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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

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How To Use Social Media for Recruiting Young Talent

By | July 23, 2014

A position has opened up, and you are now on the hunt to find the perfect person to fill this new opportunity. You need someone young, smart, eager to learn, with a solid education and credible experience to begin a career with your organization. How do you attract qualified employees? Do they exist? Where to begin? These are just a few questions that you could be asking yourself when a position opens up in your organization. Utilizing social media in today’s Internet-driven world gives your company a modern face and voice. By engaging with potential candidates through social media platforms your company will build new relationships and attract young professionals. So how can companies embrace the power of social media to attract young talent? Here are a few pointers to consider.

LinkedIn for Pursuing

When you hear LinkedIn, you think of the world’s largest professional networking site.  With LinkedIn’s new Showcase Pages, you can now highlight products and services that are most important to your business and create a following for not only your brand but individual products as well. Showcase pages can offer company information, awards, benefits and industry trends. Candidates might be more interested in your company if they see engaging activity on your company page and showcase pages. LinkedIn is extremely useful for sourcing and pursuing new talent. You will find user profiles with more professional information and work experience than any other social media channel out there, making this a primary tool for recruiters.

Facebook for Branding

Having a company Facebook page is a great way to build and cultivate relationships, not only with your current customers and employees, but also potential employees. You can easily share job postings on your page which would allow for current employees and fans to share that with their personal networks. It’s also a great tool to promote your products and company events, which will allow potential employees to engage with your content shared on this channel.

YouTube Even More Branding

As it is the world’s largest video-sharing platform, everyone likes to consume content via YouTube. For a young generation that is greatly impacted by the visual element, YouTube is a great place for sharing insights on your company and its products. Uploading videos of office culture and employee/customer interviews allows for potential candidates to better understand your products and the atmosphere of the organization.

Twitter Conversation Insights

Twitter is primarily used to share news, but also allows you to spark conversations with potential candidates and job seekers. This is yet another great platform to share job postings that are currently available within your organization. There are tools that allow you to pull up users based on what they tweet about and bio information.

With so many tools to choose from, recruiting young talent has grown to a point that you no longer have to chase down new candidates. Posting compelling content and making your company more transparent will attract the right candidates for your organization. You will make your organization more visible to job seekers by investing time to develop a digital presence through multiple social media platforms. This infographic created by Jobvite, offers a step-by-step guide on leveraging the funnel method for hiring young talent.

Infographic

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How Your Brand Can Avoid These 5 Social Media Mistakes

By | July 17, 2014

Oreo. Starbucks. Dove. Coca-Cola.

Social media envy, anyone?

All of these big brands are known for having a spectacular social media presence. Many of us have read about the plethora of success stories and sometimes the failed (yet brave) risks. But what about the common social media mistakes you don’t often hear about? Here they are, along with how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Building on rented land

Sure, it’s great to build your presence on social media channels, but keep in mind they’re not truly yours. A channel that’s booming today might lose popularity over time. Are you strictly publishing content offsite or sharing other website’s articles? That may be great for engagement, but it’s not so great for strengthening your owned channels. This can only be done through content creation that is housed on your website or blog.

“Generally, you want more of your traffic and more of your customers being driven by Earned and Owned media,” said John Lusk, Founder of Rivet & Sway, in a Huffington Post article. “It’s more authentic, converts at a higher rate, typically represents higher lifetime value, and most importantly, it’s usually much cheaper (lower cost-per-acquisition).”

That being said, a smart social media strategy uses a great deal of non-promotional, unique content from an owned channel, such as a blog or website.

Mistake #2: Trying to be good at everything

It’s easy to get excited about all of the possibilities of social media. With so many channels to use, many brands are tempted to conquer them all. But what do you think is more influential for your company – to be decent on every channel, or to be great on a few? As an agency, we often tell our clients to focus on two or three channels where their target audience is most active, and go after them full force. Chances are, your impact will be much greater.

Mistake #3: Not taking risks

Sure, taking risks means there’s a possibility of failure. But you can’t be innovative if you never take a chance. You also can’t be successful if you’re doing what everyone else is doing – you’ll simply blend in with the crowd. Take risks and make your brand stand out. Remember, you’re competing with the friends and family of your Facebook and Twitter followers for their attention, and you won’t capture it if you’re blending in.

