April 28
Hero how-to-turn-your-employees-into-brand-ambassadors-on-social-media

In today’s world, consumers are bombarded with marketing messages on a daily basis. From old-fashioned print advertising, to television, radio, mobile, and online advertising, the average person has become accustomed to the bite-sized sales pitches companies are putting out there, and most of them have learnt to tune them out. While you still need to market in the traditional ways for those consumers who are actively seeking your product or services, building a brand story and focusing on word-of-mouth advertising will help your business stand out from the pack.

In order to achieve  word-of-mouth advertising, businesses need to earn it by living up to your brand’s promise and always giving your customers excellent service. A happy customer who eagerly tells others about your company and services is known as a brand ambassador. There is another source of possible brand ambassadors that many businesses overlook however – employees.

Happy and engaged employees are an excellent source of brand ambassadors, especially on social media. If you’re ready to realize the potential of your employees as brand ambassadors, you can get started with a few easy tips.

Make it easy

Do you restrict your employees from engaging in social media at work? That’s going to make it hard for them to be brand ambassadors online. Smart phones mean employees have access to their social media accounts whenever they have their phone, so restricting it on company computers isn’t necessarily stopping them from checking in on Facebook. Obviously you need to have some procedures in place so that your star employees aren’t playing games online all day, but consider allowing your employees a little freedom in this area. You might just be surprised at how little it affects productivity (if anything, it might actually improve it!)

If you’re serious about utilizing the power of social media in your marketing, also consider using hashtags to make it easier for employees to endorse your company and culture online.

Choose the right people

Some of your employees are blogging, tweeting, and active on Instagram already. Others might prefer to avoid the social media platforms altogether. If you’re building a team of social media ambassadors, you want those people who are already comfortable in that realm, and already have a network in place.

Talk about your plans at a staff meeting and see who might be interested.

Give them the knowledge (and the power)

Once you’ve chosen your team of ambassadors, invest in training on how to best handle any negative comments that might occur on social media. Have guidelines and procedures in place so everyone is on the same page. Let them conduct their own research on other companies who are succeeding in the social media space. And finally, give them the autonomy they need to be successful.

Your customers are social-media savvy enough to detect canned responses and insincerity, and they won’t respond well to a team of ambassadors who can only work within the confines of your marketing templates. Let your team be authentic. Let their personalities shine. Having a few rules in place is a must, particularly with regards to profanity, political statements, and religion. But beyond those basic guidelines, your ambassadors need the freedom to be themselves in order to be successful.

Notice and reward success

Once your team becomes more active on social media, you need to measure results. If something isn’t working, you need to know about it so your entire team can brainstorm new strategies. And if something is working and working well, you need to highlight it! Sing the praises of that ambassador. Offer some kind of reward system, and duplicate that successful tactic where appropriate.

Zoe Anderson is a writer with an interest in business issues and trends. Zoe is also an employee of StudySelect.

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April 21
Hero 5-recruiting-metrics-you-should-definitely-pay-attention-to

The majority of recruiting needs can easily be met via social media or similar online avenues. As far as recruitment methods go, social media campaigns are indispensable – as long as you’re implementing them correctly. When starting a recruiting campaign, it’s highly beneficial to develop an efficient strategy and keep a close eye on key recruiting metrics. Doing so will allow you to monitor engagement from the get-go. It can be hard to come in late and try to figure out how effective your recruiting methods have been. Understanding beforehand what you need to look for and realising all the adjustments you may need to make along the way will create the perfect recruiting funnel, maximising your potential and delivering you dependable results.

Watch Your Visitor Sources

Ideally, you’ll be using several platforms to draw in recruits. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the easiest choices for recruiters and they also provide you with a decent number of potential recruits. Look at where your visitors are coming from. If, for example, your Facebook page is bringing you the most potential recruits, whereas all the other social media and job boards fail to deliver, strengthen your Facebook strategy. In addition, carefully analyse what you’re doing on Facebook, and apply similar methods to your other networks. If you aren’t seeing success on a particular network, you may want to consider cutting it from your itinerary and focusing on the platforms that are working well for you.

