Social HR and The Big 3: Do You Want Some Milk With That Too?

By now, most HR Pros are on the social media bandwagon.  If you are on the wagon, get off for 2 minutes and read further.  Who out there uses Hootsuite? You know – the app that will manage multiple social profiles and make them all homogeneous.  Combining your social media messages may seem smart, but homogenization is for your milk – not your social accounts.

Skipped that day in chemistry? Let me catch you up.

Milk homogenization is a process used to make milk not separate so that it has the same consistency throughout. This is why it tastes so good with your Oreos. Many social apps are doing the same thing. They allow you to create one message and share it across The Big 3 (e.g., Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn) and other social channels so that your message is consistent or the same. Homogenize your milk, not your social audiences.

So why are HR pros homogenizing their social accounts? My hunch is that they were bred early in their HR trench careers to make everything standard, fair and consistent. HR people have taking a similar mindset to social by wanting to standardize their brand messages across The Big 3. I have to continually address this mindset amongst senior HR leaders who want to dive into social.  News flash…your audiences on the Big 3 do not want standard.  Enter a simple analogy: When you turn on ESPN, you want to watch sports, when you turn on the FoodNetwork, you want to be dazzled by Alton Brown’s infinite knowledge of beets.

Social is about developing deep and meaningful relationships with people that enable them to know what you or your company has to offer. Don’t overthink it, as Sourcing Pro Kelly Dingee  points out. Keep your messages real and simple, but avoid being one-dimensional. It’s a fine line.

Doing it the real way takes a combination of patience, innovation and energy. Patience because you have to say the same thing over and over again. Innovation because you have to say the same thing in a different way over and over again. Energy because you need to focus your effort on managing your time with social, not money. Social networking across the Big 3 explained in HR talk might look like this:

Twitter: I’m hiring #digtal #marketing people

Facebook: I like digital marketing people

LinkedIn: I want to find someone with skills in digital marketing

Call me naïve, but Hootsuite or whatever application you are using can’t break down your messages across the Big 3, as shown above. It is up to you – not Hootsuite – to patiently understand your audience on each channel, to seek input from that audience to build more innovative messages and to manage your energy and time spent on each. Pick one or two and hone your craft. Exercise a combination of patience, innovation and energy comes in.

As an HR pro, lead by example with social. Marketers, brand builders and other people are watching us….

FOT Background Check

Ben Martinez is a self-proclaimed family guy, exerciser, and HR journeyman. He has successfully worked in various HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (specifically Pepsi, Sears, Honeywell, and Energizer Holdings Inc.). Currently he is the VP of HR for HireVue, where he works with incredible people in the HR technology space who have rallied around a cause to bring HR out of the dark ages. A fantasy sports hater and avid sports watcher, Ben wrote the book on coffee networking and can be found anywhere, so if you are around the area, hit him up for a cup. His home base is in the Salt Lake City, Utah area.


  1. Ben
    I actually had this same argument with a guy named Chris Hughes – coworker of Mark Z. that homogenizing the messages across your communities dilutes the point of having communities and the conversations that you have in them.
    Now I do use Hootsuite to post messages across my communities, but I do customize them. If you don’t wants the point?

  2. Ben Martinez says:

    Kathleen— Yes. No customization will turn messages into spam. Cool that you have a 2nd degree connection to Mark Z. Love to hear his conversations about this topic. Even better…love to talk w/ an HR Pro at Facebook.

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