Employer Branding

May 26
Hero 5-essential-social-media-management-apps

Recently I've been working with several new Jobcasters on their social media branding. This has got me thinking a lot about just how difficult it can be to get started with social. There's just so much information out there, so many different "Must Use" social platforms, "Best Practices", and gigantic lists of "Essential Apps" that you "Can't live without!" It's terrifying. One of my favorite blogs, BufferBlog.com, recently put out a list of the 61 best social media tools for small business. This is awesome... For me, and community managers like me.... But I would never send something like this to a client who has just begun the process of building their organization's employer brand! To be honest, Buffer's list left even me feeling somewhat overwhelmed, and I use at least 20 different apps to optimize my social media efforts before lunch. I know a lot of our readers are in a similar position to Michael. So I thought I would share a short list of apps that I think will help you guys, and some quick tips on how to use them.

5 Apps to Help You Get Started with Social

A Content Calendar When starting out it really helps to plan out your content strategy in advance. This will mean you are never scrambling to figure out a blog post, forgetting to share enough image based content, or missing the opportunity to promote a new feature, or event. I'm not going to recommend a specific content calendar app, as I haven't found one that I like (if you know of one, please share it in the comments!) Personally, I use a combination of Trello app (more on Trello farther down the page!) and Google Calendar for organizing content. I sync my Google Calendar to Sunrise for my phone and tablet. Sunrise has a much better mobile experience than the Google app, it is beautiful and very simple to use, and I highly recommend it! Here's what the setup for our Trello content calendar looks like (I've hidden the content we plan on sharing so as to maintain our element of surprise!)

Check out this fantastic article on setting up a content calendar with Trello.


I have a love/hate relationship with Hootsuite. It is ugly, and doesn't let me view RSS feeds from within the app, but after experimenting with Sprout Social (so much prettier, so much pricier!) and Buffer for Business (love it, but it's too buggy for me), Hootsuite is the clear winner. Hootsuite allows you to manage all of your social channels from a single dashboard, which is a must! You can also track metrics reasonably well, keep on top of Twitter lists, and collaborate on your social efforts with co-workers from within the Hootsuite Dashboard. With Hootsuite you create "streams" as a way of monitoring your social channels. I used to keep separate streams for all of our social platforms, but this meant far too many streams to track. Now I just use two streams that I label "Pending" and "Activity". Way easier to manage! Here's what our Hootsuit looks like before we add content:

Our pending stream displays the scheduled content for all of our social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, G+ etc...). Our activity stream shows mentions, Likes, comments and other interactions we get throughout the day.


I've written about Feedly before, and I'll probably write about it again!

Feedly is a reader app that organizes your favorite web sites into a single, comprehensive location so that you have a constant of diverse content to share on your social channels. There are tons of reader apps out there, and I have tried waaaay too many of them. From Zite (the worst) to Flipboard (pretty, but not practical) to Digg (love it for personal, not for work!) and none of them even come close to Feedly. To use Feedly, add blogs and websites that publish content appropriate for your social brand to the app. Then categorize the blogs you've added based on what type of content they provide. At Jobcast we like to share posts about HR, recruiting, social media, productivity, and work life, so I have divided the blogs we follow into these categories within Feedly. For example: TLNT is in the HR section, Co Design is in our social media section, and Tim Sackett's blog is in our recruiting section... And our hilarious bloggers section, of course! Hot tip for Feedly: Create a competitors section to keep track of the competition. - Click to Tweet!

Here's what my Feedly looks like this mornin':

Pocket Another app I've written about in the past; Pocket, is an essential part of my repertoire and has been for over a year! That's basically forever in app years.

Pocket is a simple bookmarking tool that allows you to track and save the content you wish to share. It integrates seamlessly with Feedly, which is a huge bonus, and also has an extension for your desktop web browser. It looks like this:

Basically, instead of just randomly posting content as you come across it, with Pocket you can save the content you find throughout the day to one location, and then add all of it to your scheduling tool in one fell swoop! Using Pocket to bookmark the links, articles and images you want to share will save you time, and give you an overview of everything you wish to share throughout the day, ensuring that the content you post is varied in topic and source. One of the best ways to make Pocket more effective is by using its "Tagging" feature to separate the content you save. I like to tag content by our previously mentioned categories: social media, HR, and the like, or by what platforms I plan on using it for: Facebook, Twitter, the Jobcast blog, etc...


