Social Media 4 Recruitment

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Content Discovery: #NewKlout

“Content Discovery” is sweeping the social networks, with Facebook recently releasing the Paper app (a ‘re-imagining of the News Feed), and LinkedIn using Pulse to share content. Now Klout have launched #NewKlout!

Whilst Klout is well known for scoring  influence on social media, #NewKlout aims to raise your influence score by highlighting interesting content for you to share, tailored to what “will strike a chord with your unique set of friends, fans, and followers”.

You can share this content through Klout, which will be measured by your Klout score rising and falling. You can add and remove content topics, to tailor the types of things you’ll see.


Find out more about #NewKlout here:

I’m currently experimenting with sharing content through Klout, as it allows you to create, schedule and measure the impact.


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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.


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:


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:


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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Google Plus Hashtags

Back in 2012, Google announced it’s intention to start using hashtags on the site. Originally, users would do this in a very similar way to Twitter, by inserting hashtags when writing a post to link similarly-themed posts together.

Last year, this feature was updated to make it more valuable.

Google Plus will now automatically generate the top three hashtags for a post. The algorithm for this is relatively complex, but the major point is what people are already talking about, and what will have the best SEO value.

These automatically-generated hashtags hold a lot more value than those generated by the poster. Google Plus hashtags will have a pre-populated page, containing relevant content, and this page is optimized to be easily found when searching Google. 

For example, if you were posting something about painters, you might choose to hashtag it painters, painting, decorating, paint…If you leave this up to Google, it will decide what the top 3 hashtags are, and include those.

Not only will that then be linked to other posts about painting, painters, etc, but it’ll also show up on Google when someone searches for painters. That means more people will see the post, and be able to share or interact with it. Google does this often, because it’s a great way to show people that content that they want to read is on Google Plus, and therefore encourage new members! 

The catch…

If you write your own hashtags, Google will either not generate any automatic hashtags at all, or it will simply pick similar words to the hashtag that you chose, rather than using SEO/current search data.

Unless there is a good reason to use a specific hashtag, I’d recommend letting Google pick.  


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LinkedIn SWAM: What it is, and what it means.

On a Webinar today, LinkedIn unveiled plans to take their current SWAM guidelines to the next level – prompting a wave of backlash from users who believe that they’ve been unfairly targeted. It seems a good time to learn exactly what this means! 

What does SWAM mean? 

SWAM stands for Site Wide Auto Moderation. 

What does SWAM do?

If SWAM is activated on your profile, any messages that you post into groups or company pages will require moderation before they can be seen by other group members. SWAM can also affect your ability to connect with new people, and the visibility of your posts once they are approved.

What’s the issue?

LinkedIn estimate that 65% of the 3 million groups on the site have no active management. That means your post would sit in a moderation forever. The true number of groups with no active managers is thought to be much higher, but with LinkedIn planning on making groups a paid feature, being coy about this suits them better.

For our purposes, this means that when we post outreach or job discussions, they will simply never been seen. Even in groups which do have an active manager, a post requiring approval is much more likely to be deleted than one which posts automatically, especially if it contains a link that sends the group member away from the group, which many of our posts will.

LinkedIn recommends that group managers clear the pending posts “at least once every six months”, which means that jobs are likely to have expired, anyway.

How does a profile become SWAM’d?

A profile now only needs to be “blocked and deleted” from one group for SWAM to take effect. LinkedIn have placed a warning under this setting to alert people to it’s meaning, but it is still the easiest way to delete all pending discussions from a specific group member, and prevent them from rejoining the group.

Group members have the options to delete and block and delete on every group post. 

The warning from LinkedIn looks like this: 


How does a profile become un-SWAM’d?

There is currently no easy way for a profile to become un-SWAM’d. LinkedIn will not change the setting manually, under any circumstances. They advise that affected profiles review their behaviour in groups, and then manually contact the management of individual groups to have their settings changed. Manually changing a group member’s permissions is labour-intensive, and requires a group to have an active manager. 

Avoiding SWAM

LinkedIn has offered some advice on how to avoid having your profile SWAM’d.

  • Only post into highly relevant groups.
  • Don’t multi-post the same or similar messages into many groups. LinkedIn’s algorithms will automatically flag a message to the group owner if more than a certain percentage of the message has been posted into more than one group. The amount that needs to be different is kept secret to keep the system fair, but 60% is the most commonly quoted figure.
  • Avoid linking away from LinkedIn. Messages containing a link are 4 times more likely to be considered promotional, and deleted.
  • Read the group rules before you post. Some groups will have no rules, and some have huge rule documents, but the only way to ensure that you are not breaking the rules is to read and understand them.
  • Offer value. Someone who is genuinely valuable to the group is more likely to be deleted and warned, rather than blocked and deleted.

I hope this has been helpful – send me an email if you’ve got any questions! 

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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, 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,

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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What’s in store for social media in 2014?

It’s a New Year and of course everyone is getting in their predictions for what’s going to be big in 2014. I’ve taken a look and compiled a list of some that caught my eye.

  • Employee Brand Ambassadors: Each employee has influence in their own social network, so the more employees who can help share the company’s social media messages, the broader the reach a company can achieve in social media.
  • The rise of social storytelling: Shifting focus from ‘telling’ to highlighting their ‘story’.
  • Visual content will continue to dominate: Creative and fresh ways of incorporating visual content will be highly important this year.
  • New channels to consider: SnapChat, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, YouTube. These may not be new, but interest in them is certainly peaking.
  • A growing importance of mobile strategy: It’s not enough to have a mobile friendly website, we need to think about how content strategy works with mobile – shorter pieces might work well here.
  • Google+ will continue to rise: It will become a serious threat to other networks.
  • Focus on Advertising: Native Advertising, Paid Advertising and sponsorship, Social media as an ‘Advertorial’. Monetization is big news and companies are looking to pay more for social media advertising.

What else do you think is going to happen in social media in 2014, and how can we utilise this to deliver the best service?


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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?