Creating Brand Embassadors & My Pinterest Page

On Thursday I listened in on a webinar titled The Social Employee: Transform Your Employees into Brand Advocates.

Here are the things I learned and wanted to pass on to you, my loyal readers.

* An every day employee is two times more trusted than a Chief Executive. (Edelman Trust Barometer 2013)
* 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a product when they hear about it from someone they trust. (Nielsen 2013)
* The first step in creating employee advicates is getting senior leadership engaged in social media so other employees feel like they can engage with customers as well.

Other interesting notes

* 78% of marketers say that their biggest challenge with content is “creating original content” and they don’t have enough time to do it

***Unfortunatelly the rest of the webinar was one big pitch for a platform called Social Chorus…

As I always say, it’s important to constantly refine and work on your skill set.  As I got more involved in other marketing activities I lost touch with social media, outside of creating a calendar for my work postings.  Hence why I knew I had to do something, and if nothing else at least check out a free webinar.

Wht did you do today to work on your special skill set?

P.S. Check out my new pinterest board dedicated to this nice little blog! :)

The #, and why it doesn’t mean anything anymore.

To start off this post, here is a funny skit that Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake put together showing us just how ridiculous hashtags have become #stophasthaggingeverything!

A year or more ago I wrote a post about hasthags and how to use them.  At that point in time, hashtags used to mean something, at least to me.  A friend complained that she didn’t understand how they worked because a niece of hers was hashtagging everything, we should have known then that that would be the trend of the future.  I explained that a hashtag was essentially a key word one could search for something on, mostly on twitter.  Now, we have hashtag phrases and everyone spells and writes things differently so there is no rhyme or reason for how to search on something.  The news outlets use it, celebrities over use it, and regular folk just hashtag everything and create long run on words.

So as the title of this post states, the hashtag, as far as I’m concerned, doesn’t mean anything anymore and I would love to hear the teenager’s take on it so we can all foresee the future.

What did you do today?

Keeping Your Blog Content Fresh

When I found and article on this topic last week I immediately made sure to follow tip number 2 and write my posting on this topic.  Bob Fine shares his 7 tips on how to blog daily, which I used to do, and how to keep your blog content fresh.  I think one of the missing elements is coming up with a blog that will cover topics that you yourself are interested in and want to learn more about.  There is nothing worse than forcing yourself to write.  I do definitely agree with Bob’s 5th tip on flexibility.  This blog has evolved quite a bit, and I’m sure has room to do even more evolving.  It started with the name “Our Unemployed Life” and then morphed into “Career Advice 101.”  This change came when I finally was no longer unemployed but still wanted to share tips, advice and just have a place for general banter sometimes.

So without further ado, here are Bob’s 7 tips for keeping your blog content fresh:

1. Self-discipline
2. Developing more blog topic ideas than you need
3. Improving your communication skills all the time
4. An audience that cares
5. Flexibility in some way, shape, or form
6. Comfort with brevity and incompleteness
7. Tools to make you better than you otherwise would be

What did you do today?  Did you read or write a blog post?

P.S. And to support the image at the beginning of this post.  I always welcome guest bloggers.  Please leave me a comment with the topic that you would like to blog about and I’ll write back to you right away.

The Job Search and Social Media

Once a month I get The Social Media Monthly magazine which covers a plethora of topics regarding…social media.  Well, in March the entire magazine was more or less focused on securing a job via social media, developing your career through social media, how to use social media to make employers chase you…the list goes on but I think you get my drift.  This issue was right up the alley of this blog.

For this week’s posting I decided to focus on sharing Erik Deckers article on the Five Steps to Find Your Next Job with Social Media.

1. Identify the Influencers - “The great thing about networks like Twitter and LinkedIn is that when you want to connect with people, including C-level executives, their administrative assistants aren’t gatekeeping you out…Be sure to rewrite the connection message on LinkedIn to explain why you want to connect (don’t mention the job; mention any connections you have)…To find these people on Twitter, don’t search for them there…Instead, Google their name and “Twitter.” Or do a bio search on Twellow.com.”

2. Connect with Them on Google+ – “Google uses something similar to “Balance Theory,” a communication persuasion theory, when compiling your search engine results pages (SERPs)…If you’re job hunting…share your items-especially the ones you wrote-frequently on Google+.  It increases the odds that your connections will see your content in their search results, and they’ll assume you know a lot about the topic.”

3. Use Google Author Rank - “When you find blog posts and magazine articles on Google SERP, you will occasionally see the author’s photo and name next to that entry.  That’s showing up thanks to Google’s newest algorithm, AuthorRank…AuthorRank is like Klout for writers…Protect your AuthorReputation…by only publishing good, valuable, sharable, non-spammy work…write good stuff that people want to share…make sure you have a decent-sized network of people who find you interesting…Don’t stuff posts with keywords…Don’t won a blog or website crammed with ads and poor-quality links…hyperlink your name in your bio to your Google+ profile, and include the rel+”author” tag…next, go to your Google+ profile, and update the Contributes To section to include that particular web address.”

