I recently watched a really funny comedy sketch online about a girl who's new boyfriend didn't use social media. No Facebook, no Twitter, nothing. It drove her nuts! She and her friends scoured the internet for any information they could find about him. How could he exist if he wasn't telling the world what he had eaten for breakfast that morning?

Social media has been such a game-changer in the way we communicate, and in what we expect and consider as normal human behavior. We form opinions about people from their social media activities with just a quick scan of what they're saying and sharing across their channels.

Business has been changed by social, too. Like never before, we have multiple channels to help get the message across about our products, services, culture and values. Opinions about businesses are expressed and distributed around the world in a heartbeat. A poor customer experience quickly becomes something that huge amounts of people know about. Potential customers and employees can quickly gain an opinion about a business via a simple search on Twitter or Facebook. So how can businesses win at social to gain and retain quality connections and talent?

Stop Feeding The Machine

The first step is to stop spraying messages across multiple channels, with little regard for the human beings that read them. In the clamor to populate and maintain so many social channels, we are ignoring the social element of social media. Businesses are quick to jump on the latest channels that emerge, and quick to broadcast. And that's a trap. Social is a conversation. It's a relationship, it's not a broadcast. Are you churning out content just for content's sake? Do you fear the consequences if you neglect a particular channel? If this sounds familiar to you, press pause for a moment and take stock. What is your social media truly saying about your business?

Be Human

It's likely mostly just noise that no-one reads and certainly no-one connects with. Instead, treat social just as you would treat a networking session. Faced with a room of people, would you run into that room and try to speak to everyone, force your thoughts on them and get in their faces? Of course not. You'd make yourself aware of who was in the room and who was most relevant and important for you to connect with. You'd make an introduction and begin a conversation, listening and nurturing a relationship. Your social media activity needs to do the same - in a word, it needs to be more human.

Build A Community

As recruitment marketer, I know that a community-building approach has great benefits for talent attraction. Using social to share engaging, quality content that will appeal to the kind of candidates you want to bring in to your business demonstrates your employee value proposition and helps build a talent community.  So when it comes time to recruit, you've got a community on hand ready to grasp the opportunity to come onboard. They'll know your values and culture, they'll be ready to hit the ground running, and they'll add value from day one.

So, to make maximum impact, make sure you avoid the broadcasting trap and focus your social activity on making a human connection.