3 Tips on How to Successfully Use More Images on Social Media

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Yesterday, we gave you three reasons why you should consider adding more images to your social media content.

As we mentioned, images are a great way to gain a lot exposure for your company in a short and simple way for your followers. But gaining that exposure requires more than just adding a few images here and there to your social media content; it requires some well-thought out planning, and a little creativity.

To point you in the right direction, today, we’re going to give you three tips on how to successfully add more images to your social media content. Take a look below:

  • Match your images to your target audience’s taste. First things first, before you start posting those images, you need to think about what your target audience will find most pleasing. For example, for companies that sell clothing or beauty products, product shots can really make an impact; other companies, such as marketing firms, might find infographics to be their best bet. Either way, the key is to make sure you know what your audience craves. (For more, check out this great post on different types of social media images by Mashable.
  • Make your images stand out. Photos on social media are not a new trend. As such, there are plenty of companies out there already posting images that deal with their brand, which is why it is so important that you do your best to make your images stand out. This can be done in many different ways–from making sure the quality of the image is really good, to ensuring that the colors are pleasing to the eye–but the key is making sure that the images are authentic to your brand.
  • Make your images concise and to the point. Finally, you need to make sure that you break down the image and figure out exactly what you want people to get from it. While chances are that everyone will get something a little different out of each image, the key is make sure that a large majority of your audience gets something out of the image. If there’s no clear value or connection to your brand, then you may as well not be using images at all.

Have any tips you’d like to add to our post? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: Will Montague via photopin cc

Facebook Proves They’re Not Going Out without a Fight

For the past few months, it has looked as if Facebook found itself in a tight spot, fighting against the recent concern over its decline in users and the speculation that it would soon meet the same fate as MySpace.

But rather than accept the situation lying down, Facebook’s fourth quarter earnings have shown us that Facebook is still a force to be reckoned with.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, Facebook posted a 63% increase in revenue and an eightfold increase in profit for the fourth quarter.

In an interview, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said that according to recent data, Facebook ads do actually work, noting that Coca-Cola’s Facebook ads proved to be more efficient than its TV ads.

And that’s not all; Facebook also reported that mobile advertising accounted for 53% of revenue in the fourth quarter, a jump up from the 23% revenue it reported a year earlier. EMarketer, a market researcher, noted that Facebook took 18% of the $16.7 billion global mobile-advertising market last year, second only to Google’s 53%.

Not in the clear just yet

While Facebook’s profits are high, they still haven’t addressed the concern over whether they will be able to attract new users, especially teens who are moving towards other social media services such as Snapchat or Whatsapp.

In turn, this puts businesses who use Facebook for recruiting, marketing, and more, in a bit of a good news/bad news situation:

  • The good news is that the social media giant’s mobile advertising revenue shows promise that it at least has a chance of successfully going mobile. Its new release of Paper hints at a lot of potential for success in that regard.
  • The bad news is that Facebook hasn’t really shown what it has up its sleeves to guarantee that it will continue to remain popular for years to come, which doesn’t really help businesses gauge where they should stand with the social media giant.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other recruiting tools that employers can use to attract top talent, like the ones we have at AIM Careerlink.

Keeping your options open will help to better protect you from losing your ability to recruit efficiently and effectively, so if and when things take a turn for the worst, you won’t end up going down with the ship.

What do you think about these numbers? Do you think Facebook still has a good chance at coming out on top? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Here’s Why Facebook’s Recent News Feed Revision May Change the Way You Update Your Business Page

If you’re a consistent reader of this blog, then it should come as no surprise that we like to check in every now and then on social media recruiting tools like Google+ and Facebook to see what changes are happening, in order to help our readers stay on their toes and ensure that they are using their recruiting tools to the fullest.

In a blog post this past Tuesday, Chris Turitizin, a Facebook Product Manager, announced a recent update to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm that will place higher priority on making text status updates by users more visible while decreasing the amount of text status updates from pages.

In the post, Turitizin noted that “This will help us show people more content they want to see.” And that “page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.”

This, of course, is only the most recent update to Facebook’s News Feed algorithms—and certainly won’t be the last.

What does this mean for businesses using Facebook?

This can definitely be seen as a setback for businesses who update their Facebook page’s with text status updates frequently.

Fortunately, Turitizin offered some advice to page owners, such as sharing links through a link-share, which would make the status update more content rich. In the example they used, the status update would provide a visual as well as the title of the article and part of the article’s content, as opposed to a simple text and short link.