Trello is my favorite social media management app by far. It is actually the BEST organizational app I have ever used... In fact, I would go so far as to say: Trello is my favorite app of all time! Yup. I even like it more than Instagram, which is saying a lot considering Instagram provides me with a steady stream of adorable pictures of my friends’ pets. At Jobcast, we use Trello to manage all of our projects, including our content calendar as mentioned above. Trello’s visual card-based interface is easy to use, and its intuitive design is second-to-none. Their mobile experience is incredible. I am just as happy using Trello on iPad as desktop... When does that ever happen?!? Their "alert" system keeps our team members up to date on any changes made to projects they are a part of. Their tagging system is incredible for prioritizing tasks. You can also use filters to view only top priority tasks for any given project, or only tasks assigned to a specific team member... Oh, wait... We're supposed to be talking about social media management, oops! Trello has made my social media efforts significantly less time consuming. I use their "boards" to track each network Jobcast uses separately, and then create checklists within each board to make sure I stay on top of sharing content, responding to comments, updating our status, and interacting with our community. Here's what my Trello social media management checklist looks like:

We'd love to here about your favorite apps for social media, time management, productivity, and making life more awesome in general. Let us know in the comments!

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March 18
Hero what-sherlock-holmes-can-teach-us-about-content-marketing-strategy

You can call it what you want: content marketing, journalism, or just plain writing, but having useful resources for your audience is a pretty big deal (even in recruitment). You savvy readers out there know that having content can help guide those of us not yet ready to buy in making the big decision down the road. Creating killer content can be puzzling. By honing in on your inner “Sherlock Holmes” power of deduction, you can see what the rest of us don’t see. If you can do that, your content can become some pretty powerful stuff. Who knows? It can even lead to your readers advocating for your brand… and that’s what we all want, right?

Be an Expert Audience Detective

As the great detective once said, “My name is Sherlock Holmes.  It is my business to know what other people don't know.” As Social Media and Content Marketing pros, it’s your job to be experts on your brand and your customers. Before you start writing, put your detective hat on and discover your audience: where are they; what are they reading; and what gets their attention. Don’t know where to start? Take the first step by researching your customer. Put yourself in your customers' shoes and create buyer personas to understand your audience and their pain points. After all, you want to prove that you can solve their problems.

Strategy! Strategy! Strategy! Sherlock Holmes used strategy and reasoning to solve complex cases. Do not write content just to have content! Start by mapping your content to the different stages of the buying cycle (awareness, education, comparison/validation, purchase). Case studies are not enough. Potential customers are not all ready to buy; some need to be educated about the problem you’re trying to solve. Now it’s time to build a content marketing calendar you can stick to! Leverage people around you to contribute based on their specialties and interests. Don’t forget to build relationships with influencers by sharing their content and featuring them in your own content. This can potentially lead to some awesome co-branded content! Next, get to writing! Not everything will work for your audience, but that’s why you must test and learn. For example, try blogging for the awareness stage, webinars and industry information for the education stage, case studies and demos for the comparison stage, and product information and data sheets for the purchase stage. You may be surprised by what works with your audience.

Look at the Facts Sherlock Holmes doesn't make assumptions, because “it is a capital mistake to theorize in advance of the facts.” Be smart about your content marketing by looking at the facts. Once you develop your strategy and know the goals for your content, dive into the analytics and customer behavior to understand what is and is not working. Stay ahead of the game by measuring your content with performance scorecards.

Just like Holmes, you should be demanding, “Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay.” Looking into actionable metrics based on your content’s goal can give you great insights about your content marketing strategy. Brilliant content marketing campaigns utilize marketing tools and best practices for success. Amplify your content in a smart way by promoting your content on social media, featuring content in email newsletters, leveraging paid advertising, hosting content on external websites, and reaching out to those influencers. Don’t forget to re-purpose, rewrite, and reuse content in new and different ways. Gather all the facts, pay attention to the details, have a plan of attack, and let your powers of deduction get to work!

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December 2
Hero how-to-create-employee-profiles-to-grow-your-employer-brand

Happy employees are an employer brand’s best friend.

According to LinkedIn and TNS enthusiastic and engaged employees are potentially a company’s greatest asset when it comes to branding.

Sadly for us, and by us I mean you and employers everywhere, it can be pretty tough to get employees engaged with your social media efforts. There are lots of ways to encourage your team to engage, but unless you are Lululemon, and have a staff made up of selfie posting, fitness obsessed, Instagram loving young people, getting your employees to create and share content for your brand can be a hard sell.

I have a solution!

Create that content for them.

At Jobcast our head honchos are pretty darn cool. Johnny could bike across Canada without breaking a sweat, has some of the most adorable kids you’ll ever see, and is incredibly passionate about tech, design and user experience. Ryan is a ninja, like actually a ninja, has a gorgeous wife, who is an extremely popular blogger and book author, he also has over ten years experience when it comes to social recruiting, an in-depth understanding of what employers want, and knows exactly what employers need to be successful with social recruiting.

