Social Media: Best Place to Look for a Job?

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Are you looking for a new job?  If not, are you putting yourself in a position to be found by recruiters who might be looking for a new employee?  Whether you are actively searching for a new gig or not, your social media presence can be the difference in being stuck in your old job and moving up with another company.

The idea of using social media for job seeking isn’t limited to the United States, either. “More than half the respondents in India, or 56 per cent, said they were contacted through social media about employment opportunity in the prior (last) year, while 25 per cent of respondents said they secured a job through social media,” global workforce solutions firm Kelly Services says in its Workforce Index survey ‘Socialising Recruitment’. (Deccan Herald, 2013)

So which outlets should you use and what purposes do different platforms serve?  According to Tanya Pai of The Washingtonian, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can all serve different purposes in aiding your job search.

LinkedIn

This site, according to Pai, is best for “passive job seekers.” With more than 238 million members, LinkedIn has long been known as a good place to post your résumé and skills and to connect with professionals in your field. The website analyzes a variety of data, including user profiles and their searches, and offers recommendations for jobs they may be interested in while also suggesting their profiles to recruiters. LinkedIn may provide the biggest plus to so-called passive job seekers—people who aren’t actively searching for a new job but who may attract a recruiter’s attention.

Twitter

This site is best for building your personal brand.  Though its messages are limited to 140 characters, Twitter can paint a fuller picture of a candidate’s personality and interests through past tweets and followers. An article posted by AOL Jobs told the story of an executive at the networking and security company Enterasys who wanted to hire a social-and-digital-marketing manager and considered only candidates who contacted him via Twitter.

Facebook

Facebook uses the power of your friends and their connections and turns them into recruiters for you.  Appropriately, Facebook as a job-seeking tool is driven by personal relationships. A company survey of 3,000 users found that those who had lost their job and communicated through Facebook with close friends were more likely to find a new position within three months, perhaps because people are willing to pass along résumés for close friends. Others network via Facebook by researching potential contacts and connecting through mutual friends—like a personal reference minus the formality.

 

 

References:

Deccan Herald.  December 18, 2013. ‘Social media emerging as platform for job finding,recruiting’. Retrieved on December 20, 2013 from http://www.deccanherald.com/content/375372/039social-media-emerging-platform-job.html

Pai, Tanya. Using Social Media to Land a Job.  Retrieved on December 18, 2013 from http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/work-education/using-social-media-to-land-a-job/#

Social Media is Changing How We Shop for the Holidays

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If you’re looking for ways to save money on your holiday shopping, social media offers several ways to help you stretch your personal budget. On the same token, if you are a company looking to market to consumers who are doing their holiday shopping online, there are several ways to reach them through social media. 

First, there are several statistics that show how huge online shopping during the holiday season has become:

  1. Double-digit growth is expected early on Cyber Monday (up 15 percent) and Black Friday (up 17 percent), while Thanksgiving will be the fastest-growing online shopping day (up 21 percent) in 2013.
  2. This year will be the shortest online shopping season with only 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s six days less to shop than in 2012. While online sales are still expected to grow by 12 percent, the abbreviated season will cut a whopping $1.5 billion in potential online sales for retailers.
  3. Ninety-four percent of consumers polled said that discounts will be important to their purchase decisions this holiday season, 20% plan to spend more on gifts this year over 2012. In fact, 46% expect to exceed their 2013 holiday budgets.
  4. Ninety percent of 2013 U.S. holiday retail sales will occur in brick-and-mortar stores. But don’t discount digital. Online holiday sales are expected to hit $82 billion this year.
  5. More consumers (42 percent) plan to shop more on their smartphones or tablets this year compared to a year ago. But not a lot of the mobile activity will happen in the store, with a majority (84%) using their smartphones or tablets to research a purchase. And 39 percent will use mobile to search for product coupons.
  6. When it comes to spending, more than a third of consumers (35 percent) will spend $250 or more using a mobile device, while a smaller number (17 percent) will spend more than $500.
  7. Sixty-three percent of holiday shoppers will engage in “showrooming” this holiday season, the practice of entering a brick-and-mortar store only to gander in person at items that they will likely return home to find at a better price online.
  8. One in seven shoppers (14.3 percent) have already started buying presents for the holidays, and another 11.8 percent plan to start before Thanksgiving. (Abramovich, 2013)

Ways to advertise promotions with social media.

 Twitter:

Many retailers are offering discounts to their social media followers, who get the feeling of inclusiveness when getting deals that other customers aren’t getting.  Don’t stop following or advertising there, though. Follow your favorite coupon and deal sites as well. They’ll do all the work to help you find the best deals for all your shopping needs. They can help you combine coupons, locate rebates, and tell you were to get items for the lowest price.  Pinterest is also a great place to check for digital coupon sharing.

