Best Practices for Live Tweeting at #NACE13

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Heather Tranen is spot on with this blog. Read this if you plan on tweeting during an upcoming professional conference!

Best Practices for Live Tweeting at #NACE13.

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Recruiting College Students Using Facebook Groups vs. Facebook Pages

I recently met with a client who wanted to ramp up her recruiting efforts with college students using social media, and one area of particular focus was recruiting on Facebook. Most tend to think of using Facebook fan pages to recruit students, but I recently heard of one company doing something rather innovative using Facebook groups that I thought I’d share.

First off, let’s see a sample recruiting Facebook Page:Ernst & Young Careers Page

E&Y Facebook PageWhat stood out to me most about this page is not that it’s bad, but that it wasn’t very conversational due to the nature of how Facebook pages are set up. Only in the tiny box titled “Recent posts by others” can you see what others post, which limits how conversational one can be using pages.

Here’s an example of what a Facebook Group looks like:

Sample group facebook page

There are quite a few good things you can do with groups that are different than pages. First, anyone that’s a part of the group can post into the main feed, which makes it more conversational. You also have the ability to upload documents (think job descriptions or other promotional materials) and have live group chats. Like Facebook Pages, you also have the ability to post events.

The recruiter that I met who chose to go with a Facebook Group vs. a Facebook Page used it as a way to cultivate talent early by connecting with Freshmen and Sophomore level students and inviting them to be a part of his closed (think exclusive) group. It was a way for top students to stay in touch with this particular recruiter as well as stay informed about every time he would be on campus. The amount of interaction that he saw in his group really astonished me, which opened my eyes to the viability of using Facebook groups vs. pages.

The main downside of a group vs. a page is that doesn’t have the same html capabilities as pages and it doesn’t allow you to create customized tabs. Depending on your recruiting goals, one may be more appropriate than another.

Do you use Facebook groups or pages to recruit? If so, which one and why?

The Secret Hook: How To Engage and Keep Your Customers

You’ve probably heard that millenials and Gen Y as a whole is the “trophy generation,” meaning they think the mere act of participating in something should result in an award. Many grew up with teachers and coaches that gave them a trophy for virtually everything.  You may think of this as coddling or ridiculous, but businesses and higher education would benefit if they would stop fighting the “helicopter parent” mentality and show some appreciation not only to Gen Y, but to their customers as a whole.

Celebrities are the best at this. Take this scenario: Kim Kardashian will occasionally retweet a fan’s comment. Fan freaks out. Tells all her friends on Facebook & Twitter. However many friends that fan has, now knows about Kim Kardashian and is more likely to see who she is and what she does. Conveniently, there is a direct link to her new perfume on her Twitter profile. Coincidence? I think not.  That is the mark of a savvy businesswoman. By the simple act of recognition, her follower becomes an even more avid fan, and new followers may engage with her social media presence that might not have done so before.

You may be thinking that you’re not a celebrity, so obviously the same scenario couldn’t happen to you. I’ve got a few examples that would beg to differ, however.  This phenomenon is an example of a new trend in consumer behavior: recognition. They want to have their questions answered. Be featured on your social media pages. Thanked for sharing your posts. Feel like someone is paying attention to them period.

My definition of recognition is a little broader than the trophy concept. It’s showing your customer respect. Respect for their opinions, showing that you listen, and demonstrating that you act based on what you heard.

How do you show that you’re paying attention to your fans?

SEO, SMO & Your Job Search: Why you SHOULD care

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What do you do when you need to find the answer to a question? Pull out an encyclopedia? Head over to the local library? Talk to the reference librarian? Likely not.  You probably go on Bing or Google to find the answer online.  Employers are no different when they are trying to answer the unknown: are you a good fit for my company? Do you seem like the kind of person I want to work with day in and day out? Is this person hireable?

If you work in marketing and don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of SEO: Search Engine Optimization as well as SMO: Social Media Optimization. Unfortunately for job seekers, these are terms you likely never heard of but they can directly impact whether or not you get your next job.

Many laws are still up in the air regarding social media and…

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Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans

As I began composing an application for a Marketing and Branding award based on the Career Center’s social media strategy, I began to get frustrated.  It’s difficult to explain what you do day in day out.  Sitting down and trying to convey into words the communication strategy was more difficult than I imagined and it got me wondering…why?

Sometimes when we focus so much on measurement (clicked links, total student attendance, reach, etc.), it becomes easy to lose sight of the goal.  I knew I had a plan in place.  I would post tweets and Facebook posts on specific career topics timed when students would likely read them. Sounds simple right?? That’s because it is.

The more complicated your plan is the more difficult it may be to measure.  More complicated does NOT equal more successful. Set a goal before you begin and post it in a place where you can’t overlook it.  This way you remain focused and ever reminded that all you do should contribute to the goal set before you.