In the past, we’ve made the case for more video and image-laden content as means of attracting people to your brand. Still, this does prove to be a nuisance for businesses who simply want to do business without any interruption.

As always, we like to remind recruiters why it is so important to diversify your recruiting tool kit, as well as keep your arsenal up to date. In the case of social media platforms like Facebook, that means knowing every update to the platform and how it will affect your businesses, because if you don’t do so, you could end up taking a big hit—and that certainly won’t do you any good.

What do you think about this most recent update? Does it surprise you? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

Is Google Trying Too Hard with Google+?

In 2013, we had our eye on Google+ as one of the up and coming social media platforms to emerge in 2014.

As it stands, Google+ certainly seems like a force to be reckoned with, but not exactly in the way we had predicted. To put it simply, Google+ is steadily gaining momentum, but in a way that might actually turn away users. Here’s why:

Recently, Google made some changes to its services that would allow any Google+ user to send emails to your Gmail account, even if they don’t know your email address; the email would only be revealed if the recipient responded back to the sender. Still, the response from Gmail users wasn’t exactly positive. Many found it to be an invasion of privacy and found it even more irritating that the change ran on an “opt-out” model rather than an “opt-in” one, which meant users would have to go into their settings in order to stop the changes to their email.

This, of course, was only the most recent attempt by Google to integrate one of its services with Google+. At the tail end of 2013, Google tried to require users on YouTube (owned by Google since 2006) to sign up for a Google+ account in order to comment on videos. Users were outraged by the change, including YouTube co-founder, Jawed Karim, who had more than a few choice words to say.

We can’t say we entirely blame Google for wanting to pique people’s interest for Google+. The social media platform did, after all, get off to a slow start with a two and a half year lull. Still, Google’s idea of requiring people to join their social media platform in order to use their other services seems a bit forced, if not extreme, especially considering Google’s past tactics that usually got people interested in their services because of how exclusive they seemed (i.e. Gmail’s invite-only model).

As Mashable contributor Chris Taylor puts it, “The parties we want to join, it turns out, are the ones that might be just a little too cool and exclusive for us. And right now, that’s certainly not Google+.”

If nothing else, this serves as a reminder that not every recruiting tool or social media platform is as cool, or performs as well as it seems. You always have to take step back and make sure they’re working correctly; otherwise, when things finally do go south, you’ll be out of luck.

What are your thoughts on Google+? Did you have high hopes for the social media platform? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you.

Is Social Media Worth It for Businesses?

In many ways, social media is incredible. Estimates last year found that nearly 1 in 4 people worldwide are on social media, making it an incredibly far-reaching method of communication.

And here on this blog, we’ve said before that social media can have great benefits for your brand. From boosting the effectiveness of your job postings, to helping you recruit new employees, and everything in between, social media has a lot of practical applications for brands today.

Even so, there’s no denying that social media platforms can be fickle, meaning that brands online have to be able to adapt at a moment’s notice unless they want to run the risk of losing out on precious time and resources.

Recently, contributor Jason Abbruzzese of online tech-site Mashable wrote about some of the roadblocks that companies have been faced with due to the constantly changing algorithms of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

For example, social media king Facebook went through quite a few changes within the year 2013 alone. As a result, brands began to see a decline in their organic reach, which in turn affected a lot of the time brands spent building a following.

Facebook’s recommendation? Increase your ad buys in order to offset the decline.

As Jason noted, “[Facebook’s] move highlighted a frustrating reality for advertisers: Social media efforts operate at the whims of companies that own the platforms.”

And, because social media happens to be such an important tool, Jason argues that there’s not much companies can do other than to adapt or look for ways to supplement their Facebook advertisements.

So, is social media worth it for businesses seeking to build their online presence?

Here’s our takeaway: Yes (and no).

Social media platforms are incredibly powerful tools when it comes to getting your brand and company out there. That being said, you shouldn’t become a slave to them all, and one way to fight that is by having a keen sense of what social media platform your target audience goes on.

By being able to properly identify where your target audience gathers online, you can increase the effectiveness of your time on social media, making your business less susceptible to big changes like Facebook’s that we mentioned above.

This also serves as reminder that you should have a well-balanced and well-rounded recruiting tool kit. Doing so can help you weigh out the options of how much time, effort and money you should put towards tools like Facebook, any other social media platform, mobile recruiting apps, etc.

Relying too much on one thing is never a good idea. As with the case of social media platforms, the worse case scenario would be that you would have to shell out a lot to pay for advertising that may or may not be fool proof, which can be a pretty risky move.

