What’s your social currency?

How much you’re worth isn’t just valued in dollars and cents. In the realm of the social sphere there is such a thing as social currency. Derived from Pierre Bourdieu’s social capital theory, the term is defined as the actual and potential resources that are created by a brand or person’s presence in social networks and online communities.

According to the 2013 Social Currency Impact Study by Vivaldi Partners, Subway ranks as the number one brand in the United States in terms of social currency. Researchers measured organizations’ social currency by utility, information, conversation, advocacy, affiliation and identity. Subway achieved its coveted status because it performs high on all six social behavior dimensions and impacts customers through consideration, purchase and loyalty. According to Marketing Profs, the sandwich company not only has a large Facebook and Twitter following, but it also has high engagement levels and sells promotions without coming off as pushy. That’s all good for Subway, as it translates into increased sales and a growing number of followers, but what does this mean to you and me in the staffing industry? 

Social currency isn’t just something a popular food chain can gain. You can also impact your social currency and become a thought leader within the staffing community and with current and potential clients. While the number of followers you have does impact your social currency, it’s not the only factor in play. The quality of those followers is important. For example, while Dunkin’ Donuts had 80 percent fewer Facebook and Twitter followers than its main rival Starbucks, its fans are 35 percent more likely to recommend the brand, reports Fast Company. 

So, as a staffing professional, how likely are your clients and potential job candidates to recommend you in a social space? Remember that interaction, as long as it isn’t complaints, is a form of social recommendation, even if they are not directly praising you or your company. Every time your followers Retweet you or Like a Facebook post you are getting social cues that indicate your power. That person is taking the time to actively spread your message and opening your brand up to greater social currency potential. 

Consider the merits of your social media strategy in terms of the value it brings to your organization. The analytic quality of the social currency formula can help you pinpoint whether or not you’re succeeding or need to alter current practices. Using your recruiting software as part of your social media strategy for job postings is also one of the more important tools at your disposal.