Using Social Media to do your job

I have looked. And looked.

But I can’t find it anywhere.

Using Social Media for doing your job – a complete list!

Let me backup for a moment. You see, the genesis for this blog came from discussions that my boss and I have had surrounding the business uses of social media. I claim there are a ton of very good business uses for social media, like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and others. However, I can’t find enough information on the Internet to support my claim.

His claim is that while he can see some basic uses for social media – customer service and brand awareness monitoring being two of them – he isn’t buying that there are many more (see his blog Social Media for Business – Walk Cautiously).

I know they are out there and wanted to get a list together to prove my point.

So, the purpose of this blog is to solicit those areas of social media that you, our readers, are actually using to help you do your job. I want to hear about all of them, so please don’t be shy.

To get you started, here are some examples of real-world uses of social media in the workplace – some you’ve heard, some you probably haven’t. The first three are, for the most part, what most of us think about when using social media for business:

  1. Customer Service Issues – this is the easy one that everyone has heard about. Companies have employees that monitor social networks for problems, bad publicity, etc. and use those tools to rapidly respond to and correct them to maximise customer service. Here are a few good blogs that we’ve written on those topics: Queuing Tweets in the Contact Center, Measuring Success with Social Media.
  2. Sales/Marketing – sales teams everywhere are filtering through Twitter and LinkedIn looking for possible leads. Daily you can find prospects actively looking for vendors in LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

    Marketing departments are actively looking for ways to build brand awareness and to monitor their brand perception. Tools are being built daily to try and consolidate the chatter in the social world into management reports to help marketers manage their brands.

  3. Employee recruiting – LinkedIn is used by recruiting firms everywhere (and managers like myself) who are looking for the best candidate for a job. As for me, if a resume comes across my desk, I always check LinkedIn to see if I can find more information. Just recently, I found different information there than I did on the resume and it caused me question whether I had accurate information. Additionally, many of heard of stories where job candidates have tweeted something negative about the company they were interviewing with – see How to Tweet Your Way out of a Job.

    However, be careful as the jury is still out on this – see Background Checks and Social Networking Sites.

  4. Skip Tracing – ah, here’s a good one. If you owe money, collections firms are now using social media to track you down. They are looking in LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, FaceBook and others to see if they can find some trace of you in order to collect the money.
  5. Police Investigations – Electronic CSI! Trails can easily be followed through social networking sites in order to catch the bad guy. See Police Use Facebook to Fight Crime, Talk to Residents.
  6. Journalism Research – simply read this article and you’ll get the picture – see Why we don’t trust Devil Mountain….
  7. Pushcart Vendors – my boss actually brought this one to my attention and I loved it! Pushcart vendors in major cities are using Twitter to tweet new locations, when they’ve opened their cart for business, specials, etc. See A List of Street Food Vendors Using Twitter.
  8. Hailing a Taxi Cab – Check this out. A London taxi company "tweetlondoncab" is using Twitter to electronically hail a taxi cab as well as to update their drivers on road conditions and traffic. See TweetALondonCab.

Now it is your turn. If you are using Social Media for your job outside of the ones above, or if you know someone who is, please tell me about it! I’d love to hear it!

Tim Passios