If nothing else, this is a statement of our support of social media—but only if used correctly. Too many brands haphazardly get online and hope for the best, and that’s not acceptable any more. Social media is only worth it for businesses if they put in the right amount of time and effort into crafting a well-rounded (and well-executed) online strategy.

At AIM Careerlink, we have some great tools that can serve as a foundation (and beyond) for the ultimate recruiting tool kit. Start with us and you’ll have a better recruiting experience!

Where Will Facebook Stand in 2014?

A few weeks back, we talked about the decline in Facebook users and its potential impact on social media recruiting.

To recap, here are a few stats from the post:

  • GlobalWebIndex reported that Facebook usage among teens dropped 20%–from 76% in 1st quarter to 56% in the 3rd quarter of 2013. 
  • Further research by GlobalWebIndex showed a spike in teen usage of mobile apps, with closed messaging services and video and photo-sharing apps, like Instagram and Snapchat, taking the lead.

Looking from where we last left off, it seemed like Facebook wasn’t doing so hot. And, unfortunately, that trend hasn’t changed all that much.

Recently, Business Insider had an article titled “Facebook Is A Fundamentally Broken Product That Is Collapsing Under Its Own Weight.” In that article, contributor Jay Yarrow interviewed freelance analyst, Benedict Evans, who highlighted some of the issues Facebook was having.

In a nutshell, Evans argued that Facebook users were being too overwhelmed by “the amount of sharing Facebook is trying to cram through its News Feed.” According to the social media giant, each user has 1,500 potential stories they can go through on average.

To break that down, the article noted that if an user is awake for 17 hours a day, that means they would have to go through 88 new times per hour, or 1.5 per minute, in order to successfully go through all 1,500 stories.

This is where Evans suggests that the product (i.e. Facebook) is broken–likening it to receiving 1,500 emails a day. While Facebook can change its algorithms to make the more important stories come up on a user’s feed, it still doesn’t fix the issue, because it can’t possibly sort through everything. And, to make matters worse, according to Zuckerberg’s Law, the number of stories is steadily rising.

As a result, users, especially as they go mobile, are beginning to use Facebook less and less. If they want to see photos, they can go to apps like Instragram, or Snapchat, and the same goes for gaming or messaging, which all have respective apps.

So, what’s the take-away?

While we aren’t ones for speculation, this does serve as a reminder that you shouldn’t rely solely on one kind of recruiting tool. If Facebook were your only recruiting tool and the platform were to suddenly fall of the face of the earth tomorrow, that would leave you in a lot of trouble.

Keeping an eye on your recruiting tools is critical when it comes to being successful, whether that means staying informed, keeping your options open or (most importantly) starting with the basics–you have to make sure all of your tools work for you.

We’re not saying that you should abandon Facebook, but if you do have all your eggs in one basket, then we definitely think it is time to re-assess.

What are your thoughts on the state of Facebook? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

4 Tips on Using Pinterest for Your Business

Yesterday, we talked about the rise of Pinterest and gave you a few statistics behind the growing social media platform. Today, we’re going to talk a little bit more about how to use Pinterest for your business.

We’ve already established that social media can be a great way to boost your online recruiting–but many companies don’t realize that social media extends far past Facebook and Twitter. If you want to move past those platforms and into the world of Pinterest, give these tips a try:

  1. Make sure that your brand fits on Pinterest. First things first: What kind of company are you, and do you belong on Pinterest? It may seem like we’re trying to steer you away from Pinterest, but the point we’re trying to stress is that not every social media platform is meant for your company. To see if your brand fits, take a look around Pinterest and see what people are pinning. Make sure you can relate to them. For more, check out this great post by Social Media Examiner.
  2. “Curate” your board.  Although the word “curate” may seem lofty, what we really mean is to be mindful of what you post. Pinterest is designed to be simple and aesthetically pleasing, so when you are posting content, try to keep these things in mind:
    • Organize your boards: Make sure each board has a theme. If isn’t readily apparent to you what the theme is, then it probably won’t be apparent to your followers.
    • Make your visuals count: Likewise, try to keep your visuals interesting and in line with the theme of your board. The first thing your followers will see is the image. If they can’t tell what it is or how it fits in with what they are looking for, they will most likely skim over it.
    • Post meaningful content: Every post should have a purpose, but it shouldn’t just be about product placement. Increase your brand authority by posting useful tips and information that shows you are an expert in your field.
  • Connect with other “pinners.” This might be a no-brainer when it comes to social media, but you need to actually be social. Find people who have established themselves on Pinterest and follow them. If they follow you back, their followers might see your brand and follow you as well. Likewise, if you find any users or boards whose content relates to your brand, follow them and possibly repin their content. Establishing these connections helps you build a community of like-minded followers.
  • Invite guest curators. Another way to increase your user engagement is to invite followers to guest-curate a board for you. This will allow them to share their stories about your brand or start a conversation that relates to the content you are posting. This not only shows that your company is invested in its customers, but also allows customers to feel more invested in your brand.