Measure Reach and Engagement

Most social networks will show you how many people have been exposed to your post, and how many of them were actually engaged. Many job boards and social networks like Facebook show you the number of people who have simply seen a post, in addition to how many people reacted to it in the form of clicking and commenting. These statistics and insights allow you to efficiently measure click-through-rate (CTR) of your job postings. If the CTR of your postings is high, it means you have successfully grabbed the attention of job seekers and can expect an influx of recruits. If it is low, your postings have failed to engage the audience and changes are necessary. Try rephrasing your job descriptions, use different calls-to-action, and observe what your competition is doing to create more engaging posts.

Compare Efforts to Acquisition

During an active campaign, how many followers are you drawing in? This not only includes people who actually become valuable recruits, but also people who have voluntarily connected to your profiles. You may be paying for advertisements, promoted posts, or sponsored posts. How many hours of manpower a day go into managing your social media profiles? In order to create an efficient campaign, all these factors have to be taken into consideration.

How Much is it Costing You Per Recruit?

Add up all your recruitment costs, including the marketing of your campaign, the labour costs for having an individual or a team managing your social media profiles, the capital which has come out of your budget for paid exposure, and all the other expenses connected to obtaining new talents for your company. Having done that, divide this amount by the number of recruits you’ve actually acquired to receive cost-per-acquisition (CPA) value – one of the most important metrics you should be concerned with when recruiting. You need to know how much one recruit is costing you in order to create a balanced budget. If the final figure isn’t feasible, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and envision a strategy that’s comfortable and cost-effective.

Set Up a Survey

Once you’ve driven enough people in, direct them to a survey. Offer this survey to all applicants, including applicants you haven’t hired. Ask them how they’ve heard about you, and on what networks they’re connected to you. Invite them to evaluate your campaigns. Always leave room for additional comments. Incentivising the survey will make people feel more inclined to take it, but many people will be glad to do so regardless.

Like with most recruiting campaigns, you may need to tailor your strategy to fit specific stages of the recruitment process. If you find that certain content isn’t working for you, don’t give up. Look at what your competitors are doing and craft a more competitive strategy.

Simone Smith writes for Online Courses Australia, usually sharing her knowledge and stories about business growth and personal improvement. In her free time, she enjoys reading books for entrepreneurs or spending time working out.  

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April 14
Hero passive-candidates-what-you-need-to-know-infographic

Did you know that UK-based companies hire more than 50% of passive candidates on average every year? Or that passive candidates, who are open to hearing from recruiters, account for nearly 85% of the global workforce? Recruitment specialists Armstrong Appointments came out with an infographic that shares some interesting facts and figures about passive candidates – a breed that is fast emerging as the apple of a recruiter’s eye. According to it, traditional job listings and employee referrals are some of the best ways to attract the attention of a passive candidate.

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January 14
Hero fresh-cotton-social-recruiting-with-jobcast

Connecting with the perfect job candidate can be difficult but Jobcast can simply your search in finding the talent you need. Social recruiting with Jobcast has helped FreshCotton find the developers they were looking for but struggled to when using traditional recruitment methods. Read more on our case study about how finding the right recruitment platform and harnessing social media connections has opened up FreshCotton's access to talent within their own community.

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October 26
Hero make-social-measurable

Of all the changes that the Internet and social media have wrought, one of the biggest is changing forever the way that companies and potential employees connect. Social media in particular has created a revolution both in finding out about and applying for jobs for employees, and discovering more about potential hires. But how do companies know if any or all of various social media platforms works for them and their needs? Measurement is key, and that includes setting goals and matching them to distinct metrics. Social media measurement can also help to gauge time and monetary investment, and direct companies to realign recruitment efforts based on outcomes.

Via Salesforce

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October 4
Hero empower-employees-social-media

It can be difficult to involve your employees in your social media endeavors. Employees may not feel comfortable with social media, or may be reluctant to connect their personal social profiles to their work. Both are completely understandable reasons and you should always be respectful of your employee's comfort. However, there is no better brand ambassador than your employees. Nobody knows your company better than those who have worked there every day. Nobody can better represent your company culture than those who contribute to its very identity. For these reasons, you need to persuade and inspire your employees to participate in your company's social channels. Here are five ways you can empower your employees on social media!