4. Set up a Private Listening Column on Twitter – “Set up a list on Twitter.com (make it a private list, so no one else can find it), and add people in your target group-potential employers, colleagues, or even clients.  Communicate with these people as it’s appropriate; answer questions, make recommendations, retweet their blog posts and reading recommendations…set up more lists for industry-related terms, conferences, or issues, including hashtags…”

5. Blog about the Things They’re Talking About – “The best way to show people what you’re good at is to regularly blog about it.  It establishes your credibility, and it gives people a place to find you online…don’t be afraid to disagree if the situation calls for it…”

So what do you think?  Do you agree or disagree with these points?  With the world becoming more social this truly does look like the way that the job search is heading.  It’s so much easier to connect with someone on line.  I remember when I was job searching, I’d seek out the HR or hiring managers on LinkedIn and write them a personal note.  Now, I didn’t follow rule number 1 down to the T as I did mention that I had seen a particular job posting and hence my reaching out to them but none the less.  I think the point is to not use that incredibly generic, and in my opinion annoying, sentence of “I’d like to connect with you LinkedIn.”  There is no quicker way for me personally to delete your request to connect than if you were to send that to me.  If you can’t take two seconds to tell me who you are and why we should connect then that tells me that you’re just looking for more friends, and quite honestly, that’s not being professional. 

What did you do today?  Did you reach out to someone on LinkedIn?  Did you set up a private Twitter column?

No Paper Resumes Please. The new social norm?

A friend forwarded me and a number of her girlfriends an interesting job opportunity in New Hampshire.  Now, I’m not looking for a job but I couldn’t resist writing this blog post about it.  As the company website for Enterasys states, they were named as one of the best places to work as well as one of the top ten coolest companies to work for. 

Jump on this opportunity my pretties, but remember, they will not accept a paper resume, all applications must come in via Twitter!

Here are some guidelines to follow:

1. Recruitment for this job is between February 18th and March 18th.

2. All interested candidates should apply via Twitter to @ValaAfshar and use the hashtag #socialCV.  You can also DM and provide your LinkedIn url.

3. A minimum klout score above 60 is required.

4. A minimum Kred influence score of 725 and outreach of 8 or more is also required.

5. Applicants must have more than 1,000 active Twitter followers.

6. Enterasys will use Google and/or other available public profiles to search for publicly available data.

7. Marketing experience must be demonstrated via web content – i.e. blogs, community involvement, news articles and other searchable publications.

8. IT and enterprise technology background preferred but not required.

9. This is a Boston based position, working out of our headquarters location in Salem, NH.

10. The salary range for this position is $70,000 to $100,000+ depending on the skills and experience of the candidate.

So I ask you, is this going to become the new norm for Social Media job postings?

What did you do today?

Read more about the job and then go to Enterasys’ careers page to find out even more.  Hiring a Social Marketer – Enterasys

LinkedIn Endorsements

UPDATE:On October 4th, LinkedIn rolled out a redesign to its company pages. If you manage a company page, then I highly suggest you log on and check this out. You can now have a cover photo, similar to Facebook’s cover photo…now back to the post.

Have you been endorsed yet? If you have no idea what I’m talking about then I highly suggest that you read an article titled, LinkedIn Debuts Endorsements as a Lightweight Way to Recommend a Professional Contact’s Skills.  Never mind, you might not even need to read the article, the title sums this whole new phenomenon up quite nicely!

So what ARE these endorsements?  They are mini recommendations, and who doesn’t like that?  You can still of course write a full fledged recommendation but it’s also nice to show people that others see that you really are good at the skills that you’ve mentioned in your job summaries.  Also, it allows for a quicker return on your investment.  The investment being, adding in your skills and expertise and endorsing someone and the return being an endorsement back from the person that you so kindly endorsed.  It’s all about ROI people! :)

However, I had one question, does this help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?  What I mean is, and if you look around this blog you’ll find my accumulated tips on how you can make your LinkedIn profile into an effective and optimized machine, by getting more endorsements on certain skills, does this bump you up in the search rankings when others are searching for certain skills?  I mean, you’d THINK that was the point of this whole exercise…besides allowing others to see what skills you and others claim you are good at.

Well, our questions were answered in that same article I mentioned above, “…this also adds more data to the network, so that anyone can see who has been recommended highly for a specific skill.”  So endorse away!  Kindly endorse someone you know and before you know it they will, hopefully, endorse you back!

What did you do today?  Did you endorse someone?

Social Media Plan

This is a MUST share for everyone who is looking for a better way to manage a social media calendar. We all have our own way but if we don’t at least explore other options then we will never learn.

So in my attempt to learn I sampled upon a great article about the 9 social media tips to help small business and I plan on implementing tip number four in my future social media post planning. I truly think that having an idea of what your general plan will be will make creating a post for each day of the week much easier.

Now, are you ready for the best part? At the end of the article you may notice three links, don’t overlook them. It’s true that the best is left for last because the last link leads you to an Excel spreadsheet that will help you with your social media plan!  Now let’s all thank the Inbound Marketing Company.