As we’ve mentioned before, navigating your way through social media platforms isn’t easy. And keeping up with trends can distract you rather than benefit your company, which his why we hope that these tips will make the navigation a little bit easier for you.

Are you a company that uses Pinterest for your business, or one that plans on using it? If so, what do you think of these tips? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Pinterest for Your Business? Some Facts Behind the Hype

A while back, we broke down Jason Demers’ take on The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014, giving you our pick of the trends we thought were worth taking a look at. However, there was one trend that we didn’t cover: Pinterest.

Pinterest, the pinboard-style photo-sharing website, has been making waves recently in the social media world. And while it may not beat out Facebook anytime soon, it’s proving itself to be a formidable competitor of the social media giant.

So today, we’re going to give you some statistics about the social media platform in order to get you thinking more about whether or not your company should make the jump into the world of Pinterest.

Here are some key facts:

  • Pinterest is now the leader in the e-commerce sharing: According to a survey conducted by Gigya, a company that tracks social logins, Pinterest is the leader in e-commerce sharing, accounting for 41% of e-commerce traffic, beating out Facebook (37%) by about 4%.
  • Pinterest drives more than twice as much e-commerce as Facebook: Research from RichRevelance, a company that offers personalized shopping experiences for major brands, shows that Pinterest shoppers spend $140 to $180 per order, compared with the $60 to $80 on Facebook. RichRevelance also found that Pinterest accounts for 25% of retail referral traffic.
  • An infographic by the Social Annex shows that 10% of all Pinterest users are more likely to make a purchase compared to any other social media site. The average number of brands followed by Pinterest is 9.5, compared to 6.9 for Facebook and 8.5 for Twitter.
  • Semiocast reports that Pinterest has 70 million users and more than 70% of them are in the U.S. Among users registered before June 2013, 31.8% (20.9 million) users pinned, repined, or liked an image or video in one month. Though that rate may seem very low, Semiocast reports that it is actually higher than what they found on larger social networks. More than 50% of users connected to Pinterest in the past 4 months.

What this means for you:

Falling for the hype can be dangerous–especially if you’re already feeling overwhelmed when it comes to managing social media–and is something we never want to advocate. This info is here simply to give you a better idea of what Pinterest can do.

Although falling for hype can be dangerous, in the competitive job market we see these days, it can never hurt to try new things for your employer branding.

Will Pinterest completely change the way that you’re perceived as an employer? Probably not–but it may be worth giving it a shot if you think that it can contribute to the rest of your efforts to market your company as a great place to work.

4 Social Media Blunders Your Company Can Learn From

2013 has seen quite a few social media blunders. And while they might seem funny to outsiders, as a business, getting caught up in a social media blunder can be devastating.

So for this Friday, here are a few blunders we’ve picked out from this year, and the lessons you can learn from them:

  • The blunder: Kenneth Cole’s Syria-related tweet.
    In years past, we’ve seen companies receive backlash from tweeting ads with references to serious or tragic events, like we saw with Gap and American Apparel during Hurricane Sandy. The same thing happened when fashion designer Kenneth Cole tweeted, “‘Boots on the ground’ or not, let’s not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers. #Footwear,” a reference to the possibility of American intervention in the Syrian Conflict. Surprisingly enough, this isn’t the brand’s first tweet of the sort (see here and here).

    The lesson: Using controversial topics probably isn’t the best way to market your brand. Taking a serious or tragic event as an opportunity to make a sales pitch can make you come off as insensitive, and may result in the loss of a lot of customers and potential employees.

  • The blunder: Amy’s Baking Company’s Facebook meltdown.
    Facebook is a great way to connect with customers and potential employees in order to let them know more about the emotional aspects of your company, and about what makes you special. Unfortunately, some companies take the emotional thing too far, as was the case with Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona. The restaurant’s owners went on a status tirade when comments came flooding in on their Facebook page – after they were seen on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares – with statuses ranging anywhere from threats to pursue legal action to name calling.

    The lesson: Alienating your customers by yelling at them and using expletives probably won’t bring them in, and the same goes for potential employees. Negative comments can do a lot to damage your brand, and they make your company look very unprofessional. Avoiding getting too emotionally invested in your company can keep social media blunders like these from happening.

