As social media begins to envelop every part of a corporate organization, it becomes important that every employee begins to have a certain level of literacy in using social media tools. This becomes even more important in outward-facing rules where “social business” is changing the way companies engage with present and potential customers over Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogs. At some point, just as companies emerged that used the Internet as their platform (Amazon, Netflix, etc.), we will see new companies arise that purely use social media as their platform. And when that happens, it is a natural that they will only be finding and recruiting people over social media, because they only want social media savvy users to work for them.
You think this is way off in the future? Think again: this is already starting. Here’s a case study to chew on for thought.
As you know I like to blog about events going on in social media in Japan. As Twitter is still relatively new there, it is fascinating to see how a different culture starts adopting new technologies in their own way. And because I speak and read Japanese fluently, I can add value in providing you with information that you may not be able to find anywhere else in English on the Internet. Enough said.
This blog post is about EC Navi, a Japanese company who’s product and platform is the Internet: They run a price comparison site with links to E-commerce sites similar to PriceGrabber.com. Think about it: their customers are solely on the Internet and using the Internet to make their purchases. If everyone on the Internet is starting to spend most of their time on social media, doesn’t it make sense that E-Commerce sites like EC Navi (and PriceGrabber.com as well) will need a social media presence and need employees who understand how to utilize sites like Twitter? Of course.
So it came as no surprise to me when EC Navi announced that they were only taking college graduate applicants who 1) applied over Twitter and 2) had at least 10 followers. Only having 10 followers shows that it is not a popularity contest, but proof that you are actually utilizing Twitter and interacting with others. And applying over Twitter was merely sending an @Reply to the CEO saying that you were interested. You were then invited to a seminar to learn more about the company, and after that process 10 applicants became future employees of EC Navi.
The CEO of EC Navi, Shinsuke Usami (follow him on Twitter: @usapon), was quoted as saying that he did this as part of an experiment but was extremely pleased by the number and high quality of the candidates. He mentioned that he thought of doing this for two reasons:
- He recently held an event for college seniors to educate them on the exciting world of the Internet and advertised it only through Twitter. He was pleased with the number and calibre of candidates who attended this seminar and immediately thought he could take it one step further.
- He thought it would be a great social media marketing experiment.
In our United States, we may have discriminatory laws that prevent employers from only accepting candidates from a specific Internet site. But the fact that social media becomes more important to companies is not going to fade away. And as we all become better and more proficient in our uses of social media, it is only a matter of time before those that use social media have an advantage over those that don’t when looking for a job.
There is also a message here to companies: experimentation is an important component of social media marketing. Obviously, you need to have some literacy as to the etiquette and best practices of each platform so that you don’t spam social media users like in my recent case study of UCC Coffee. But if you have an in-house social media strategist or engage with a social media consultant like myself, think up a way of experimenting with an idea and implementing it to see what the outcome is. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results!
Have you heard of any companies exclusively hiring people over various social media channels? Has your company attempted a social media marketing experiment that had unexpected results? Please share!