Social Media 4 Recruitment

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How AT&T Powers its Employee Advocate Program

I came across an online video with a speaker from AT&T, an American multinational telecommunications corporation (thank you Wikipedia), who discusses the company’s Social Circle program.

This is AT&T’s brand advocacy initiative that is used to engage the company’s most social online employees, and its potential social online employees, in order to extend the brand’s reputation in the social space without being too marketing-focused.

To view the video yourself, click here, or for the key takeaways, read on.

The AT&T Social Circle

What is it?

An online hub that provides a central location for employees to access and share content. It contains a community of 1500 exempt managers who actively post and tweet from their personal accounts to share AT&T news and information.

Content is placed on the platform and community members are then able to share the updates to their preferred network. It can be accessed through mobile devices and is very user-friendly.


The personal approach

The hub is kept personalised and focused around the employees by including information they want to see, to keep things fun and make it a valuable resource for them.

For example, content includes tips on how employees can build their personal online brand and expand their reach.

The hub will also share content that is not related to the company, such as interesting content from key influencers (e.g. in business (Richard Branson), in the music industry, etc). AT&T understands that if people are fully engaged with the hub, they become regular and better advocates.


Incentivising through spotlighting and rewarding excellence

The hub develop recognises awesome work by members by:

  • Contents to boost activity or promote specific actions (e.g. 10 days of sharing during Christmas – because people are generally less active during this time period).
  • Award badges based on activity or expertise – gamification based on participation within the hub.
  • Highlight very active members in internal communications (e.g. hub member of the week).
  • Share experiences or guest speakers.
  • Find unique ways to surprise and delight employees.

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LinkedIn’s Vision for the Next 10 Years – A Round-Up

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner recently delivered the LinkedIn 2014 Company Presentation; outlining growth, value propositions for both members and customers, their vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, and the development of the Economic Graph.

LinkedIn’s Mission Statement: “Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”.

Jeff cites “professionals” as the most important word in that mission statement.

Here are a few key growth stats:

  • They’ve grown from 32 million members at the end of 2008 to 277 million members at the end of 2013.
  • Page views have grown from 2 billion to 47 billion in the same time period.
  • Mobile traffic has grown from <2% to 41%
  • Revenue has grown from $79 million to $2,529 million

Core value proposition: Connect talent with opportunity at massive scale

Jeff reiterates that LinkedIn have a continued focus on placing their members first. They are focused in 3 areas:

Professional Identity:

The professional profile of record

The aim is for members to leverage LinkedIn to be able to connect, find or be found by other professionals. It all starts with the personal profile, which is increasingly replacing the CV. People are now updating their profile when they’re not looking for work because it reflects their professional personality. Profiles should not just reflect what they do, but represent them visually with rich media such as pictures, videos and presentations. Adding to your profile “at the click of a button” is key. Users could add certifications once completed and employers will be able to search for these kinds of qualifications through the recruiter platform.


Connecting all of the world’s professionals

600 million knowledge workers and students, or ‘pre-professionals’. They are going to be localising LinkedIn into simplified Chinese. There are 140 million professionals and students in China. Students represent a huge opportunity. Last year LinkedIn rolled out University profiles and are continuing to invest in tools to leverage LinkedIn for students. Reaching out to alumni is also key.


The definitive professional publishing platform 

  • Slideshare
  • Groups
  • Pulse
  • Influencers

These assets are generating over 80 million unique users per month, which ranks LinkedIn as one of the top business publishers on the internet. One of the key successes has been their Influencers programme, where experts can publish their thoughts and knowledge and be followed by members. On average, Influencer posts have generated over 30,000 views. LinkedIn have recently opened this up to more people. Now, every member of LinkedIn can share their expertise. These posts are also immediately integrated into the person’s profile as they hit publish.

For customers, LinkedIn transform the way they:

Hire: LinkedIn powers half of all the hires that their talent solutions customers are generating. LinkedIn have emerged as the leading platform for passive candidate recruiting at scale. They want to invest in the volume of jobs and the ability to match the right member to the right job at the right time.

Market: LinkedIn want to be the most effective way for marketers to engage with professionals. Marketing solutions customers are able to integrate content on a paid basis directly into the home page news stream. Quality of content is very important. 70% of revenue from sponsored updates is from mobile.