My goal for the week: post on Facebook & Twitter about networking & the job search.  Why? Because this is the time of the year we get a lot of questions about those topics. Simple, right?

Branding: If you Build it, They Will Come

Just a few days ago was the UGA Career Center Spring Career Fair where over 160+ companies came to campus to recruit students from a variety of majors.  The event was well attended with over 1,800+ students attending, but I heard a few employers mention that they weren’t seeing enough students from a particular major or set of majors.

I can certainly understand that frustration. You spend time and money to come and hire people (it’s a down economy. Why aren’t they here talking to me, right??) and for some reason they just don’t come to talk to you. Is your display not big enough? Were you not in the right location? These are all questions you may ask yourself.

What I’ve found over time is that the most successful companies that recruit on campus have branded themselves effectively through consistency and the size of the displays they bring in and the location of where they are in the fair do little to deter quality candidates from seeking them out. Being consistent means interacting with your targeted audience OFTEN: through class presentations, networking events, career fairs, hosting student interns and so on.

It’s also important for you to be consistent online as well.  What is the first thing you do when you seek information? For this generation they Google it.  Social media typically pops up on the first page of search results, so revisit your sites and make sure they are up to date and make you appear engaged. Check out your website and make sure it’s been updated and jobs you list can be prominently found. Sharp students will seek you out: online, at a career fair, or at a networking event.  They won’t seek you out if they don’t know you typically.

Lesson of the day: Google yourself. Do you like what you see?

Social Media Personas: Are you too much?

When is your personality too much? Many companies and organizations have posted about what is and is not appropriate to publish as a representative of an organization when using social media.  There are statements that can be added to an employee’s profile if they indicate an affiliation with their employer or other terms that can be added if speaking from an organization’s standpoint.

Overall it seems like a good idea, particularly the setting of social media policies that clearly outline what is expected of their workers if they engage in social media on the company’s behalf. My question, however, is when does an organization lose its voice? Is it ok to show a little personality versus a business-like tone in some cases?

If your audience is likes to use slang terminology or pop culture references, mirroring your audience and the way they communicate could be a great way to connect.  It’s a fine line to balance depending on your company image/culture, but it is something that deserves thought.

If you want to be perceived as…

  1. Professional –  steer away from exclamation points, slang, politically charged topics, connect to other professional accounts
  2. Young – consider using current slang, exclamation points, emoticons, reposting similar users’ content, comment on popular culture in addition to topics relevant to your industry/area
  3. Innovative -discover new sites for your connections to visit, comment on cutting edge technologies in your area, provide advice to followers

The list goes on.  Any other suggestions or thoughts?

Networking: Creating TRUE Fans vs. Passive Followers

I attended a job search workshop targeted to MBA students yesterday and left feeling inspired. My main takeaway from the talk was the importance of networking while job searching.  Even though networking was discussed in the context of the job search, it made me think about how valuable true networking and relationship building can be in any setting.

When you engage in social networking for your employer,  do you think about how to cultivate a deeper relationship with your followers & fans?  Are you participating in meaningful conversation, or are you shouting from your soap box?

No one wants to be “that girl”–you know the type. The girl that only talks about herself and could care less that you just got promoted or took up ballroom dancing. Let me be clear by stating that I’m not suggesting that you go totally off topic and delve into your followers’ social lives. Rather, are you actively listening to their needs and fostering the relationship? If you don’t listen to what they have to say, then why would they listen to you?

Comment on other people’s blogs & statuses. Pose questions and ask for feedback.  Retweet an insightful post from a follower. That will help to create a more meaningful AND reciprocal relationship.

 

Lesson of the day: You have to give to get.

Are you a barnacle?

In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of identifying the leaders in your field–social media field that is.  Twellow, WeFollow, and Listorious are all great sites to identify the leaders in Twitter when you are getting started.

While it is important to benchmark and constantly survey the landscape to make sure you’re on par with your competition, at some point it is important to branch out.  To try something new. To take a risk.  If you do the same thing as your competition, what sets you apart?  Instead of being a barnacle that clings on to someone else’s idea, be the foundation others wish to emulate.

Easier said that done right?  The way that I try to “branch out” from my peers is to bounce ideas off of other people I trust.  It’s okay if some of your ideas seem crazy or off the wall.  Some of the best ideas seemed crazy at first I’m sure.  Even if your ideas end up being deemed “too crazy” and not feasible, the exchange of ideas might lead to another insight that could just work.

Great leaders also surround themselves with great people.  My social media intern came up with an excellent idea: have a “theme week” or topic to focus on that week.   It keeps people engaged in your topic and so far we have had a lot of success through implementing this new idea.

Try it out and see if it works for you!