LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogging…Which of These Should Your Company be Using?

The following list is in order of importance, in my opinion.  The reasoning behind this order is, if you succeed at one, move on to the next.  My disclaimer here is, all of this depends on your market and the kind of publicity you are after.  I’ll give a few examples of when I think it’s appropriate to use each of these marketing techniques.

LinkedIn: I am convinced that every company should have a LinkedIn page.  These days, everyone is using this site to network with past, current and future colleagues. It is up to you whether you want to use LinkedIn for posting job openings or not but it certainly helps to have a basic company profile up.  To me, there is nothing more annoying than employees listing a company they work at and when you click on the company name, nothing comes up.  Yes, all candidates should go to the company website to learn about the company, but an informative blurb on LinkedIn will only help get your word out.

Twitter: This is where it gets a little complicated and you need to begin dedicating more time to being successful.  I am not going to suggest that every company out there needs a Twitter page.  However, I am convinced that Twitter helps build a brand.  If your company is in an industry where you rely on customer satisfaction and more on B2C business rather than B2B then Twitter is for you.  Informing customers about your business, getting their feedback and communicating back with them will help you succeed.  Just remember, you must be consistent.  Don’t use Twitter for the first month and then fall off the face of the earth.  You want to attract, retain and grow your follower base!

Twitter, in my opinion, also allows a company to dip its toes into social media.  LinkedIn gets the corporate information out there but with Twitter, you are expected to update on a consistent basis.  The good and the bad is that you have to be concise and to the point.  This is almost like your “elevator pitch” in 140 characters.  Succeeding at being consistent and to the point will allow you to move on to the next step, if you choose to do so.

Facebook: Some may want to switch Twitter for Facebook in this list.  I can agree that either one would serve the same purpose.  However, I’ve put Facebook third because it allows you to write and share more.  Once you’ve overcome sharing a little you can move on to sharing more.  Facebook allows for a private company page, make sure the url mentions your company name,  and it gives you a lot more freedom to share stories, receive lengthy comments, and upload photographs that stay on your main page.  In my opinion, it is a lot easier to keep track of comments and stories on Facebook.

As with Twitter, you need to make sure to be consistent. If you put up a Facebook page, make sure to keep it current.  There’s nothing worse than an interested party finding your page and seeing that the last posting you had was a month ago.  Again, I feel that that Facebook is more for companies engaging in B2C transactions.

Blogging: This type of outlet is not for everyone.  You certainly have to dedicate one person to update all of the previously mentioned sites, but when it comes to blogging, you really need to keep up with current content.  A blog can’t just be 140 characters, nor should it just be a place where you share links to other sites.  If that is all you do, then people will simply go to those sites to get their information and abandon your blog.  Here are my tips for blogging success:

* Link people from your Twitter and Facebook pages to your blog.

* Share relevant and current information.

* Share the above mentioned info on a consistent basis.  Decide whether you’ll update your content weekly or daily and then stick to it!

* Share relevant links.  As long as your content is informative, people will not abandon your blog.  Instead, they will go to your blog to learn more and will rely on it to get their daily dose of industry related news.

* Make sure to encourage conversations and possibly even guest postings by your readers, if appropriate.  It’s always good to have a little variety.

* Look at your statistics!  It is very important to look at your key log on rates, who is reading your blog, where they are coming from, and where they are linking to.  You can also see which topics get the most hits, and perhaps this is a topic you should talk more about!

Blogging, I feel, can be used for both B2B and B2C as it depends on who your readers are.  You can even have an internal blog that brings all of the employees together.

So what’s my final word?  Make sure that if nothing else, your company has a LinkedIn page.  If you then have the time and are willing to dip your feet into the social media pool, go ahead and explore your options.  But if you do, be consistent and current!

I am moving tomorrow, so I apologize if it’s a little while before I write again.

Have a wonderful weekend and…what did you do today?

Leveraging Social Media for Business

I just read and commented on a great article on adage about a study that says that Most Brands are Still Irrelevant on Twitter.

What’s my take on the subject?  Most marketing departments are just now realizing the true value of social media.  However, with the hiring freeze some of these companies are experiencing, they are not able to hire a person who will solely focus on expanding a company’s reach on such sites as Twitter and Facebook or through a blog.

Instead, these companies are making existing employees, who already have to do their job and that of two other people who have been laid off, update Twitter feeds and blog posts.  What happens?  A blog isn’t updated for weeks or months.  A Twitter feed becomes a place where the company just talks about itself, rather than being creative and engaging its audience.  Lastly, a Facebook wall is simply updated with stories, which is great, but when a reader comments on them, they never hear back from someone at that company.  What’s the point?  You are just wasting your time and tarnishing the image of the company.

