Social Media 4 Recruitment


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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.

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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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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…)

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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:

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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!


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The Holy Trinity of Content Sharing: Feedly, Buffer and Followerwonk

I love Twitter. Lots. I love reading it and I love finding interesting articles to share with my followers. But it can be really hard to find the time to manage this sensibly. It can be really tempting to blast out 6 tweets in a row when you have a spare 10 minutes, but this is likely to just annoy your followers.

Luckily, there are a wide range of free Twitter tools entirely devoted to making this easier. My favourites are Feedly, Buffer and Followerwonk. Individually, they’re useful. Together, they’re amazing.

Find great content with Feedly

Feedly is a content aggregator (or RSS news reader) – one of the many that sprung up after the death of Google Reader, but this one is particularly nicely designed. It’s really easy to find interesting content and set up lists to categorise this content. When you log in (which can easily done through a Gmail account), all the recent news stories for feeds you are following will be shown to you. To start getting content in your feed, click the ‘Add content’ button on the left and type in a keyword. If you find a feed you like the sound of, click the plus button next to it. You can add it to an existing list or create a new list. There are lots of social sharing buttons along the top to allow you to share to your social network(s) of choice.

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My personal Feedly. My two great loves are social media and gaming…+

Space out your content with Buffer

Now you’re finding all this great content from Feedly, you’re going to want to share it. But your followers probably aren’t going to appreciate 6 tweets in a row. This is where Buffer can be brilliant. You can sign in with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The first time you sign in, you are going to be greeted with a blank screen. This is where all your scheduled content is going to go. Buffer will show you what is going out and when, and also let you edit and change this from this screen:

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For illustrative purposes only – I haven’t been sharing enough recently…

In reality, while you can share messages straight from the web app, this is unlikely to be the main place you share from. The best thing about Buffer is that it is integrated into all sorts of other apps. Including Feedly. So when you find all this great content, you can share it all at once using the Buffer share button at the top of the article, and it will schedule it to go out sensibly for you. Just remember you can only schedule 10 messages at once on the free app (although if you’re a true addict, you can spend $8.50 per month on unlimited posting).

There are lots of clever things about Buffer. If you install the Chrome app, the Buffer button will appear next to your URL, so you can easily add any articles you find. The Buffer button will also appear on Twitter, so you can Buffer retweets. You can find a full list of clever applications here.

Maximise your impact with Followerwonk

So you’re finding great content and scheduling it sensibly. But we can get even cleverer. Buffer can also integrate with Followerwonk. Followerwonk is a fantastic tool that (among other things) tells you lots of data about your followers. Including when they’re online. It can then share this information with Buffer so tweets are automatically scheduled for when your followers are likely to be active:

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My followers are most active between 5-6pm and 8-9pm, which is fairly common.

To access this data, go to ‘Analyze followers’ tab. Enter your Twitter username in the box and select ‘analyze their followers’. Click ‘Do it’ and scroll down until you see the screen above.

It literally takes about three clicks to get this all connected together and working sensibly. And then you have the holy trinity working for you.

One of my favourite things about all of these tools is that they are so incredibly user friendly that nobody should have any trouble replicating this. But give me a shout if you do have any questions. And happy sharing!


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Social Recruiting in 2014

It’s that time of year when everyone is thinking about what next year will bring. I would suggest that nowhere is this currently more prevalent than social media marketing, where there seems to be another predictions blog post everywhere I look. So rather than creating my own from scratch, I am going to select some of my favourites from this ebook, ‘Social Recruiting Predictions and Trends for 2014‘.

1. “You need to know all the platforms that your community visits and tap into the stream to find, identify and attract the best talent.” Lori Ruff, CEO, Integrated Alliances

“Social media serves to amplify real life”. I love this concept and I think it expresses very clearly why the use of social media is continuing to grow and grow. I do imagine that in the near future, using social media for both recruitment and marketing in general will become normal. It is getting there, but there’s still progress to be made. On the flip side, I think that Lori makes a good point in that it is important to actually understand social media and that those who do not understand it will not succeed. This means we really need to focus on really ensuring our clients understand why we do what we do.

