Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Who’s Watching You? Waseem Saddique Investigates How Businesses Use Social Media

Social media usage for business is often perceived to involve promoting products or services in a bid to generate as much consumer attention as possible in order to drive traffic to a particular website and improve sales. However, did you know that businesses also use social media for gathering Intel?

Waseem Saddique comments: “ In a recent survey conducted by jobs board ‘CareerBuilder’, it was discovered that 37% of businesses use social media to pre-screen potential employees. Suddenly that Facebook photo of you roaming around the streets with a cone on your head may not seem as funny.”

Within that 37%, a further 65% refer to Facebook as their primary source of information for assessing the suitability of a prospective job candidate for a vacancy within their business.
Social media has opened so many doors for business leaders, not just in terms of online marketing in order to promote the products and/or services of their company, but social media also allows businesses to gather vital information on consumers, effectively spy on business rivals and determine the employability of potential job candidates.

The Social Selection Process

What do employers look for on social media sites when pre-assessing job candidates?

Waseem Saddique comments: “The survey conducted by CareerBuilder reveals a number of interesting facts.”
·         12% of HR Managers use social networking sites to identify reasons NOT to hire an individual
·         34% of business leaders stated that they had discovered something on a social media site that influenced them not to employ someone
·         Hiring managers are put off potential job candidates who refer badly to a previous employer
·         A minority of business leaders also said they would not consider a candidate if an individual does not ‘write’ well on a social media page

What do businesses look for on social media sites when promoting a product or service?

Waseem Saddique states: “In short everything. The plan is to get into your life and social media offers them that opportunity. The majority of social media users are far from cautious when posting information. This allows businesses to gather all the Intel they need in order to construct a successful online marketing campaign that targets the desired audience.”

Spending habits, hobbies, interests, daily activities and a whole host of other topics are commented upon by consumers in their billions as they share life interactively on a worldwide platform. For businesses the world is made a smaller place in terms of gathering essential information that allows them to understand their consumers.

Business Wars and Social Media   
However, it’s not just consumers that are targeted by businesses,  such a thing exists, known in the corporate world, as the Social War of business. Waseem Saddique states: “This is effectively a business head-to-head where rivals track what their competitors are up to, via social media.”

Sometimes it’s not pretty, whilst the majority of businesses ‘play fair’ in sharing ideas and recommending services, there are a small minority of companies that use social networking to slander rival organisations.

In conclusion it’s worth noting then that social media has more of an impact on your life than you may realise. So before you post that that comment or picture that you’re probably thinking about posting as you’re reading this, ask yourself, who’s watching and is it appropriate? It could define your future!