One year on from the Social Media Summit - was it worth my time?

What do you call an event that encourages you to take funny selfies with strangers, that has international keynote speakers enlighten you on aspects on social media that you didn’t know existed and has you feeling on cloud nine with a host of new friends two days later? If you guessed the Social Media Summit, you guessed correctly!

Exactly a year ago today, Ireland’s first ever Social Media Summit took place. It was informative, it was vibrant and it led me to discover that I had found my ideal career path. 

My life, including my career, has always revolved around the following statement – why blend in when you were born to stand out? That’s exactly what the last years’ social media summit taught me. In a ferociously competitive and often saturated market, social media professionals have no choice but to stand out.

As Ireland moves out of recession and back into a candidate driven market, my career as a recruiter has moved from searching for the right candidate to marketing to the right candidate. It’s crucial that employers including KPMG stay ahead of the game when it comes to attracting talent into our organisation.

Here are five key learning points from last years’ summit that I have implemented into my role as social media manager for our recruitment department:

1. I have become Snap happy!

Many of the keynote speaks last year (including Victoria Taylor) mentioned how important Snapchat was (and still is) becoming. Without wasting any time, I decided that we needed to be more ‘in the moment’ with our audience and I set up a Snapchat careers account (KPMGCareersIRL) which became an instant success. Our followers are given up to the minute updates on our jobs and can gain an insight into life inside KPMG, whether it is a corporate citizenship event, a graduate recruitment fair or even to show off some tasty treats in our staff restaurant!

2. I fully understand the importance of video

Similar to the rise of Snapchat, Steve Dotto gave a very colourful & insightful presentation into the world of YouTube! Brian Fanzo also asked us to open our digital eyeballs to an array of video options that could be used to enhance your business & follower experience. Since the Summit I created a KPMG Careers Ireland YouTube channel – here, you can watch a host of videos from our hiring managers speaking about our latest jobs and life inside KPMG. It certainly beats the standard job advertisement that you are used to seeing every day!

3. I encourage our co-workers & our followers to empower our brand

Throughout his presentation, Ted Rubin taught us that we should encourage others to empower our brand for us. People love to share and therefore we have made it easy to do so. Rather than post long job descriptions on LinkedIn, I now create bright visuals with punchy headlines that people can instantly share with others. In each job description that our team post online, we encourage others to follow our story on social media – with a simple ‘like’ or ‘share’, our followers are empowering our brand in a bigger and faster way than ever before. 

4. We have put the SOCIAL into social media!

Paul O'Mahony put it very simply - many people go on social media because they are bored. What relieves boredom? Engagement & entertainment. In order for our audience to engage with us, we know that we need to inform as well as entertain them. Since the Summit, our presence is simply not to post jobs and sit back. We ask questions on LinkedIn to learn more about what our followers want to see. We follow trends on Twitter and join the conversation. We post humorous content that will put a smile on people’s faces. We are acutely aware that our audience want to see more than just a job description when they click on our company page – after all, recruiters can be fun people too! 

5. I encourage positivity at all times

    This may sound fluffy, but in today’s Trump/Brexit keyboard warrior world, I believe that it is crucial. At the very beginning of last years’ summit, Samantha Kelly, the superstar founder of the Social Media Summit, kindly reminded us to leave our egos at the door, smile, and mingle with as many people as possible. The very last speaker of the event, Ted Rubin, also reminded us to be kind to people. We all know that a Twitter/Facebook war can escalate within seconds. To try and somehow combat this, I promote positivity around our brand and towards our follower base. This includes congratulating our employees on some incredible personal achievements, sharing positive news stories from around the globe, and continuously sharing stories of the many corporate citizenship events that take place throughout the year, organised by our very own Karina Howley! 

    With this years’ Social Media Summit just around the corner (April 11th & 12th – Croke Park) it is finally time to charge up my iPhone, dust off my notebook and gear up for round two!

    Samantha Kelly, you organised a very enjoyable two days last year, I cannot wait to see what this year brings!

    To purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit

    Twitter: @SMSummitIRL

    See you there!

    Laura White

    Recruitment Assistant Manager | Social Media Lead at KPMG

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