Sell: LinkedIn want to be there at the start of every sales opportunity. It’s still early days, but they want to emerge as a leader in social selling. There are 3 key focus points here: Find, Connect and Engage.

Another key theme for LinkedIn in Mobile. They have a multi-app strategy. In 2014 they expect to reach their “mobile moment”, where over half of all of their traffic will be coming through mobile.

Thinking bigger: The next decade:

LinkedIn’s vision: “Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce”

LinkedIn are really looking to make this happen in 3 key areas:

  1. Find work
  2. Realise your dream job
  3. Be great at what you do

Key challenges:

  • The youth unemployment rate in Europe is 23%.
  • There are 4 million available jobs in the US.
  • China want 250 million people to transition from rural China to cities by 2025 to create a thriving middle class. This would be the largest such migration of human capital in the history of civilisation.

The Economic Graph:

LinkedIn want to develop the world’s first economic graph. To digitally represent and map the global economy.

  • To create a digital profile for every member of the global workforce
  • To create a digital profile for every company in the world
  • To have a digital representation of every job offered by these companies
  • To have a digital representation of every skill required to obtain these jobs
  • To have a presence for every higher education organisation and learning and development tool that would enable members to obtain those skills
  • To overlay the professionally relevant knowledge for every one of those individual members, companies and universities to the extent that they want to share it
  • To then step back and allow capital – intellectual, working and human – to flow to where it can best be leveraged and in doing so, transform the global economy.

The building blocks:

  • 277 million members
  • 3.5 million active company profiles
  • 300 thousand jobs
  • 3 billion endorsements
  • 24 thousand schools and universities
  • Billions of network updates on a weekly basis

The only thing standing between LinkedIn and the realisation of this economic graph is scale, which will simply require time.

Watch the video: LinkedIn’s Vision for the Next 10 Years

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The question of Google Plus

So Google Plus is still relatively new to a lot of people. Whilst it launched in 2011 and there was a lot of buzz around it, a lot of people still have no idea what it is, how it works, or whether it’s right for them.

Here’s what we know:

  • Google+ has been proven to boost SEO ranking.
  • It has over 1 billion users, of which 359 million are active.
  • The 45-54 year old bracket has increased it usage 56% since 2012.
  • Rich media (images, videos, etc) work really well.
  • Personalised and vanity URLs are being rolled out
  • Google+ will automatically generate the top three hashtags for a post
  • Engineers and tech users are widely represented
  • It’s a professional landscape, geared toward connecting businesses and professionals
  • It’s integrated with Google services (Gmail, Google Docs, etc)

On Google+, you can:

  • Create a personal account
  • Create a page
  • Add people to circles based on specific groups or topics
  • Join Hangouts to conduct chats, Q&As or recorded conferences
  • Join Communities to discuss relevant topics with like-minded people
  • Follow Pages
  • Mention people
  • Format posts with underlining, italics or bold font
  • Edit or delete after posting
  • Disable comments and make posts ‘exclusive’ or ‘private’
  • Post content to specific circles of people
  • Post longer content than on other social media channels
  • Upload photos using drag-and-drop
  • Embed posts directly onto websites or blogs

So why can Google+ work for recruitment?

  • Recruiters can use circles to categorise candidates, sending out specific jobs and targeted content to the right audience. Segmentation reduces unwanted posts in your feed. These circles can become talent pipelines, or talent pools.
  • It’s great for developing a connection network.
  • The focus on rich media is perfect for visual job specs or memes.
  • The keyword and SEO benefits are ideal for job searches.
  • Hangouts can be used to host chats or Q&As.
  • Authorship lets you as an author stand out against your content, giving you authority and authorship. By configuring Google so that your image appears next to your content, recruiters can show their expertise.
  • A lot of Google+ profiles include contact information, which LinkedIn doesn’t.
  • You can use hashtags to group content and make it searchable

And here’s a question, do you say ‘GooglePlus’, or ‘Google+’?

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How to be awesome at everything

(Tip 1: always set expectations correctly – under-promise, over-deliver – whoops!)

(Tip 2: sometimes it’s OK to ignore advice and do things a bit differently.)

