Tweeting, Facebooking, Blogging, Networking Your Way to a Job

The other day I was browsing through Twitter when I came across a Tweet (of course now I can’t remember who Tweeted it) asking “Have you gotten a job through social media? If so, share your success story.”  Sounds a little unlikely right? With unemployment still lingering at 9% jobs are either extremely difficult to come across OR you’re competing against 2000 other applicants for the position. Thousands of companies are utilizing social media and tools can be useful in scoping out these job opportunities, connecting to companies/recruiters, and branding yourself.

THE Professional Network: Linkedln

Linkedln is, by far, the best professional social network out there. From it’s easy to navigate interface, to its networking capabilities, Linkedln is a wonderful source for any job seeker to take advantage of. Users are able to create a profile highlighting current and past job experiences, educational background, interests, skills, personal and professional achievements, link to their websites, blogs, or other social media profiles through the home page, and upload a resume. There’s even a place for recommendations from past or current employers and I highly recommend asking for at least one recommendation. Users can also search companies and people to follow. By following a company, you can network with current employees, which can be a great resource for finding, for example, the HR hiring manager, or someone currently holding the position you are interested in. Start a conversation with him/her without initially asking for a job. Do your research and  talk about the company, then after a few back and forth messages you can ask if they know of any opportunities or contacts to direct you to. Company pages often have job postings and useful company news and background info. I also suggest joining groups that you’re interested in. I’m a part of the MSU Alumni Association Linkedln Group where I can partake in discussions between other Alum, reach out for job inquiries, talk about potential opportunities with Alumni in my field, etc. There’s also a box on your profile that says “Jobs you May Be Interested In.” Linkedln is constantly targeting you for jobs based on the info you’ve included in your profile and past searches. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with these people. It’s all about networking and putting yourself out there.

*Something Extra: When writing up your profile, make sure to optimize it with key words related to your job experience, for example “Media Buyer/Planner.” It might even be a good idea to add your location as well: “Detroit Area Media Buyer/Planner.”

Linkedln also has a service specifically for the hardcore job seekers. Now, of course you have to pay a price to utilize it, but you’ll benefit by being able to directly connect and interact with recruiters.

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, TWITTER

Twitter, with its enormous, worldwide network of users is a very simple way to network and stumble across job postings and opportunities. Establishing a professional network and finding job leads is easy on Twitter, not only because of its keyword search tool (try typing in a job title and see what pops up!), but also because of your ability to make connections with professionals. First things first! Create a profile by including a picture, short bio and a link to your Linkedln, personal website or blog. Now it’s time to start connecting with all the other Tweeters out there! Follow companies you are interested in, Tweet about relevant topics pertaining to the industry you want to pursue. Run keyword searches that pertain to a job position you might be interested in…this is a great way to find job postings for a specific job title or company and connect with recruiters. Also, if you create #hashtags about your job hunt, you will begin to pop up in other people’s keyword searches and they may be able to offer a hand in your hunt. It’s all about making connections, starting a conversation, and building relationships. I’ve heard about people who had hundreds of connections, Tweeted “Laid off today” and within hours received direct messages from offering new opportunities, all because they took the time to utilize Twitter to it’s fullest potential and establish relationships. Taking the initiative can open doors for you!

* Something Extra: If you’re going to follow all of these companies and industry professionals then keep it clean. Using Twitter to aid in your job search doesn’t mean you can only tweet job-related content all day, but if you are going to occasionally Tweet something personal, keep it clean. Anyone can see your tweets at any time…even a recruiter, and trust me, a recruiter will take the time to read a day’s worth of tweets if he/she is really interested in you.

THE Social Network: Facebook

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world, and with that user base comes many opportunities you can take advantage of.  Many major companies have a Facebook presence now and even small and local business’s are beginning to tap into this social networking giant. With that said, it’s easy to simply search for your dream company and “like” or “become a fan” of their company page. From there you can find company info, job postings, and even start a conversation by posting or commenting.