  1. Lead by example

You can't expect your employees to hop onto social media and integrate their personal brand with your culture if you aren't doing it yourself. Demonstrate to them how you share fun materials through your personal network. Show your future brand ambassadors examples of the posts you share that promote your brand vision, and the positive response that comes from it.

  1. Provide adequate training support

It's very possible that your employee may not use social media in their personal lives, and come out not understanding the system at all. Throw away your assumptions and ensure that every employee has access to training when asking them to represent your brand on social media. Let's be honest, Twitter to a first-time user can be quite daunting. Most social platforms were designed to be fairly intuitive in their use, so most employees should be able to flourish after a small amount of guidance.

  1. Promote discussion

Social media should not be a daily obligation to post x posts about y subject between the hours of 9am to 12pm, at which point another employee will take over. Social, as the word implies, should be an ongoing conversation. Emphasize to employees that they are free to voice their own opinions to promote the business - in fact, it will sound more organic if they do so! Organize something like weekly meetings or a private online network for your social media ambassadors to gather and discuss together on, generating valuable new ideas for your brand.

  1. Show how social media can be fulfilling

One great thing about social media is that your followers can leave direct, immediate, and honest feedback about your company at any time. It can be very inspirational and provide a sense of achievement to share company news or accomplishments and see the feedback right away. Being a brand ambassador can be self rewarding.

  1. Reward your employees for sharing

Take a moment to notice and congratulate your employees if they are doing a good job. Recognizing employees for effective social sharing is no different from recognizing them for a job well done elsewhere in the company. This will inspire excitement and motivation within your company about your social media ventures, as well as interest others in joining your social team.

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September 27
Hero recruiting-passive-candidates

Enter: the perfect job candidate. Responds promptly to your freshly minted job posting. Skills, qualifications and work experience all seem relevant and perfectly tailored to the job description. Personality meshes perfectly with your precise company culture. Presentation is immaculate. Motivated and eager to do whatever is needed of them. Let us give this candidate the benefit of the doubt, and for a moment, imagine that they are actually a real person (haha). Out of the stack of people who applied for your awesome position, only this candidate shone like a priceless gem. This candidate made the conscious effort to seek you out. This candidate, for whatever motivation, wants to work for you. Hiring this candidate, however, disregards the other brilliant candidates who are not looking for you. Does this mean you should ignore them? Does this mean that because another company has already staked a claim to their talent, they are out of the picture forever? Should you really limit your hiring to only those who are currently unemployed and actively job hunting? Are these the best candidates for your job? Is this the best you can do? Undercover Recruiter states that 79% of potential candidates aren’t actually engaged in the job hunt. Usually, this is because they are already working, but may be for personal reasons of their own. The fact that they’re currently employed already speaks volumes about their ability. From that proportion, Jobvite indicates that 61% would be open to a change of employer. Will you be that employer? Our economic upturn has created a talent war, which means it’s time to get competitive with your recruitment. Passive candidates may be difficult to find and even harder to convince, but worth it in the end.

Does it also help that passive candidates that get hired are more driven and 17% less likely to require skills development? LinkedIn certainly thinks so. Thankfully, technologies today are making it easier to target your ideal passive candidates. Tools and networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to research your candidates and reach out to their networks. The internet allows you to be where your candidates are, rather than forcing them to come to you. Recruit passive candidates. Don’t limit yourself to what falls in your lap. Like many other motivational speeches, no matter how low or high you sit in the branding battlefield, you should always actively reach out for the best result. Enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about passive candidate recruitment with Facebook?

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September 20

Active listening is a communication technique in which the listener demonstrates to the speaker that they have been heard. Though it is often considered a more traditional concept of business communication, the technique is equally effective when applied to communication on social media channels. Here’s a quick summary of the four key components of ‘traditional’ active listening:


  1. Acknowledgement: using verbal and nonverbal gestures that demonstrate the listener’s attentiveness. Perception from the customer is heavily influenced by the attentiveness of the listener – make them feel valued!