Anyway. It’s my last day. I’m so excited about my new role, but I’m really going to miss all of you. I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about all the things I’ve learnt over the last three years. When I came to Enhance Media, it was my first proper job out of uni and to be honest, I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. But with a lot of support from a lot of people, I’ve managed to develop into someone who can just about pass as a competent professional (most of the time!). I just wanted to share some of the things I’ve learnt along the way with you guys.

1. Really, really immerse yourself in social media.

My own personal usage of social media has fluctuated over time. Sometimes, when you’ve been on it all day for work, it’s really tempting just to turn off when you get home. But I think it’s really important to make sure you are active on as many different social media networks as possible and find out what works on each. People are quite used to seeing weird things on my personal social networks now, as I often use them to experiment and try out new things – if I’m going to screw up, I would much rather do it on my own personal account than a client channel!

In all the time I’ve been here, I feel the time I was best at my job was during the Klout challenge we ran last summer. I found it really valuable as it really did encourage me to log in every day and try to share valuable knowledge with my network to get engagement. It really got me in the right mindset for seeing what works and what doesn’t.

I would really recommend you follow as many client channels, competitor channels, market-leading channels and industry channels as you can as it’s all great for seeing what works and what doesn’t. Always think about how this can be applied to your own work.

It can also help to remind you why social media is such a fantastic and exciting area to work in – I still feel so lucky that I’ve managed to fall into something I love.

2. *Always* think about your audience

It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a one line email, a content plan or a 58 page strategy document. Whatever you’re writing, it will be wasted if it’s not presented in a way that will engage the reader. Make sure you think about how to present it as clearly as possible:

  • What do you want to achieve? How can you make sure you do this? What is the best tone to use?
  • If you are writing to someone who is really busy and important, keep it as short as possible. Make sure every word on the page is necessary. Break things up to make them easy to read and use lots of bullet points. Spell everything out and make it as clear as possible.
  • If you’re writing to someone who doesn’t really understand social media, make sure to spell things out to them. Why should they care their channel has grown 2% this month? What is the value of a like? How is this going to help their business?
  • Do as much research as you can into your audience. Look at similar channels. What has been successful on there? How can we replicate/improve on this without plagiarising? What can we learn from other people’s successes and failures?
  • Always ask “so what?”. Why are you telling the reader this? Why should they care?

3. Google really, really is your friend

So recently I’ve ruined the mystery. I’m not a genius who knows absolutely everything. I’m just really good at Googling stuff very quickly. I love learning stuff, researching and figuring stuff out and Google is brilliant for all of this. If your first Google search doesn’t succeed, mix up the keywords a bit. Particularly on social media, someone has written something about almost everything. If Google doesn’t know the answer, it’s probably OK if you don’t either.

If you need an answer immediately (and can’t Google it – e.g. on a client call), it’s OK to say you’re not sure and you’ll look into it and get back to them later (as long as you follow through!). Social media does change all the time and people understand this.

ImageI think that’s probably about it from me. Good luck guys and stay in touch!

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5 tips for increased employee amplification

In theory, getting your employees to share your content should be one of the quickest and easiest ways to get more people seeing your message. It should also be one of the best ways to get the right people to see your message – your employees are likely to know other people who would make good potential employees. This is why employee referrals can be one of the most effective ways to recruit (there are hundreds of articles about this, one of my favourites can be found here).

In practice, actually getting your employees to do this can be tricky. Below are some thoughts on how we could improve this, both for our own marketing and for our clients. Many of these were taken from a talk I attended at LinkedIn Talent Connect: Promote & Engage: Ways To Amplify Your Talent Brand, a really interesting talk by Sarah Penrose, Global Talent Acquisition Marketing Manager at British American Tobacco. (Incidentally, I have taken a look at their channels, and they clearly do practice what they preach!)

1. Make sure your employees really agree with the message you are trying to portray. Consult them during development of the employer brand message. Employees are not going to be happy endorsing a message on their personal channels if they don’t really believe in it.

2. Communicate what you want employees to do as clearly and simply as possible. Many people might not be sure how to do something. Make sure they don’t have any excuses not to by giving them really good instructions. Also make it clear that this isn’t a scary or time-consuming thing.

3. Encourage an open ‘share and tell’ atmosphere. A lot of people still aren’t sure what is and isn’t OK on social media channels, particularly as some employers have historically been very strict on this. Eliza’s email the other day was a really nice example of someone who clearly liked his employer and was happy and confident to share this with others. It might be worth revisiting your internal social media policies to reframe them in a more positive light.