Look at such companies as LLBean, Loft, City Sports Boston Run Club and J’s Everyday Blog.  They are always talking TO their customers/readers.  If I want fashion or outdoor advice, I know someone in the industry will write back to me.  Fellow reader comments are always appreciated, but in that case I could just as easily ask my friends.

So what do companies need to do?  Hire people like me! 🙂

I understand that executives are always saying, “Social media is a great idea but how do we measure ROI?” I’d have to say that, just like there is no promise of significant return on such things as web ads, TV commercials and radio plugs there may not be a promise of thousands of dollars of return on social media.

HOWEVER, here are two significant places you WILL save money:

1. You will be saving on the actual placement of these ads!  Outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and a blog allow you to talk up your brand for no cost at all. You can write about product improvements and updates, upcoming releases or just talk about whats going on in the industry.  Just make sure to engage your audience!

2. Save your sales team from spending the majority of their time on lead generation!  Now your sales team will be able to spend more time on nurturing the leads that you have generated through conversations and ReTweets on Facebook and Twitter.  The sales team will now be more effective in the execution of their communications and in the meantime, more leads will be generated by someone simply updating your company content and engaging potential clients and customers.

Wouldn’t this be a happy little world?  I only wish that more companies would embrace this new way of marketing and hire people like me who are passionate about all the new avenues that can be explored to grow a business!

Having an employee who is already swamped with work update your content will not suffice.  Going about things “the cheap way” will not allow you to see the true potential of social media.

What did you do today?

P.S. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more life and job search tips!

http://card.ly/LindaOdineca

Online Job Search

After having written about Twitter and using it to find a new job, I was happy to see an article talking about Online job board etiquette.

I’ve said it before, content matters and communication should be a two way street.

When using Twitter, don’t just find the company you are interested and write to them about wanting a job.  Begin by talking about subjects relevant to the job  and share links you think people in those industries would be interested in.

As for LinkedIn, this is not a typical social media site.  You should not be putting updates about your day on here.  Instead, link people to news that may be of interest and always think about the HR manager as any good recruiter, hiring manager or HR manager should check out a person’s LinkedIn page.

Facebook:  Just keep in mind that everything can be seen these days.  If all of your permissions are set so that strangers can’t look at your entire profile, then make sure your picture doesn’t give it all away.

So what does Elizabeth Garone say are the top 5 mistakes online job hunters make?

1. Forgetting Manners- “If you use Twitter or you write a blog, you should assume that hiring managers and recruiters will read your updates and your posts.”

2. Overkill- “Blanketing social media networks with half-done profiles accomplishes nothing except to annoy the exact people you want to impress: prospective employees trying to find out more about on you.”

3. Not Getting the Word Out-“…when it comes to job hunting…if no one knows you’re looking, that’s a problem, too.”

4. Quantity Over Quality- “Choose connections wisely; only add people you actually know or with whom you’ve done business.”

5. Online Exclusivity- “When job-seekers choose to search for jobs exclusively online — rather than also include in-person networking — they may be missing out on ‘hidden’ opportunities”

I’m looking forward to your tips as well.

What did you do today?

What is Your TRUE Value?

At this month’s Girls Night Out a topic came up about true value.

We all put so much emphasis on our accomplishments.  If we don’t get that next job then it must mean we’re not good enough.  There are also those people who in one way or another “delete” their friends or family from their lives while they focus on their career.  Where does all of this get us?

We don’t go around saying, “Let me introduce you to so and so.  He/she is a successful VP of company X, you would really like him/her.”   Most of the time we are humble about our accomplishments, for the exception of when we are interviewing.  In that instance, I say toot your own horn!  Tell them why you’re great and a good fit, but don’t walk around with a sign on your back saying, “Successful Senior VP!”

What am I getting at?  Well, what is YOUR true value?  I would have to say that if your friends value your opinion and call you when they are in a bind then you have accomplished something.  You can be very successful at your job but have no people skills what so ever. What does that leave you with?  A day time job and no personal life.

Make sure you have a life outside the office as that is, in my opinion, the true meaning of success.  Why? Because if you are ever unemployed then it is that “other life” that you rely on.  Don’t lose everything when you lose your job!

Join the Girls Night Out gals on August 11th for some yoga by the Charles River, led by Marta Minnetyan, followed by some drinks.

What did you do today?

Inbound Marketing

I have to say that the following info is from Hubspot, the guru of inbound marketing.

What IS Inbound Marketing?  I have the certification but everyone keeps asking what it means, well, the dummed down explanation is this, “Inbound Marketing is marketing focused on getting found by customers vs. outbound/traditional marketing which focuses on finding customers (through such tools as cold calling).”

