The Social Media Volunteers #MTSHRM #TNSHRM13

Social media is now part of the HR profession

Social Media Outposts Social Media Outposts (Photo credit: the tartanpodcast)

I’m very excited to be part of the Social Media Pit Crew for the  2013 Tennessee SHRM Conference.   It’s always an honor and a privelege to be asked to participate in an event like this.  For me, this will be the third time I have been asked to be a member of the inital social media efforts at a state conference.  In years past, I have been a part of social media teams at state conferences in Florida, Ohio, and Illinois.

Will I see you at the 2013 Tennessee State Conference?

Looking at what Chris Fields and Lyn Hoyt putting together for Nashville, I can hardly wait for September to get here!  You should be there too!

So what makes going to a state conference as part of a social media team so awesome, espec ially wheni it is the first foray into the wild and wooly world of  HR social technology?

It’s the people, the learning, and the networking – pretty much the same reasons that people who don’t use social media much go to the conference. 

Back in 2009, I was part of the first blogging team at HR Florida.  I got invited to serve on that team because of the individual work I did in tweeting out information and sharing the event via social as a 2008 conference attendee.  In 2010, I became a volunteer leader for HR Florida at the state level, serving as a member of the Program committee, and the leader of the Social Technology team for three straight years.  That led to speaking opportunties at other state conferences, and a volunteer leader position for SHRM Natiional, and many other opportunities too numerous to bore you with here. 

I share this experience not to trumpet my own awesomeness, but rather to quickly illustrate that something as banal and mundane as “tweeting” can actaully lead to transformative moments in your professional career.  None of these opportunities would have come my way without the connections I made through social media.  People I met via Twitter like Sharlyn Lauby, China Gorman, Carol McDaniel, Dave Ryan and Steve Browne have become tremendous professional connections, and opened doors for me in a way that I never expected.

That’s why I volunteer my personal time to attend state conferences and do social media at these conferences.  By paying this time forward, I hope that someone out there in Tennessee will receive the same kind of mentoring and opportunity that I did.  If you are attending the Tennessee conference, please be say hello to me and the rest of the social media pit crew if you see any us. (click through the link for videos from the whole crew)

A Social media primer for SHRM Chapter Leaders

A few years ago, I put together a primer of tips for SHRM state and local chapter leaders looking to get started in social media.  It included the following advice:

Getting your chapter started

  • Look to other chapters for best practices.  HR Florida is a great case study, if I do say so myself.  I would also include Illinois, Ohio, and Louisiana.
  • Consider getting started by adopting with at least one platform if you are not ready to go full tilt.
  • Blogs are great for sharing information
  • Facebook is great for conversation / events
  • LinkedIn groups offers a semi-private platform
  • Develop policy and guidelines
  • You must believe, and lead by example.
  • Let your “chapter”  hair down a little, and have some fun!
  • You must view your audience as a community.
  • Don’t treat your social media platforms like a bulletin board used only for publishing announcements.  If you do, it will fail.
  • Help is available!
  • All SHRM chapters should have a social media person on their leadership team.

 Today I would also add the importance of developing lasting partnerships with sponsors.  SHRM National has built a great relationship with Dice, the Hive and a kickball charity fundraiser that raised more than $11,000 for No Kid Hungry.  Possibilities are unlimited, if you use your imagination.

Special thanks to MissionPoint Health Partners for their conference sponsorship, and CBIZ for providing the social media sponsorship at the 2013 Tennessee SHRM Conference and Exposition.

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