Social revolution: what are the business benefits of being socially engaged?

“What really matters in the networked age? Relationships. Relationships help you find opportunities, resources, make decisions more effectively, and manage a long-term investment and a lifetime career.” Reid Hoffman, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, LinkedIn. We're delighted to have recently been named LinkedIn's14th Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agency; we believe that being socially engaged can really help your business build better relationships and ultimately transform the way you find and hire top talent. 

How? Social media allows you to make your business and brand more human; it helps you to tell your brand story to top talent about the people behind your products or services. No matter how brilliant your social media strategy is, the truth is, without personality, social media is just not social. Full stop.

So how do you focus on how to be social and not on how to do social? And what’s the value in making your business the most socially engaged it can be?

We caught up with John Williamson, Oliver James Associates’ Digital Marketing Manager, to find out his top tips for empowering your transition into business social media and the benefits that being socially engaged has had on OJ:

1. Content marketing

The key to acquiring quality clients, quality candidates and quality consultants for our teams is engagement. This engagement has happened for us by providing our audiences with content that’s of value and, above all, credible. We actually have a dedicated in-house communications manager who writes content for our social media platforms by focusing on key topics that are of interest to our audiences. We also regularly appear in the media that our clients, candidates and consultants read which has given us third-party credibility too. People don’t have time to read everything they’re bombarded with on social platforms; set your content apart from all the ‘noise’ your stakeholders are faced with every day on social media by adding value through your content. You’ll then get the attention of the people you need to be talking to. 

2. Social recruiting  

Knowledge is power and it’s key to understand your social platforms inside out.

Integrating social media into recruiting strategies isn’t just about publicising vacancies. It’s about cultivating two-way relationships with potential talent. It’s also important to recognise just how different each social media channel is and to tailor your brand messaging accordingly; that’s how you’ll get your audience to respect your brand.

3. Social reach and social engagement

We understand that our clients and candidates use social media for different reasons at different times. That’s why we tailor our content and tone of voice for each social platform; it’s important to us that we’re engaging with our audience in the best way for them at the best time and on the most appropriate platform. We live in a mobile world where we can access Twitter in 3 seconds! So it’s vital to keep your audience engaged with targeted content. Only then will you ‘capture’ your audience and build an established following. Think of it this way - people following your business on social media are signing up to your brand; you’ve already won them over with something so keep them engaged, keep them interested and you’ll increase your social reach and improve your engagement rates.

It’s a given that social platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter give businesses both a voice and direct access to top talent. You can reach a prospective audience without breaking the bank on traditional advertising methods. Sounds great, right? The beauty of social media is that it gives your business the prime opportunity to build a more intimate and lasting relationship with an audience that matters. How? By producing engaging content and ‘talking’ with your audience. Simple techniques such as responding to comments, retweeting those who’ve mentioned your business, asking your audience a question, humanising your brand by starting conversations about timely topics, thanking people who engage with you or share your company’s content. All these little things will help you to nurture and grow business relationships through social.  

You also need to redefine what it means to your business to be socially engaged because the key to becoming more socially engaged with your audience starts with a well-thought out social engagement strategy. Create a plan for listening to your audience, monitor your social networks, understand who is actually engaging with you and then devise a strategy as to how you will engage back with them. Being socially engaged will make a lasting impression with your business network highlighting transparency, accessibility and openness to talk. You’ll also improve increase website traffic and obtain sales leads.

“In the digital space, attention is currency. We earn it. We spend it.” Brian Solis, Digital Analyst. This quote speaks for itself. Tie engagement to your business’s objectives; what are your measurable goals? Talent acquisition, product development, customer service or brand awareness? Whichever it is, grab the attention of your audience with engaging content and conversations. Earn their trust in your brand and you’ll produce real added value to your business.

To learn more about our place on LinkedIn’s Top 25 Most Socially Engaged List, click here.