I’ll be moderating a session on how social media can affect employer brands at the Dec. 1 and 2 Conference Board “Extending Your Brand to Employees” conference, with an amazing panel of executives from Zappos, Starbucks, Liberty Mutual Group and Prudential Financial.
I’ve asked the social media panelists to give us some pre-conference views on social media, using James Lipton’s “Inside the Actors Studio” question format. Here are comments from Hollie Delaney, senior human resources manager at Zappos.com.
What is your favorite social media word?
Transparency. At Zappos, we are obsessed with sharing our culture and way of operating our business with the outside world. Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter have given us an outlet to do this on a higher level than what we ever thought possible. One of our core values is to ‘Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication’, and this isn’t limited to the employees of Zappos; we would like for the outside world to be able to see anything that they would like about our business.
We have 450+ employees on Twitter, and there is no company policy to dictate what an employee can say. We just tell everyone to use their best judgment. We even have a Twitter aggregate page which shows employees’ Tweets in real time, along with all public mentions of the company.
What is your least favorite social media word?
Expert/Guru. These are a series of new mediums, and we’re not sure that anyone can be an expert on a subject that we’ve only skimmed the surface of as an industry.
What turns you on about social media?
Its ability to engage with customers on a level that wasn’t possible just a few years ago.
What turns you off about social media?
When businesses look at these tools as a free way to spam customers.
What social media other than what you’re doing would you like to attempt?
We just try to form personal connections with customers. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube all seem to be the best tools right now, but we know that will change/evolve over time.
What part of social media would you not like to do?
We would like to stay away from using the mediums completely for selling products. Our idea for Facebook and Twitter is that it’s a place where people go to engage with Zappos as a brand, and just making it about sharing our culture.
What would you like to hear your CEO say about social media?
What one thing do you hope people will learn from you at The Conference Board’s “Extending Your Brand to Employees Conference?”
That it’s not how many fans or followers that you have, it’s about how you are engaging them and if you’re forming a personal connection. You can have 1M fans, but if they aren’t engaged in your brand and they just signed up with a click and then forgot about it, the point is lost on the effort.