Social Media for the Recruitment of Rockstars

 

I was recently fortunate to sit in on a keynote presentation by Social Expert, Crystal Washington. By now, you know that social media has caused a shift in the way we communicate with each other. In fact, we are losing the ability to even connect effectively offline. Social media has provided a visible platform for everyone and anyone – no matter how valuable or annoying the comments or critiques your “Friends” may share.

Crystal opened her speech with some eye opening statistics regarding how candidates are finding jobs on social from a Jobvite study:
– 10.2 million found their latest role via LinkedIn
– 8 million found their latest role via Twitter
– 18.4 million found their latest role via Facebook

Did the Facebook statistic shock you? I was floored. If that’s not a testimony for a clean social profile, I don’t know what can convince you.

So, how are you being located by your future employer on social sites like LinkedIn?

People find you on LinkedIn via Keywords. Keywords are the words or terms that you want to be found for. For example, if you want to work in social media, your profile should be full of terms like social media, marketing, Twitter, Facebook, community administrator, social content and social analytics. You must have the keyword in your profile to populate in keyword searches by recruiters.

You are found via your connections. You will show up higher in LinkedIn search results when you have common connections. Moral of the story: ditch the business card rolodex or binder, and start connecting with your peers, former colleagues, alumni and professional group connections. Crystal recommends www.shoeboxed.com to automate going paperless.

 

You are more “searchable” when you join groups. The basic (free!) LinkedIn user can join up to 50 groups. Join as many groups as you can that are relatable to your industry or field (or dream industry/field) so that you are found by recruiters targeting individuals in those groups.

Finally, remember the elements of a strong  personal social brand:
–  Use Keywords related to the job you are looking to get
– Do you have a visible profile picture? “Or are you a stranger in a ski mask?” (Thanks for the laugh on that one, Crystal.)
– Do you consistently post on your social channels and add value, or do you only show up when you want something? Share interesting articles, comment and answer the questions of others to demonstrate that you are engaged.
– When you make contacts or request connections on social, be yourself. Don’t use a form letter, or template. Write from your own head, and you’ll sound much more authentic.

I’ll end the same way Crystal did: What’s your ONE thing you can do immediately from this post?

I’ll be starting with keywords.

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Social Content Strategy Session

Creating or finding engaging, valuable content is 99% of managing social media channels. The 1% is actually posting the content, and a 5 year old can probably do that at this point from their own iPhone. As an instructor in this space, I find this the most difficult concept to explain to my students. Facebook posts, blogs, articles and tweets don’t write themselves – social media professionals must be creative and downright crafty to have enough content in their queues to be present on social media today.

Before I get further in the weeds, here are some examples of content your brand can consider creating, then promoting via your social media channels:
– Blog Posts
– Infographics
– White papers
– Testimonials
– Webinars
– Press Releases
– Newsletter Articles
– Event Photos and Videos
– Presentations or SlideShare

Before you feel overwhelmed by that list, or think that you don’t have the resources for any of it, let’s note the difference between created and curated content. Creating is what you as a brand develop, and curating is what you are “borrowing,” or pointing to (i.e. relevant YouTube videos, recent Forbes articles). Your content mix can and should be a mix of both your owned content and the content of others.

A content rule I learned in an MBA blogging course is the 4-1-1 Content Rule by Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute. Joe’s rule states that for every 4 value-added and informative content offers your provide, you can have 1 soft-sell offer and 1 hard-sell offer – like a demo/trial, % off sale offer or product spotlight.

If you’ve read Gary Vaynerchuk’s (@garyvee) Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, you’ll be familiar with the school of thought regarding properly mixing value-add and sell-focused content. “Jabs” are value-added pieces of content that make your viewers laugh, think or even shed a tear. Jabs show you are culturally relevant and paying attention to what is going on outside the world of your brand or store. “Right hooks” are calls to action that directly promote your business, product, service, or brand and include an obvious CTA (call-to-action). Build credibility and an audience with Jabs, then Hook sparingly when the time is right.