So why did I get this certification that claims that I am an Inbound Marketing Professional?  Well, I’m convinced that all of these social networking sites aren’t “it.”  There is more to come and I want to be prepared.  More companies are looking for social media savvy individuals and I do NOT want to fall behind the ball and only know about traditional marketing techniques.  As marketing departments are cut, or lose backing by upper management, they are pushed to find innovative ways to get new customers and get the brand’s message out.

Inbound marketing, for the time being, allows for a lot of free advertising.  Use Twitter and Facebook and do all the connecting you want.  Get customer feedback and tell them about your brand.  But remember, communication is a two way street and you should not bombard people with solely your brand, tell people about similar activities or ask for feedback so that they feel involved in the creation of the product that will be brought to life.

Hubspot gives three main blocks to the life of successful inbound marketing:

1. Content– Always provide relevant content.  Companies that have a Twitter feed or a blog that hasn’t been updated in over a month should just delete those two accounts.  It gives me the feeling that you are just doing it to do it.  I’m here to tell you, don’t do it if you can’t do it right!

2. SEO– SEO simply makes it easier for potential customers to find your site, for example building links to your site in other places.  I do this by commenting on topics that revolve around unemployment on different news stories and urge people to checkout my blog in the hopes that it will help them.  Which is where I’ll give the following plug…I’ve been updating my Jobs.Ideas.Networking Facebook page.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

3. Social Media– Your content is amplified through the use of social media, if you use it properly.  Distribute your content in the right way and the customers will come!

Check out Hubspot and all of the great information they have about lead building, social media, inbound marketing, case studies relating to companies using social media and even learn about powerpoint best practices!

And now for some comic relief…the difference between LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (thanks Hubspot!)

What did you do today?

Using Twitter to Land a Job

One of the first companies I followed was LL Bean and I was pulled into Twitter because of their great customer service!  When I wrote to them about not being able to make a race they were having, I got a Tweet right back!  Now that’s reaching out to your customers and using social media to your advantage!  Good job LL Bean!

I came across an article on Newsweek titled Tweet Your Way to a Better Job and felt inclined to try out this method, or at least add it to my networking repertoire.  I’ve decided to look into some of the companies I’ve applied to and see if they are on Twitter.  Seeing as I’ve exhausted all of my free “introductions” on LinkedIn, why not use Twitter as an introduction?!?

Why not throw parts of your resume into your Twitter message, if you are using it to network and land your next job?  Mention that you are a marketing professional, a product marketer or are fashion or sports minded.  Then ReTweet a message from a company you have an interest in and mention a similar topic you may have come across.

Good luck and let me know how this medium works out for you!

What did you do today?

Rethink Your Tactics

After such a wonderful, and apparently controversial, topic yesterday (almost 450 of you logged on for a read!!!) I want to talk about more things to think about and consider as you look for a job.  We all hear the following advice…

“just apply to anything in your field”
“it doesn’t matter how high or low of a position it is”
“you have all this experience”
“they’ll hire you for a manager position”
“you might have experience but just apply for a secretary position”

Well, unfortunately I’ve also heard the response when applying for a lower or higher end job I felt I would be good at, that response has been…

“you are overqualified”
“you are under qualified”
“I see you have a background in international studies…this is not an international company, I think you may be bored”

So what are some other bits of advice we get that may not get us to where we want to be?  Alison Green of US News explored this topic with her article on 5 Myths That Are Crippling Your Job Search.

You can only get a job through connections these days-It may not be true, but I think that connections make your search a hell of a lot easier.  I love finding new people on LinkedIn that I can network with and send my resume to directly rather than the black hole.

If you can find the right gimmick to make your resume stand out, you’ll get the hiring manager’s attention– I’m not sure a gimmick is the right word, but I think you can certainly try new tactics to get a hiring manager’s attention.

I have my degree, so I don’t have to start at the bottom-Unfortunately, I know this one is a complete myth.  Having my degree is quite honestly hindering me from finding a job.  Ok, perhaps it’s not the main reason I can’t find a job, but I’ve certainly heard that an MBA is not necessary for a certain position, or a company is not global/international.  This is a pretty frustrating situation after three years of studies and a bunch of expenses and sacrifices.

You can’t show any weaknesses during an interview– I do disagree with this, but I don’t really see how a question of this type will really help a hiring manager to make decision between you and someone else…

If you can’t figure out what you want to do, you can just go to grad school– And this is how the MBA has become obsolete in the state of MA.  Everyone went back to school and now you have a bunch of grad students looking for work…

This post wasn’t meant as a “downer” on the job search but…more like some things to humble those who are looking for work.  In this market, we are all equal.  Entry level people and former senior managers are having an equally difficult time finding a job.

What did you do today?

Looking Good, Job Candidate!

As the job pool widens and the job search closes in, how about another thing we all need to think about when interviewing? And that “thing” is, looking put together, a.k.a looking good.