Facebook

Because Facebook has a more robust platform for marketers, there are many ways to sign up and receive deals.  First is to see if your favorite retailers offer discounts just for following them. Secondly, see if the Facebook page has a form that will allow you to submit information (which could subject you to email blasts) that will trigger discounts and inside information on promotions.

Here are some successful campaigns that have used social media:

Michael’s Stores (Facebook page has 1,556,111 likes, while @michaelsstores has 108,034 followers), the go-to place for craft supplies, posted a coupon – and Facebook offer – 30% off entire purchase valid only from 4pm on Thanksgiving until 2am Black Friday. Coupons are another traditional way to promote a business and this one, with a limited time frame – got a great social response. The posted offer received 3,874 likes, 909 shares, 274 comments, 23,399 claimed. (Abramovich, 2013)

Marshalls, T.J.Maxx & HomeGoods Tri-Holiday #TheGifter Twitter Contest. The cross-brand contest between Marshalls (Facebook page has 1,944,049 likes, while @Marshalls has 102,027 followers), T.J.Maxx (Facebook page has 1,988,561 likes, while @TJMaxx has 172,476 followers), and HomeGoods (Facebook page has 1,481,811 likes, while @HomeGoods has 110,137 followers) uses a video promo (you’ve seen #TheGifter commercials, right?) and social media to encourage shoppers to chime in to win.

Each week #TheGifter poses a new question, and shoppers just include the hashtag and one of the twitter names in the response. (Shoppers need to follow at least one of their Twitter feeds.) Six weeks, six questions, six winners. This week, naturally, had a black Friday theme:

HomeGoods ‏tweeted: How do you outsmart #BlackFriday madness? Tweet w/ #TheGifter for a chance to win a $500GC @TJMaxx @Marshalls http://youtu.be/Bvj3NwAdAaQ (Abramovich, 2013)

This promoted tweet received 42 retweets and 62 favorites. The correlating Facebook post – “Tell us how you outsmart Black Friday madness? If you’re on Twitter, tweet your answer using #TheGifter for a chance to win a $500 gift card. Official rules: http://www.tjx.com/gifterrules” – received 849 likes, 48 shares, 208 comments

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References

Abramovich, Giselle.  November 13, 2013.  15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Holiday 2013. Retrieved on December 13, 2013 from http://www.cmo.com/articles/2013/11/11/15_Stats_Holiday.html

Eckerling, Debra.  November 29, 2013. Holiday Shopping & Social Media: 5 Fantastic Campaigns.  Retrieved on December 13, 2013 from http://socialtimes.com/holiday-shopping-social-media-5-fantastic-campaigns_b138152

Social Media Trends for 2014

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As we’ve seen in the past, social media is a constantly evolving thing that often goes in a sudden and unforeseen direction.  We, as marketers or social media managers, need to monitor where social media is going so that our companies don’t get left behind.  Keeping ahead of the curve makes adjustments and preparation easier while also not giving any online advantages to competitors.

After searching through several different tech and social media sources, there seem to be a few consistent trends that industry specialists agree on:

  1. The number of social media users will continue to trend upward. While there was moderate social networking use with Facebook, the addition of Twitter and other social media sites have continued to interest an increasingly mobile society. According to a recent report by eMarketer, about one in seven people worldwide use a social networking site at least once a month, amounting to about 1.61 billion people. However, this number is set to grow to more than 2 billion people by 2017. This year’s number of social network users grew by 14.2 percent, and the rate is expected to drop to 7.6 percent by 2017. (Jenkins, 2013)
  2. User-generated content will be more common.  Expect to see more initiatives like the one from Urban Outfitters. The retailer encourages customers to take photos of themselves in its clothing and to post them to Instagram with a hashtag. The company moderates the content and picks some photos to include in a gallery that links to the pages where you can then buy those looks.”Not only is user-generated content free, but they’re interested in it because every business wants to measure the ROI of social. This is a really easy and effective way to do that.” said Apu Gupta, CEO of the social analytics company Curalate.
  3. Google+ finally joins the party. Google is already the fastest growing social media site ever, but it seems like a forgotten member of the social media club. In fact, in a recent eMarketer study, U.S. marketers ranked Google+ as the platform they feel is least important. (Maldonado, 2013)
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    Google redesigned YouTube’s comment section and now requires users to have a Google+ account or a YouTube channel to comment. And last month, it announced new details about its user base, confirming that it now has more than 300 million monthly active users. (Burnham, 2013)  If you of your company don’t have a Google+ site, it’s time to sign up.
  4. B2B brands will integrate social media (and social analytics) with their overall marketing program.  This year, 88 percent of brands are predicted to participate in social media. Predictions that claim “2014 will be the year social media is a necessity,” sound a lot like predictions of years past.  Brands that are going to participate in social media did so in 2013. This recent study from eMarketer is only forecasting a one percent increase between 2013 and 2014.

