Last week, I drove all the way from Lombardy Road to good ol’ Lombard, Illinois for the Chicago Talent Acquisition Summit. Though I’d prefer to withhold this useful information & remain more knowledgeable than the rest, my experience dictates that I share my words of wisdom (or lack thereof).
Scene One: Winnie the Pooh with dark sunglasses is smoking a cigarette by the window. Man with a girls’ soccer uniform on is playing beer pong. Woman with cheetah ears and tail is dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Scene Two: A woman with Uggs on and a colorful scarf appears in the doorway. A girl follows with high-waisted jeans, a turtle neck and sweater vest. I thought to myself, that woman is clearly having a mid-life crisis and I’ll totally lend my September Glamour magazine to this fashion-deprived girl. I try to act natural but almost strain my neck for further analysis.
When unfamiliar people enter a room, no one is quite sure how to behave or what to say. Facebook—a previously, purely personal place (say that ten times fast)—became a professional place overnight. Employers who infiltrated the social network discovered negative comments about their companies or less than glamorous photos of their Employee of the Month. Obviously, hoopla regarding scandalous pictures and rude wall posts are not ideal for PR. The resolution was (and still is) to publish articles regarding an “appropriate” Facebook profile, create company policies about YouTube use, and talk about guidelines for proper conduct online. As a result of this, employees and candidates are afraid to be themselves in online communities because they could get fired or may be disqualified from a position. Being a social media strategist has not exempted me from this fear.
During my sophomore year of college, I was using my procrastination skills to avoid an English essay when I logged onto Facebook to stalk a few of my favorite people. When I logged on, I was mortified to discover a “News Feed” on the main page that publicized all the content I posted and all the actions I was making in real-time. Panic set in: Oh no, was Adam (i.e. cute guy from Econ 101) going to know that I had his profile page open for almost ten minutes during lunch?!?
Amidst this momentous (and slightly traumatic) event in the lives of Facebook veterans like myself, I could never had predicted what I’d be doing just few years later. Ironically enough, it is now my job to be on Facebook and carry out the social media strategy for my client. Good thing Mark Zuckerberg promised us that no one would ever know how long you were gazing at someone else’s profile and I decided not to deactivate my account. However, Facebook and I almost broke up a few years later when I called my mother for our weekly phone conversation. She started by saying “So I was on Facebook…”
WHAT!?!? You were on WHAT!?!?
A birthday is the most exciting day of the year in the life of a Facebook user. Grade school classmates, co-workers, high school friends, random people I’ve only interacted with once (or twice), my mom’s friends, college acquaintances , and a few cousins will fill my email inbox with notifications from Facebook. I will feel appreciated and loved by the people saying “Happy Birthday, Ali!” and “Miss Webster, have a great bday.” My bestest of friends (and potential stalkers) will wish me a happy birthday on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, via text message, email and possibly create a YouTube video in my honor…
Yes, blogoversary is actually a word. I’m fairly certain that I’m using it in the proper context.
On January 6th, 2010, my first blog post was published on Recruitalicious. That’s when my love affair with writing and imagined stardom began… Since launching Miss Early Bird in April, I’ve managed to write (at least) one post per month for the last year. Although I promised to focus on “careers and social media” I trended towards the “thought-provoking” (I hope) and embarrassingly personal. By fall, I was so addicted to seeing my name in print that I submitted a post to Women of HR.
Tami Sweeney and I struck up a conversation about social media at a Brewer’s tailgate. I told her about my year long adventure as community manager of social media recruiting for my client. In response, she shared her rather traumatic story of breaking Facebook etiquette rules in front of her mortified daughter. She said to me, “Ali, I need your help with my business.”
Tami is the owner of Life Productions, a video production firm that specializes in marketing videos for businesses, schools and non-profit organizations. With business partner, Louise Berg, the firm showcases their portfolio on YouTube and receives numerous recommendations from former and current clients on LinkedIn. After reviewing this Milwaukee, Wisconsin based company’s social media presence, I responded “Tami, you don’t need me for anything.”
Other organizations can learn from Life Productions’ example: