Human Relations vs. Corporate Social Presence

Why Dedicated Social Media Accounts for HR?

As a marketing and digital solutions company within the human relations (HR) world, we are often asked, “Do we need a separate social media account for HR, can’t we just leverage our existing corporate accounts?” Our response is most often a resounding YES! It’s almost always best to keep corporate accounts separate-here’s why.

HR Messaging is Different than Corporate Messaging

While a company should maintain a strong and consistent voice across all communication channels, the content needs will still differ between HR and corporate accounts. This is based on a number of factors including the end goal and the target market.

HR Messaging Goals
The goal of HR messaging should be to attract and maintain the attention of  job candidates. As a result, the focus of the messaging should be based around advertising job openings, showcasing company culture and relaying business news as it relates to hiring potential.

Corporate Messaging Goals
The goal of corporate messaging is more variable as it is typically focused on attracting and maintaining the attention of customers, investors, industry partners and, to a lesser degree, job seekers. The nature of the messaging can make it difficult for career related messaging to be heard.

The Target Audience is Different

If you are not familiar with the term, a target audience is the general or detailed description of who you are trying to reach, their background, goals and needs as well as their desired behavior after engaging with them. This description helps you to identify the language, tone and focus of your marketing messaging to best influence the individual’s behavior.

Unless your business is directly involved in the production of consumer goods, the HR and corporate target audience profiles will likely vary drastically.

HR Target Audience
Human Resources will maintain several different target audiences based on their background and education level, but they all share the same goal – employment.

While the end goal of the messaging might be the same (employment) the language will differ by what audience you’re trying to reach. Messaging directed at attracting highly educated professionals can use buzzwords and profession based jargon. On the other end of the spectrum, messaging directed at laborers with fewer necessary qualifications will typically be focused on the essentials: job title, hours and pay.

Corporate Target Audience
Corporate messaging can also have varying target audiences, but the variance is based around their needs and your desired behavior and less on their background.

Your corporate messaging is typically attempting to seek investors, obtain corporate accounts, create industry partnerships and grow brand awareness. In contrast to HR messaging, the corporate messaging will use elevated language, but with shifting messaging based on the desired behavior.

Reducing Hurdles and Increasing Content Control

There is almost always some sort of hurdle to getting a marketing message out. Sometimes the hurdle is based on personnel and process – all messages have to go through an approval process with J. Smith giving the final approval. Unfortunately, J. Smith is traveling and isn’t reachable. Other times, the hurdle is about communication schedules – corporate has a big marketing campaign with an announcement to be released today that needs to be top of the thread, so no other messages are allowed.

Regardless of what hurdles there are within your organization, maintaining separate channels for your corporate and HR messaging can make it much easier for both teams to ensure they have control over their distinct communication pipelines.

Exceptions to the Rule

Of course, every rule is made to be broken. There are reasons to not maintain separate HR and corporate social channels. The most common argument in favor for single channels is due to the lack of a social presence on one side or the other. Other reasons might include lack of resources for managing the channels, or a low volume of content from one network.

Whatever the reason, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons to determine whether maintaining separate social channels is right for your organization. It has been our experience that more often than not, it is more advantageous to separate your communication channels, providing you the best opportunity to reach your target audience and initiate a behavior.

For more advice on how to manage your corporate or HR accounts, contact us today.