare at the milieu that is Twitter or Quora or LinkedIn groups.  Where to start? What is useful to my existence? Perhaps it is easier to not even attempt?
  4. Lack of privacy/privacy concerns – PRISM? Enough said.


I thought some of these concerns were more valid then others and I rebutted with three things:

  1. Social media platforms are the wild, wild, west- you have to look out for yourself. Do some research on privacy settings and remember you don’t have to accept every friend request or follow back.
  2. Trust your instincts – If your BS flag or your hackles are up heed the warning.
  3. Don’t click on suspicious links…just a link and no other message? Stranger you’ve never interacted with before? Sounds like this is a phishing scam or a virus.
  4. Create lists from the get-go. Don’t be like me.  I followed a lot of people and never created a list. Now I’m following 2000+ people and trying to weed through the sound and fury.

What do you think? What gap do social media platforms fill for some and not others? How would you persuade someone to give social a chance?

Melissa Fairman

Melissa Fairman is the author of the blog HR Remix and has five years experience working in HR. She's super awesome and has an MBA with an HR concentration from Baldwin Wallace College and a PHR certification from the HRCI institute. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter at @HRRemix.


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