From Pushing to Networking – Do Companies Understand the Nature of Social Media?

My name is Noora and new to European SharePoint Community blogs. Happy to share my ideas in this forum I would like to dig into the topic of social media. Not only due to the fact that I am writing a book about social recruitment, has the topic got me puzzling from time to time. My work consist of building and developing online and digital solutions for internal and external customers, but communications and social media are close to my heart as well.

Nature of Social MediaNowadays, it is almost self-evident that companies have presence in social media. According to statistics concerning enterprises in Europe, 30 per cent of them use social media. However, that does not tell anything how they use social media.

The most likely set is to have a Facebook profile, Twitter and Instragram accounts and of course LinkedIn presence. Most of the companies’ purpose was to build their image and do marketing in social media. Organizations have built social media strategies and guidelines around the area, so employees are wished to know how to act in social media and they won’t do anything that puts the company into a questionable reputation. There are big bucks that are in question. Yet, living in the social media era changes the companies’ internal communication and business behavior traits.

As social media is such a natural part of our civil lives (251 million users in Europe) we would assume that social media falls into the company DNA as effortlessly as to our personal lives – if this kind of separation between personal and business life wants to be made. But usually it doesn’t fall that easily. We need to train our executives to use LinkedIn and to be visible in social media in a desirable manner. Oftentimes HR doesn’t have a clue how social media benefits recruitment, and customer service in Facebook is not always the best solution for every organization.

Luckily, there are excellent examples of companies’ success in this arena, such as multinationals Starbucks, Groupon and PepsiCo, to name a few.

Nature of Social MediaAnd let me not sound too pessimistic or doubtful whether companies know how to behave with social. They do, or I could say, they learn to do it better all the time. Or still to clarify, they start to understand it better. Luckily one third of the enterprises that use social media use it for social networking. Still, I would claim that the purpose and the nature of social media stay easily behind the curtain and the organizations don’t know how to lift up the curtain or are unwilling to look behind it.

All in all, a few basic things should be kept in mind. There really needs to be two-way communication in social media and organizations need to accept it. You cannot push only your own motives and messages. Instead, what does the audience need and or how can you surprise it positively? How can you help them to help you? How can you unleash them to be your ambassadors? How can you keep them happy? It’s all about networking and understanding the nature of networking.

Nature of Social Media

Media Process Elements

This really simple table shows the differences of traditional and social media elements. (Weinberg & Pehlivan, 2011) Try to understand the difference between the elements and to use them both, but don’t mix the methods

As far as social recruitment is concerned, the social media channels are not only for pushing job postings.

In Finland, study results concerning social media usage and social recruitment in Finnish companies are interesting. The respondents were responsible for the companies’ HR and recruitment. They see that social media will transform the recruitment, the recruitment process and the communications in companies, but still there are very few social media channels in use and actual actions for social recruitment. It seems that again, social media is still new to us and we are just getting to know it.

Use social media for head-hunting! Dig deeper! Learn to know where the talent that you need lurks. Listen to the job seekers and you might also learn something from them. Put yourself into their perspective, so you will learn to help them (to help you).

Finally, empower your employees for active social media usage. Instead of creating boring rules and guidelines; create an atmosphere of trust and joy. Your ambassadors are working around you. Your company consists of a huge network. And when people see how great employees your company has, the rest want to apply for you and your lively community, too. Surely, learning by doing will bring the experience in social media. But if you want to step out from others, be in the forefront and show example. Do benchmarking, build models to measure success, create your unique voice and enjoy the ride.


Social Media Benchmarks Report, 2015

Skyhood. Kansallinen rekrytointitutkimus 2014 (2014)

Weinberg, D. W. & Pehlivan, E. (2011) Social spending: Managing the social media mix. Business Horizons 54 (2011), 275-282

Measuring The Intangible Share Point Social ROI

Measuring The Intangible Share Point Social ROI

About the author Noora Hakkarainen:

Nature of Social Media by Noora Haakkarainen

Noora Haakkarainen

Noora Hakkarainen (M.Sc., Economics & Business Administration and B.Soc.Sc.) is an expert in challenging platform implementations where change and user commitment are in a key role. She works as Web Service Specialist, ICT, in Lassila & Tikanoja Plc., which is a service company focusing on Environmental Services, Industrial Services, Facility Services and Renewable Energy Sources.
In her current role, Noora is responsible for developing and implementing online and digital solutions for businesses and customers. She is a hybrid of a nerd, a communications specialist and a solution developer, who wants to keep the customer’s and end user’s glasses on.
Solution wise, Noora’s expertise focuses on O365, SharePoint, Yammer and InfoPath. She is used to working in complex and changing business environments in big corporations, especially in projects focusing on intranets, web sites and collaboration tools. Nowadays, she is building modern solutions for customer service.
Outside work, Noora is writing a book about recruitment in social media. In addition to writing and journalism, Noora’s passions are cooking, sports and travelling.

Specialties: Change management; User-adoption; Social-business; Digital-business; Collaboration; Intranet; Web Development; Customer Service; Social media; Social recruitment

You can follow Noora on Twitter here and you can find her in LinkedIn..
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