Social Media: Relationships vs. Advertising

With the rise of social media it has become necessary to review the dynamics underlying the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of social media recruiting.

First and foremost, the basis for social media is a relationship, or series of relationships. (That’s why we call it “social” media). Generally, relationships are formed between friends, neighbors, family, or others with similar interests. But the key to these networks is the relationship. It’s the basis for social behavior, and social media.

Of course, the goal of social media recruiting is to leverage relationships to source candidates, but recruiters may focused on advertising they risk killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Advertising is not a social behavior, it’s anti-social. If you’re forming a group and you want it to be around awhile, there has to be something more interesting than advertising to keep members engaged.

Social behavior and advertising are at odds. Advertising is the antidote to social relationships. Just ask a door-to-door evangelist. Advertising in social media recruiting is no different. To the extent it’s necessary (and for recruiters it’s probably unavoidable), advertising must be done with discretion.

People join a party for social reasons. Not because they need to see more advertising.

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