Social media is important for business

Did you lose the job because of your Twitter or Facebook profile?

With the competition in the job market becoming ever fiercer, comes the news that almost half of interviewees in the IT industry might be rejected because of their Twitter, blog or Facebook profiles…Employers reject applicants over social profiles

Shockingly, a study has revealed almost one in five technology industry executives say that a candidate’s social media profile has caused them not to hire that person.

The annual Eurocom Worldwide study has previously found that almost 40 per cent of respondents’ companies check out potential employees’ profiles on social media sites, but this is the first evidence that candidates are actually being rejected because of them.

“The 21st century human is learning that every action leaves an indelible digital trail. In the years ahead many of us will be challenged by what we are making public in various social forums today. The fact that one in five applicants disqualify themselves from an interview because of content in the social media sphere is a warning to job seekers and a true indicator of the digital reality we now live in,” said Mads Christensen, Network Director at Eurocom Worldwide.

The survey this year also reveals that while nearly half (49 per cent) of technology executives say that their firm will increase their expenditure on social media in the next 12 months, over half (57 per cent) say they are unable to accurately measure the impact of the investment. By contrast, only 23 per cent say they can measure it.

The survey finds that 74 per cent of respondents consider online PR to be very or quite important for their company’s search engine optimisation (SEO) with 37 per cent saying it is very important.

“The significant role of online PR in search engine optimisation is often underrated but clearly not by technology firms,” commented Amanda Hassall, Director at Six Degrees, the UK PR agency which along with Eurocom Worldwide Global PR Network, conducted the study.

Social media content

Respondents to the survey were also asked about the primary source of social media content and messaging for their company. The majority (78 per cent) cite in-house sources with PR agencies the second most important source at 12 per cent. Digital marketing agencies and advertising agencies combined account for the remaining 10 per cent.

Of those respondents who work in companies that publish a blog, 57 per cent say that it is done in order to raise profile or create thought leadership. Nearly as many (55 per cent) state that the blogging aims to improve interaction with customers, while 37 per cent say the aim is to boost SEO and 36 per cent say it is to participate in industry debates. According to the responses, the main reason for not blogging is that it is ‘too time consuming’ cited by 42 per cent of those who don’t blog. One in five doesn’t see the value of it while 14 per cent fear a negative response.

The most popular social media platform for technology companies is:

• LinkedIn (74 per cent)
• Twitter – 67 per cent of technology firms tweet
• 64 per cent have a Facebook presence
• 56 per cent are on YouTube.

Only half of respondents surveyed say that their company has a formal process for listening to what is said about them in social media.

PR: Six Degrees.

Do you suspect you have been refused a job because of your social media profile? What do you think employers are looking for when they examine your social media profile? Let us know your thoughts below…

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Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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