Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Don’t Want to Know What You Had For Dinner!

For 99% of those people that have never really used social media that I have spoken to have said something related to, “I Don’t Want to Know What You Had for Dinner”!  I have learned to accept this type of comment because it’s obviously a function of a well-known stereotype about social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and lack of knowledge about what social media really is and does. 

Yes social media is power, but so is learning…
Education, education and more education is so important to organizational success.  We all know this—it’s a no-brainer!  The point I will make here is that social media is 100% learnable, and anyone can use it, regardless of age, role in organization, income, background, etc… with this being said, those attending #ILSHRM12 this year will have the opportunity to take part in the Social Media Lab, which is all about learning and education. 

What is Social Media Lab?
The Lab will run throughout the conference, and will be accessible by any attendee.  There are two parts to the Lab.  The first part is the drop-in component, which allows any attendee at any time to drop into the Lab and speak one-on-one with a social media expert.  You can ask any question about social media; how it works, specific platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIN, or strategy questions about how the organizations you work for can integrate social media into the workplace, and into HR.  Take note, no question is a bad question, ever!

The second part is organized workshops that will take place during the conference breaks.  The topics that will be discussed are Twitter 101 and LinkedIN 101.  These short sessions will be facilitated by a social media expert, and the advantages of taking part in these organized sessions are the ability to learn from not only the facilitator but your peers. 

Make sure you take a look at the conference agenda at  Note that this URL is mobile accessible for those using Android, iPhone and Blackberry mobile devices. 

Why should you drop into the Social Media Lab, or even care about social media?
Think of social media as just another communications channel (albeit a VERY powerful one) that can be included as one of many organizational channels that are used to promote, sell, advocate, share and engage with target audiences.

Remember when email first arrived on the scene in business.  Initially most people resisted email because… well… it represented a change that forced people out of their comfort zones.  Fast forward 10+ years and we all can say that email drastically changed the nature of business.  Imagine if over the past 10 years you did not use email.  I’m not sure you would have been as effective, productive and invaluable to your organizations.  The same thing is happening with social media.  As soon as you create a Facebook page you have automatically joined the 1 billion users in a community that is 1/8 of the world’s population.  How can you afford not to be tapped into this massive community?  Using the example of Facebook, you now have instant access to a global network that you would NEVER have had access to if you were not strategically using Facebook as a business practice. 

Social media can be so impactful for employer brand awareness, talent attraction, employee engagement, productivity, internal employee communications, team-building, teamwork, performance management, employee retention and more. 

Case in Point!
I was a relatively early adopter to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN.  Early on I thought Facebook and Twitter were a waste of my time so I either deleted or cancelled my profiles, but then returned to them later on.  My network has grown exponentially in the past 5 years, and I attribute this growth primarily to social media.  I would never have had the opportunity to co-organize the Social Media Lab at ILSHRM if it were not for social media.  My current business, SocialHR would never have happened because I met my business partner, Geoff Webb on Twitter.  Simply put, social media has allowed me to connect with and cultivate amazing business relationships with people all over the world that I share mutual interests with.  This would NEVER have been possible if it were not for social media.  

I have worked with organizations to help them leverage social media in the workplace.  I have seen first-hand the impact that social media has had on their business results—results that surpassed anyone’s wildest dreams, and in places never imagined.  It’s been fantastic to see.

Meet the Volunteers
We have assembled an absolutely fantastic group of volunteers that will be working with you during the course of the conference.  They not only love teaching and educating, they love learning.  Each one of these speakers have worked within the human resources sector, and are leaders in social HR.

1.        Jeff Waldman—@JeffWaldmanHR
2.        Geoff Webb—@SocialHRGuy
3.        Susan Avello—@SusanAvello
4.        Dwane Lay—@DwaneLay
5.        Autumn McReynolds—@AutumnMcRey
6.        Jennifer McClure—@JenniferMcClure
7.        Salima Nathoo—@SocialSalima
8.        Kevin Grossman—@KevinWGrossman
9.        William Tincup—@WilliamTincup

I wish you all a fantastic #ILSHRM12 conference, and make every effort to drop by the Social Media Lab to talk social media.  We promise, we won’t be asking you what you had for dinner! 
About the Author:

Jeff Waldman is Founder SocialHRCamp, COO SocialHR
Jeff is an entrepreneur, ideator, social HR strategist and HR practitioner who has worked with a variety of organizations from start-ups to large multi-national corporations.  He currently works with organizations and their HR teams to strategically leverage social media to create and drive unparalleled business value.  
Jeff recently founded SocialHRCamp, the first-ever global HR UnConference, which provides HR practitioners around the world with an incredible experiential learning platform to kick into high gear their social HR journeys.  He is an avid blogger, speaker and advisor on topics relating to diversity, social HR, career management, personal branding and leadership.  

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