  2. Clarification: summarizing and paraphrasing what the speaker has said. It is important for there to be a correct mutual understanding, particularly when assisting a customer.

  3. Self-disclosure: communicating one’s personal thoughts and feelings. Doing so can build and enhance a customer relationship.

  4. Congruency: maintaining a consistent message through all channels of communication. An example of this is using acknowledgement without clarification, which negatively impacts the user experience.

Businesses who have implemented this technique into their customer service training have observed three noticeable results (Source). When company representatives listened effectively, customers overall:

  • had a higher level of trust

  • had a higher level of satisfaction

  • perceived a higher quality of service

How can we translate and incorporate this technique of active listening into our social media strategy?

  • Always respond to all feedback and mentions on social media, whether it is positive or negative. Providing customers with an immediate offer of service will do wonders for your brand image and customer retention, even if they approached you with a complaint.

  • Ensure both you and your customers are on the same wavelength. Particularly when communicating electronically, many things may be lost in translation. Don’t be afraid to paraphrase their question, but in a way that isn’t condescending.

  • Get personal! Customers hate receiving canned responses on social media as much as they hate pre-recorded responses when trying to place a phone call. Social media representatives should respond as they naturally would.

  • Create and enforce guidelines and standards for your social media team to follow. Customers are especially more attuned to the treatment of other customers on the internet. Ensure every customer query is followed through appropriately.

Incorporate active listening as a part of your social strategy today. It’s worked for traditional business models, particularly in front-end service with Canadian banks. Is active listening more difficult to achieve face to face than it is on social? Tell me your thoughts!

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September 14
Hero 7-reasons-social-recruiting

Social recruiting has been with us for almost a decade (that’s right, some recruiters still remember the days of MySpace), but many hiring managers still have absolutely no clue about incorporating social media into their recruiting strategy. If your social recruiting efforts haven’t brought forth any tangible benefits, you might be doing something wrong.

Here are 7 reasons why your social recruiting strategy might not be working for you.

1. You build your strategy on a wrong vision of social recruiting

Social recruiting is simple and inexpensive, right?

Wrong. While social platforms are freely available, social recruiting is hardly free in itself.

Consider the time, people, resources, and their associated costs when developing a formal social recruiting process. Also consider what social recruiting really means. Posting job offers to your Facebook page liked by two dozen people is not social recruiting. In order to start recruiting, you’ll need to engage candidates. Post interesting content, participate in online discussions and share your expertise in the field! These sorts of activities will develop your employer brand, which will inspire and attract high quality candidates to you.

2. You lack sufficient knowledge about different social networks and their audiences

It is true that LinkedIn exists as the largest professional network, but a common mistake is to ignore other channels. Remember that potential candidates use many other tools to connect with each other. Present yourself as an attractive employer without making them look for you.

Where is your talent? Perhaps they are Tweeting, posting pictures on Instagram, or liking Pinboards on Pinterest. Understand the channel you wish to enter, and what would suit your brand. Create and curate content to support your chosen channels. Only by first understanding, you can benefit from social recruiting. Otherwise, even the largest social networks won’t be helpful to your efforts.

3. Your posts lack value

Many recruiters are so focused on growing their networks that they completely forget about value. Take a moment to consider what kind of value you might bring to a job seeker who chooses to follow you.

Try to deliver a healthy mix of curated and created content, both which should help candidates better understand and relate with your company culture. Let the value you provide be the eventual push that turns your follower into a job seeker.

4. You’re not responding to candidates

Social media is a handy tool for researching candidates, both current and prospective. Many social media managers may post content regularly, but often fail to respond in time to their followers.  Don’t forget to participate in your community, and always respond to messages sent your way! It is also important to develop a consistent brand voice for all company communications.

The best responses are based on social listening, which is key to unveiling crucial data about your audience. By listening closely, you will be able to provide relevant content to your networks. Social listening can also help you evaluate your brand performance.