Mistake #4: Ignoring your customers

Not only can big brands use social media as an extension of their customer service, they can also use it to actively listen to their customers. Are you noticing any trends in the topics your customers are complaining or talking about? Use it to improve your advertising, content, products or services. Also, don’t underestimate the power of conversation. Many of the best big brands on social media make a diligent effort to respond to their customers whether it’s a complaint or not. People want to be acknowledged. (See example below, from Dove.)

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Mistake #5: Setting unrealistic goals

Even if you’re a big brand, it’s important to remember the realistic goals of social media. Typically, you shouldn’t expect to see a dramatic jump in leads one month after implementing your new social media strategy. Social media can help with conversions, but increased revenue is not its primary purpose. Make sure you go into your strategy knowing this and set a realistic, trackable goal you can work towards.

Whether you’re a large brand or a small business, don’t freak out if you found yourself saying “oh no, we do that!” while reading the above. It’s never too late to transform those pitfalls into positive change. Who knows, someday other brands might have social media envy over you.

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Why You Should Wait to Add Social Media Elements to Your Manufacturing Website

By | July 9, 2014

marketing for manufacturersDigital marketers love telling businesses across a wide spectrum of verticals that they need to become engaged on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. That might be sage advice for many companies, but manufacturers should think twice before investing valuable marketing time in social media development just because everyone else is doing it. In fact, there’s evidence that embedding social media elements on your manufacturing website (without having a developed, engaged following) might even do more harm than good.

Having a polished, comprehensive digital presence that allows you to showcase products and services to potential customers is a good thing, obviously. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that your manufacturing website should prominently feature social media icons just because lots of B2C, retail or ecommerce companies do the same.

One of the keys to success in the social sphere is dedicating advertising spend to promoting your content and getting engaging, interesting information in front of your targeted audience. If you’re serious about growing your social presence, then your manufacturing company needs to take the time necessary to identify who your audience is, what kind of content they will find engaging and useful, and dedicate monthly advertising spend to reaching them.

If you don’t plan on doing all three of those things—consistently—then it won’t benefit you to invest in social media. In fact, simply adding social media icons to your site without putting in any work toward developing an audience can actually drive potential customers away. Seeing a prominently featured Facebook business page with five “likes” or a Google Plus button with only a couple “plus ones” is likely to give new visitors a bad first impression about your company’s influence and reach.

So resist the urge to add social media icons to your website right away just because everyone else is doing it. Instead, slowly develop your social media channels and display them prominently only after you’ve put in the elbow grease necessary to develop a respectable initial following. Add company videos to your YouTube channel and embed them in blog posts; post useful and engaging content on your Facebook page and pay to promote it to targeted users with interest in your vertical; include links to your Google Plus and Facebook pages in email blasts, and ask subscribers to become fans.

Waiting to feature your social media channels on your manufacturing website will pay off more in the long run. And remember: developing your social presence is a long-term commitment. Just because you reach a milestone in your followers doesn’t mean that you should stop posting engaging, useful material and paying to promote content to targeted audiences. It’s your engagement, not your follower numbers, that will ultimately have the best impact on your revenue.

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Maximize your event marketing investments with 21 Tradeshow Tips for Manufacturers:

21 Tradeshow Tips for Manufacturers

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5 Ways to Share Financial Aid Information via Higher-Ed Social Media

By | June 26, 2014

According to an annual study conducted by UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, financial aid is a top concern among incoming freshman and their families. A few key results found by this survey include the following:

Financial Aid Options

  • 75.5% of students surveyed were accepted to their first-choice college but only 56.9% decided to enroll. Over 62% of the students who chose to
    attend elsewhere said that they were offered a better financial aid package by the school that was ultimately chosen.
  • 48.7% of students (surveyed in 2013) considered financial aid to be a “very important” factor in their college decision. This is up from 33.7% in 2004.
  • Many first-generation college students rely heavily on their high schools and/or higher education institutions to help guide them through the financial aid process.

It’s not surprising that financial aid plays a significant role in the overall college decision-making process; however, it is important to note that as the concern over college expenses increases, so does the potential for losing out on new enrollments.

While it is certainly not feasible for universities to financially support every student who is accepted, it is possible for schools to create and promote information that touches on major financial aid options, providing guidance for students trying to navigate the financial aid process. Below are five ways to share important financial aid information through a school’s social media channels:

1. FAFSA on film (or YouTube)

Each year, many incoming freshman begin their path to college by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). With funding on the line, this task is especially intimidating for students (and parents) who are new to the financial aid process. Don’t just explain this process in writing. Show students what to do. Consider putting an educational online video on YouTube that walks students through the process of filling out a FAFSA form so they gain a clear idea of what to do or can follow along and fill out their own form.

