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Ann: While I've never seen a twit express a meaningful Total Rewards thought in 140 characters, there might be one or two. Where is the connection between social media and compensation, anyway? The “HR” people on that list are mostly recruiters, personal coaches, consultants and salespeople.

"Relationships" don't drive total reward decisions. Vacuous social chatter "noise" tends to drown out the kinds of weighty topics we deal with. Superficial person-to-person conversations are generally irrelevant to work that focuses on broader applications affecting entire organizations.

Also, fewer and fewer compensation professionals remain. Our numbers are declining. The survivors must concern themselves with earning a living rather than winning followers who supply no income. Don’t see many astrophysicists active in social media, either… or psychiatrists. Maybe the occupations of those absent groups keep them too busy to waste their time chittering and twittering with idle strangers.


That's one point of view - and frankly it may be the one shared by the vast majority of our compatriots. And yet - when my own local compensation network went through its strategic planning exercise, and then asked membership (mostly NOT consultants) to rank order future priorities, numero uno was "More leveraging of technology to create opportunities for learning, networking, idea exchange, etc." Maybe current social media tools are not structured to meet our needs and objectives. Maybe we just haven't figured out how to use them properly - to connect with the people whose ideas and opinions matter to us. I just don't think we're in a place where we should write off the whole thing. But that's just me - and what may be a (very tiny) minority opinion.

Social media IS wonderful for casual remote networking, but it seems terribly superficial compared to even one minute of actual in-person conversation. Granted, you can reach out electronically and touch thousands in a second, but any one peep gets overwhelmed by the equally powerful megaphones of others.

I'd love to be proven wrong and shown a way to monetize social media. SEOs seem to be the only ones cashing in on the applications. Agree that it's puzzling.

What Jim said.

Jim, Tony:

Think monetization and "cashing in" is a different topic myself. And superficiality isn't specific to online interactions - happens plenty in the face-to-face kind as well. You make sound points, but I'm going to stick with my assertion that we must be cautious about writing off tools and trends based on sweeping generalizations about them. Thanks for weighing in!

Jim & Tony,
I didn't read Ann's post as being exclusively about Twitter. However, it does raise a question in my mind: If Twitter is not an effective tool for idea exchange in Total Rewards, what would an effective tool look like? What form of social media would a rewards professional find worthy of their time?

Steve: Here, Ann's other blog at www.CompForce.typepad.com, a number of the LinkedIn focused discussion groups and WorldAtWork.org's Online Community are my faves. Those are MORE than enough for me, so I can't comment intelligently about any others. Would also welcome alternate suggestions...

Don't intend to write anything off with a premature generalization, but won't embrace anything due to gushy over-generalizations offered without proof, either.

Social media is one of the most misunderstood marketing tools in use today. Misconceptions regarding proper usage, campaigns and associated KPIs are constantly referenced as a proof that social works--or, conversely, that it is a complete waste of time.....

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