Another useful job search feature is the ability to search for keywords. For example, say you are a graphic designer, try typing “graphic design” into the search box. Groups you can join and network in will pop up. I suggest joining these groups or at least poking around their pages because there could be some good networking opportunities or additional job opportunities there you may not have come across otherwise.

*Something Extra: I wouldn’t suggest friend requesting current employees or hiring manager of a company you’ve “liked” or “become a fan of” directly because they receive enough emails and applications at work that they don’t want to be bothered by random job seekers on Facebook.

*Something Extra: If you are going to follow a company’s Facebook page make sure your Facebook is clean and professional. If you have pictures you don’t want a recruiter to stumble across take them down, or make them private. Also clean up your wall and info, free from anything inappropriate. Remember, anything and everything on the internet is accessible so be careful of what you post.

The Blog World

Whether you have a personal blog, or just enjoy reading other people’s blogs, they are a wonderful resource for company news and networking opportunities. If you have your own blog, I suggest following company blogs of the companies you’re interested in. Most company blogs have job banks built right in. Subscribe to their blog, then read it and comment. Comment on company blog posts with relevant, thought provoking content. This will show them you are interested in their company and that you are knowledgeable about the work they do and the industry. Make sure your username on your comments links back to your own blog. Someone at the company may just happen to link your comments together with the resume you sent the week before and there you go…a foot in the door!

*Something Extra: I suggest putting links on your personal blog back to your Twitter, Linkedln, personal website, and resume. That way if your blog sparks interest in a company blogger all your info is right there. Also, put the URL of your blog along the top or bottom of your resume.

Technorati has over 130 million blogs. Use that as a resource to search for blogs relevant to your personal and job-related interests and start following those as well…the blogger could be someone at one of the companies you are pursuing.

A blog is a great way to brand yourself and show recruiters what you are interested and knowledgeable in. If you want to use a blog as a job search tool then blog about what you know and what you love! Start your own today through WordPress!

 

Successful job searches come from people who are consistant with their social media use and those who take the time to build strong networks. Social media is a great way to make connections, start conversations, and show recruiters you are knowledgeable about the industry.

*1 More Thing: I highly suggest linking all of your social media profiles together. If a recruiter only happens to come across one of your profiles you won’t be selling yourself short because links to all the others will be there right in front of them.

 

 

 

 

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The Future of Advertising: Online Video

The other day I was asked what I thought the most influential emerging technology was for advertisers and marketers.

That was a week ago…I think I finally have an answer

Even though online video isn’t a new technology I think it’s one that has advertisers have just recently begun to tap into more. Video advertising will be at the forefront of the online sector this year. This advertising opportunity will prove to be beneficial to media buyers because it contains less clutter, there’s better consumer targeting technology, and a lower cost of production when compared to television.  Online video advertising will also experience massive growth opportunities this year as the shift from offline to online activities continues as well as the explosive growth in mobile and social platforms and formats.

I can see more advertisers utilizing online video for the following reasons (in a nut shell)

  • mobile video will take off
  • branded entertainment and interactive advertising will continue to expand
  • online video can be shared across social media platforms creating even more buzz and video sharing, there’s the potential to target maximum reach on an enormous scale online
  • video search will improve, new online video destinations (other than YouTube) will become accessible to advertisers
  • media buyers may consider moving big budgets online if the consumer potential is greater (ex: to reach young consumers)
  • YouTube will continue to seek out premium brands and advertisers
  • the web will begin to challenge traditional TV and I can say that because I basically watch all my shows online now for lack of time to watch TV
  • real time biding

I’d like to elaborate a bit on what real time bidding is real quick, because I recently just found out myself…

With the recent advancements in broadband and Flash video capabilities, bringing real time video advertising to consumers is more important now then it’s ever been. It’s all about one simple concept…getting the right ad, in front of the right person, at the right time. This is no longer a game of luck: Will that shoe fanatic be on the web when my shoe store banner ad is running along top of yahoo shopper’s homepage. But rather, it’s a game of strategy and defining a target (regional or internet based), then finding that target (IP data parameters), and placing the ad in front of them.  The targeting parameters create impressions and each ad impression is sold to the highest bidder based on who the individual ad is being served to.  An ad buyer, creates a platform or an ad audience (travel, fashion etc), then they can value each opportunity in that audience to buy an impression, in real time. And there you go ladies and gentleman…Local Advertising.

