Sunday, February 7, 2010

Deloitte's Social Media Presence

I'm really impressed with how Deloitte has integrated Twitter and Facebook into their recruiting strategy.  The @lifeatdeloitte Twitter account, which is used by a different Deloitte professional every week, is a particularly novel approach.  Not only does rotating the user keep the feed interesting, it also capitalizes on the intrinsic value that people attach to personal viewpoints, which have made Yelp so popular, by allowing people within the company to describe their experience.  I'm sure that they have guidelines and restrictions on what they can post, but just knowing that it is coming from an individual makes it more valuable than a generic Deloitte PR attempt.

In a blog post last month, Stephen pointed out that "VCs are all over Twitter," and it sounds like they see it as a valuable way to develop their brand.  Although a lot of the major Management Consulting firms have a social media presence, I don't think that they are utilizing it as well as Deloitte.

Most firms use their various accounts as RSS feeds; mainly to push out articles and documents that the company has produced.  Unfortunately, this strategy fails to utilize social media's potential for connecting individuals and building relationships; something that I think could go a long way in giving applicants a better sense of the culture at the firm.  In talking to classmates, it is apparent that a lot of people value the culture and "fit" of particular firms and use them as differentiators, which is also true for peer grad schools, given that they all offer similar features.  Their impressions of a firm are generally based on interactions with a small set of company representatives, which may not be representative of the company as a whole, but in the end, perceptions, whether accurate or not, have a big impact. 

I'm hopeful that as the firms begin to accept the value in social media, more people at all levels of the firms will be encouraged to use these channels in order to communicate their experiences, which in turn will build up the brand.  Instead of hearing about a firm's new white paper on "How Green Energy Is Driving Innovation," I'd rather hear first-hand accounts from the consultants that are experiencing this everyday.

BTW, here is a video from careers.deloitte.com where their CEO briefly discusses how to distinguish yourself from others in consulting recruiting.  According to him, it is all about building a unique "brand" for yourself, and clearly, Deloitte is doing the same thing.

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