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How to build a community through social media 23/09/2011

Ashley Kate provide top tips on how to effectively build a social media community to grow your business.

How to build a community through social media

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  1. The importance of social media
  2. Starting the process - LinkedIn
  3. Be authentic
  4. Share your expertise
  5. Give value
  6. Raise your profile
  7. Respond to member demand
  8. The future of social media

The importance of social media

“Social media isn't instant: it requires focus and continuous content generation. Once you start the conversation, it’s two way and open ended,” says Isabelle Hung, director of Resourcing Efficiency at Lompaire Limited.

At Ashley Kate, we understand the importance of social media. Back in 2010, we decided to embrace it and set up our first Linked In group, HR Professionals Network UK: in December.  This group now has almost 2000 members and is going strong.

Starting the process - LinkedIn

We wanted to create a vibrant community platform for HR professionals to effectively engage with each other in a secure environment. Linkedin was a natural social media channel to begin our activities.

We chose LinkedIn as it provides detailed market intelligence on our HR customer base. We knew that lots of HR professionals used LinkedIn already, so it would be a great channel to create a network. We wanted to bring together like-minded HR professionals who shared a common interest  to discuss relevant HR topics, share news, network, create and share job opportunities and collaborate with each other.

Now we’re off the ground with Linkedin, we’re looking to increase our social media presence across other channels such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Here are our top tips for organisations looking to grow their business through social media:

Be authentic

Your social media profile must reflect who you truly are. Whether an individual or company profile, it’s an opportunity to showcase your personality, capabilities and brand. Maximise the content to promote your talents and expertise.

Ensure your posts and discussion topics are relevant, interesting and targeted at your specific market - if you inspire people they will talk to you. Recent discussions to our group have included: More Senior HR vacancies are being contingency managed by multiple agencies than ever before. What are the reasons behind this trend and what impact is this having on candidates wishing to apply? We’ve already had 22 responses.

We’ve also begun to engage with other working LinkedIn communities and posting our own questions. Click on this link: this has resulted in over 300+ comments so far.

Share your expertise

Share your knowledge and ideas within your social media community. You will become respected and an authority in your subject matter which in turn will enhance your profile and your company’s credibility.

We focus on providing real thought-leading forums for our HR connections. Within the LinkedIn group, we provide advice to our members when they ask business- related questions.  We encourage our members to share views and ideas across a growing HR community.

We actively participate and encourage members to contribute to the content of the group by way of discussions, comments and ideas. In turn, we ensure members have access to recruitment related topics on a daily basis, as well as HR market trend updates - in a competitive jobs market this is added value for our members, who can access and participate in online discussions with HR professionals from many UK industries.

Give value

Don’t continually spam your LinkedIn connections with irrelevant information – this is a business platform only. Undertake market analysis and devise a marketing strategy that gives you a platform to effectively raise your brand awareness, exposure, and networking capability to boost your traffic and sales.

We provide access to up to date legal employment advice  through an international law firm with free invites available for our HR employment law and networking forums giving our members opportunities to meet with the UK’s top HR players. We see this as a value added service as it provides members with opportunities to keep abreast of important legislative changes vital to an HR role, assists them in maintaining a competitive edge with up to date HR market intelligence, chances to network with other like-minded HR professionals and share ideas and initiatives. Our overall aim is to ensure we assist with developing our members’ company brand capabilities.

Raise your profile

Focus on gaining recommendations on LinkedIn from both a company and individual point of view.

Business professionals are keen networkers and want to know who you have worked with before they make the decision to engage with you and assign you their next recruitment campaign or retain your services to source their next role.

Respond to member demand

Listen to your members and ask them what they want from the group.

Our members requested a secure Executive specific group, so we created a LinkedIn sub group: HR Directors Boardroom in February this year

This selective group provides HR directors with an opportunity to participate in 'up to the minute' relevant HR strategic debate and attend our ‘round table’ events being held across major UK cities and access to an HRD specific networking channel.

The future of social media

Jason Boyle – HR Director at Talk Talk believes: “that the use of social media will continue to revolutionise resourcing strategies and practice and organisations need to firmly embrace the concept”.

It is imperative in the current climate to anticipate and respond to your customers’ needs in order to retain a competitive edge.

Kim MacNamara, Ashley Kate Associates

Kim MacNamara, Ashley Kate Associates

Ashley Kate specialise in recruiting all levels of HR professionals across the UK – permanent, temporary and contract.