So why aren’t their faces plastered all over the internet? Well, for one, they are both insanely busy trying to make Jobcast better, and for two, they are both pretty humble guys. Your employees are probably pretty busy too, and maybe they don’t feel comfortable talking about themselves, or even know where to start! That’s where you come in, or, in the case of Jobcast, that’s where I come in.

I’m going to create employee profiles for my employers Ryan and Johnny, and in doing so, show you…

How to Create Employee Profiles to Improve Your Employer Brand

Step 1

Photos! You need a really good photo as the main focus for your employee profile. Image-based content is king. Photos and videos get more shares, likes, comments, and general engagement than any other kind of content shared via social media.

We took some professional photos, because we wanted to be able to use these images for any other projects that may come up in the future. You don’t need to invest that much, a good quality smart phone can almost always take high resolution photos, that are perfect for your needs. If your photo taking skills aren’t the best, just try for natural lighting, make sure your subject has a nice smile going on, and if all else fails, use a filter to enhance the picture.

Here are some more great tips for taking awesome photos with your phone.

Step 2

Write a short bio about your employee that includes what they do and why they love working for your company.

Example 1:

Johnny Oshika, CTO, co-founder and technical wizard behind Jobcast is driven, highly analytical, and has all of the technical skills required to create and manage the development of the Jobcast Facebook Recruiting Application.

Johnny loves solving problems, and improving user experience for Jobcast. Striving to perfect the Jobcast app keeps him engaged and excited about his job.

Example 2:

Ryan is the CEO, co-founder, and face of  Jobcast. He has tons of experience with social recruiting, understands what employers need, and how to attract candidates.

Ryan is always happy to share his knowledge with others, whether it’s via webinar, or face to face. That’s what makes him so good at working with employers to make their social recruiting the best it can be.

Step 3

Show everyone, and their mom. Now that you have the content share it on all of the social networks you use. Make sure that you tag the employee in the image so that they see it, and so do all of their connections, this will increase shares, comments and likes. Encourage all of your employees to share the post on their own social networks. You can even write a post on your company blog about employee profiles and how cool they are.

Happy social recruiting!

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September 9
Hero share-your-employer-brand-story-with-facebook

Facebook is a brilliant tool for marketing, as many companies have already learned. This is why more and more big brands, like Coca-Cola and American Express, have been diverting significant amounts of their marketing budgets into Facebook marketing. And their results have been fantastic. What makes Facebook the number one choice for these brands, and why does it work so well? Facebook does what 140 character Tweets simply can’t: it allows brands to tell stories. Stories like the ones that Dove shares on their Facebook Page. From their Real Beauty Sketches campaign, to their recent wedding-themed posts, Dove is giving their customers what they want by crafting interesting, often heartwarming, stories, that people can relate to and be inspired by. Facebook is perfect for brand storytelling because the content that is shared has a longer shelf life, lasting for several hours, unlike Tweets (which disappear within a few minutes). Because of this relative longevity, brands are able to chain posts together, creating a narrative as they unfold. This narrative can seamlessly integrate text, links, video, and images to hold fans' attentions and keep them coming back for more. Brand storytelling does a lot more than just sell products; it establishes a company’s identity and builds up their loyal customer base. The same is true for companies looking to recruit and grow talent communities. An employer brand story is one of the best ways to illustrate to potential candidates why they should want to work for your company. Since the introduction of Facebook Timeline last year, it has become critical for employers, if they want to increase engagement, to make the shift from simply blasting out messages, to creating meaningful stories. Facebook Timeline presents Company Pages in a much more visual way, with a focus on interactive content. This has changed how employers and recruiters must interact with potential hires and applicants to successfully engage with them on the social network. In fact, since the introduction of Timeline, successful branding on the Facebook platform has become pretty much entirely dependent on creating, and elaborating upon stories. A focus on storytelling is effective because it creates a more meaningful relationship between employer brands and their Facebook community. Engaged talent communities participate in social sharing, which helps employers grow their reach and expand their talent communities even further. Here are three ways you can share your employer brand story on Facebook

Talk about your past

More specifically, tell the story of your company’s history. Talk about when and why your company started. Explain what motivated its creation and whether or not that motivation remains the same.

