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.

Here’s Why Marriott International is Making Waves in the Mobile Job App Arena

Marriott International has made its way onto this blog a few times, from its efforts to bring gamification to the forefront of recruiting, to its great employer brand thanks to its presence on social media.

Suffice to say, we’ve been pretty impressed with Marriott’s recruiting arsenal, and it only looks like it’s getting better and better.

Recently, Marriott launched a web site that will allow job seekers to apply for positions via mobile devices with hopes of gaining a competitive edge over other companies in what they believe will be a major transformation in recruiting, especially when it comes to attracting Millennials.

Sure, on the outside it might not seem that impressive that Marriott has a mobile job app–there are plenty of companies making the move towards more mobile friendly apps–but what we’re most excited about is what their application has to offer. To show you, we’ve highlighted a few of the details that make Marriott’s mobile job app stand out:

They’re going where the talent is

As David Rodriguez, Marriott’s chief human resources officer notes, “Making sure that you are on the platforms that are the preferred ways for Millennials to engage with you, that becomes very key,” something we couldn’t agree with more.

As it stands, about 63.2% of Millennials use their mobile devices to go on the Internet and by 2020, Millennials will make up about 46% of the workforce; that means that a significant chunk of your talent will most likely be found on mobile web browsers rather than traditional desktop browsers.

Marriott obviously sees this demand and has taken advantage of it early on, giving them plenty of time to fix any bugs before the app becomes absolutely necessary.

On top of that, Marriott has also considered its international presence, factoring in job seekers from countries like China and India, where the primary source for web access is through a mobile device.

They’re aiming for user-friendly

Marriott is also making an effort to be as user-friendly as possible, something that is extremely important when it comes to recruiting top talent.

Candidates can connect with their LinkedIn account, allowing the Marriott app to grab whatever information it needs for the application. Marriott has also added dropped down menus and multiple-choice options, eliminating the need to type in a ridiculous amount of information, which can often frustrate users.

Their app is content rich, rather than text heavy 

Marriott has also put together a mobile version of their assessment test for entry-level job applicants who don’t have well-built resumes that they can enter. These assessments also rely on photo-based multiple-choice questions that you can have read aloud to you, which Marriott hopes “will allow them to identify solid candidates who don’t have especially strong literacy skills but might thrive in a job that requires little reading.”

And, if that wasn’t enough, the app also uses your device’s GPS to show you the commuting distance between your current location (assumed to be your home) and work, as well as places near your workplace, such as coffee shops, banks, parking facilities, and more.

We definitely think Marriott International deserves an A+ for their recruiting arsenal. What do you think? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Navigating Your Way Through Social Media Marketing Trends

There is no doubt that social media has changed the way we think about HR. From spreading your job postings to screening your applicants, social media has definitely become a force to be reckoned with.

That being said, navigating your way through social media platforms isn’t easy. And because there are so many platforms and approaches to choose from, you can risk wasting a lot of time keeping up with silly trends rather than finding the right social media platforms that will benefit you.

Last week, Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers gave his take on The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014. The word “trend” can be misleading, which is why we thought we would pick out the trends that we think are really worth taking a look at:

  • “Investment in Social Media Will Become a Necessity, Not a Luxury.” 
    The key word in this title is necessity. Companies are now seeing the benefits of using social media, but as we move forward it will become even more apparent that it is a must. Earlier this year, we posted an outline of Martin Jones’–a speaker from AIM’s 2012 November Speakers Series–presentation on why social media is important. Check it out for a thorough read on why you should be using social media.
  • “Google+ Will Become a Major Factor.”
    Yes, Google+ has been around for a few years with very little activity, but the social media platform began turning heads when it beat out Twitter as the second largest social platform earlier this year. Google+ is a wonderful tool for employer branding, and as Google begins to integrate the platform into its search engine rankings, businesses should begin to consider how the platform with affect their social media marketing and brand presence. To see what other companies are doing with the platform, Smart Recruiters has a great blog post on the Top 10 Employer Brands on Google+.
  • “We’ll Witness the Rise of Micro-Video.”
    At AIM Careerlink, we offer employers CareerlinkVideo as another great tool to help them find the top talent they are looking for, so it’s no surprise to us that video-based social media can help enhance your employer brand and social media exposure.
  • “LinkedIn Will Become a Major Player for B2B Business Growth” 
    LinkedIn isn’t just any social media platform. With its main market being oriented towards business-minded individuals, the platform is a good source for connecting with other companies and professionals. Making sure that your company is well-represented on LinkedIn is a great way to expose your brand to others in the industry.

As we mentioned, navigating your way through social media marketing trends isn’t easy. There’s a lot of “fluff” out there, and it can be hard to sort through what information is good, and what isn’t. But these 4 trends we took a look at today should help your company position itself within the market, and hopefully start making the most of your company’s social media presence.

Did you see a trend on the list that you thought was worth taking a look at? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter.