Is Social Media the Silver Bullet for Hiring?

two guys on a computerSocial Media isn’t just a fad anymore. When we take a look at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, we don’t think of them as fun little widgets. Instead, we often see them as platforms that can make or break us. Social media, it seems, is here to say.

But here is the question that begs asking: how much time and money should we invest in our social media marketing? And is it really a silver bullet for hiring?

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New Updates on Facebook’s User Privacy Controversy

Facebook

Recently, Facebook ran into some issues regarding its user privacy settings. As we mentioned in a previous post, Facebook users made a stink when Facebook’s new messenger app asked its users for permission to access various mobile device features (contacts, calendar, location, microphone, etc). Users felt as if the social media giant was asking to divulge more personal information than necessary—putting the social media giant in a tough spot, as it opened up the possibility of users leaving the platform for good. Fortunately though, most of the rumors were dispelled and a lot of the backlash subsided.

Being on the cautious side however, Facebook recently published a blog, detailing all the new updates to the Facebook app (messenger and platform) that would coincide with the launch of the Apple’s iOS 8. One of the updates specifically deals with the users privacy settings. Here is what they had to say:

“Nothing has changed about how Facebook gets location information from devices, but Apple has updated its Location Services setting.”

Rather, as the blog notes, iOS 8 now gives you a choice of three different kinds of permission: Always, While Using the App, or Never, as opposed to the previous two choices of On or Off. So for those users who previously set their permission to “On”, the new update will now have that permission set to “Always”. But as Facebook points out, the user will still have full control over your location information. Facebook will not receive any of your information unless you enable location services or use the “Nearby Friends” option, which can pull up your information (if you allow it) even when Facebook isn’t being directly used.

Facebook’s Private Sharing App

Rumors are also floating around that Facebook plans to launch a new app designed to encourage private content sharing. The app, currently called “Moments”, will allow users to send private content to friends and family. Many speculate Facebook’s new app as an attempt to woo back users who have been put off by the social media giant’s ever-changing privacy settings.

So, What’s the Take Away?

While we won’t speculate on the outcome of this new “app”, we will say that Facebook’s recent post on the iOS 8 launch, and what it means for the application, is a good indication that they are at least trying to appease users who are currently frustrated with them. Whether or not it pays off, we’ll just have to wait and see— but as we like to point out, it’s always good to be in the know of what’s going on with our favorite recruiting tools.

What do you guys think? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

photo credit: Facebook.com

Checking in on Our Favorite Social Media Platforms (Part I)

Facebook

Every once in a while, we like to do a little check up on our favorite social media platforms.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, these platforms can be a wonderful addition to any company’s recruiting arsenal–but as with any tool in your recruiting arsenal, you need to always keep an eye on any changes that can happen.

In the past month, Facebook and Twitter have made a couple of changes that we think deserve attention. We are going to discuss the details of these updates, as well as what they could potentially mean for your use in recruiting efforts, and for your company overall. Take a look below:

 Facebook’s new messenger app

Social media giant, Facebook, may still reign supreme amongst social media users, but in the recent weeks, a controversy has definitely stirred the pot. Facebook is now requiring mobile users to download their stand-alone Facebook Messenger app in order to chat with their friends and family privately.

The news came with some pretty heavy backlash as some users believe the social media giant is invading their privacy due to a number of features (contacts, calendar, location, microphone, etc.) that the app is asking permission to access. Though Mashable and other news sites have dispelled some of the rumors, the controversy could prompt users to abandon the social media platform, especially in the mobile arena. And this would be something to make Facebook worry, for the mobile app arena has been a struggle for the social media giant since the beginning.

We aren’t really ones to speculate, but we do think it is important to at least consider the “what-ifs” –just as long as we take them with a grain a salt. Luckily, for those who are really opposed to downloading the new messenger app, some people have already found several ways to get around the changeover. (Check out Mashable’s post on how to avoid using the new messenger app, here.)

On Thursday, we will finish up our post by giving you one more Facebook update, as well as a few updates hitting Twitter and how “tweeters” are responding to them.

In the meantime, what do you think about the new Facebook Messenger app? Is it worth downloading or would you rather abandon the platform altogether? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!


photo credit: FindYourSearch via photopin cc

Facebook’s 2014 1st Quarter Earnings Show Promise in the Mobile App Arena

Facebook logo

It’s been a while since we last checked in on Facebook, so we figured we would go ahead and get you up to speed on the social media platform.

Earlier this year, the social media giant seemed to be on a roller coaster ride with investors (and just about everyone else) as they saw a mix of high and lows that elicited a range of comments, such as the controversial comparison to an infectious disease.