If you’re looking for a place to start creating content, I recommend starting a blog or posting long-form articles on your website. Try posting 2 times/month, then gauge the additional traffic generated to your website from the blog posts your promote on social media to determine ROI. Consider outsourcing the posts to a freelance writer or employees in other departments to save time on your marketing team.

Once you have developed your great content, here are three tips regarding the distribution:
#1) Respect each social channel and the devices available to consumers. Content should be tested on all devices and take into account the UX of the specific network. Be native and create channel-specific micro-content as much as your resources allow.

#2) Get organized with a content calendar. Now is the time to be a planner. Planning your content allows you to seize last minute opportunities, since you won’t always feel like you are in the content trenches. Schedule using a tool like Hootsuite, and identify the target social channels and right time to deploy on each network.

#3) Post frequently, but in my opinion, quality>quantity in the world of content. Be native so you do not stand out in the channel for not understanding the users. However, your content should be true to your brand, no matter the channel. Maintain your voice, but fit the channel. This is synonymous with how I am always “Sarah” but there is “work Sarah,” “Professor Sarah,” “Friend Sarah,” etc… Adapt to each channel, but still be yourself.

Some content creation (free!) and management tools I use and endorse are Hootsuite, Infogr.am and Canva.

What are your content development and management best practices?

Are You Being Your Brand?

Why is a clean and updated social profile essential? Your social profile can lead to job and leadership opportunities, build credibility, promote recognitions, give higher perceived value to future employers and facilitate partnerships.

Brianna Smith, owner of Being Your Brand, recently spent some time in my Intro to Social Media course presenting best practices for your personal social brand. Here are my 5 takeaways from her excellent presentation.

1. What would people find if they Goggled you?
We’ve all probably Googled ourselves by now, but did you know that Google indexes your social channels content (i.e. comments)? Just because YOUR profile is private, does not mean your activity from your friend’s profiles is private. What do you want people to see when they Google you? Shoot for the results to connect users to powerful information about what you do in your industry.

2. You can promote a clean social brand to companies.
Are you including your handles and blog in your signature, resume and cover letters? 92% of companies use social media for recruiting, and 45% of Fortune 500s include links to social media on their career page sections. Your social profiles and blog can demonstrate your knowledge of a subject to potential employers before you even interview. Blogging and personal social branding can help set you up to find your dream job, and not just to accept your first offer.

3. Build your brand on where you see yourself.
What are you an “expert” at? What do you find yourself searching for online, or reading about in your free time? Maybe you are not an expert at this point, so think about it more as “what do you rock at?”

If you want to be the guru of tech marketing, you should be writing about it. If you are not in tech right now, you can provide your thoughts on campaigns that tech companies are doing, and point out the best practices they are following (or not following). Your blog can change as your interests evolve, so don’t be bogged down by making this decision. Getting started is more important than being 100% sure. When I started this blog, I wasn’t even in love with the name, but many domains I wanted were taken, and instead I just got going.

Note: Not all your passions are your career or brand. I love running and trying new restaurants, but building my brand on running and eating out is not going to benefit me professionally. There are some lucky folks out there that have an intersection in their personal and professional passions for whom this rule would be an exception.

4. Have a consistent look online.
Keep the same name, profile picture, cover imagery and tone across your social profiles. If possible, match all your handles as close to your actual name as possible. Even if you are not active on all social channels, reserve your handle now.

5. Own a personal website or blog.
Wix and WordPress are user-friendly and economical tools for building your personal following. If you are blogging, blog on a regular basis. Consider setting a goal per month. Use social media to market your online brand and blog posts. Curate and share information that you find relevant to your audience. Brianna recommends checking out www.socialmediatoday.com, www.socialmediaexaminer.com and the Hubspot blogs for curating social and digital themed content on your social channels.

Thanks again to Brianna for stopping by my class and sharing your personal branding expertise! Visit Brianna’ blog to learn more about her best practices and her story.