Future Implications

With social media changing constantly, it’s hard to predict what the next trend will be.  What actions will brands take to stay competitive?  My guess is that video will be sticking around and will probably only get more important to brands and their social media marketing.  Here’s some interesting statistics, 61% of companies are using video marketing now and of those, 66% of them did not use it last year.   So, what is it that makes people want to watch a video?  Is it our innate curiosity that drives us to know what’s behind that little sideways triangle? Or are wevideo triangle just too lazy to read ad copy?  No matter what it is, if you own a business, it’s money in your pocket so you should start using it if you’re not doing so already.

Since video is so important, I wouldn’t be surprised if more businesses start using video chat for their customer service.  I know it’s been around for a while and some companies already offer it, but our lives are only getting busier.  Sometimes I barely have time to hit the ladies room during the day live video chat icon

never mind call a 1-800 number and sit on hold, type an email or type in an instant chat with customer service.  We, as consumers, have a new mind set as a result of social media and that mind set is instantaneous resolution to our concerns.  Having the ability to video chat on my phone with a customer service department rather than sit on hold as I’m running errands or going about my day, would make my life a heck of a lot easier.

Facebook is also something that doesn’t seem to be losing steam.  More and more companies are realizing they need to be on Facebook because that’s where their audience is.  However, those same companies are seeing their organic visibility diminish.  It seems as though the days of free posting and being seen may be coming to end.  Comthumbs up with moneypanies will most likely end up paying for the visibility they’ve been so used to for years.  But wasn’t this to be expected?  How could something so lucrative for brands stay free for so long?  It will definitely be interesting to see if any of this turns into the future norm.  I’d welcome your predictions.

Viral Marketing Initiatives

We’ve been discussing the use of videos at work for marketing our open positions and how if done correctly, they’re an incredibly powerful tool.  With that being said, what makes a video or any marketing campaign for that matter, so attention grabbing that it ends up going viral?

First, personally, I think it has a lot to do with pulling on the heart strings of your audience.  I remember the GoPro “Fireman Saves Kitten” video.  It was one of GoPro’s first videos that popularized the camera.  It had a total of 22 million views with 5 million in the first week alone.  Why?  First of all, who doesn’t want to see a cute, little baby kitty being brought back to life?  And also, GoPro made it incredibly easy to share.  Every possible social media channel button was provided along with a “share” button and a button to email it or even embed it in your own content.  And the social commenting, or “likes” it received on Facebook helped it spread like wild fire because it was seen on each person’s individual feed.

I also think humor has a lot to do with what leads to a campaign going viral.  I know that if I find something funny, I am most likely going to share it.  If it made me laugh, it will most likely make my audience laugh as well.  The Kmart “Ship My Pants”  commercial has to be one of the funniest I’ve ever seen.  I remember seeing it on TV and then looking for it on YouTube so I could purposely share it.

Along with humor, the Kmart video also had some shock value to it.  When I first heard the commercial, I stopped in my tracks to listen because I was so caught off guard.  Did they just say what I think they said on network TV?  The ad did what it was supposed to do – it got my attention and pushed me to want to share it.

And lastly, free stuff!  Who doesn’t love free stuff?  Give something away for free to someone, and pretty soon they’re telling their pals how they too can get that something free.  Hotmail is a great example.  In the mid 90’s, this start-up went from zero to 4.5 million subscribers in under a year by offering a free, web based email service.  How did they do it?  When someone received a Hotmail email, a “Get your free email at Hotmail” link appeared on the bottom.  They were pioneers in the 90’s because paid internet service usually only provided one email address per account.  Hotmail gave people options.  They could now have more than one email address and could access that email from anywhere in the world.  Genius!  Hotmail was eventually bought out by Microsoft in 1998 for $400 million.

I don’t know what content I can come up with for my recruiting videos that is emotional, funny or shocking, offering free stuff that makes people want to share it to everyone they know, but I will certainly try.  Stay tuned.  If you have any ideas, please pass them along.

Differentiation

I’m hanging up my recruiter hat for a minute and putting on my mom hat.  I want to talk about something that every mom has an in-depth knowledge of….grocery shopping.  I used to love it.  I would actually go to the store to escape from the chaos at home and I would see other moms doing the same.  The grocery store has nice music, grown-ups, no-one needing me to cook something, clean something, pick up something, tie something or wipe something.  It was great.  Now that my kids are older and I’m working full time and going to school and we’re juggling more kid activities, like guitar lessons, sewing class and 5 basketball games a weekend, I find it a HUGE pain in the a*s!  Pardon my French.

But really, all of this has nothing to do with my point.  I just needed to vent there for a second.  What I really want to discuss is the actual grocery stores themselves and their presence on social media.