4. Focus on your most socially savvy employees first and encourage them to lead by example. These are probably likely to be quicker wins because these people will already understand the channels and how to promote their employers on them. In large companies, these people can also be really effective social media champions, helping to encourage others, drive change in the business and troubleshoot as required. These people should be easy enough to find, because they’re probably already all over the various social media channels.

5. Make it a competition. As Susie’s last blog post showed, gamification is a  great way to make people do things. And it’s what made me want to write this post!

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Achievement Unlocked: Gamification

I have a pretty short commute to work in the mornings, about 10 minutes on the train, which gives me plenty of time to scan The Metro on my way in. This morning, I came across an interesting article on Gamification, which is an ever-increasing aspect of social media.

A lot of people grew up with games, and with the growth of personal technology, the possibilities are becoming more interesting. Our lives are already full of rules, strategies and ‘keeping score’. Now employers are using league tables, reward systems and achievement milestones to engage with customers and staff and to encourage a little more friendly competition. Gamification makes every day tasks more fun and keeps people motivated.

The opportunity for recruitment is exciting, giving candidates the chance to compete, achieve and express themselves and giving hiring managers a bit more information about the candidates who take part.

Marriott Hotels have launched a mobile app that makes candidates virtually perform hotel service industry tasks, providing insight into how candidates would approach real work. This also helps to eliminate applicants lacking the patience or aptitude for the job.

KPMG’s ‘Race the World in 80 Days’ game asks candidates to fly a balloon around the world in the quickest time, having completed 10 challenges along the way. Of the 4,548 games played, 110 were completed and 136 graduate applications were made.

Did you know?

The term gamification, which is basically the introduction of game-like processes to everyday situations, was coined in 2002 by British programmer Nick Pelling.

79% of workers say they want their employer to try out new approaches.

More than 70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies are expected to have used gamification by the end of this year.

The gamification market is expected to be worth £3.3 billion by 2018.

Here’s a link to the online article which has a nice little infographic full of stats from IBM.

Another really interesting article on the subject is Life is a game. This is your strategy guide.

So how can we use gamification more?

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My new favourite Twitter tool

Yes, I love Twitter. And I write about Twitter tools a lot. But that’s only because there are so many awesome and clever things out there. And RiteTag is my new favourite (sorry Buffer, I still love you too…)

RiteTag is a seriously clever tool for figuring out which hashtags to use. I have tried hundreds of hashtag tools, and generally been unimpressed. This one is much sleeker and much more impressive.

So when you log in, the first thing it will do is analyse your own Twitter feed. You can run 10 of these audits a month for free or go pro to get more. Here is a sample from my own personal feed (note most of these aren’t very good because I’m often quite lazy with hashtags on my personal account…)


You can look through all the recent hashtags you have used and see what similar tags you could have used. For example, #NowPlaying is ridiculously overused (not a surprise, as Spotify adds it automatically when you share a playlist). If I actually wanted people to see the tweet, the drop down box informs me that #Spotify would have been a better choice. It’s not perfect, because it also suggests #ValentinesDay as a suitable alternative, but this can easily be resolved with a little common sense.

As well as reviewing this for my own posts, I can also run searches from any Twitter users, from tweets I have favourited and by uploading planned tweets in bulk (up to 100). Again, you get a certain amount for free each month and can then go pro to get more.

Finally, you can create and schedule tweets within the tool. Obviously there are several other tools that do this very well, and this may not be the best option for our clients. However, if you have a chance, I would recommend having a play with it – it is extremely well set-up for split testing and might be a good option for, say, outreach campaigns where we are posting a lot of very similar tweets. If you do create and schedule through RiteTag, you can also build up an idea of what hashtags perform well, which could be really useful on an ongoing basis. Obviously I’ve only just started playing, but you can see below what analytics I currently have available:


I know there are a billion Twitter tools out there, but I really, really recommend you give this one at least a cursory glance. Even if you only log in once a month to see what hashtags are worth using for each of your clients. It could be a great way to build up a bank of effective hashtags.

Just remember, it is still in beta, so things are likely to change a bit and it is a bit slow sometimes… But it really is worth persevering with!