For example, Gatorade was originally made by researchers at the University of Florida to help replenish the electrolyte stores of athletes and was named for the assistance it provided to their football team: The Florida Gators. It was also, according to Gators alumni, completely disgusting. Every company has an origin story and sharing yours is a fun way to show off your employer brand’s roots. Share your causes

If your company has a cause it supports, or a mission statement that shapes its decision making, show it to your potential hires! People want to work for businesses they can be proud of. If your company participates in fundraising, has a really progressive equal rights policy, or is making the world a better place in some other way, tell that story! I’ll use Dove as an example again here, because they do the best job of this that I’ve ever seen. My husband actually emailed me the Youtube video of their Real Beauty Sketches campaign with the caption: “this made me cry, you have to watch it.” They also use their Facebook Page to discuss the terrible body-images issues plaguing so many women today, which tells a brand story of compassion, and support for women. Telling an employer brand story in this way is inspiring to potential candidates, because everyone wants to make a positive difference with the work that they do. Tell your brand story through your employees

Years ago I worked for a super hip restaurant. They had their Twitter account, Instagram, and Facebook branding down pat. So, when I told them I was going to compete in the infamous Tough Mudder obstacle run, they made sure I was sporting a branded t-shirts and trucker hat, and they shared updates of my adventure through their social networks, joking that I was powered by pork (it was a BBQ Joint after all!) When your employees do interesting things, share them! Post images, quote them, make them a part of your story. This is a great way to let potential hires get to know your team, and create original content for your Facebook Page that will appeal across the board. Check out what Earl's Restaurant has done with their "Earls Wants You" Facebook Recruiting Campaign for an awesome example of employer brand storytelling.

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August 26
Hero facebook-recruiting-and-employer-branding-with-earls-restaurant

I remember going to Earls restaurant when I was a kid — it was awesome. Back then, there were two huge, brightly colored parrots perched astride the entrance, and a train that circled around overhead while you ate your burger.

It’s still an awesome restaurant, but it’s nothing like the one I visited as a kid.

Not only does the award-winning restaurant chain now have 60 plus locations across the US and Canada, but Earls has gone through a major branding pivot that has taken the restaurant from brightly colored parrots to exposed brick gorgeous.

Their re-brand is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and they didn’t just stop at their marketing, menu, and interior design.

Earls has embraced social recruiting wholeheartedly, with a well-designed Facebook Career Page, professional recruiting videos, and an extremely effective Facebook Ads campaign.

This recruiting video by Earls has received over 1,750 unique video plays. It is also an awesome example of effective video recruiting!

We were very lucky to get a chance to chat with Jessica Slusar, Earls’ People Solutions Specialist, about Facebook recruiting, employer branding, and what advice she would give other employers looking to get social.

To preface the interview, we’d like to first share Earls’ employer brand philosophy:

“Great guest experiences begin with great partner experiences … At Earls, our people are our most important resource in delivering irresistible food and engaging experiences that build relationships for life.

By practicing the principles of integrity, authenticity, commitment to a cause greater than oneself, and being cause in the matter, we nurture, challenge and reward talent for the benefit of the individual and Earls, People Grow Here.”

This emphasis on finding amazing employees is made apparent through the attention to detail they’ve paid to their social recruiting strategy.

Jobcast: What spurred Earls to start using social media for recruiting?

Jessica Slusar: We realized that this was, and is, quickly becoming the new reality for recruiting. Traditional job boards and career sites are no longer the most effective avenue for getting your “we are hiring” message out there. We also noticed through our research, that very few restaurant concepts have devoted a full social platform to just recruiting. What we see most is that companies are using their corporate sites and pages to push out job postings, so we felt that if we started up social platforms that were solely devoted to recruiting, that would make us stand out. Everyone is mobile and has a device or tablet that they are attached to, so what better way to get them to hear about us then on social media, because we all know that we are all on it everyday.

Jobcast: Which social recruiting sites does Earls use for recruiting?

Jessica: We use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram currently.

Jobcast: Facebook is obviously a huge focus for Earls’ social recruiting. What makes Facebook recruiting so appealing?

Jessica: Facebook is nice because we have more than just 140 characters to work with. This was a big draw for us, because we have more space to tell stories. Our philosophy of “People Grow Here” (i.e. the development and career trajectory we offer at Earls) is one of many things that make us unique and we like to tell those stories with text, pictures and video.

Also, the fact that we can build photo albums (e.g. our Earls Experience Recognition Gala, US East Coast expansion plans) means we can keep people up to date on what’s going on. We know our people like to be in the loop! And what we have found, is that our fans and followers tend to engage more with visuals and familiar language. They see their friends liking it, they share it, comment etc.

Lastly, when we get into launching targeted campaigns, FB is a great tool to utilize for drilling down and reaching our target audience (who we want to reach) with each of our custom posts.

Jobcast: Have you found Facebook Ads to be an effective way to increase applications?

Jessica: Facebook ads have been an extremely effective way to bring awareness, interaction and engagement to our page. We are unique in how we recruit (for example, we don’t have candidates submit applications via a career website). Instead, we direct them to our Earls Wants You career website so they can download an application and find their nearest Earls location to apply to in person. We want to make a genuine and authentic connection with each of our partners and we feel that by meeting with them face to face we form a unique relationship from the initial interaction.