I heard a great interview this morning between Jessica Bennett and Ann Curry on the Today Show about The Beauty Advantage, “A special report on…how beauty can affect your job, your career, your life.”

I found this topic to be fascinating.  I have to admit that from previous experience I know not to dress up in front of potential managers who may be women, at least until I get to know them.  As someone who does like to dress up for work and has been looked down on for it by a female manager, I am a little wary about showing off my personal style.

All I ever tried to get across was that I enjoyed coming in to work and I hoped that dressing up a little would show my enthusiasm for my job.  So we go back to the question, “Do looks matter during a job interview?”  Well, the answer is yes.  According to the article:

* Handsome men earn, on average, 5 percent more than their less-attractive counterparts

* Good-looking women earn 4 percent more

* Fifty-seven percent of hiring managers told NEWSWEEK that qualified but unattractive candidates are likely to have a harder time landing a job

* 61 percent of managers (the majority of them men) said it would be an advantage for a woman to wear clothing showing off her figure at work

* But 47 percent also believe it’s possible for a woman to be penalized for being “too good-looking.”

And this last point is the one I am talking about when interviewing.  I think hard about wearing my pumps before interviewing as I don’t want to seem like someone who just enjoys looking good and not doing a good job.

How do you feel about the issue?

What did you do today?

P.S. I’d like to offer up this update from my friend Sailaja who did a guest blog about Informational Interviews:

“People who are taller on average tend to make more money in their careers because they are seen as ‘leaders.’ Also, for minority women who have lighter skin tend to earn more and are viewed as, ‘better candidates,’ than their darker skinned friends!”

Sai recently wrote a blog about “Fair for Facebook,” which goes along with my topic today, and how the Facebook team in India has added a new app that allows Indian men to lighten their skin on the site.

The Job Search as It Relates to Dating…

As I was getting ready for bed last night I realized that, hmm the job search is a lot like dating. And here is why…

1. When you look for a potential person to date, you, nowadays, explore your options in clubs, bars and sometimes even on line…sounds a lot like, networking and looking on job boards.

2. When you have found someone you are potentially interested in you tell them about yourself, learn about the other person and hope that the two of you click, perhaps you will begin texting or calling.–>This would be the resume stage and possibly the phone interview stage.

3. You set up a date!  You are so excited!  You prepare, shower, listen to some loud music as you get ready and dress to the 9’s!–>Whoohoo!  You’ve landed an interview and you’re so excited!  Maybe this is the one!?!  You prepare, shower, listen to some loud music on your drive over and dress to the 9’s in your suit!

4.  Things seemed to go well so you call or text this guy thanking him for a great night and you hope to go out again.–>This has to be it!  You would be a great fit!  You send a thank you letter, express your interest and hope to hear back.

5. You hold out hope and don’t flirt with other guys because you really like this guy…but it’s been a week and you haven’t heard from him. What gives?–>You enjoy the high from the good interview and lay off the job search.  However, as we know, the HR person is not getting back to you.  What gives?

6. You’re sad and not sure why he didn’t like you, so you go out and do it all over again and hope that the next one will fit.–>You decide you can’t wait any longer and begin to put the feelers back out there and look for more jobs.

7. You’re in luck!  There are so many more fish out in the sea and after what you know about previous experiences you’ve found a few “fish” you’ll pursue.–>Good news!  There are lots more jobs out there and instead of setting your eyes on just one this time you hope to hear back from a few.

8. This tactic worked! You’ve got a couple of suitors after you!  But this time even if you get a date you decide you’re not gonna sit by the phone and will instead keep looking until one really sticks.–>You found a few possible leads!  But you decide to always keep looking and not settle until one thing really sticks.  No reason to keep living in la la land and thinking you should focus on just one job.

9. Oh my!  One of these guys is really chasing you!  He’s great, you like him, he wants to date you!–>You found a good opportunity!  The hiring manager is great and you like him or her and she/he wants to hire you!

10. You’ve spent some years dating and this really is it!  You want to get married, you solidify this with a marriage certificate and a party with your friends!  Congratulations!–>You’ve spent some time thinking and decide this job is it!  You say yes, and get a contract signed saying you’ll show up to work on Monday.  You celebrate by partying with your friends!  Congratulations!

And that my friends is why the job search is like the dating game!  Have a great weekend and thanks to 480+ of you who logged on to read my blog this week!

What did you do today?

Calling all Small Business Owners!

After a very interesting informational interview yesterday I have decided to do a sort of case study about those who have started their own business.  More importantly those who were laid off and have decided to take life into their own hands.

I am going to choose 5 stories and do a week long “exposé” on this new self employment trend.  Please shoot me a Comment and I will contact you about getting linked up and chatting about your experience.

I look forward to your responses!

As for me…I decided to embrace my creative side and do a little DIY project.  What do we think?

What did you do today?