5. You believe social media users are predominantly job seekers

This is a classic mistake made by many recruiters who treat social media as if they were vast candidate pools – repositories of people who are just desperate for a job.  Only half of them might be interested in positions you’ve got to offer. Many are probably just interested in what you have to say.

A related misconception is that everyone will be interested in connecting with a recruiter. Even if candidates are looking for a new job, connecting with recruiters can pose a risk to their current position by exposing their job hunting to colleagues and employers. Don’t count on a surge of new connections, but pay more attention to your own profiles.

6. You fail to leverage the potential of your employees

Employee referral strategy can extend beyond the offline world. In fact, employee referral is the source of best hires for companies. Many enterprises ban the use of social media on their premises, effectively blocking this line of communication between employees and the world.

Employees can provide you with the best narrative about your brand. Definitely allow them to tell their story! It results in a more authentic brand image to present to your networks. Behind-the-scenes footage showing employees at work is an excellent way to start.

7. You’re not measuring your results

Finally, it escapes most recruiters that their efforts in social recruiting can actually be measured and analyzed to generate valuable insights about their practice. Here’s a quick metric to start with: think about how many candidates hired last year came from social media. Now consider how many are still with your company. Were they quality hires? As a recruiter, you need this kind of knowledge about your current workforce. It’s not only about the efficiency of your social recruitment, but your entire recruitment strategy.

Check off this list of the most common misconceptions floating around social recruiting and and ensure that none of these will finish in your strategy. Have you noticed your fellow recruiters make these mistakes? Share, tweet, or comment so that everyone stands a chance at improving their social recruiting strategy!

Thank you Torri for your contribution!

Editing and images by Jasmine Tiang

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September 7
Hero happy-labor-day-and-the-future-of-work

Labor Day means two things to North Americans: a day off and the end of summer.

Oh, and it’s also a day set aside to pay tribute to working women and men, hence the name labor day.

A tradition started by labour unions in New York back in 1892 with a parade, Labor Day is now a national holiday in both Canada and the United States.

We celebrate the holiday with barbecues, sparklers, and blog posts.

Blog posts like this one!

In honour of Labor Day, here are my favourite articles and podcasts about the future of work.

Three Scenarios For The Future Of Work - Jacob Morgan @jacobm

In this article/infographic Jacob explains the concept PWC researchers created around three potential worlds of work we could inhabit in the future.

How the Future of Work May Make Many of Us Happier - Anne-Marie Slaughter

This article describes the future of work as “a dramatically different economy in which most workers will be independent contractors. Freelancers will work on demand for whoever needs their services rather than for fixed periods of time for a single employer.” It also explains some of the positive benefits an economy like this would bring with it.

How Freelancers are Fighting for Their Labor Rights - Dillon Baker

But flexible work isn’t all PJs, cappuccinos, and MacBooks.

Dillon reports on the many frustrations currently facing the growing freelance community.

A tax system that punishes the self-employed—which some classify as double taxing. Little to no benefits, exploitative contracts, and not getting paid for work done and delivered.

In his article, Freelancers Union founder and labor lawyer Sara Horowitz is quoted as saying that nearly half (44%) of their members report issues in getting paid.

Hard Work Is Irrelevant - Planet Money

This podcast is fantastic! It’s about how Patty McCord helped create a workplace at Netflix that runs more like a professional sports team than a family. If you're not up to scratch, you're off the team.

I know it sounds a little harsh, but personally I do think that this would be a bright and productive future.

NUMMI 2015 - This American Life

Another podcast for the list for your future work commute.

This American Life’s piece about the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. is one of their most celebrated works.

“In 1984, General Motors and Toyota opened NUMMI as a joint venture. Toyota showed GM the secrets of its production system: How it made cars of much higher quality and much lower cost than GM achieved. But today, GM cars still don't have the quality of Japanese imports. GM went bankrupt. And in 2010 NUMMI was closed, sending thousands of car workers looking for jobs.”

No matter what you think the future of work is, this podcast shows just how important it is to adapt to that future.

Happy Labor Day!

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