The Role of HR in Driving Social Media and Business Integration
The Role of HR in Driving Social
Media and Business Integration
Dr. Elijah Ezendu
FIMC, FCCM, FIIAN, FBDI, FAAFM, FSSM, MIMIS, MIAP, MITD, ACIArb, ACIPM,
PhD, DocM, MBA, CWM, CBDA, CMA, MPM, PME, CSOL, CCIP, CMC, CMgr
• Social Media and Business Integration is about value synchronisation.
• What is of value to Business?
• What is Social Media Value Proposition?
• What range of values can Social Media contribute to a specified
• What are the other Social Media Products that are not of value to the
• What are those Social Media Products that are not of value to the
specified Business but contribute required value to employees
• What are the fallouts of Social Media Activities that can jeopardise
• What are the challenges of navigating Social Media Space?
• Social HR must be properly placed in Organisations to respond with
agility and expertise.
What is Social Media?
Social Media stand for online platforms based
on web or mobile technology that provide
communication tools for users to interact and
participate in networking and co-creation by
sharing ideas, information, messages, pictures,
videos and other types of content.
Elijah Ezendu, Social Media Strategy
Social Media Space
Elijah Ezendu, Social Media Strategy
Examples of Social Media Sites 6
• HR Specialist Networking Sites
- HRM Today
- Human Resources People
- HR World
- Personnel Today
• Corporate Social Networking Sites
- Fast Pitch
- Small Business Brief
Examples of Social Media Sites 7
Aligning Social Media Sites to Business
Identify Corporate Objectives (Organisational Level) and Business
Unit Objectives (Product/Service Level) of a
Identify Core Values and Operating Culture of the Organisation.
Develop fitting Social Media Value Proposition capable of
contributing effectively towards achievement of identified
Corporate Objectives and Business Unit Objectives, and confirm
synchronisation with Core Values and Operating Culture of the
Survey the current value proposition of available social media sites.
Ascertain the social media sites that are most suitable for jointly
accumulating the required Social Media Value Proposition.
HR Challenges in the Integration of
Social Media and Business
• Structural Positioning of Social Media
• Social Media Job Design, Description, Specification & Evaluation
• Acquisition of Social Media Talent
• Social Media Policy
• Alignment of Social Media Activities to Core Values and Operating Culture.
• Work System Transformation Enhancing Connection Gripping People,
Technology and Service Together by Eliminating Gap.
• Building Employees’ Competence in Social Media
• Architecting and Managing the Change Initiative
• Content Governance
• Evolution of Social Business Culture
• Evolution of Social HR
Elijah Ezendu, Social Media Strategy
Structural Positioning of Social Media
• In which department?
• What layer positioning?
Survey shows that in most organisations
marketing/business development, public
relations (corporate affairs), sales, customer
service and IT departments struggle for control
of Social Media. More often than not, the
marketing/business development department
take charge of Social Media thereby skewing its
focus on marketing and business development
goals to the detriment of other applicable aims.
Adapted from CCID
The best structural position for Social Media
should be an independent unit or department
with direct reporting relationship to the CEO or
Where there’s constraint of finance or
organisation size, then it should be a unit in the
office of CEO; otherwise, it ought to be a stand
alone department with direct reporting
relationship to the CEO or COO to avoid stunted
development and achievement.
A survey conducted in January, 2012 shows that
human resource professionals have an
important role in helping employers deal with
Social Media, through development of Social
Media Policy as well as embedding of Social
Media in Business Strategy and Operations.
Source: SHRM, An Examination of How Social Media is Embedded in Business Strategy and Operations
Best Practices in Social Media Policy
• Recognizing that policies and guidelines have to be
customized to match the culture and operating
characteristics of the organization
• Involving representatives from multiple functional
areas to develop those policies and guidelines
• Providing interactive training for employees to
ensure they understand their rights and
• Reviewing policies and guidelines at least annually to
ensure they’re current
Source: Courtney Hunt, Social Media Policies and More
“All companies should have a social media policy
in place to tell employees what is appropriate to
say and what could potentially cost them their
jobs. This requires an HR professional to let you
know what should be the company’s official
position and response to potential questions.”
- Sandy Miller, HR Role in Social Media Strategy
Indispensable Constituents of
Social Media Policy
• Acceptable Social Media Sites.
• Social Media Guidelines for Internal Social Transactions.
• Policy Thrust on Official Spokespersons.
• Social Media Guidelines for Social Transactions of Official
• Corporate Position on Individual Social Networking Accounts
in addition to Issues of Personal and Professional Social Media
• Ownership of Official Social Media Accounts and Content.
• Non-Disclosure Agreements and Non-Compete Agreements.
• Enforcement & Discipline.
Resolving Acceptability of Social Media Sites
Strategy for determining acceptable social
media sites can either be integrative or
Integrative: Focus on identifying common
grounds between the business and employees.
Disintegrative: Focus only on the business and
prohibiting the use of other social media sites.
