It’s interesting to think about how we got to where we are today. How we take different roads to success. How we continue to push and explore new possibilities and new avenues. All of this not only builds our own character, but these new roads shape and create opportunities for those around us.

What I saw when I first explored the recruitment industry in 2002, was completely different than what I see today or what I envision for the future. When I worked for my first recruitment firm in downtown Toronto, I learnt the rules of engagement with a major lack of technology. It wasn’t uncommon to receive a faxed resume from a client or drop off a signed contract in the mail. All resumes were filed away alphabetically and the only way to search through them was one by one.

A lot has changed since then and as we grew at the company, evolving wasn’t an option, it was a necessity and so my boss stayed up late many nights going through software demos to find an application that would make us more efficient. He knew that if he acted immediately we could put ourselves at an advantage. If not, we would certainly have been left behind. We knew that we had to use the tools around us to facilitate our competitiveness within the industry. Ironically, when Facebook began to takeoff in 2005, we blocked it from staff computers. Like most of the corporate world did at that time, we felt it distracted from productivity. But, did it? What happened to the hour-long lunch and two 15 minute breaks throughout the day? Gone. We all ate lunch at our desks (to be the best), and so, a break to find out what our friends were up to while eating a sandwich did everyone more good than harm we noticed. It gave employees a sense of independence and rewards they needed.

I bring this up because as Zuckerberg opened up possibilities for social media, through Facebook, it created more connections not just for our personal life, but for work life as well. Now that I’ve started my own business, we not only allow access to Facebook, we encourage the use. Why? It contributes to a 25 per cent increase in new revenue every year from our staff. We connect with friends and its spreads the word about our business. In addition to a revenue generator, we find it makes our staff happier and more productive. In our work environment, there is no feeling of micro management but rather, a feeling of independence — independence to share, explore and be heard. You won’t find the word independence on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs but you can plant it right there with self-esteem and respect. Trust that you know you’ve hired the right person and that they won’t abuse the autonomy you provide them to succeed.

How will all this benefit your company? In addition to the ROI that your business will receive, Canada is ranked 2nd for online usage and that means a lot of exposure for your company. At Linkus, we looked at ways to utilize social media and here is the strategy our Community Manager created for us to follow.

Create a plan

  • What are your goals? Do you want to sell more? Drive traffic to your site? Build better relationships with existing customers? Become a thought leader in your industry? Improve your customer service?
  • Who is your audience? Determine your audience to gear content toward them appropriately.
  • Where are they? Which sites do they use? How often?
  • What are they talking about? Understand what your audience wants.

Best practices

  • Conversational – treat audience as friends. Solicit comments and ideas; contribute to discussion.
  • Sharing – create content that is share-worthy, and share other users’ content since this reduces the burden on you to create original content and builds community and trust.
  • Less than 20 per cent selling – it’s bad etiquette to only promote yourself; you will get tuned out. Share other content.

Tools & metrics

  • Management tools – use tools such as; HootSuite, GroSocial, Radian6 etc. to schedule and monitor your success.
  • Browser plug-ins – use plug-ins available on chrome to share it fast.
  • Network tools (i.e. Facebook and LinkedIn) and outside sources (i.e. Tweet Reach)
  • Actionable stats – track a small number of meaningful stats that give you information you can act on.

By Adam Gellert, Linkus Group, Toronto, ON, CYBF young entrepreneur

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