When HR News Isn’t Primetime — A Quick Experiment

A SocialEars HR Search on Trending Topic, Employee Engagement.
Click here to learn more or request a free trial of SocialEars
We’ve written before about when HR goes primetime, but what happens when it isn’t getting big headlines?

The last few weeks have been such a time. Healthcare trended up around election time for obvious reasons, but while it is still being talked about a lot online, it has recently trending downward among social influencers in the human resources marketplace, according to our SocialEars HR software.

We decided to do a quick experiment last week: Using the software, find a popular HR topic that is trending upward, then see the most widely shared content that was helping to drive the trend over the following periods: three months, one month and one week.

One popular topic that was trending upward was employee engagement, and the most widely shared content that was driving the conversation was as follows:

1. Oct. 18, 2012: #TChat Recap: Employee Engagement – Beyond the Beer Bash

2. Oct. 8, 2012: Employee Engagement is a 2-Way Street

1. Nov. 20, 2012: Ten Powerful Engagement Lessons

2. Nov. 8, 2012: New Research: How Employee Engagement Hits the Bottom Line

1. Nov. 26, 2012: A Case for Purpose and Meaning at Work

2. Nov. 23, 2012: Employee Engagement? Let Them Know You CARE

We didn’t know what the results of the experiment would be, but here is a brief analysis of the findings:

1. The #TChat Twitter chat is, indeed, popular, and can help a topic become trending. The #TChat hashtag has had the fourth most mentions of any hashtag used by HR influencers (according to SocialEars HR), and the blog post recapping the #TChat discussion on employee engagement was the hottest piece of content related to the subject over the last three months.

2. Switchandshift.com is a leading source for content related to employee engagement. Not only are three of the content pieces above from the site, but multiple other pieces of content from the site also helped drive the employee engagement trend.

3. While a few pieces of content led the way, there is a lot of discussion and content happening around employee engagement. For example, SocialEars HR returned more than 25 pieces of content in just one week on the subject. Considering that and the nature of the content pieces above (all are blog posts), it strongly appears that the popularity and upward trend of employee engagement in the HR marketplace is due to a high volume of reasonably popular content pieces, as opposed to one or two articles dominating the discussion.

One shouldn’t make firm conclusions based on this brief experiment, but it certainly appears that while a single piece of huge news (when HR goes primetime) can make a topic become popular and trending, that in the absence of such a piece of news, a collection of quality content that sparks the interest of social influencers can do the same.

As a result, when attempting to take advantage of the content related to a trending topic (e.g. contacting reporters/bloggers for potential follow-up articles, commenting on the content, linking to the content from your content), it can be a good idea to consider more than just the top piece of content for the topic.

Post written by HRmarketer / SocialEars HR team member Eric Anderson.


Labels: ,