I live in a town where there is literally 2 major grocery stores directly across the street from each other, Shaw’s and Stop & Shop.  Sometimes I don’t know which one to go to because they’re of equal distance and it’s almost the same exact experience.  They both have New England roots, are equal in size, price and quality and have been around for over 100 years.  They both strive to be the favorite neighborhood grocery store competing for the same customers.

 

When it comes to social media, they are almost equal there as well. They are both very active on all of the major sites, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, although, Stop & Shop tends to have more followers on each of their sites, i.e. Stop & Shop has 333.5K Facebook followers to Shaw’s 115.8K.  But yet, Shaw’s has more Check Ins, 10.5k to Stop & Shop’s 4K.   They both provide interesting content such as colorful photos, videos, recipes and tips.  And both of them also follow many best practices for social media like using relevant platforms, actively managing their brands, listening to their audience and integrating their social sites.  They’re both very active in the community as well and try to give back and support their local neighborhoods.  So, how do they differentiate themselves from one another?

Shaw’s has a blog which is interesting and Stop & Shop doesn’t.  That’s one difference I noticed.  But I think the one way in which they really differ is that Stop & Shop has a delivery service called Peapod.

Source: Stopandshop.com

This service, owned by Stop & Shop’s parent company, Ahold, has a link on Stop & Shop’s website and it has its own website, own app, own Facebook page, YouTube channel, as well as Twitter and Instagram accounts.  Stop & Shop is offering customers a unique value added service that Shaw’s does not, and this service can be easily accessed via their social media sites and mobile app.

Stop & Shop has evaluated their competition’s strengths and weakness and determined how they can set themselves apart from them by offering their shared customers something they cannot get from Shaw’s…. convenience.  They’ve been able to build awareness of this service using their social media platforms.  I have yet to use the delivery service just because I feel a little guilty since the stores are only 1 mile away, but many busy moms I know use it.  Even some single people sans children I know use it just because it’s convenient for them and they hate going to the grocery store.  As my world continues to get busier and busier, I have a feeling I’ll be clicking on one of those links pretty soon and welcoming that delivery person with open arms.

Source: ezmealplan.com

 

 

 

Resources:

How to Differentiate Your Brand or Product on Social Media. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://www.business2community.com/social-media/how-to-differentiate-your-brand-or-product-on-social-media-0442291#cC3LgUwuiMud2Y3Z.97

Module Two: Translating Business Objectives into Social Media Initiatives, MKT 655, SNHU, 2017

Shaw’s.com

Stopandshop.com

 

Blogging Best Practices For People Who Aren’t “Mean and Sucky”

Since I am new to blogging, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject and there is just so much information out there.   For this week’s module, I am supposed to research best practices for blogging and describe how my industry employs those best practices.  Well, I did research best practices and it seems like there are hundreds of articles on the subject, and most of those articles are writtenthinking-face by bloggers!  Go figure.  Are these all industry experts?  Am I an industry expert because I have a blog?  Any Joe Schmoe can have a blog and call himself an expert.  How do I determine whose best practices are the best, best practices?

Well, I ended up finding a few tips that weren’t on a blog that seemed worthy to share and one that was from a blog that I liked so I’ll share that too.

Here’s one-   Ask questions and seek opinions (Jantsch, n.d.).  As a recruiter, I really like this one.  It’s what I do.  I ask A LOT of questions.  I feel like I interview everyone I meet.  Ask my husband, that poor soul.  Sometimes I ask so many questions when we’re watching a show that he finally has to say, “I just don’t know!  Stop asking me so many questions!!”  It’s kind of funny, actually.  As you’re blogging, asking someone for their opinion and feedback is only going to enhance your content and open up the dialogue.  So I give this one a major thumbs up. Hand Like Image

Here’s another- Credit Your Sources ( Amber, 2014).  Now this is obviously a common sense point.  You want to give credit where credit is due and also make sure you’re not plagiarizing.  Thumbs up on this one too.

Hand Like Image

This brings me to my third and favorite best practice.  This one made me chuckle.  It’s from The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer.  He’s obviously referring to a Twitter best practice but the same can be applied to blogs as well.  He suggests that you Be Yourself.  He said, “There is no reason you can’t be yourself, unless you are a naturally mean and sucky person.  If you are in that category, you have to either not be mean and sucky or not use Twitter” (Schaefer, 2012).  How true and funny is that?  You can’t be mean and blog.  Well, technically you can, but you probably won’t get that many followers, unless…. they’re also “mean and sucky”.  I guess that if you find a lot of “mean and sucky” people to follow you, your blog could potentially be very successful.   Hhmmm…Funny how some things can really make you think.  Things that make you go, Hhmmm.  (flashback to the early 90’s).

