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Is Social Media Even Worth It for Job Seekers?

The future is social… a phrase that is spoken with so much authority and conviction by the so-called marketing visionaries that we blindly jump on the bandwagon to become social media savvies ourselves. But does it really benefit us in the long run?

Posted by Owen Faulkner, Trainee Recruiter, Thursday July 24 2014

Blog image_is social media worth it for job seekers

The future is social… a phrase that is spoken with so much authority and conviction by the so-called marketing visionaries that we blindly jump on the bandwagon to become social media savvies ourselves. But does it really benefit us in the long run?

Whether we welcome it with open arms or whether it’s simply an ineludible medium we acquiesce to in the interest of not looking like a complete technophobe, the presence of social media is becoming ever more prevalent. You may have a vast amount of followers that lull you into a false sense of achievement, but who really looks at those figures? Would it be obtusely optimistic to believe that even a small fraction of these followers translate to customers for your business?

Think, for just a second, how long social media has been around.  Although the introduction of the first social network in 1997, SixDegrees.com, is unknown to many, social media gained prominence after the birth of Facebook, followed by Twitter in 2004 and 2006, respectively.  In the past 10 years, it is safe to say social media is now everywhere. Despites what ‘experts’ say, however, social media isn’t vital for success; businesses have managed perfectly without it in the past. The success of your business will, and always will be, down to how effective you are at selling your particular service.  

The misinformed mind-set that “Oh, we have to be on social media because everyone else is”, can lead to an obsession. You’ll tweet and you’ll retweet and your follower count will flourish. You may believe you have become the ‘go-to guy’ for trends in your respective industry. And then, just as you have, other businesses will start following and retweeting, without really knowing why.

Imagine social media as a soapbox and a megaphone. Without a strong message, what does all this communication achieve? Not a lot. Attention, sure. But what is the worth of attention from an audience that doesn’t act upon it? Are they going to turn into customers if you are spewing out the same content as everyone else, simply regurgitating more of what we know with a different wording?

Whilst it can be argued its potential is largely overrated, social media marketing undoubtedly has its uses. But if you are to start using it, make certain you utilise it as a tool, rather than fall victim as a ‘tool’ of social media. Strategy is everything! Don’t post for the sake of posting. You aren’t going to ‘strike it rich’ by doing what everyone else does.

Unsurprisingly, with many of the ‘social media success stories’, the success itself is due to external factors. They may have an idea, strong enough that if pitched on a soapbox, the audience would be racing for the first opportunity to get involved or invest in their services. The success may also have been as simple as seeing an opportunity that no one else saw and milking it dry.

Hopefully you are starting to get the picture: social media is just another form of communication. Of course it has its benefits: the scope of it, and it’s capability to boost SEO and your overall online presence – but what is an online presence if you have nothing that sets you above the competition, bar followers on Twitter? Do you think customers are more interested in your followers or your product and expertise, especially in regards to a small business?

It is no secret that real world success is rooted in brand awareness, but to think social media engagement alone will bring the type of awareness that draws in consumers is a very close-minded view. Besides, brand awareness can best be achieved through other means. Sales, customer feedback and employee referral, or creative content that illustrates the value, insights and knowledge of your company, will go much further than any social networking post. Social media will compliment it, sure, but strategy – with a strike of creativity – is key.

The more you obsess over social media, the more you lose sight of the things that really matter. If, however, you offer something that no one else does, by all means share it with the world.

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