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.

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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

 

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

 

Welcome to my blog!

I am a seeker and finder of people.  Call me a Head Hunter or even fancier, a Talent Acquisition Specialist, but I call myself a Recruiter.  I have been in this profession for over two decades in various industries.  I’ve worked for agencies, I’ve been my own agency and I’ve worked for giant corporations. I’ve been on both sides of the desk, recruiting and selling recruiting services.  I didn’t grow up thinking, “I’m going to be a recruiter”.  It just happened, and I went with it.  It turned out to be the best career possible for me.  I’m an extrovert.  I love people. I need to be socializing constantly.  And I absolutely LOVE a challenge.  The position that is impossible to fill drives me to succeed.

My role as a recruiter has changed dramatically over the years.  I started off before anyone really knew how to use the internet.  We would post jobs in newspapers and hope for the best.  Today, I am a networking machine.  When I meet someone, usually within the first few minutes I know their name, what they do, where they work, and I am getting their contact information and starting to build a professional relationship.

I use social media tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter to connect and build my network.  LinkedIn is my number one source for information.  I am constantly on LinkedIn researching names and titles.  In essence, I feel I am a name collector.  I have names written everywhere- in my phone, on sticky notes in my office, in countless notebooks.  Everyone’s name sounds familiar to me at this point.  LinkedIn is a way for me to organize all of these names and use them to my advantage.  I connect with everyone and anyone I find who has an interesting title or background no matter the industry.  At the risk of sounding selfish, I connect with people because somewhere down the road, I may be able to use them or someone they know to fill one of my open positions.

Twitter is a social media tool I am relatively new to.  I am just getting my feet wet trying to figure out the best way to use it.  At one point, I had three Twitter handles, one for personal, one for my actual job and one for this blog.  I’ve since shut down the personal one because I wasn’t giving it any attention.  I am just learning how to utilize Twitter to really engage with the audience I am trying to reach.  I am learning about Twitter lists and how to use them to my advantage as a way of organizing people.  My goal for the next few months will be to really try and build a solid follower base and start adding relevant, interesting content to help build up my passive candidate database.

All of these efforts, collecting names, networking, connecting and engaging with people, are for one particular purpose- to find that perfect candidate- the “Purple Squirrel”.  For those that are not familiar with the term, the Purple Squirrel is a term used by recruiters to describe that absolute perfect candidate that checks off ALL of the boxes on that hiring manager’s wish list- i.e. the technical product developer with vulcanized, performance, waterproofing, cement lasted, hand-sewn in their skill set and 5 years of factory experience in Asia, who is also diverse and has salary requirements within the incredibly, ridiculous low budget who is willing to relocate on their own dime to live and work in the boonies.   They all want that, right?  Well, do you spend month after month searching, going without that support you need, spending unnecessary, unbudgeted funds to find this needle in the haystack or do you take your chances and hire that “not so perfect” candidate, the one that doesn’t check off every single box on the list, the “Purplish Squirrel” as I call them, and develop and groom that person into that perfect employee?   I try and convince my managers to take this leap of faith all the time.  Of course, occasionally, you get lucky and that Purple Squirrel does surface but for the most part, you end up chasing your tail when you could have already changed that req status to “Filled” months ago with the Purplish Squirrel.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please tell me what you think.  Thanks for reading!