One roadblock that proved to be quite challenging for the social platform was the result of a drop in usage among teenagers. In November of 2013, Facebook reported a drop of 20% among teen users–from 76% in 1st quarter to 56% in the 3rd quarter of 2013–as teens started switching over to more mobile friendly apps such as Snapchat and Whatsapp.

Fortunately, their 2013 4th quarter earnings showed that Facebook was still a heavyweight contender in the realm of social media, with a 63% increase in revenue and eight-fold increase in profit for the fourth quarter. The most noticeable thing about the earnings was that Facebook 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.

Still, as we mentioned in our previous posts about Facebook, even with the spike in profits, Facebook still had a long way to go before they could prove that they were in the clear. With the 2014 1st quarter earnings now in, those concerns are proving to be less of an issue.

USA Today reports that Facebook’s first-quarter earnings were $885 million (34 cents per share) on revenue of $2.5 billion, which exceeded the expected profit of 24 cents and $2.36 billion in revenue. About a year ago, Facebook rang up a profit of 12 cents and revenue of $1.46 billion.

The credit, according to Facebook, goes to their mobile marketing. As Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg stated, “mobile is a strong driver for us,” with about 60% of company’s ad sales coming from mobile devices. 

What does this mean for business?

Simply put, Facebook has definitely pulled through in the mobile app arena with a 40% increase in Facebook users–making a total of 945 million people as of December 31st, 2013–visiting the site on their mobile devices.

For now, we think it is safe to say that Facebook has made a pretty good comeback. But as with any tool in your recruiting arsenal, you need to always keep an eye on any changes that can happen.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other recruiting tools that employers can use to attract top talent, like the ones we have at AIM Careerlink. If things start going south, you know you’ll extra support with AIM Careerlink.

Why Facebook’s Most Recent News Feed Update is a Good Thing for Businesses

In the past, we’ve talked quite a bit about Facebook’s frequent new feed changes that have left users and page owners (read: businesses) wondering if they will ever catch a break with the social media giant. 

Well, it looks like Facebook is at it again with another big update to its news feed algorithm. Fortunately though, this recent update to Facebook’s news feed may be one that businesses will welcome with open arms.

According to Mashable, the new update will allow brands to gain more exposure on Facebook by simply tagging other pages and possibly gaining access to their fans’ news feeds on top of the fans they already have.

To elaborate further, if Facebook sees a high number of users being shared between two pages–for example, a sports news site page and basketball player’s page–then Facebook will suggest these pages to people who only like one of these pages, giving them the opportunity to perhaps like them separately and therefore give a brand’s page more exposure/fans.

This kind of outreach and exposure can do a lot to change the way businesses use their Facebook pages. Aside from potentially reaching out to an extra thousand-plus users–say, if you happen to tag a brand like Coca-cola or Google–it also gives brands an opportunity to do a little networking by recognizing other brands for their hard work and creative efforts, an essential component of brand awareness, which we mentioned in our post on thought leadership.

While this kind of networking may not work by tagging the bigger companies around the globe, it certainly does make a big impact if you do it on a smaller or local scale—something we recommend to smaller businesses looking to find like-minded people to work with.

Seeing as this update was just released a few days ago, we can’t say much for its success. However, Facebook seems to be pretty confident that the update will be well-received among users, citing recent surveys they took amongst users during the update’s testing period.

Our hope is that this update will go off without a hitch, though we always like to remind businesses to keep an eye out for any changes that might mess up their recruiting/brand material, keeping them safe from any setbacks that might occur.

What do you think about this new update? Are you relieved to see that Facebook is working in more business-friendly changes? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

Checking In On Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn After Their Fourth Quarter Earnings

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn–the all-important trifecta of social media platforms–recently reported their fourth quarter earnings, giving investors and commentators a chance to weigh in on how they’ve been doing.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked a little bit about two out of three of these social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) and how they’ve been doing individually as they make their way into the New Year. But how have these companies been stacking up when we put them up against one another?

Well, by the look of things, we have somewhat of a mixed bag.

Shares for LinkedIn plunged 11% in after-hour trading last Thursday after the company reported a disappointing outlook–total sales ranged between $2.02 to $2.05 billion, which is well below analysts’ forecast of $2.2 billion.

LinkedIn also reported a 13.8% increase in sales, clocking in much lower than Twitter, which rang in at a 44% increase, and Facebook, which registered a 28% increase.

On the other hand, LinkedIn reported double the amount of user growth, with a 6.9% increase compared to Twitter’s 3.9%–down from a 6.4% growth in the previous period, which led to a devastating 24% drop in shares, and Facebook’s, which sat at a 3.4% growth rate, despite Facebook’s 63% increase in revenue and an eightfold increase in profit for the fourth quarter.

