Using Snapchat for your Business (Part II)

TacoBell In our last post, we gave you a little primer on using Snapchat for your       business. As we mentioned, Facebook still reigns supreme in the social media world, but that doesn’t mean you should take a back seat when it comes to using other social media platforms to get your brand out there.

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Using Snapchat for your Business (Part I)

SnapchatLogoA couple weeks back we talked about the ongoing tension between social media giant Facebook and relative newcomer Snapchat. As we mentioned, Snapchat has been making a name for itself in the social media/tech world, gaining popularity among the younger generation.

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What You Need to Know When Using Social Media to Screen Candidates (Part II)

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We think social media is a great recruiting tool, but unfortunately it doesn’t always work out in our favor.

On Tuesday, we began talking about one area where we seem to run into trouble the most with social media: screening candidates.

However, don’t worry because while there are setbacks to using social media as a screening method, there are also plenty of ways you can use social media and get the results you want.

We’ve already talked about why you should avoid looking for a candidate’s negative characteristics via social media. To finish off our series, here are the rest of our tips on how to use social media when screening candidates. Take a look below:

Screen one, screen all:

  • If you are going to go through the trouble of screening one candidate, then you need to make sure that you screen them all. Nothing is worse than having two candidates who end up being hired, or during the process talk about their interviews and find out that one was screened and the other was not. Not only does it make you look bad and possibly lose their trust, but it can also make the employee (or worse, a potential candidate) second-guess their value to the company and become jaded.
  • Plus, if you feel the need to screen one candidate over the other, then perhaps that is already an indication that you doubt the candidate is right for the job.
  • To ensure that something like this doesn’t happen we suggest screening them all. You should also consider having a set of guidelines on what to look for, making the whole process much easier and headache free.

When it doubt, don’t:

What do you think about screening candidates using social media? Do you do it? What are the benefits and what are the setbacks? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!


photo credit: fisserman via photopin cc

What You Need to Know When Using Social Media to Screen Candidates (Part I)

JobCandidates

If you take a look around our blog, it would be safe to assume that we are pretty big fans of using social media when it comes to recruiting, and just about everything else around the office.

However, one point that we would like to stress is that social media isn’t the end all be all of recruiting; in fact, in some cases using it can be to our disadvantage.

One area where this seems to ring true is in regards to screening candidates, which we outlined in our post on a study done by NC State University researchers. The study showed how misleading screening applicants can be when using social media platforms.

In case you missed it, here is a quick recap of their findings:

  • “People who posted references to drugs and alcohol were no less conscientious or no more conscientious than those who didn’t,” said Dr. Lisa Thompson, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the university.
  • Will Stoughton, lead author and Ph.D student at the university, concluded that “companies are eliminating some conscientious job applicants based on erroneous assumptions regarding what social media behavior tells us about the applicants.”

Yes, using social media to screen candidates can be potentially misleading, but should we avoid using it at all? We don’t think so, which is why we thought we’d go through and give you a few tips on how to successfully use social media to screen candidates. Take a look below for our first tip:

Avoid the bad. Sure, it is important to look out for any big red flags that may indicate a candidate is wrong for the job, but as the research shows, it doesn’t always give us the results we want. If anything, going in with preconceived notions that the candidate has something wrong with them will just make it harder for you to make a fair call on hiring or not hiring the candidate. This is not only unfair to them, but a waste of company time and resources. So before you go ahead and start looking for photos of them partying or referencing something inappropriate, you might want to think twice.

On Thursday, we’ll finish up our post with a few more tips on how to successfully screen candidates. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!


photo credit: Felixe via photopin cc

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

Job Seekers: Are You Taking Advantage of Twitter’s New Layout?

twitter logo painted

On Friday, we talked about some of the brand new updates that Twitter has begun rolling out this month and why they are so important to businesses looking to maximize their outreach on the social media platform.

As we mentioned, these updates will be a big game changer for businesses when it comes to exposing their brand, recruiting efforts, and leads.

But these big changes will benefit more than just businesses. They’ll also make a big impact on job seekers, too.

Believe it or not, your professional social media presence is similar to that of a business’–you are responsible for maintaining your image (i.e. brand), your credentials, and much more.

And, since “54% of recruiters turn to Twitter when vetting candidates”–which Mashable contributor Stephane Le Viet believes “is likely to increase” due to the new features–it only makes sense that job seekers take the time to update their handles too, in order to benefit from the redesign.

To show you how do that, here are a few ways to take advantage of Twitter’s new layout in order to better your chances of landing a job on your next job hunt. Take a look below:

  • The visual resume. Twitter has gone more visual than ever, with its banner update, embedded videos/photos, and filter feature. Take advantage of this by creating a profile that will show off your professional side.

    For example, you can add a formal headshot or semi-formal photo for your profile image, a personalized, but tasteful banner, and a nice selection of career-oriented videos and images that you find relate to your work ethic and credentials.