By defining a targeted audience you get the results you want by bidding your ad in real time. Having that targeted audience allows online video advertisers to get better results by bidding their ad, a better ROI, and overall boots success of the ad.

And there we have it. Online Video Advertising…the online advertising of 2011

Talk, Chat, Communicate, Converse…However you say it, IT’S KEY!

With more and more companies investing time and resources into learning how to successfully utilize tools such as facebook and twitter, it’s no doubt that people are really starting to get a hang of the whole social media craze.  Now that companies are tapping into social media to reach consumers these social platforms are becoming a key component in the identify the consumer’s perception of a brand. Gathering consumer insights and behaviors from social media communities is quickly becoming a viable alternative to focus groups. As social media analytics evolve, brands are able to tap directly into consumers behaviors, thoughts, likes and dislikes.  Knowing how to speak the consumer language is more important then ever! Brands who have a social media presence need to actively build a rapport with their consumers in a way that gives consumers the feeling they are being valued and listened to.

Having an active social media presence goes beyond just using social media to promote your brand. From my own observation it seems like a lot of companies are using social media as an ego boost…like a popularity contest. In some cases, it seems to be about who has the most Twitter followers or who has the coolest interactive landing pages, but it goes way beyond that.  A brand’s Twitter or Facebook page is just the first step to achieving social media success. What’s the next step? Communication and building a relationship with your consumers.

communication

WHY?

You know that old saying, “Communication is key”…well whoever said that was absolutely right! The continuous emergence of various social media channels, from Facebook to Twitter to even Youtube, serves as an outlet for consumers to express their opinions, concerns, and feedback about a brand or product. This serves as an opportunity for the brand to then continue the dialogue with their consumers and create a period of interaction…COMMUNICATION. When a brand takes the time to interact directly with consumers and addressing their comments, it not only creates a personal level on communication (as the brand is addressing each specific consumer individually), but it shows the consumer that the company is actually dedicated to their consumers and isn’t just about the popularity contest I brought up earlier in the post.

HOW?

Now the question of how to address consumers might arise. How a brand can make their consumers feel valued can manifest itself in several strategic ways…digital, branding, and conversation engagement.  The brand could respond to a consumer comment as simply and quickly as a Twitter or Facebook reply, or get as fancy as a as digital video response, direct emails, or targeted mobile ads.  A study by 360i found that 43% of tweets are conversational “@ replies” and 24% are conversational status updates and comments on Facebook.

COMPANIES THAT DO IT RIGHT

Let’s take a look at some companies and brands who know how to converse with their consumer. Companies, such as Meijer, Kodak, and Best Buy, utilize direct communication to address consumer concerns and comments via Twitter or Faceook. These 3 brands are wonderful at communicating with as many consumers as they can. If you look on their pages you can see that if a consumer asks a question or addresses a concern, there is a response from the company.  Some responses offer advice, other product info or coupons.

Sometimes brands are caught in a sticky situation and have to find a way to address negative consumer comments. That’s where good PR and analyzing the situation and the best way to handle it come into play. A good example of this is how Groupon will address all the negative feedback from their Super Bowl commercial. This PR pro has some insight on that. This is the simplest way to communicate with consumers and let them know you really care.

WRAPPING IT UP

It’s a simple fact that when brands and companies communicate it’s a win-win for everyone.

  • Consumers feel valued and are more likely to establish a brand loyalty
  • Brands, products or services have a change to engage in conversation to promote  and brand themselves, get a message across, address consumers concerns/opinions/satisfactions, and learn from their consumers.

Social media conversation is a way for brands avoid bombarding consumers with irrelevant messages because they are starting a discussion about specific things at a specific time. KEEP IT RELEVANT! The ability to sustain a meaningful dialogue with a consumer is a way to study consumer behavior and a significant way for marketers to capitalize and learn from the 2 way conversation!