2. Scholarships, grants and loans, oh my!

When you were eighteen years old did you know the differences between a scholarship, a grant and a loan? Providing general information about each type of financial aid can help students determine which options are right for them. And once a basic understanding has been reached, make sure that a list of scholarships (both internal and external), grant opportunities and loans is available to look through. Putting this list on a school’s main site is a start, but creating a Facebook app can help colleges reach their audience faster. Additionally, colleges can bring upcoming application deadlines to attention by posting about them, including links that send students to an app or a page on-site where they can apply if interested.

3. A penny saved on Pinterest is a penny earned

Finding financial assistance doesn’t need to be all forms and no fun; show students the lighter side of cutting back on the cost of college with some money-saving tips on Pinterest. Colleges that already have a Pinterest page can consider adding one or more of the following boards to the mix:

  • DIY dorm room décor
  • Free events on campus
  • Inexpensive ways to have fun around town
  • Simple meals that taste great

This is also a great way to get a college’s social community involved. Schools can ask current students to share their most creative money saving tips and post them for incoming freshman to see.

4. Tweet if you like financial aid!

According to the Pew Research Internet Project Twitter use among adults is on the rise, especially for those in the 18-29 age group. Colleges can combine this social trend with the growing concerns about tuition costs by creating a specific Twitter handle dedicated to fielding questions and posting information about financial aid. If a stand-alone handle is not possible, the creation and promotion of a financial aid hashtag may be a way to compromise. Students will know how to tag their questions or concerns while tweeting, and popular topics can be curated and turned into content for the main site or a blog post.

5. Tales (or blog posts) from a work study student

Many new students who qualify for work study programs are unsure about securing a job and then keeping up with school work after finding one. Insights from students who have been through similar situations can help ease anxiety over this financial aid option. Colleges with established blogs can ask current students participating in a work study program to post about their experiences – offering tips to incoming freshman and potentially answering any questions left in the comment sections. Additionally, the following topics could be discussed on a school’s blog and linked to from previous work study posts:

  • How to write or update a resume
  • Job interview tips
  • Budgeting basics for college students

These are just a few ways that education social media can be used to inform new students about financial aid and begin to ease anxieties over college expenses. Which questions or concerns regarding financial aid are most prevalent among your higher-ed community of current and prospective students?

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Get deep analysis and take advantage of the latest marketing trends in higher education:

EDU-2014_Qtly_Standard_CTA

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Tune In or Drop Out: The Benefits of Social Listening for B2B Companies

By | June 16, 2014

Many B2B companies leave social listening out of their marketing strategies because people aren’t talking about their company online. That’s a major mistake. Whether people are talking about your particular brand or not, keeping abreast of the conversations surrounding your industry provides a B2B company with incredibly valuable opportunities to expand your client base, lessen the impact of any criticisms, and foster greater brand loyalty.

Since many B2B companies don’t get a whole lot of mentions online, they see no benefit in social listening. However, listening to the audience you’re trying to attract—the kinds of people looking for the service or product you offer—yields the same benefits as listening in on conversations specifically about you. First, you will be able to compile a new pool of prospects you can contact. And since you’ve been listening to their conversations about what they want out of the kind of product/service you offer, as well as what they’ve found unsatisfactory in competitors’ offerings, you’ll be poised to demonstrate how your company can meet their needs in a much more prospect-specific way than ever before.

If people are talking about your particular business, social listening can become a research and development tool, giving you free insight into what customers like about your offerings, what they don’t like, and what they’d like to see you add. You can then join in the conversation yourself, letting customers know how you’re incorporating their feedback into future offerings. This, of course, will go a long way to keeping current customers loyal. Social listening can also be a tool for crisis management. When you use social listening to keep abreast of any criticism leveled at your company, you’ll be able to quickly and personally address your customers’ concerns and resolve their issues.

Finally, social listening allows you to identify the thought leaders in your industry, the people who are driving the conversations and/or whose opinions hold the most weight. Posting relevantly in the same circles as these leaders will not only help you forge a beneficial relationship with them, but will get your posts seen and shared by a larger pool of people.

The benefits of social listening for B2B companies can’t be ignored. Just because people aren’t always talking about you, that doesn’t mean the conversation isn’t worth getting in on.

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