Archive for February, 2012

US Army – we salute you.

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We award you a Medal of Honor for endeavours in the field of Social Media. With active operations on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Google+, Vimeo, Army Live Blog and the recently launched initiative on Pinterest, you are leading the way forward. And it seems from behind ‘enemy lines’, as in some quarters of RecruitmentUSA there is often little value held to using social media for anything close to brand engagement. And as you target audiences on each platform in a unique way, your latest move into Pinterest is an ideal movement to reach its predominantly female demographic.

So unlike many, you’re not afraid to put it to the test and are doing so to catch onto the growing popularity of the platform now – rather than waiting in the trenches to see what happens next. (Even though you could, having established forward bases on all the major social media fronts already.)

It’s real employer marketing. Or Social Employer Branding, as we like to say. And in that awful cliché ‘War for Talent’ – you’re showing how fortune favours the brave. You really are a ‘client’ after our own heart. We salute you.

Let’s get engaged #trulondon

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You know how to attract me.
I like what you say to me.
You’re there for me.
Whenever I need you.
You always talk to me.
And people are always talking about you.
You make me happy.
You’re encouraging.
Ever helpful.
You get me excited.
You’re inspiring.
I want to be with you.

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I’ll be leading a track about Engagement in Social Recruiting at #trulondon next week on Thursday 23rd. I’d love to see you there.

What’s happening to original thinking?

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The world of advertising has always plundered popular culture – even before the growth of the internet. Original ideas have been copied. Or at least ‘inspired’ some people’s creativity. But with Google and now the rise of Social Media,’naughty’ creatives and designers, who think no-one will ever notice, blatantly display someone else’s work as their own. Why would you do that? What does it achieve? Apart from the option of being uncovered and ridiculed.

True originals are created by that old phrase ‘99% perspiration, 1% inspiration’. It’s tough. It’s hard. But it’s damn satisfying when you get there. And when you do reach that nirvana – don’t be tempted as some are, especially in the digital world of web design, to replicate it on your next few projects just because you can re-skin, re-brand and re-use it. Where’s the fun in that? And much more telling – where is the client’s ‘brand’ in that?

But it’s not just design types whose original thinking is clouded by the digital world. Delve into the depths of social media and it’s the same. The copyists. The case studyists. With the etiquette of sharing ‘socially’, comes the easy option. If Company X do that, we can. If Agency Y did it that way, why don’t we just do the same thing? If Business Z were success with that, let’s see how they did it and follow that plan. Why? Because you’re afraid to try something different yourself? You need a safety net of somebody else’s originality to show you the way.

It’s a philosophy we’ve never believed in. For years, the only way to know what we did – outside of seeing the actual work itself – was when we entered it for awards. Our website was literally just fun and games. We kept the ‘creative’ wheels turning by doing what we considered were the best solutions. No matter what everyone else was up to. Same with Social Media, we just did it. Slowly. Enquiringly. Testing the water. A trial here, the odd fail there. It grew. We saw what it could achieve. What we could do. We learned by rolling up our sleeves and getting on with it. It’s the only valuable way to go, in our honest opinion.

A true enquiring mind should be able to discover, use, create and ‘sell’ the strategies, solutions and ‘successes’ for itself. If you want to learn what others do, don’t just take it verbatim and rely on them to do the ‘hard work’ for you.

Recruitment Technology – No Likey, No Hirey?

Recruiting by technology. It’s a grower. More and more players are entering this space by the day it seems. Import your profile from LinkedIn. Connect your Facebook account – but only the good parts, not any of those ‘incriminating’ bits. See who you know in a company that’s hiring. Anonymous dating style matching. It’s all out there, if you want to use it. And all ‘badged’ as being part of the social media explosion and the art of social recruiting. The upcoming buzz from all this tech is that it’s now more about matching skills and experience, than culture and fit. The ‘system’ can now reveal the perfect match apparently, for candidates and employers.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the initial beauty for recruitment to social media was that it encouraged the personal contact? A connection on LinkedIn. A friend on Facebook. Even a follower on Twitter. How everyone complains about the auto-bot Vacancy Twitter accounts. A Facebook Wall of job ads. An intrusive and bland job invite on LinkedIn.

Where is the engagement? It’s not just about ensuring there’s some interesting video posted on Facebook every few days. Or photos of your latest team building away-day. Nor a distant connection to someone you don’t really know who works there. It’s surely about engaging, attracting and being interested. Liking what they say (and do). Being attracted to join, or start, a conversation with them. Getting to know the company or brand ‘one to one’. Then you know if you’re right for each other. Not because the latest technological advance says that you are.

Otherwise, Company Anon will be studying your LinkedIn profile, judging your social savvy on Facebook, telling you how good they are and then finally, when the metaphorical ‘Blind Date’ wall slides back… well let’s just say, your career may not be exclaiming ‘Amazeballs!’