The Social Journey

by The Red Recruiter on August 25, 2010

Social Media DrawingIt’s easy to fall in love with social media – recruiting – (insert word of choice). Let’s face it; you’re able to connect with a bunch of like-minded individuals, the tools are ever evolving, and, if that weren’t enough, it’s a great conversation topic.

I remember the day it clicked for me. At that moment, it wasn’t about LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogging or any other popular social tool. It had much more to do with the Internet as a whole – the ability to connect across multiple channels, share content/ideas and collaborate with others. That’s what made

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me sit back and say “Wow!”

In the beginning, I had very few people to discuss it with who shared in my enthusiasm. Alicia Arenas (@aliciasanera) received the lion’s share of my “Wow!” outbursts – she still does.

One thing to know about me is that I get pretty excited when I’m passionate about something – it’s a blessing and curse. On one side, I don’t usually waste much time contemplating an idea (analysis paralysis). On the other, being this way requires a certain level of comfort with accountability – things don’t always go as planned.

The first few weeks after my “Wow!” moment were pretty intense. Late nights, research galore, lots of experimenting – loads of coffee! Looking back, some of the experiments and questions seem trivial…

“I wonder what would happen if I started a hashtag?”

“I wonder what the best way is to edit photos for Twitter?”

“What the hell is CSS?”

“What is WordPress?”

“Why does Facebook keep changing their system?”

**Bang head up against the table**

“This blog post is dumb… I should start over.”

“I’m really nervous about pressing the Publish button.”

“I should blog more often.”

“How can I measure results?”

“Am I just wasting my time?”

Anyone who has launched a blog knows that it can be a bit of a nerve-racking experience. I mean… you kind of have to put yourself out there. Whether you go full life story or limit your blogging to a professional focus – you’re still delivering it openly for the world to judge.

People may say they don’t care, but I don’t buy it… they care. I haven’t seen any eager volunteers for the crappy blogger award – although, I’m sure most of us “bloggers” have deserved it from time to time.

When I accepted the position with Rackspace® to head up our employment branding initiatives, I was presented with a whole new set of concerns. It was no longer about me and how I wanted to build and convey my message – there were co-workers (Rackers), customers and shareholders to keep in mind. Pressing the “Publish” button took on a whole new meaning.

Over the past year, my work has been heavily focused on figuring out how to build and guide a social strategy based on a foundation of authenticity. It occurred to me early on that sharing anything less than a true picture of reality would be more harmful than helpful in this new and extremely connected world.

The process of fully grasping this approach and making it useful have been extremely interesting, sometimes challenging and, overall, very rewarding.

As I prepare for TalentNet Live this weekend and Social Recruiting Summit next month, I’m reminded of all the many journeys that have led up to now. I’m excited

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to share the many lessons I’ve learned and collaborate with all of the other practitioners and eager minds in attendance!

Let us not forget how fun and interesting this can be. Remember your “Wow!” moment and go share it with someone else who can join in the excitement.

When did it click for you?

Photo Credit, deanmeyersnet

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