It's out, folks -- Facebook is officially the No. 1 social network in the world. Why is this important to the oil industry? An industry that is so desperately seeking to fill the shoes of soon-to-retire baby boomers needs to do everything it can to make itself visible to Generation Y. Being a member of this generation, I will admit that I did both of the following when Hart Energy Publishing called me concerning my current position: 1) Looked up Hart on Google. 2) Checked Facebook to see if Hart had a Facebook page. To many baby boomers, the idea of having a Facebook is ridiculous. It has been viewed as a place for teens to find a boyfriend or girlfriend. But Facebook is not only an incredible reconnection tool (it has helped me connect with people I literally haven't seen since kindergarten), it is also fantastic for networking. For instance, universities or organizations can create their own groups on Facebook. In turn, individuals join the Facebook group and connect with people from work or school. Now, you might ask, "Why would I want to join a Facebook group with all the people I work with? I don't want them finding out where I live!" Well first off, you don't have to put all your personal information on a Facebook. But my generation thrives on photos, videos, something tangible that gives us a look into the people's lives around us. If we saw a Facebook page for the CEO of a company we are considering joining, we would realize that he is a real, down-to-earth person. If a company doesn't have much of an online presence, however, we will probably end up assuming that the company is either too small to be able to develop an online presence (mind you, "online presence" can be developed through one person via social networking sites like Facebook), or we will think that company doesn't care enough about technology to develop an online presence (which is a huge turn-off). Hart's Recruiting & Retention Conference in Houston Oct. 27-28 will cover everything from helping companies develop an online presence to attracting young faces to mentoring those new recruits. You don't have to attend the conference to figure out how to set up a Facebook page, but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt.
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