Mandatory Elements of Social Media Guidelines
• Prohibit some or all of the following:
– disclosing confidential or proprietary information;
– disclosing the name of the business in personal websites or purely social networking sites
except professional networking sites (e.g., LinkedIn);
– revealing the name of the company on a site with sexual or violent content;
– using the company’s intellectual property (e.g., trademarks);
– infringing on the intellectual property rights of others;
– making statements adversely affecting the company’s interests or reputation;
– criticizing customers or other important business partners;
– making statements supporting competitors;
– issuing defamatory, harassing, or disparaging language;
– issuing content that violates the law (e.g., obscenity); and
– writing or commenting on content that would constitute a violation of any other policies,
rules, standards of conduct, or requirements applicable to employees.
• Include a clear statement of what is permitted only with prior approval from the company, such as
blogs or postings that imply employer sponsorship or support, use any logos, trademarks, or
service marks, or use company time, facilities, supplies, or resources.
• Identify required disclosures, disclaimers, and endorsements , if applicable.
• Describe inappropriate content, with examples as necessary.
Adapted from Bond Schoeneck & King, New York Employment Law
“Asking individuals to provide their login credentials
and/or allow access to their accounts during job
interviews – or requiring them to friend people in
positions of authority in organizations – constitute
Digital Era worst practices that need to stop.
Fortunately, the practices aren’t widespread, but they
should be nipped in the bud before more organizations
act on the mistaken belief that it’s okay to engage in
extreme invasions of privacy in a misguided attempt to
manage their risks.”
- Courtney Hunt, Demanding Access to Individuals’ Social Networking
Accounts: A Digital Era Worst Practice
This provides a scheme for establishing
standards in web content for employees’ social
transactions both in corporate and personal
accounts, for the purpose of aligning social
inputs to stated objectives, while avoiding social
jeopardy that may be disastrous to an
Email now takes on average over 20% of a
knowledge workers day.
Source: Gartner Group
The digital era requires review and positioning
of HR in terms of appropriate responsiveness to
changing realities concerning value deliverables
and proper alignment in service streams of
“Social HR is the use of Social Media to enrich
and boost traditional HR processes for the
purpose of producing greater value contribution
to specified business goals, while concurrently
promoting and ensuring utmost Social
- Elijah Ezendu, Social Media Strategy
Systems of Social HR
Elijah Ezendu, Social Media Strategy
“For Social HR to truly be effective, you have to understand why
you want to use social media and how it can help you fulfil your
HR strategy, which should be tied to the organization's overall
business strategy. Many corporations fail due to a lack of
purpose and understanding of a particular social network. But
no Social HR strategy will work unless you first understand the
principles of in-person networking. You have to listen to your
end-users, whether they are potential candidates, employees or
alumni. You need to find out what they want, what their pain
points are, and how you can meet their needs. You need to
provide that value in order to really harness the power of social
media and succeed online.”
- Harpaul Sambhi, Social HR
You were recently placed as Chief Executive Officer of
an organisation, wherein social media had been
structurally domiciled in IT department. There’s a great
disconnect between employees and the organisation as
a result of access to social media sites during work
hours, lack of responsiveness of certain directors
towards communication on the intranet and high-
handedness of IT department regarding process
alignment of external customer-facing value pathway
to corporate social media presence. What should be
the right action points for solution?
Dr Elijah Ezendu is Award-Winning Business Expert & Certified Management Consultant with expertise
in Interim Management, Strategy, Competitive Intelligence, Transformation, Restructuring, Turnaround
Management, Business Development, Marketing, Project & Cost Management, Leadership, HR, CSR, e-
Business & Software Architecture. He had functioned as Founder, Initiative for Sustainable Business
Equity; Chairman of Board, Charisma Broadcast Film Academy; Group Chief Operating Officer, Idova
Group; CEO, Rubiini (UAE); Special Advisor, RTEAN; Director, MMNA Investments; Chair, Int’l Board of
GCC Business Council (UAE); Senior Partner, Shevach Consulting; Chairman (Certification & Training),
Coordinator (Board of Fellows), Lead Assessor & Governing Council Member, Institute of Management
Consultants, Nigeria; Lead Resource, Centre for Competitive Intelligence Development; Lead
Consultant/ Partner, JK Michaels; Turnaround Project Director, Consolidated Business Holdings Limited;
Technical Director, Gestalt; Chief Operating Officer, Rohan Group; Executive Director (Various Roles),
Fortuna, Gambia & Malta; Chief Advisor/ Partner, D & E; Vice Chairman of Board, Refined Shipping;
Director of Programmes & Governing Council Member, Institute of Business Development, Nigeria;
Member of TDD Committee, International Association of Software Architects, USA; Member of Strategic
Planning and Implementation Committee, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria;
Country Manager (Nigeria) & Adjunct Faculty (MBA Programme), Regent Business School, South Africa;
Adjunct Faculty (MBA Programme), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology; Editor-in-Chief, Cost
Management Journal; Council Member, Institute of Internal Auditors of Nigeria; Member, Board of
Directors (Several Organizations). He holds Doctoral Degree in Management, Master of Business
Administration and Fellow of Professional Institutes in North America, UK & Nigeria. He is Innovator of
Corporate Investment Structure Based on Financials and Intangibles, for valuation highlighting
intangible contributions of host communities and ecological environment: A model celebrated globally
as remedy for unmitigated depreciation of ecological capital and developmental deprivation of host
communities. He had served as Examiner to Professional Institutes and Universities. He had been a
member of Guild of Soundtrack Producers of Nigeria. He's an author and extensively featured speaker.