Why Social Media and HR go together like PB and J

Why Social Media and HR go together like PB and J

There’s no doubt that there is a lot of fear about social media, especially for HR professionals. I get it. But there is such magic that can be created when social media is done right. And when I think of what makes social media “right”, I think it’s a perfect fit for HR. Like peanut butter and jelly.

Think of the Domino’s Pizza turnaround story. Domino’s listened and engaged with its customers on twitter, faced the complaints about terrible pizza head on, and re-created their recipe and their experience.

And then there’s the Old Spice campaign. Old Spice had Isaiah Mustafa answer questions posted on twitter and Facebook in Youtube videos, creating connections with fans worldwide, and becoming the most watched youtube channel. Oh – and also selling a lot of Old Spice body wash!

Another example is Disney’s Facebook page. Disney stays true to their values of creating magic for their guests by inspiring their fans with pics and videos showcasing magical moments from their movies and culture, and engaging them with questions. And they have over 30 million fans on Facebook that love what they do.

When I look at these successful social media campaigns, I think that successful social media is all about Listening, Connecting and Engaging.

Then I ask:

Who is it in organizations that is best at listening, engaging, and connecting?


Human Resources!

So to me, it’s a given that Social Media and HR go together like PB and Jelly, bananas and Nutella, or pizza and wings (and a lot of other food-based analogies 😉 )

What do you think? Isn’t it time for HR to get over their fear of social media and help their organizations embrace it to drive success?


  1. February 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    This sounds great, but I'm wondering where to begin? It seems like HR people shouldn't suddenly go "friend" their employees on Facebook. I haven't seen the "Listening" or "Engaging" part of LinkedIn work as effectively as they could. And if you start a work-specific social network (such as Yammer), are people really going to use it? Would love to hear others' ideas on how to use social media effectively at the HRBP/generalist level to "Listen, Connect, & Engage" with employees more.

    Reply »
    • Pam (Author)
      February 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Michelle, Great questions! I agree - HR shouldn't be "friending" employees on Facebook, and most HR people can do much better listening and engaging on LinkedIn. There are some great examples of engaged groups on LinkedIn though - the Social Business Minds group led by Elizabeth Lupfer is a great one. As for platforms like Yammer, I think you have to give employees a reason to go there or else, to your point, they won't use it. One example I've seen of very effective use is at an insurance company in Montreal. Mila Araujo (@milaspage on twitter) started using Yammer within her insurance claims group, and has found a huge improvement in efficiency and teamwork. It started as a place for her team to ask and answer questions so that they would be easily accessible in the future, but has become a place to recognize peers and communicate in a variety of ways. It's the first place her team looks now. But the key was that she forced them for the first few days to go there with their questions, rather than answer them in person, thus giving them a need to use it. As for HR, I can see uses like directing people to Yammer to ask policy questions, using it to welcome new team members, to collaborate on documents, and to publicly recognize people. Thanks so much for commenting - I, too, would love to hear other ideas and challenges! Let's continue the discussion.

      Reply »
  2. February 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I agree with you 100% Pam. I am consistantly reminding people that social media isn't just an avenue to "worry about employees wasting their time." They can do just as much of that by sitting at their desk and staring into space as they dream of the vacation they most would like to have. Yes, I know we have all done that. Social media is not the cause of time being wasted, it is just another avenue of communication that is used in today's global economy. Don't block your staff from using it, instead engage your employees through it and teach them about the responsible ways to use these tools. I often relate it to the "brain to mouth filter" that we learn as we grow up in life. It seems now we need to extend the "brain to finger filter" beyond email before we hit the send button and consider what we are about to say before hitting the tweet, blog, upload, post or whatever the new buttons are called and HR is often the team of people who excel at making others aware. Keep up the great work! Colin Finlay

    Reply »
  3. January 7, 2013 at 7:16 am

    [...] Why Social Media and HR Go Together Like PB and J [...]

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