Lori’s recommendations for channels to watch (Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Nimble.com and Triberr) are also interesting. In particular, I have been wondering if we should be thinking about Tumblr for future grad recruitment.

2. “True social media recruiting does not include simply posting jobs to social media sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn.” Steven Rothberg, President and Founder, CollegeRecruiter.com

It genuinely amazes me how many people still think this is a valid strategy. I think posting jobs is useful but it really needs to be part of a wider and much stronger content strategy. I really hope companies stop doing this soon (and if they don’t, we should start approaching them and showing them how we can help them do better…)

3. “Companies who are still resistant to social media in 2014 will need to begin embracing it without fear.” Katrina Collier, Speaker, Trainer and Writer, Winning Impression

One thing that came out of my recent strategy work that was quite interesting was that, even in the financial services industry, which used to be extremely controlling of employee activities on social media, there is a gradual shift towards openness. Companies that used to ban employees from mentioning their employer are now encouraging these same employees to promote their employer brand through social media. While usage varies from industry to industry, there is now a much wider acceptance of the value of social media.

There are still examples of companies getting it very wrong, (e.g. the recent J.P.Morgan Twitter Q&A incident) but the majority of these issues can be ignored by being considerate of your audience and posting sensibly. For most companies, the biggest damage now is likely to come as a result of not being part of the conversation.

Final thoughts: LinkedIn

It is interesting to note that there are two entirely conflicting approaches to LinkedIn:

  • “LinkedIn will begin to decline in use because it is so saturated. There are new resources, services and strategies that can provide more success and at a lower cost per hire.” Jessica Miller-Merrell, President and CEO, Xceptional HR
  • “LinkedIn is a hot, hot place to be and not to be ignored in 2014!” Viveka von Rosen, Founder, LinkedIntoBusiness

I can understand Jessica’s point. A lot of people find LinkedIn confusing and don’t use it to its full potential (or at all once they have created an account). It really doesn’t help that LinkedIn frequently carries out major overhauls with no explanation, which doesn’t create a great user experience. It also struggle with spam and abuse from recruiters, and LinkedIn’s recent efforts to prevent this have had very little impact.

However, I think Viveka is right in that there is still a lot of potential. We will have to make sure we are using LinkedIn intelligently, but I think there is still plenty of scope to get value from it. I agree with Jessica’s point that there is plenty of value to be gained from content marketing and producing ebooks, blogs, whitepapers, etc. But LinkedIn can be a great platform to distribute this content on.


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Guy Kawasaki’s 10 tips for building a social media following

On Friday afternoon, I listened to a webinar by Guy Kawasaki on how to build a social media following.

He started by explaining why a large social media following is important. For him, social media is always a means to an end and just another way to do business. This means that he can never have too many followers. While quality engagement is key, he believes that the best way to get that is to build quantity first (I would argue that this isn’t quite true, but that the methods he suggests using are generally likely to increase both quantity of following and quality of engagement).

He then provided the following 10 tips on building a following:

1. Start yesterday – you need to be building a social following as soon as possible.

2. Segment the services – be aware of how each channel is used. He divides them as follows:

  • Facebook – people you already know
  • Twitter – broadcast to the world
  • Google+ – share passions with other people (who you may not already know)
  • Pinterest – find cool stuff to share, aesthetically pleasing
  • LinkedIn – show yourself as an influencer

3. Make a great profile – he used Peg Fitzpatrick as an example. Key tips include:

  • Banner should tell a story.
  • Profile image should show you as likeable and trustworthy – nothing else. Some people use profile image to try to tell the full story, which gets complicated. Banners should tell the full story, profile images should have a simple message. Ideally the profile image will be a high quality image that is 90% your face. Guy likes that Peg’s image is slightly off-centre.
  • Fill in all the information that you can.