While taking a look at these companies’ earnings might not be all you should think about when weighing in on their potential for growth (or whether you should call it quits on the platforms) it does help to give you a better idea of where they stand.

By now, you might be wondering how to decide which social media platform to concentrate on in 2014. But honestly, the biggest takeaway from all of this is not that you should go ahead and pick one social media platform to use from now on—quite the opposite, actually.

Instead, think of this as a way to review all of the social media platforms that are a part of your recruiting/marketing arsenal. As we always like to point out, it is essential that you keep yourself acquainted with the ins and outs of all of your tools.

And at this point, even though we have a mixed bag as far as platform growth is concerned, the best strategy here seems to be to continue working with a mix of all the main social media platforms. Do that, and you should be safe all throughout any future growth or retraction.

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!

Is Facebook Really Like an Infectious Disease?

Recently, Facebook has seen its fair share of scrutiny, criticism, and speculations.

But not all commentary has been as controversial as the most recent one by two Princeton University graduate students who speculated Facebook’s imminent death, which they compared to the spread of an infectious disease.

In the thesis to their study, “Epidemiological Modeling of Online Social Network Dynamics,” Princeton Ph.D candidates Joshua Spechler and John Cannarella stated, “in this paper, we analyze the adoption and abandonment dynamics of online social networks by drawing analogy to the dynamics that govern the spread of infectious disease.”

What they concluded was that ideas, in this case, a fad, like a popular social media giant, follow the same growth and decline patterns of infectious disease outbreaks, spreading rapidly before eventually dying out.

In the case of Facebook, the study found that its popularity–which the authors determined using Google search query data–reached its peak in 2012 and has already begun to see a decline in users, with the potential of losing “80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.”

What to make of all this

This study is certainly a brow raiser, especially considering all of other speculations that have been floating around about Facebook. But, we are still a little hesitant to find ourselves fully committed to the conclusion of this study (i.e. that Facebook will die out like a infectious disease).

Before you go ahead and delete your Facebook page, here are a few things we’d like to point out:

So, is Facebook really like an infectious disease? Frankly, we don’t think so—but we do think it has a number of obstacles in its way that could potentially cause them some trouble.

It’s always important to keep on the look out for any big changes, especially to important tools in the recruiting arsenal. Even so, we definitely recommend not being too quick to change your business plan after conclusions like those of Mr. Spechler or Mr. Canarella.

Have any thoughts on the study? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Finding the Right Balance When Engaging with Followers on Social Media

Last Friday, we talked about the recently published study by Simply Measured on the Twitter accounts of 98 of Interbrand’s top 100 global brands. In that study, they found that within a three-month span, around 92% of the tops brands tweeted at least once per day, yet 54% of the brands sent less than one @reply per day.

As we mentioned, engaging with followers on social media is an essential part of using these platforms for your business. But of course, how you go about engaging them is equally as important, too.

Case in point? A few weeks back, a story surfaced on Buzzfeed about the most unlikely of friendships between a man and his local Applebee’s Facebook page.

Chip Zdarsky, a Toronto-based journalist and comic book artist, noticed the lack of response by followers to the status updates of his local Applebee’s page. He decided to take matters into his own hands, and began what would end up being a months-long relationship with the chain.

The local chain was more than willing to respond to Zdarsky’s comments, which varied from questions about the food to what movie he should watch that night.

What’s the takeaway?

This, of course, ended up providing the Internet with some good laughs and in Zdarsky’s opinion, was a very lighthearted attempt at revealing the human behind the computer and not an attempt at trolling the page at the company’s expense.

Still, it does bring up a good point as to how far companies should go in terms of engaging with their followers. Here are some ways to handle it:

  • Assess the situation. Before you respond, it’s always good to try and put the situation into perspective. Things can escalate pretty quickly on the Internet, so figure out what you want to say before you go ahead and say it.
  • Not every question demands an answer. While we always think you should try your best to answer every inquiry that comes your way, sometimes it’s easy to tell whether or not the person is really serious. If you can tell that someone is just looking to cause trouble, you don’t have to respond.
  • Politely and quietly end the conversation. Although it’s better to try your best to avoid these situations altogether, if and when you find yourself in a situation that has the potential to go south, simply try to end the conversation. It’s better to try and move on rather than add more fuel to the flame.
  • Keep your cool. Above all, make sure to keep your cool. It’s never a good idea to pick a fight on social media, especially when it comes to trolls. What you don’t want is to give them an excuse to fire back.

We’re all for engaging with followers on social media, but sometimes it’s not worth it. Keeping these tips in mind can help you prevent any social media meltdowns from occurring, and saving you the grief of picking up the pieces. While stories like Zdarsky’s and Applebee’s are funny, other people you interact with on social media may not be as kind.

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!