Jobcast: How has the targeted nature of Facebook Ads affected the quality of the applications you receive?

Jessica: Facebook Ads are fantastic for reaching our key partner demographic, starting from the high school grad getting their first job with no experience, to an experienced hospitality veteran looking for a change. It’s also great in challenging and emerging labor markets like Calgary and the US.

Jobcast: Were there any obstacles or roadblocks you had to overcome when transitioning from typical recruiting methods to Social and Facebook recruiting?

Jessica: What we noticed is that we couldn’t just keep doing what we had done with typical job boards. We needed to find a way to take the traditional job ad and role description and shrink it down to something cool, catchy and relevant. Now, we really think about the content we send out, making sure we add value to our followers feeds while still accomplishing our ultimate goal of getting people in the door to apply. There was a lot of trial and error, test campaigns, and strategy adjustments halfway through. Being flexible and changing it up is how we have started to see some of our successes.

Jobcast: Can you share a few of your Facebook recruiting successes?

Jessica: We found that enlisting our existing partners and leaders in spreading our messages was the first step to success. Word of mouth is a powerful message, so we got our existing partners to start Liking, sharing and talking about Earls Wants You on social, which helped articulate who we are and why we are different.

The second thing we did was research and learn from the success stories out there. We started following and talking with brands that were executing their social recruiting presence well. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Third, successful social platforms take a lot of time, so the huge win for us was partnering with a company that offered a breadth of social expertise (the Jobcast Recruiting App). Our first campaign was just a test run in Calgary and Edmonton (Alberta is a notoriously tough labor market) and we thought that if we could achieve reach, interaction, and engagement from a targeted campaign in challenging locations, then we could see future success in our other regions.

Jobcast: What tips can you offer other companies looking to get started with Facebook recruiting?

Jessica: Initially, do your research and start following, watching, and learning from other successful brands that do it well.

Once you’ve gotten started, establish what your brand is, what your message is, and what makes you unique and engaging to your followers. Recognizing what is valuable information for your followers is critical for brand perception and long-term engagement. You want to offer value to every potential partner.

Jobcast: Earls has an amazing brand on and off-line. How did you manage to transition your brick and mortar branding to Facebook so well?

Jessica: For Earls, we are genuine and authentic in our relationships. How we show up in person is how we should show up online. So we took our Earls Experience, Partner values, mission and vision, how every partner and leader in the entire company functions every day, and brought it online. We wanted to show a glimpse of what they can expect to see when they walk into our restaurant. By telling stories, sharing partner profiles, images, videos and the passion for what we do it adds that level of personal connection for our followers, fans, alumni and potential candidates.

Jobcast: What does Facebook offer your brand that other mediums don’t?

Jessica: The great thing about social media and FB is that we can reach candidates all the time. Unlike traditional job boards that are successful for the active candidate that is pursuing the search, social media helps to reach that passive candidate in a subtle, non-invasive way. By posting great stories, pics, videos and job information, we splash across candidate’s news feeds as many times as they check their phone. It’s proactive vs. reactive.

Jobcast: What advice would you have for other companies looking to improve their Facebook employer branding?

Jessica: Don’t just push out job openings… it’s boring. Engage with your followers and fans, build relationships — that’s what social media is all about. Stay fun, fresh, cool and relevant. Always keep learning and evolving your strategy.

Jobcast: What makes Earls a great place to work? What should potential employees know about the Earls’ company culture?


  • People Grow Here, you will see this in a lot of our posts and it’s true. We can take someone with very little, to no experience, and provide them with all the training and tools they need to become successful in whichever role they are in. There are so many great examples across our company of partners who have started as hostesses and dishwashers and are now President and GM and Chef.

  • We have Soul — as I have mentioned before, we are all about genuine and authentic connections and building lifelong relationships, with each other, our partners and our guests.

  • Your opportunity is limitless — there are so many exciting things happening with Earls right now and the sky is the limit for our people. We are expanding to new markets in the US, so there are so many opportunities for movement and growth and development.

  • We have passion for what we do and why we do it — we deliver irresistible food and drink, and engaging experiences, and have a whole lot of fun while we do it.

Jobcast: Company culture is a huge part of the Earls brand. Could you share some tips for other employers looking to show off their company culture on Facebook?

Jessica: Be real, be authentic and engaging. Don’t try to be something that you aren’t.

We couldn’t sum up the essence of Earls’ employer brand any better ourselves… that’s why Jessica is the specialist! We want to thank Jessica Slusar and Earls for answering all of our questions and being such a great company to work with.

