Although 10 years have now elapsed since the worldwide downturn of 2008, a sense of caution persists. Despite the fabled green shoots of recovery, there is still a widespread attitude that belts need to remain tight and the prevailing focus is to keep undertaking tasks as economically as possible. Whether this means putting certain jobs out to tender or simply paying close attention to ways of streamlining performance, the defining ethos of the post-recession world is to remain financially vigilant.
Streamlined HR functions
This has also impacted areas of social media. More and more people are turning to the convenience of the Internet when it comes to forging relationships. Sites like LinkedIn are the ‘go to’ platform for business communities. This presents an excellent backdrop for establishing connections, enabling a diverse range of professionals to build and maintain lists of contacts. Vacancies can be advertised, while HR managers are able to browse the CVs of scores of suitable candidates for any position without having to even go through the process and expense of placing formal adverts anywhere.
Part of being successful in business involves being able to juggle a diverse range of plates at any one time. But so much technology is designed with that functionality in mind, enabling previously onerous tasks such as synchronizing calendars or scheduling meetings to be conducted within a few clicks of a keyboard. One area of any organization that is benefiting from social media is Human Resources.
Tapping into social media platforms, whether that’s sifting through suitably qualified personnel on LinkedIn or posting adverts on Facebook or Twitter are key examples of how technology can trim the expenses of any enterprise, reaching out to clients in a way that would have been any personnel department’s dream a few years ago.
The rising popularity of relationship sites
Matching the available technology to economize activity is apparent in many other aspects of social media, noticeably the world of online relationships. Dating sites are everywhere these days. Previously seen as a last resort for singles who had been unsuccessful after placing adverts in the lonely hearts columns of their local newspapers, the average online dating service has moved with the times.
They have not only risen in popularity, they are widely seen as a far more convenient – and economical – alternative to traditional matchmaking. What’s more, they offer a range of services other than matching compatible single individuals. They offer free chat room facilities where social connections can be made with people from all walks of life. With a lot of sites there is no sign-up fee, so within minutes of logging into your own account, you could be participating in a group discussion with a variety of interesting people. Since there are no geographical boundaries on the Internet, you could quite easily find yourself picking up valuable tips about market trends in different parts of the globe. Of course, rather than being an actual business brainstorming session, this will be a much more informal affair, perhaps involving a degree of flirting.
Social media is geared towards being as user-friendly as possible. There are obvious risks in rolling out sites that are often harnessed for more frivolous interaction in a business environment, but it’s up to management to define demarcation areas, emphasizing the binding corporate rules about who gets to access these sites within the context of their designated roles. For all other personnel, access could be restricted to downtime, when they are clocked-out. But as a networking tool, they are a priceless resource for any organisation.