, making it possible for anyone to be there!

Conference chair, Matthew Jeffery, opened things up with an interesting speech about Recruiting 3.0. He pointed out some of the most effective ways to use social media and branding to enhance your company's image and recruiting abilities.

Even though we are all drowning in social media advice, he did have a clear message that made it sound different from the usual white noise.

He focused mostly on humanization. Example advice: Don't just post job openings on Twitter, have actual conversations. Facebook isn't just there for people to see what's going on at your company, it's there to engage people. Join in on discussions on Linkedin!  Build relationships!

He stresses that you don't allow the old school (or as he calls it, "Recruiting 1.0") to make excuses. Here are some ready made excuses for lazy recruiters and/or managers who want to deny the power of social media -- and how you deal with them.

1.) "People could say bad things about us."

Your company can build trust by addressing bad things that might be said about your company. No one expects a company to be perfect, but they do want to see how your company resolves issues when they arise.

2.) "We don't have any budget."

Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are all free to set up. If you have any marketing budget at all, fit the manpower in there.

3.) "My company blocks social media."

This is a bit tougher because it requires other people to agree with you. Blocking social media is an autocratic, Gaddafian thing to do. If your leadership does not and refuses to recognize the power of social media, you might want to start looking to work for a company that will be in business 5 years from now.

4.) "We only have a small company."

That's an even better reason to start talking to people. The internet has created an even playing field like never before!

5.) "Our brand is boring. We have nothing to say."

Your brand is only as boring as you make it. People figure out a way to make toilet paper interesting for crying out loud! If you can't think of a way to make your brand interesting, hire someone who can.

6.) "No time to do this."

If building your brand and marketing your company and its services is something your company doesn't have time for, again, the company will find it very to hard to stay in business. If you don't know what your customers are doing online, you also don't know what your competition is doing online. They might be having a chat right now.

7.) "No clear metrics."

While it is difficult to establish true ROI for each minute spent on social marketing, the relationships that are built are priceless. With social media it is now possible to chat about things that have nothing to do with work with your customers. Believe it or not, it's these seemingly meaningless conversations that build relationships and trust. Remember, buyers often choose what they buy based on emotion.

8.) "Wrong demographic. Social media is for youngsters."

If you consider people that are 50+ years old youngsters, then maybe its time to retire. Baby boomers all over the world are getting hooked on the power and convenience of social media. When the desktop computer was invented, there were a few "business geniuses" who predicted that the PC would never take off. We all know how that panned out.

Don't let excuses get in the way of your company's social branding strategy. If you have people pushing you away, you might just have to push back!

Tags: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Excuses, Events, ERE Expo, ERE.net, Matthew Jeffery, Recruiting 1.0, Recruiting 3.0