For some incredible Facebook recruiting inspiration, check out the Earls Wants You Facebook Career Page — it’s truly fantastic. And don’t forget to check out how the Jobcast Enterprise plan can take your Facebook recruiting to the next level.

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May 13
Hero spring-clean-your-facebook-employer-brand

Happy belated Mother's Day! Moms are pretty great. They teach you things, give great hugs, and keep the human species from going extinct. And moms spend way too much time tidying up toys, diapers and sneakers randomly dumped around the house by their oblivious offspring. That's probably why spring is not just about Mother's Day brunch, but also about serious cleaning. And sadly, now that we are all grown up, we have to stay tidy all on our own. But, if you're looking for a way to do some serious spring-cleaning without touching a mop, pail, or toilet, then look no further. Your social networks can always use a little sprucing up, so follow our handy guide to spring-cleaning your employer branding on Facebook. No rubber gloves required! Start using Facebook Lists

Now. Seriously. If you use Facebook for recruiting, branding, or marketing, eventually your potential hires, colleagues, and customers will start to reach out to you via your personal Facebook account. This can be tricky, especially if you are like me and enjoy posting a lot of rap videos and MMA knockouts on your timeline. I don't want to offend anyone, but I also need to show my pals how amazing Uriah Hall's roundhouse kick is! That's where Facebook Lists come into play. FB Lists let you select exactly who sees what content you post, so you can appear squeaky-clean to colleagues, while still sharing cool, but potentially offensive, stuff with your close friends. For a detailed description of how to use Facebook Lists, I highly recommend this article by Jennifer Baker. Freshen up your posts

It's easy to fall into a bit of a social media rut. Sharing nothing but Seth Godin quotes and cat pictures, no matter how amazing, does eventually get old. Make sure you post a variety of valuable content on your Facebook Employer Page. Intersperse job posts with brand updates, images, and informative links. Using an RSS aggregator like Feedly makes finding great content much easier and a bookmarking app like Pocket helps you save links to content for future posting. Keep your content relevant, short, sweet and varied by posting valuable advice, links you have actually read and vetted, attractive images, and relevant updates. This Infographic gives 18 specific tips for making your Facebook posts sweeter. It's also super cute. Win win! Yes, use that big data, but don't forget to ... Experiment

Why is Facebook always testing out new, occasionally weird icons, page layouts and call-to-actions? Because experimentation is the only way to find out if something works. Sure, we can theorize as much as we like about Facebook best practices, but the only way to know for sure is to try things out. If your cat pictures haven't been getting any Likes, try a Ryan Gosling meme. If you post mostly case-studies, try throwing in the occasional inspirational quote. The internet loves inspirational quotes! Your employer brand will benefit from a little experimentation. This article shares some solid advice about getting into customers' heads. Just replace the word 'customer' with 'candidate' and it transforms into a killer social recruiting piece! Magic.

Think back If you haven't used it in the last three months, throw it away. I apply that rule when cleaning out my cupboards, closet, and fridge (maybe three weeks is better rule-of-thumb for the fridge... eeew.) It works for your Facebook content as well. If you've been posting three times a day for the past three months and only your morning and evening posts are getting any attention, maybe it's time to ditch the afternoon post. To improve your social strategy, it's important to understand what works for your employer brand, and what doesn't, by studying your previous successes and failures. Any good Facebook Recruiting app will supply you detailed metrics. Keep things under control

If you want to keep your future social network spring-cleaning to a minimum, staying up to date on the never-ending stream of changes that Facebook makes is mandatory. It's a daunting task, yes, but it is doable! My personal favorite way to keep tabs on Facebook news is to use Feedly to follow InsideFacebook, AllFacebook and TechCrunch's #Facebook. I also follow Failbook, but this is sheerly to boost moral. Check out this blog post for even more ways to stay on top of the latest innovations from Facebook. Let technology do it for you

Using a smart Facebook recruiting app can give your employer brand a clean sweep. Branding your Career Page with custom colors, embeding recruitment videos, and provided easy to use metrics should be part of any premium app, so it's an easy, affordable way to improve your Facebook Recruiting and employer branding. We Hope these tips help freshen up your Facebook efforts and that your Mother's Day included waffles!

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April 15
Hero making-your-online-community-tribal

So, what do you think of when I say the word 'tribe'? Personally, my mind goes to a very dark place. First to hasty tattoos, then to Survivor, then to cast members of Survivor, covered in tribal tattoos, trying desperately to get more screen-time — by exposing their tattoos. A very dark place indeed. Hopefully you are far more mature than I am, and your first thoughts were, "Oh, tribes! Like communities, right?" Right! More specifically, we're going to discuss tribes in regards to online communities. Waaaay back in March, a bunch of research came out about the emergence of "Twitter Tribes". Basically, they're tightly-knit communities, forming on the social network, who shared specific interests and language. Language being the main identifier because, well, it's Twitter, not Instagram. But, why should we care about online tribes?

