Pennabarkers are running social media workshiops in different parts of the country for HR professionals, to help them understand where it fits with their working lives. I attended the Bristol workshop but today and tomorrow they are in London and Jon Davies, Digital Stategist, gives a great demonstration and talk about the importance and impact of social media. I’ve gathered some of his tips below for you:

Jon has a wide definition of social media. It would certainly include this site as we are a community site here, and there is the ability to have a conversation with contributors and other members. However, he wasn’t just there to talk about social media in general but how it relates to HR and employers, particularly when it comes to employer brand and recruitment.

Firstly, understand: social media does affect HR. Social media can have a huge impact on your employer brand – and you try recruiting and engaging employees for an organisation with a reputation dragged through the online mud. The worrying thing about social media is that it can feel completely out of a company’s control and impossible to regulate. But actually, that’s not always true.

The first thing to do is search for your brand on the social media sites. Certainly you should tackle the big three – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Consider FourSquare and YouTube and check Google – are you listed on Google Maps? If not, why not? Remember, news stories will be archived and appear again and again so if you’ve had bad news make sure you have some positive coverage too. Also think about paid for ad-words – most social media marketing is cheap and ad words are cost effective – you only pay per click. Sign up for Google alerts on your company name and key phrases and make sure your website has some optimisation. Think from the viewpoint of the audience you’re aiming for.

Taking back control
This is effectively seeding the internet with the message you want to put out. So create videos and put them on your YouTube stream. They don’t need to be highly professional, they can be cheaply made but can show your best side. Plus, YouTube is owned by Google. Google indexes videos highly (ensure you write an accurate description to help people find your content). They will increase your space on the front page of Google.

Why should you bother?

From a  recruitment perspective alone, because your candidates will search for you online. You need to know what they are seeing and control it as best you can. Think about who else will search for you – what do you want them to see?

Jon’s Golden Rules

To find out more go to or click here for details on the workshops.