4. Be a great curator and linker:

  • Every post should have a link to the original source.
  • There are a number of good tools for curation, including Alltop and StumbleUpon (both of which I have used and would recommend).
  • Find great stuff and share it to tell your story.

5. “Cheat” – use quick wins, such as:

  • Get people to share your content, so that they are showing your expertise – social proof.
  • Use your knowledge of your audience to give them what they want.
  • See what’s already popular – use tools such as most read/most commented on news stories.
  • Share hot stories – what’s working for other people will probably work for you.
  • Give credit to good curators and develop good relationships with them – they may start to curate your content.

6. Restrain yourself – Guy recommends that 19/20 content pieces should be informational and 1/20 should be promotional.

7. Add “bling”:

  • Guy shares a relevant picture that he has sourced to accompany every single post to draw people in and make the posts stand out. These are about 4-500 pixels wide. He will always credit the source.
  • Wikimedia is a great source of stock images.
  • Embedding videos is a good alternative.

bling   bling 2

(Click on images to enlarge)

8. Respond – don’t just push out content, make sure you are engaging too.

9. Stay positive or stay silent – there is no benefit to posting negative content or comments.

10. Repeat posts:

  • Post in large quantities and post often.
  • Guy repeats all his tweets 4 times as 8 hour intervals.
  • Most people will miss the post first time – you may upset a couple of followers by repeating, but you are likely to gain more than you lose.
  • Most companies do not post enough.
  • Nothing in social media is gospel – there are no set rules on how often it is OK for brands to post.
  • Guy repeats all posts on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Q&A session

Q1: How do you deal with complains?

A1: 1. Fix the issue. 2. Send a message saying, “Sorry about this, let’s resolve it offline.”

Q2: What images is it OK to use?

A2: Using images that aren’t yours is a grey area, but Guy feels it is OK as long as they are clearly credited. Stock images from sites such as Wikimedia are a great resource.

Q3: Do you post the same content on different channels or tailor to each channel?

A3: It depends. Generally the content is the same for Facebook and Google+, and as similar as possible for Twitter considering the character limits. This content will be around 70% information and 30% bling. He will vary timings and formats across each network as appropriate.

Instagram and Pinterest are both for eye candy, so he will post about 70% bling and 30% information. On Instagram he will post things “just for the hell of it”, but on Pinterest he is more selective and will only share great images.

Q4: Are there any companies that shouldn’t be using social media:

A4: It’s fast, free and ubiquitous – why shouldn’t they use it? Anything can be made interesting. Even for B2B, every transaction is between two people, so the same principles are relevant. He spent a little while trying to think of any type of company that shouldn’t be on social media and couldn’t find any strong examples (except potentially plutonium salesperson…)

Q5: Should business avatars use a person or a company logo?

A5: It depends on the business. If you are a small business owner, then you are the business so it might be best to use that. The larger the company gets, the less important a face is.

Q6: How should companies measure success?

A6: Some marketers will find variables they can control so that they can justify their fees.

The key question is: are you selling more or not?


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Is Twitter Analytics worth the hype?

I know we were all very excited when Twitter announced it was launching Analytics, but so far, I haven’t exactly been blown away. Here are the stats for my personal account:

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I know that I have had 7 mentions in the past week, which aren’t in the graph at the top – although in fairness to Twitter, these were all just before Analytics went live, so perhaps it just isn’t able to backdate this information – but there is no clarification of this. The information on follows and unfollows is quite nice to have and I do like the summary of recent tweet performance, but I am disappointed that there is still no information on reach/impressions.

There is also a second page of analytics about Followers, but apparently Twitter doesn’t have enough data to display analytics at this time and I should try again later. I promise I will do!

It’s nice that Twitter has implemented this feature and it’s an interesting step forward for them, but so far I am feeling quite underwhelmed. I’ll keep playing with it and see if it gets better, but I wouldn’t recommend moving over from Sprout Social just yet.

In the meantime, I will continue in my quest to find a tool that accurately measures Twitter reach….