What did you do today?

SEO to the Next Level

This week one of our webinars was led by our moderator, Bob Tripathi.  He was going to lead a webinar titled SEO for Social Media Professionals.  I had an idea of where this might go but was very surprised and really learned quite a bit.

For those of you that may be LinkedIn to me may have seen that I linked to an article titled, For Social Media Marketers SEO is Must More Popular than PPC.  I linked to it because I agree with its title.  I am much further into the SEO camp and always try to think about how things are optimized for search.  The reason behind my not being behind PPC, Pay Per Click, marketing is because in my personal life I never ever click on the paid google links along the right hand side.  Maybe it’s a pre conceived notion from years past when those links would always be spammy.  Whatever the reason, I like SEO, Search Engine Optimization.

The basics of it for a website are that you want to make sure that your title tag and meta description are optimized for your key words.  What that means is if you are a bread company in the title tag, the tag at the top of the browser window, might say something like “Artisan bread company – fresh bread M-F – also gluten free”  You would then also want to make sure that your meta description, the description that shows up in searches below your title.  You might write something like “Artisan bread company is your source for the freshest bread in the Providence area.  Choose from a variety of 15 different types of bread.”  Lastly, you want to make sure that the photos on your website are also optimized.  Instead of just uploading a photo and leaving the name of it as dsc1506.jpg, why not name it “Artisan bakery-rye bread?”  This way, if anyone is looking for images of rye bread on google you actually have a chance of popping up in the search!

This way, someone knows what they are clicking on and why.  There is no ambiguity.  Now, you want to do this on every page of your website and alter the title and meta tags as they relate to each page. There is much more information and many more steps that you can take this and I encourage you to peruse SEO Moz’s Free Beginners Guide to SEO.

Now the last thing that Bob covered was LinkedIn.  For those that rea this blog, you are probably tired of me drumming into you the importance of it and making sure that you have your keywords in the top five spots (the headline, current and past job titles, summary, skills). However, I had never once thought about naming my photo.  What a silly oversight!  I immediately made sure to go on and give my profile picture a name, my name to be exact.  This is your personal brand page, you need to do everything right in order to get found! 

Now go out there and optimize your company pages!

What did you do today?
P.S. Happy Easter!

The 4P’s of Marketing Aren’t What They Used to Be

Last week we had a fantastic speaker, Sima Dahl, dial in to the social media webinar.  Her topic for discussion was about social media for business.  But, what really got me listening was her take on the 4P’s of marketing.  We should all know that they are Price, Product, Place and Promotion…don’t worry, I needed a refresher too.  Now that things have become more social the 4P’s have changed to the 4C’s!  These would be Community, Content, Conversation and Conversion.  Do we have your undivided attention?

Sima went on to share her three strategies for social media in general.  So here we go, straight from the presentation and as her website claims…”Sima says…”

Strategy 1: Get cozy with your customer
*Outline your social media objective
**Start with your target customer…find out what social media platform this kind of customer is using.
*Tune into online chatter

Strategy 2: Contribute to the social stream
*Select a social media channel and consider your comfort zone…how chatty are you?
*Assess your content and don’t just give off noise, i.e. self promotional info 24/7
*Start a conversation but clearly set expectations.  You won’t answer all of the time and you may not answer all questions, make that clear from the beginning.
*Be creative and let your personality shine through.  How do you want the brand to sound?

Strategy 3: Fail early, learn fast
* Monitor things closely and respond to issues quickly. Silence can be deafening at times, especially if you usually post often.
* Measure conversion. What were your initial goals? Are you meeting them?
* Practice continuous learning and watch others.

But, most important of all, HAVE A PLAN!

Let’s all thank Sima for all of these great tips!

What did you do today?

Planning for Social Media Success

The last post was taken from a webinar led by Lee Odden and I told you that in this, and the next, post I would share the other two issues with social media content.

So, the first issue, as covered in the last post was not relating social media to true business and overlooking how each KPI relates to the other.  The goals must relate!  The second issue includes five sins of how you broadcast your social content.

1. Failure to plan – just because the platforms are free does not mean that you should go at this important component of your marketing mix without a plan.  I am always creating posting schedules for the month ahead so that I always know what I am posting.  I can always add to it, but I at least have a base to go off of.

2. Self Promotion – At first, you may want people to know what your company does or makes but don’t just talk about yourself. Once it’s been a few months and you feel like people have a good sense of what your company is about, move on to being a thought leader.  Provide your followers with news that they may otherwise had to search for before.  Make them come to you on their own.

3. Give to get – Again, you want to create a community.  You want people to know that you’ll listen to them and that they can also rely on you.

4. Content isn’t great unless it’s shared – this is what social media is all about.  You may have some amazing case studies, but no one knows about them.  Share them with your audience!

5. Analyze – metrics are key, this is the only way that you’ll know what is working and what isn’t.  What do your followers respond to? What do they dislike?

The failure to do the above may send you into a tail spin and will me than likely make you fail.  Don’t fail!

What did you do today?