  • “Pinned” and best tweets. Gone are the days of sequential tweets. With Twitter’s new “pinned” tweets and best tweets, you have a chance to choose what your Twitter profile says about you.

    Take advantage of the “pinned” tweet feature by showing off your credentials, work ethic, or whatever you think is the number one trait that will get you hired. As for the best tweets, a lot will depend on your followers, but you can take advantage of the feature by strategically tweeting and retweeting (hopefully get others to return the favor) what you think will showcase your qualifications as a professional.

What have you done to take advantage of Twitter’s new layout? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: eldh via photopin cc

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!

Should Millennials Shoulder the Blame for Poor Social Media Management?

Recently, we posted an article that posed the question “Is Your Brand’s Reputation Safe In Millennial Hands?” on the @AIMCareerlink Twitter feed. In that article, contributor J. Maureen Henderson wondered why some of the biggest social media disasters have been caused by Millennials who are given full control over companies’ social media accounts. 

As the article points outs, one reason Millennials are often seen behind social media accounts is because of their natural comfort level with technology and social media. The drawback to that, however, is that Millennials are more likely to shoulder the blame of a fiasco because they’re the managers of social media accounts.

But as Susie Hall, president of Vitamin T, points out, “when a brand’s social media presence goes awry, it’s more likely to be an issue of lack of maturity and big picture thinking vs. mistakes that can be blamed on youthful indiscretion alone,” a point we certainly agree with.

In some ways, the main question of the article is very misleading. Sure, it’s true that Millennials can lack a sense of maturity, discretion, and big picture thinking. They are, after all, the youngest generation currently making waves in job market, and more often than not, lack experience compared to their older peers.

But anyone can slip up when using social media—especially considering how new of an outlet it is. Just think of how much social media intensifies the exposure of your brand compared to the newspaper ads and print materials of the past. As a result, even the smallest error can quickly escalate, especially if it goes viral.

If you think the solution to this kind of problem is to hire a non-Millennial, then you might want to think again–because in the end, it’s not really about the person’s age.

Rather, effective social media management requires a person with critical thinking skills, effective communication skills, and a clear understanding of a brand’s core values, voice and purpose–all things which any top prospective candidate could possess, Millennial or not.

Another thing brands need to make sure they’re doing is setting boundaries for whoever is managing their accounts. Social media isn’t a one-man show–it requires thoughtful planning and extensive brainstorming to get things right. Simply giving an employee free reign to do as they please can only lead to trouble.

Millennials always seem to get a bad rap, whether it’s because of their perceived bad work ethic, sense of entitlement, or lack of maturity. But the fact of the matter is, Millennials are just as hard working as previous generations—they just have a different set of values. In the end, it’s up to you to hire the right person to do the job.

Your brand can be as safe in a Millennial’s hands as it is in anyone else’s—so long as you make sure that they have the skills needed for effective online communication. Do that, and chances are, you’ll most likely avoid any sort of fiasco like the ones we so often see.

What do you think about Millennials? Do you trust them with your brand’s reputation? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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.

Should We Be Concerned about Twitter’s Sluggish User Growth?

Yesterday, Twitter’s market value plummeted amid concerns over the social media platform’s slow-moving user growth, with shares falling as much as 24%. 

Twitter has also seen a drop in its “timeline views,” its own advertising metric, which the company uses to gauge existing user engagement (timeline view is measured every time a user refreshes a page on a desktop or mobile device).

Not surprisingly, loss of interest in the social media platform among its current user base, coupled with the sloth-like user growth has left investors unimpressed, with Twitter showing just 3.8% (9 million) users more than the previous quarter, down from a 6.4% growth in the previous period.

As a result, Twitter now finds itself in a similar predicament to Facebook. However, Facebook’s growth peaked at a much higher number than Twitter’s–around 1.23 billion.

Changes are coming 

Fortunately, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo admitted that there are certain changes that need to be made if the company wants to improve their user numbers.

The hope is that new features and updates to the service will help to make the platform much more user-friendly (such as organizing conversations by topics)–a concern that some think has kept Twitter from becoming as popular as the social media giant, Facebook.

One good thing we can point out is Twitter’s rise in revenue, which jumped from 97 cents per 1,000 timeline views in the previous quarter to $1.49 currently, which that shows Twitter is drawing more revenue from its users. However, as it stands, that’s still not enough to keep investors confident in the company, which means that Twitter needs to act fast.

How concerned should we be about Twitter’s future? While we don’t think you should jump to any conclusions and abandon your Twitter account, we do think that you need to keep on eye on the social media platform, just like you would for any other recruiting tool in your arsenal.

Things can always take a turn for the worst, which is why it’s always important to have a backup plan if and when you need to get things back up and running–and one way to do that is to ensure you have a well-rounded and fine-tuned recruiting arsenal.

What do you think about Twitter’s current situation? Do you think these new updates will help improve the platform? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!