I think all of these tips should be employed by everyone and not just one particular industry.  As I continue with my blog and research  and learn from others, I’ll be sure to incorporate as many best practices as I can find and really try to not be “mean and sucky”.  What are some of your favorite best practices you employ?

 

A. (2014, October 26). Blog Series | Blogging Etiquette and Best Practices ⋆ Forever Amber. Retrieved July 15, 2016, from http://www.foreveramber.co.uk/2014/10/blogging-etiquette-best-practises.html

Jantsch, J. (n.d.). Let’s Talk. Social Media For Small Business. Retrieved July 15, 2016, from https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/socialmediaforbusiness.pdf

Schaefer, M. W. (2012). The Tao of Twitter: Changing your life and business 140 characters at a time. New York: McGraw-Hill.

 

 

Risky Business

It’s interesting to hear different people’s perception of what a recruiter does. I was having dinner with friends a few years ago and the topic came up in conversation.  I can’t remember what premised me explaining how I go out and source for candidates.  My friend looked at me very confused and said, “You mean you actually look for people?  I thought you just posted a job on a few websites and then waited for someone to apply”.   I then went on to explain my process afteInspectorr receiving a req (requisition).  Yes, I actually do have to go out and look for candidates for my jobs…most of them anyway. Some jobs, like back in the day (and I’m dating myself here- about 20 years ago), I am able to just post and fill with actual applicants.  Those are most likely entry level or common roles but for the most part, I have very niche jobs that require me targeting our competition and utilizing the passive candidate database I’ve built over the years.

So where do I look? Well, we already know how much I love LinkedIn.  That’s my number one.  And then I often will search portfolio sites (Behance or Coroflot) and some sales data sites such as Data.com Connect or Spoke.com for leads, which I then usually follow up on LinkedIn.  I know, LinkedIn, I said it again. I’ll also do Boolean searches on variosocial media graphicus search engines to get the best reach.  Different search engines index different data so utilizing more than one ups your chances of finding valuable information. I’ll also use various Boolean search techniques like XRay or FlipSearch to target specific social media sites. I am actually an AIRS certified Social Sourcing Recruiter (CSSR) and have learned some neat techniques to find those squirrels. No, that doesn’t mean I am certified to recruit social people.  It means I took an AIRS social Sourcing recruiter course and then passed the certification test.

Hand Like Image

Sourcing through social media is absolutely necessary this day in age. If you are not where your candidates are, your competition most likely is and will scoop them up before your very eyes. You run the risk of losing valuable talent if you don’t.  Then again, social media recruiting also has some risks. This topic came up in one of our weekly discussions at school.  Some companies actually go so far as to require applicants to submit their social media passwords so they can run their own little background checks.  Who the hell has the time to dig that deep, first of all?  In the industry I am in, I work with mostly creative people, designers, etc., and I can only imagine what I would find on their social media pages.  In any case, I read that a number of states have started the process of banning this practice.  When a potential employer starts looking into an applicant’s personal life that deep, they run the risk of learning information about that person that they really shouldn’t know at that stage of the game. For example, their race, their religious beliefs, are they pregnant, etc.?  Now you’re not only being incredibly nosy, you’re truly running the risk of a discrimination lawsuit (Guerin, n.d.).  Also, and I am making an assumption here as I have not thoroughly researched this topic, I would imagine you would have to somehow prove that you researched EVERY applicant’s social media pages for EEO purposes.  In any case, there are risks to both but social media is here to stay so I’ll continue my hunt there.

social media flowers

 

 

Guerin, L., JD. (n.d.). Can Potential Employers Check Your Facebook Page? | Nolo.com. Retrieved June 25, 2016, from http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/can-potential-employers-check-your-facebook-page.html

 

I just LOVE LinkedIn

I say this all the time.  LinkedIn is a vital tool for building professional relationships.  It’s even more important when you’re looking for a job.  For recruiters, it remains the number one source for finding talent.  I have close to 4000 first connections globally on LinkedIn. earth These are people who are directly connected to me because I’ve either accepted their invitation to connect or they’ve accepted an invitation I sent them.  I don’t know all of these people, I wish I did, but each one has something about their experience that I find interesting.  So why connect?   A study by sociologist, Mark Granovetter discusses how it’s your “acquaintances who introduce you to new ideas and opportunities”, not your close friends in your inner circle (Merrill, 2014). Think about it.  Your close friends most likely do similar things and know the same people as you.  Connecting with others outside of my circle is a way of building my opportunity to learn from some fascinating people.  And, we may be able to help each other out some day down the road.

A great tool to help build those connections is LinkedIn Recruiter, one of the paid levels of membership on LinkedIn.  My employer pays for several “seats” for our recruitment team.  This membership has some valuable tools to help make our job easier and more efficient.   With this subscription, I have my own dashboard that displays tabs for my projects, jobs, reports and more.  I can InMail anyone within LinkedIn’s network of 450+ million professionals and also build valuable pipelines of talent with particular skill sets. This greatly reduces my time to fill, eliminating the need to start a search from scratch.  A great feature which I find incredibly helpful is the Profile Recommendation feature.   LinkedIn uses algorithms based on your prior usage and provides you with recommendations such as People You May Want to HireSimilar Profiles, Profile Matches for your posted jobs, People Also Viewed and Suggested Professionals.  The more you use the product, the more LinkedIn “learns” about you and provides you with more tailored recommendations (Venkatraman, 2014).

The newest feature which I am excited to dig into is the Recruiter Mobile App. This takes your LinkedIn experience to a whole new level and allows you to be where your candidates are.  Whether you’re working remotely or traveling, this app gives you the freedom to use all of LinkedIn’s capabilities on the go.   View and search candidate’s profiles, make connections, manage job postings and even email right from your mobile device.  Another great tool to add to the recruiter tool box to help find that damn squirrel!

LinkedIn Mobile

Merrill, T. (2014, May). Retrieved July 3, 2016, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140506113910-43645946-why-you-should-connect-with-people-you-don-t-know-on-linkedin

Venkatraman, S. (2014, December 4). 5 Unique Features of LinkedIn Recruiter That Will Make Your Job Easier. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/2014/12/5-unique-features-of-linkedin-recruiter-that-will-make-your-job-easier?u=0#!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recruiting in the Social Media age

As mentioned in my first post, the recruiting industry has changed dramatically.  We’re moving more and more into a digital world of hiring. Candidates are viewing job postings on social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.  They’re not only using their computers to view these postings but more often on their tablets and phones.  Candidates are now even applying for jobs via their mobile devices. It’s a very competitive job market out there.  Take your time responding to a candidate or have a difficult application process, and they will quickly move on to the next opportunity.  Companies are striving to keep up with the demands of today’s mobile candidate.

Social media is making it easier for us as recruiters to get the word out about openings and to make those connections with the candidate.  For example, almost all organizations use some version of an applicant tracking systems (ATS) which is a software application that tracks resumes, interviews, applications, etc.  Today, most of these systems have mobile capabilities for  job searches and mobile job applications.  On the recruiter side, these tools also offer social media integration.  We are now able to share our open positions with our personal social media networks with the push of a button.  Most also offer the ability to automate and publish openings to the organization’s Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels seamlessly.

Social media recruiting

As an organization is trying to attract top talent, there’s something very important they need to keep in mind.  When a prospective candidate is looking for a new position, their first port of call is usually a company’s website.  According to Amber Hyatt, Director of Product Marketing for Silkroad, in a Business News Daily article titled, Hiring in a Digital Age: What’s Next for Recruiting, a company’s website is like a “store front”.   This is where potential candidates learn most about the organizations they are interested in.  In today’s competitive landscape, it’s imperative that the “Employer Brand” is clearly portrayed on the website. What is an Employer Brand?  An Employer Brand is an organization’s reputation as an employer.  The process of employer branding is a term used to explain how organizations market themselves as an employer both internally and externally (Sokro, 2012).  Basically what it boils down to is clearly communicating why someone would want to work for you.  A few good ways to do this is to ensure you have vibrant, attractive and inviting photos and content.  Make sure it’s optimized for mobile devices with social sharing buttons clearly visible on each page.  Try to include photos of employees in their work environment or at corporate gatherings and also video interviews of employees speaking freely and unscripted. This helps visitors build an emotional connection and help them see themselves in that person’s shoes.

When you’re trying to attract talent, this is the number one thing you need to get right first!  Why?  Because as you develop your social media presence, you’re going to be driving that traffic from your various social media channels back to your website.  The ultimate goal is to engage that person and get them to apply.  If your company is not properly represented or if a candidate cannot get a good feel about what it’s like to work for you by viewing your website, they’re moving on and the hunt for the Purplish Squirrel continues.

References:

Fallon, N. (n.d.). Hiring in the Digital Age: What’s Next for Recruiting? Retrieved June 27, 2016, from http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6975-future-of-recruiting.html

Sokro, E. (2012). Impact of Employer Branding on Employee Attraction and Retention. European Journal of Business and Management, 4(18), 164. Retrieved April 7, 2016, from http://pakacademicsearch.com/pdf-files/ech/517/164-173 Vol 4, No 18 (2012).pdf