James Mayes

Blog: Content, Huh! What is it good for?

In Community, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting on July 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

It’s been a busy year for events so far (see here for details) – and a constant stream of conferences, un-conferences and tweet-ups make it easier to spot changing trends in the market.  I’ve spoken previously in a couple of video interviews about the changing client dynamic for Social Recruiting – the appetite seems to be increasing, there’s noticeably less concern over brand risk than there was two years ago, everyone seems to accept that you can’t simply broadcast jobs, there must be something more.

Significant progress then? Yes, but there’s more to do. While most now accept the need for content, it seems only a small percentage give appropriate consideration to the purpose of that content. For example, in a recent panel debate, I heard the view that community building on a new platform for a specific purpose simply won’t work because users won’t return. A position such as this gives no recognition to the value of content.

Take news sites – there are a number I regularly read (recruiting, technology, current affairs, etc.). From my point of view, I have virtually no interaction with the other users on that site – yet from the site manager’s point of view, it’s fair to say a community of like-minded people with similar interests has been assembled, which can subsequently be put to service in various ways (most often, to generate advertising revenue). True community? Not to my mind, but I can see how the argument is constructed and it certainly demonstrates content is the driver.

So how else can / should content be used? From a professional perspective, I’m interested in developmental content. I’ve written before on the rejection aspect of recruitment (here and here) and the negative impact on a company’s brand – making learning materials available online is potentially one way to help redress this – whilst also setting us on a new path of actually improving the availability of educational material available to all.

I also see efforts to build community site builds where the community itself seems unwilling to speak.  This also, I’d say, is an opportunity to consider the type of content.  Maybe your community is nervous, or feel they need permission? Ask them a question – it implicitly encourages discussion. Better still, ask what they want – educate yourself AND get the dialogue going.

I suppose the best summary of this comes from a comedy routine a few years back, delivered by the surreal (and quite magnificent) Bill Bailey. When deconstructing his approach to writing a sketch, he’d ask himself what the required level of mirth was, and work backwards. Clearly, you’ll have to go find the DVD if you want the laughs, but the approach, I think, is valid!

Moderation in all things

 

Oh – for those who recall a previous blog where I railed AGAINST purely strategic content – this one is the balancer!

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