How Do Talents Cope with Job Relocation? Their Social Network Activities Say a Lot

If you’re a global mobility manager, you really want to know how your talents are coping with their job relocation or international assignment? Look no more. They are most likely speaking their truth on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, WeChat and SnapChat.

All these digital platforms of social communication have already gone past their first iteration as a virtual water-cooler area or a place to post pretty selfies unless of course, they don’t actually indulge in them, which can mean that they’ rather be productive with their time.

For some, though, it’s a matter of habit to track down niche groups and social media pages where they feel very comfortable — and let their hair down, vent, and express sentiments which they ordinarily would tend to keep to themselves.

In a study, Expat Financial reported that the leading social media sites that expatriates tend to flock to are, in chronological order, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, WeChat, Weibo, and Pinterest. Indeed, social networks work well with expats who, far from home, need to connect with someone close to them abroad — without violating any confidentiality that they had signed to uphold. It’s just their way of connect with others who feel the same way. And they want to do it in a place where they will feel respected, secure, and safe. It’s their downtime.

Now if reports are true, the Facebook news feed may be less stressful if it carries less news and gives more attention to personal posts (i.e., posts of family and friends), as announced by its founder Mark Zuckerberg recently.

It remains to be seen how they’re going to actually do this and how it will affect corporate sites’ Facebook pages like California Corporate Housing which is more lifestyle-oriented and not a news site. Aside from customizing homes and apartments for extended-stay guests, California Corporate Housing provides guidance and tips about relocating, global mobility, smart homes and the corporate housing lifestyle in Northern California.

Many of these talents also rely on Instagram, YouTube, WeChat and Weibo to find influencers in various industries with Twitter and Linkedin for the latest corporate news.

But when do all of these social networks converge as a way for these talents to use them for both their work and leisure time? It helps them with their career if they know that any brand that is visual should be on Instagram and any lifestyle-oriented company needs videos to share across various platforms. The technical quality of the video is not even important in many cases as long as the message is understood by its target audience.

These days, whether one is seeking influencers or they’re the one making content to reach out to the global mobility or corporate housing industry, it’s crucial indeed to adopt early to new social networks, platforms or methods for organic growth, as long as one is on point.

Good storytelling, even challenged by its technical limitations, trumps any visual wizardry. The important thing is that the intended audience gets the message.

Beyond the social networks. blogger Sabine Pavreau gives the ultimate list for expats to follow—at least a dozen online communities, blogospheres, and web forums where they can ask each other questions about cultural adjustment, work pressure, schools for their kids, and even international romance. What makes them more interesting is that many of them have created niche communities for assignees who are looking for something closer to home.

Not surprisingly, many are focused on assignees who live in certain regions such as Northern California, New York, Australia, Canada, and Thailand. Others emphasize community according to generational demographics such as Baby Boomers. Then there is Live Mocha which offers resources, support, and other tools to assignees who want to master a specific foreign language.

Should the global mobility manager peer in a little more closely, they might just discover that their usually reserved assignees are active in blogging or video blogging. Again, all these happen without violation of confidentiality in professional contracts. The assignee themselves are keen not to behave in an inappropriate matter that can cause embarrassment at worst or damage their career at best. But the more creative and bolder ones do show a slice of expatriate life — as well as their own opinions — about it that is rarely found elsewhere.

There’s a lesson here for global mobility managers. Weekly sessions and even coffee outside the office can only reveal so much about the assignee. If they want to see their assignee bare themselves to their core and open up about their new life and any issues related to it, they might need to travel the many layers of social media.