    According to social media author Lizzie Maldonado, “It is time, however, for B2B brands to integrate social media with the overall marketing function.”

 

References

Burnham, Kristin.  November 18, 2013.  5 Top Social Media Trends for 2014.  Retrieved on December 1, 2013 from http://www.informationweek.com/software/social/5-top-social-media-trends-for-2014/d/d-id/899805

Jenkins, Leslie.  November 25, 2013. Three Emerging Social Media Trends Marketers Can Capitalize On.  Retrieved on December 1, 2013 from http://www.business2community.com/social-media/three-emerging-social-media-trends-marketers-can-capitalize-0694581#cmYyVEQfhxLkoFP1.99

Maldonado, Lizzie.  December 2, 2013.  Four Trends and Predictions for B2b Social Media.  Retrieved on December 2, 2013 from http://www.business2community.com/b2b-marketing/four-trends-predictions-b2b-social-media-2014-0700694#!oNWIJ

Social Media Advertising: A Beginners Overview

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As with any other form of new cost or expense, companies are going to be hesitant to dip their toe into the social media advertising water without knowing some basic facts about what to expect cost-wise and, more importantly, ROI.  The truth is that while it may be new for some companies, the process has been made very effective by social media platforms. 

Social media advertising platforms have continued to develop various fan engagement features over the past few years and brands can now capitalize on promoted posts and cost-per-click (CPC) ads to expand their fan base and strengthen their social following in a variety of ways.  As this process gradually improves further, companies will begin to allocate more money for social media spend.  2013 has seen small and big B2B companies allocate a greater portion of their marketing budget towards social media. According to a survey by CMO, B2B companies allocate 8.4% of their overall marketing budget to social media. This is expected to increase to 11.5% by the end of the year and to 21.6% over the next five years. We guess this means that B2B marketers are finally convinced that social media is critical to stay ahead of the pack. (Leadformix)

Here’s an overview of how these platforms work:

Facebook:

Facebook Ads are a great way to drive traffic to your website or Facebook page and increase your following. Remember, when fans “like” your page, they are demonstrating their trust in your brand and voluntarily agreeing to regular exposure to your social content. For eCommerce sites, this is especially important because it allows your brand to tap into their social networks to track social conversions and calculate the ROI of Facebook fans, thus determining the exact monetary value of a Facebook “like.” (Atwell, 2013)

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An example of a client’s increase in page “likes” from Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories.

Twitter:

The Twitter Ads platform offers two options for brands to help increase their followers: promoted accounts and promoted tweets. Promoted accounts display your company’s Twitter account in the “Who to Follow” section for users who are most likely to be interested in your type of account. By choosing your daily ad spend and setting a maximum bid for promoted accounts, your account will only be charged for the new followers you actually gain. 

Advertising on Twitter allows your company to target consumers by industry, interests, gender, and even what keywords they type in for searches. Promoted Tweets can appear in user timelines and search results as well as Twitter for mobile, desktops, laptops and tablets (Twitter)

The benefits of having advertising on mobile apps are growing. Today, mobile is often the primary way people around the globe experience Twitter. Sixty percent of our 200 million active users log in via a mobile device at least once every month. (Twitter Advertising, 2013)

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Atwell, Laura.  February 26, 2013. Social Media Advertising: The Total Cost Breakdown of a “Like. Retrieved on November 26, 2013 from http://adpearance.com/blog/social-media-advertising-the-total-cost-breakdown-of-a-like

Leadformix. Should You Advertise on Social Media? Retrieved on November 26, 2013 from http://www.leadformix.com/short-takes/should-you-advertise-on-social-media.html

Twitter. Promoted Tweets.  Retrieved on November 26, 2013 from https://business.twitter.com/products/promoted-tweets

Twitter Advertising. February 11, 2013 from https://blog.twitter.com/2013/new-compete-study-primary-mobile-users-on-twitter

 

Micro Location technology – should marketers be paying closer attention?