Other than the obvious reasons, like finding others who shared our obsession with Justin Bieber, we should care about tribes because of what they can teach us about creating, growing, and managing our own online communities. Brand visibility on social networks like Facebook  is dictated by the ability to engage one's online community. When we talk about increasing Page Likes, gaining Twitter followers, and making job posts go viral, we are talking about online communities. That's where the Likes, Follows and Shares are coming from. Tribes are communities on steroids! Okay, not really. They are actually smaller than regular communities and would be more likely to spend time on bodybuilding.com forums, than actually pumping iron. Yet, they are very socially active communities. Tribes share, Like, and retweet stuff like crazy, which is what you want people to do with your content, and more specifically, with your job posts. So what can we learn from tribes? Words Matter

Online tribes use specific language. Sometimes it is very silly, like 'chillin', and sometimes it's not even recognizable as language, like '<33' (see Beiber Twitter Tribes for more examples). But no matter the specifics, what's important is that the language is shared, and that it is consistent. The takeaway: Use specific, consistent language when posting content and interacting with your online community. Choose words that represent your employer brand and fit with your company culture. This will encourage your online community to do the same, ensuring consistency, and helping define your online brand. Don't Have an Identity Crisis

Part of what makes using specific language so important to online tribes is that it acts as an identifier. Identifying as part of a group is important to people at a very base level. It's why we seek out community to begin with. Tribes use language, repeated themes, and naming to craft strong group identity. The takeaway: Create an identity for your online community. Name your community. For example: Bronies. These are adult male fans of the animated series My Little Pony. They are an extremely active online community, so instead of judging, we should learn from them. And then judge. Identification via naming is also important for content and events. Use the language you've created to help determine what to name your community events and use consistent naming for types of content. We've named our Wednesday blog posts "Link Love", so they are instantly recognizable to our community. Get Cultured

Tribes have their very own culture. The way tribe members interact with each other and conduct themselves is dictated by that culture. Shared values, behaviors and interests, as well as language, make up a tribe's cultural identity. And, as mentioned above, it is that identity that binds a tribe together, thus distinguishing them from regular online communities. The takeaway: Understand what your online community's culture is and let that understanding help shape your content and interactions. By keeping tabs on how your community members interact, what they share, and what they Like, you can determine their values and interests. Which allows you to tailor your own content to stay in sync with your community's culture. Encourage and celebrate that culture with your content, your comments, and even the occasional reward (like a promotion or contest). Tribes form naturally amongst humans. You really can't force your Fans and Followers to become a tribe, but you can interact with them in ways that promote more tribe-like behaviors. Just remember, language, identity, and culture. And Bronies, remember to Google Bronies.

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February 25
Hero why-and-how-family-run-business-gordon-food-service-got-social-with-their-recruiting

The past few weeks we've been focusing a lot on taking the plunge into social recruiting. We've shared tips on how to get started, done a link love devoted to the subject, and now we're bringing you an interview with a client of ours who has done an amazing job of using social recruiting: Gordon Food Service.

Dave Wiltjer was kind enough to answer some of our questions about how and why Gordon Food Service uses social to recruit.

Jobcast: Gordon Food Service is obviously quite savvy when it comes to social media. What does the term social recruiting mean to you?

Dave: When we discuss social recruiting, we are talking about using social tools that will help with us in attracting and sourcing passive candidates. We also view social recruiting as a way to stay current with the various generations we are hiring from in today’s job market.

Jobcast: Why did Gordon Food Service decide to use social media for recruiting?

Dave: We decided to utilize social media for various reasons:

  1. To reach a demographic that relies on and uses social media in everyday activities.

  2. To reach a broader segment of the population, meaning those elusive passive candidates.

  3. To extend our employment branding efforts and have a medium for connecting with potential candidates more quickly and directly.

Jobcast: How has Facebook in particular helped grow the Gordon Food Service employer brand?

Dave: Our strategy for social media recruiting was very defined before we launched the sites. We created the Facebook GFS Careers Site as a means for people to see what our culture and our people are like. We update the site with posts about events that take place in various locations, community service projects, and other fun activities that the company has sponsored throughout the year. Our goal is to give potential candidates an idea of what it’s like to work at Gordon Food Service.

Jobcast: Gordon Food Service has done a really great job with Facebook branding. How important is branding to your social media strategy?