  • The blunder: Tesco’s “hit the hay” tweet. 
    Earlier this year, the British supermarket was thrown into a scandal when it was discovered that some of their products contained horse meat. While the company worked quickly to remove all of the contaminated products off the shelves, they weren’t quick enough to remove this pre-scheduled tweet: “It’s sleepy time so we’re off to hit the hay. See you at 8am for more #TescoTweets”.

    The lesson: The chance of this happening to your company is rare, but what you can take away from this blunder is that you should always make sure that your branding is consistent on all ends. It also never hurts to review your scheduled posts and make sure that they’re all in line with the image you’re trying to convey.

  • The blunder: Pax Dickinson’s personal tweets.
    Last month, Pax Dickinson was forced to resign from his position as Chief Technology Officer for Business Insider after Dickinson made several offensive remarks. The tweet that seemed to start it all was this remark on women in tech: “feminism in tech remains the champion topic for my block list. my finger is getting tired.”

    The lesson: There is still a debate on what companies can and cannot hold employees accountable for when it comes to their own personal social media accounts. Still, employees should be careful about what they say – if it relates in any way to their company or the industry, it could lead to some trouble.

Social media is an essential element of any recruiting strategy today. From helping interact with customers and job seekers, to spreading your job postings across the web, to screening job seekers, social media can help you get a leg up on the competition when it comes to finding talent.

With that said, the last thing you want to do is get caught up in a social media blunder. Make sure to have very clear social media policies, and always keep an eye on your company’s (and potentially even your employees’) social media. Blunders like these happen more often than you might think, and by staying on top of your social media, you can usually avoid such events.

Have any more questions on social media dos and don’ts? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter.

AIM Careerlink Upgrade Packages: Branding Package

If you’ve been keeping up on our newly-revamped blog, or even if you’ve only spent a little bit of time browsing AIM Careerlink’s website (careerlink.com), you’ve probably figured out by now that AIM Careerlink offers an incredibly effective and diverse set of tools, for employers and job seekers alike.

Perhaps, though, you’ve seen AIM Careerlink’s feature list for employers and have decided that you’d like to get even more out of the tools we offer. We have many clients who want just that, and for them, we’ve created a couple of upgrade packages that you can add on to an existing Basic Unlimited Subscription for even more great features.

Today, we’re going to briefly cover our Branding Package, so that you can get a better idea of how AIM Careerlink’s unique and useful tools can be of great value to your business.

What is it?

As a brief review, a Basic Unlimited Subscription includes the following features (amongst others):

  • Unlimited job postings and user accounts
  • Unlimited access to our resume database
  • Online applicant tracking system
  • 24/7 access to your account and blog postings

But for employers who want more exposure to the best talent around, our Branding Package adds the following features:

  • Featured employers: You’ll get a great benefit of being an AIM member company: a logo on our Featured Employers page, which will link to your company profile.
  • Custom branded pages: While Basic Unlimited Subscriptions offer some profile customization, this upgrade allows you to customize your AIM Careerlink page so that it matches the look of your website. We can also change the careers section of your website over to an AIM Careerlink-powered page.
  • Banner ads: Your banner ads with the Branding Package will be geographically targeted, and will average about 10 million ad impressions per month.
  • Email blasts: With the Branding Package, you’ll also have access to AIM Careerlink email blasts–which means that we’ll send a monthly email to each of our markets on your behalf (this is a great way to get exposure).
  • Priority job sorting: Finally, all of your job postings with the Branding Package will get posted at the top of the postings list–and stay there.

Why use it?

On its own, our site over at AIM Careerlink–and the tools it offers–are already very effective. We have a long list of employers who have been incredibly satisfied with our site, and for employers hoping to recruit talent, AIM Careerlink is the best product around.

But if you’re in a hurry to hire someone, or even if you’re just interested in the additional branding benefits that our Branding Package offers, we certainly recommend the upgrade. The package makes it even more likely that good employees will see your company around our site and be drawn to your job postings–which is definitely never a bad thing.

Whichever route you choose–whether a Basic Unlimited Subscription, or that same subscription with one of our upgrade packages–we’re certain that you’ll be impressed with the recruiting results you’ll see when using AIM Careerlink.

For more information on our upgrade packages, see our upgrade package page. Or, to get started using AIM Careerlink to find the best talent around, consider registering online. And as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through our site or on any one of our social media networks which are linked at the bottom of our page.