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For marketers who are looking to be more precise in their customer communications, both Apple and PayPal are developing technologies that will allow companies to communicate to their customers via indoor mapping.  Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, companies will be able to send item-specific communication to customers within 150 feet of a sensor.   Once connected, customers will be able to access a plethora of product information outside of what is printed on the packaging or what salespeople think.

Jeff Roseblum with Ad Age gives a scenario on how this will help sales:

“Consider a customer shopping for a new camera. Micro location technology will enable access to information on products up to 50 yards away. Let’s assume, in this example, that only two cameras being considered in the store. Both will have strong advertising and packaging and an enthusiastic salesperson. But, one enables the customer to hold up his phone, quickly and easily receive product specs, filter those specs based on his exact preferences, watch videos, download promotions and read reviews from photography aficionados. The other manufacturer offers no such information; consumers have to start searching in their mobile browsers to find out anything. The winner is clear. There’s no way that a great ad or shiny packaging can offset that amount of customized information.”

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Customers will always be able to look up product information on their phones, but adding a new level of accessibility and ease to the research process will affect how marketers promote their products.  If they say that one computer is faster than another, customers will not only be able to fact check that – if they find out that a competitor’s computer actually runs faster then they’ll be guided to where that product is in the store. 

BLE is already in iPhone 4S and 5 as well as iPads, Mac computers and many high-end Androids. The way iBeacons works is that the mobile device is both a sensor and a signal. A BLE enabled iPhone running iOS 7 will be able to receive location-specific messages based on its proximity to a local network of iBeacons. And that phone can act as an iBeacon itself, transmitting messages to others. (Kosner, 2013)

Apple is actually investing heavily in the technology.  It was announced in August of this year that they were acquiring a mapping company called Embark, who specializes in this sort of technology.  The move was preceded by the takeover of WiFiSLAM, a provider of indoor mapping application technology earlier this year. (Zacks Equity Research, 2013)

If marketers are looking for the latest technology for communicating to customers, location technology seems like a great place to start.  Otherwise, your company risks having the product on the shelf that is passed over.

 

 

Kosner, Anthony Wing.  August 29, 2013. Why Micro-Location iBeacons May Be Apple’s Biggest New Feature For iOS 7. Retrieved on November 11, 2013 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2013/08/29/why-micro-location-ibeacons-may-be-apples-biggest-new-feature-for-ios-7/

Roseblum, Jeff. November 12, 2013. The Ad Revolution Goes Micro Local.  Retrieved on November 12, 2013 from http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/ad-revolution-micro-local/245206/

Zacks Equity Research.  August 26, 2013. Apple Takes Over Mapping Company Embark. Retrieved on November 11, 2013 from http://finance.yahoo.com/news/apple-takes-over-mapping-company-215503347.html

Twitter going public – will it affect users?

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As of October 24, 2013 there were 231.7 million active users on Twitter worldwide, and that 100 million of them log into the service on daily basis, and 52.7 Million of these are in the US.   There are numerous stats on Twitter that boggle the mind (see infographic below).  (Ahmad, 2013)

But can Twitter, now that it is a public company, please both its users and its shareholders at the same time.  “As long as they stay in touch with the original intention — the purity of it — I think it will be great,” said Shannon Seek, a business coach who lives just outside of San Francisco.

The biggest change took place two weeks ago when Twitter started automatically showing photos in posts rather than requiring users to click on a link to see them. Left unsaid was that advertisers can now post photos too, which are as unavoidable as banner ads. Some users grumbled about the images being distracting. Those on mobile phones can change their settings to eliminate the images from their timelines, but people on desktop computers cannot do so.  (Kopytoff, 2013)

This is only the beginning for Twitter, who will undoubtedly have to find new ways to increase revenues or fear that they are losing investors.  Instead of tracking the number of posts or users who have signed up, Twitter will now be focused primarily on advertising revenue and whether it is enough to drive the stock up for their investors.  I think that we’ll have a great chance to see what the future holds for Twitter during their quarterly meetings, when they’ll outline how they intend to drive revenue.  I’d bet, considering the massive changes that we’ve already seen before the stock went public, that we’re in for a totally different Twitter.

Here are some stats on where Twitter came from and how many people are being affected by the new changes:

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Ahmad, Irfan.  October 24, 203.  30+ of the Most Amazing Twitter Statistics [INFOGRAPHIC]. Retrieved on November 7, 2013 from http://socialmediatoday.com/irfan-ahmad/1854311/twitter-statistics-IPO-infographic

Kopytoff, Verne.  November 7, 2013.  Can Twitter make shareholders, users happy at the same time? Retrieved on November 7, 2013 from http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/7/can-twitter-makeshareholdersusershappyatthesametime.html