Social Media: Summer Student’s Friend or Foe?

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The Power of Social Media

social media friend

Social media is a powerful tool to help create word of mouth –especially amongst Gen Y. As a marketer, I know there is nothing more powerful than authentic positive word of mouth. But we all know that bad news versus good news travels a lot faster.

Don’t be a social media lesson learned like HMV learned the hard way last year. If you didn’t hear about it then, a hashtag #hmvXFactorFiring gained global trending. An intern who managed the @hmvtweets handle was being laid off and live tweeted the experience.

You need to be careful about who you empower to manage your accounts and represent your brand online. It isn’t just official channels that are important – most social media properties are search engine optimized and thus what others say about your brand matters too.

Research shows that 40% of Gen Y think that blogging about their workplace is acceptable. If they are happy, or unhappy, about work, many don’t think before sharing on their blog, Facebook or twitter accounts.

In managing summer students, and new grads overall, it is important that you educate employees about what is and isn’t acceptable to share via online mediums.

3 Tips to Make Social Media Your Employment Branding Friend

1. Educate Employees on Your Social Media Policy

If you don’t have a social media policy – get one immediately. This document should outline your company’s intention for social media use, goal for employee’s use, and consequence for employee improper use.

2. Train Employees on Social Media Best Practices

You can’t dictate that student’s use social media to help build up your employment brand; however, you can educate them on social media and branding best practices.

You can also train on them on what types of social sharing is benefiting to your employment brand. Then it’s over to them to use their new knowledge in a way that feels authentic and appropriate to them each individually. This is a great way to educate your students and get them involved in your student employment brand. You can also translate successful summer students into campus brand ambassadors once they head back onto campus on the fall. Read my proven tips and tricks in building campus ambassador programs HERE.

It is also possible for you to create internal branding opportunities that can then be shared externally. For example, interviews with summer students for your company newsletter, intranet, or company website/Facebook page is a great marketing technique. Once posted, I can also only imagine they would want to share it with their world.

3. Gather Real Feedback for Marketing Materials

Gathering footage throughout the summer work term is a great way to build a fresh student recruiting video. Filming key company events like employee forums, or social events (like golf tournaments), interviews with senior leaders, and interviews with students can all generate good film content.

Remember that successful videos should feel unscripted and authentic. Also, changing your background every 7 seconds helps keeps your viewer engaged and keep your video short – under 90 seconds.

If you launch a new video for fall campus recruiting via social media outlets, having your past students help cross promote it is a great way for them to share their awesome summer experience and help drive your employment brand. It never hurts to ask them to share it once the new material is live.

Friend or Foe:

If used appropriately and with the proper training, social media can absolutely be a marketing friend.

However, without training and proper guidelines on appropriate use, it can be an awful foe. Set your students up for success with a little pre-thinking and some training.

Need Help?

If you need help with social media training – let us know, we can absolutely help!

Chelsea Newton
Chelsea is known as a dynamic and engaging talent consultant and professional speaker. As a Certified Executive Coach, she is extremely passionate about helping people realize both their goals and full potential. Chelsea has worked in 12 countries around the world helping Fortune 500 companies recruit, train, develop, and motivate top talent using cutting edge communication techniques and social media. She is currently developing top talent in the oil sands and speaking across Canada as the founder of Talent Formula.

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