April #SHRMChat Recap


Our topic for the April #SHRMChat on Twitter was SHRM’s  recently unveiled Social Media Starter Kit. Look here if you need the theme and questions for the chat.  Our guest was the gracious Curtis Midkiff, who has been an enthusiastic supporter of #SHRMChat since the beginning.

We started with a discussion of Twitter, since that is the first tool listed and discussed in the Kit. Curtis explained that Twitter was addressed in the Kit first, because, according to his experience that is the platform that chapters and councils consistently want more information about.  The majority of the chatters decided that is likely because Twitter is hard to learn and hard to do. Some chatters felt that chapters shouldn’t plunge into Twitter without the guidance of someone who was already experienced in its use, which may prevent groups from embracing it totally or properly. But the chatters were, naturally, passionate about Twitter use that is done properly. One of the best things a chapter or council could use Twitter for is to drive engagement at events and meetings.

We moved onto LinkedIn, which also created a lot of difference of opinion from the chatters. Most of the chapters represented at SHRMChat were already using a LinkedIn group with varying degrees of success.  One of my favorite comments of the night came from Lyn Hoyt, Social Media Director for Middle Tennessee SHRM, who said that her chapter’s group was like a “bloated Rolodex.” Another chatter mentioned that their LI group broke down from “spam and drift.”  Chatters agreed that LinkedIn was the least engaging of the tools and that chapters and councils need to work hard to manage their group properly. Curtis mentioned that using a “velvet rope” could keep the spammers and outsiders out, while becoming an excellent tool to recruit new chapter members.

Facebook and blogging didn’t get as much attention, because chatters were still busy with Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook, in particular, suffered from a lack of discussion. Curtis did take time to mention that administrators of Facebook pages should check the insights frequently to see who is engaging on the page and how/why. One of the chatters also offered a great tip on using the new Timeline format to create a history of the chapter/council.

Blogging is a subject that definitely needs to be addressed, although chatters struggled a little with specifics. It was agreed that blogging is a great platform for engaging individual members. Some of the chat discussed requiring chapters to submit blogs to councils and how to get chapters to comply with such rules. It was suggested that councils tie financials to blog submission, and both chapters and councils could create incentives to blog contributions.

Finally, it pleased me to no end to see four new chatters. We have discussed the need to break out of our bubble and spread. Please continue to encourage others to attend #SHRMChat.

We aren’t dangerous. 😉

(Next SHRMChat is May 8th at 8 pm EDST/7 pm CDST. Check back for the discussion theme and questions.)