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The Benefits and Drawbacks of a Social Media Presence

Increasingly, people look to social media to learn about and stay connected with businesses and organizations. VR agencies can take advantage of social media platforms to communicate with consumers and highlight their business partners.  However, managing social media is a commitment which requires time and active participation. The benefits and considerations of having a social media presence need to be evaluated before dedicating resources to maintaining online platforms.

Benefits of a Social Media Presence

Frequent contact between consumers and VR counselors improves VR outcomes (Ipsen & Goe, 2016, summary of findings) and social media can provide another avenue for communication.  Regular posts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook can keep a job search in the front of a consumer’s mind.

Further, social media can be used to share practical tips and strategies in a friendly and conversational way, which may make consumers more receptive to the information. Examples of relevant VR related content include posts on job search strategies, interview tips, job fair information, etc.  Our post 8 Things to Remember when Posting to Twitter shares examples of engaging and relevant content created by Georgia VR.

Social media can also be used to post inspirational material for anyone or posts can be targeted specifically to people in a job search.  Creating content that applies to the general public is a good marketing strategy to promote the services VR offers.

Posting employment success stories is another way to highlight successful partnerships between consumers, employers and VR.  Offering to highlight employment partners on social media platforms is a great way to recognize the businesses VR agencies partner with.  Nebraska VR has created some videos to highlight success stories which are posted on their YouTube channel.

Things to Consider with Social Media

Organizations that participate in social media will tell you that maintaining an online presence is time-intensive and can’t be done haphazardly.  Content needs to be created, responses need to be monitored and addressed, and the general look and feel of social media needs to be maintained and updated.  These responsibilities require that part or all of someone’s job is managing social media outlets.  An organization considering social media needs to be thoughtful and committed to allocating appropriate resources to maintain an online presence.

If an agency commits to social media, goals should be set and outcomes measured.  Agencies will want to consider: How many views make a post successful?  How website traffic be monitored?  How many people need to be engaged in the social media efforts to generate adequate content to make it worthwhile?  How is “buzz’ going to be measured?  Agencies should consider creating metrics to measure success as well as an exit strategy if maintaining a social media presence isn’t worthwhile.

A social media policy needs to be created and shared with staff which addresses the following scenarios:

  • When is an organization going to delete comments or block users?
  • How are online guidelines going to be shared with users and administered?
  • How is an agency going to respond to negative posts?
  • Can staff members have and maintain social media accounts as a representative of the agency?

See Responding to Negative Posts on Social Media for more information.

Social media has the potential to offer additional avenues of communication with consumers.  Posts that highlight relevant information can help individuals with their job search.  However, before leaping in, encourage your agency to thoughtfully consider a plan that addresses the time commitment social media requires as well as policies that outline how to proceed if things go off the rails.

References:

Ipsen, C. & Goe, R. (2016). Factors associated with consumer engagement and satisfaction with Vocational Rehabilitation.  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 44, 85-96.

Photo via VisualHunt

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