Dave: The use of social media to support our branding efforts at Gordon Food Service is very important to us. Social media is a growing marketing channel and we want to make sure we are communicating our messages where our customers, potential customers, employees, and potential employees are. We are continuously learning about what works and what doesn’t work and refining as we go. Jobcast: Which social recruiting sites does Gordon Food Service use for recruiting? Dave: Gordon Food Service utilizes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Jobcast: Are job boards still a part of your recruiting strategy? Dave: Not as much as they were in the past. We still use them in some locations, but less each year. Jobcast: What advice would you have for other companies looking to grow their employer brand? Dave: Have a well defined strategy before launching the sites. Know how you are going to interact with people on the sites, how you are going to respond to inquiries, negative and positive. Be as transparent as possible. People want to see what it’s really like at your company. Try to respond as people, not as a corporate entity. Candidates want to interact with someone not something. Jobcast: Are there any changes or advancements you would like to see in social recruiting? Dave: I am a huge LinkedIn user, however, being that it is only for professionals, I would like to see some other sites that are geared more towards entry level operations positions. We hire a lot of warehouse and transportation individuals and it would be nice to have a site that captures their information and gives us recruiters a way to connect with them about opportunities. Jobcast: What should potential employees know about Gordon Food Service company culture? Dave: Gordon Food Service has a family culture as we are a family-owned company. We have been around for over 115 years and have grown by being the best in our industry. Gordon Food Service treats their employees like family, by providing exceptional benefits, facilities and work / life balance. Jobcast: Why did Gordon Food Service choose Jobcast for Facebook recruiting? Dave: When deciding on various options for integrating our jobs on Facebook, we ultimately decided to go with Jobcast. Some of the keys factors in making the decision were, price, size and location of Jobcast. Since we are a North American company, having the option to partner with a Canadian based company was a key component. Also, the size of Jobcast was appealing, since they are not the biggest out there, I figured they might be more willing to work with us if any changes needed to be made, which I can tell you, they have and it’s been great. Every time I needed an update or something changed, they responded right away and have come up with solutions for us. The last key component was price, as we are always looking at our bottom line, the price point from Jobcast coupled with the service they provide made it an easy decision when it came to signing the contract. Jobcast: Thank you so much, we really appreciate having you as clients! P.S.

Jobcast: Is there any topic you would like to see covered on the Jobcast blog? We aim to please :) Dave: I visit the blog regularly to get helpful hints from others. Keep doing what you are doing. Jobcast: And now we're blushing! We'd like to give a big thanks to Dave and Gordon Food Service for taking the time to answer these questions and being such a great example of effective social recruiting! For more inspiration you can find Dave on Twitter and GFS on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and LinkedIn. Next week we'll be bringing you a post all about recruiters who transformed their careers by getting social, stay tuned!

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December 17
Hero better-personal-branding-in-3-easy-steps

Personal Branding. It's a buzzword, and people love to hate buzzwords. .. but, just because it's a buzzword doesn't mean it's not worth learning about. Most of the bloggers dissing it already have pretty solid personal brands themselves. Sure, they'll tell you that they're just being their authentic-selves, but isn't that just another way of saying they're being true to their personal brands? Not all of us are that comfortable being our authentic-selves on the interwebs. We need a little push, a plan — a brand strategy! — to keep us on track, and help us face our social networking demons. Curse you LinkedIn! Yup, LinkedIn terrifies me. It's the digital equivalent of resume-updating-phobia. Have I accomplished enough in my life? Why did I change my major so many times? Does my avatar photo make me look dorky? Yes -- to all three. If you haven't noticed, I'm using this blog as therapy. Like last week's post, about discovering your personal brand, which I used to update my bio and improve my LinkedIn profile. Hopefully it helped you too. Now we're going to lay out three easy (actually) steps to building a personal brand. 1 - Start Small You have a mission statement and bio all written up, have listed your goals, and know your target audience, now it's time to put this info to good use. You don't have to buy 10, 000 Facebook ads, connect with every single person LinkedIn recommends, or tweet your every move. Instead, start small and build up gradually (just please don't start posting pics of every cappuccino you order). Update your profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Click Like on one new page a day, comment on LinkedIn Answers at least once a week, and respond wittily to some tweets you find interesting. It's these types of interactions that grow your social network and personal brand in an incremental way. Hot Tip : LinkedIn Answers is a great place to connect with peers, see what topics are trending in your field, and show off your knowledge. Don't have any answers? Asking a thoughtful question is equally beneficial and — bonus! — you can learn something new. Keep your brand in mind for each of your new posts and your personal brand will grow automagically (I'm a word wizard!). See, I told you these steps were easy. 2 - Be Consistent This is a tricky one for a lot of people, but mostly because of shiny-new-toy-syndrome. New things are exciting! This is why when I first joined Instagram, I posted pictures of all of my snacks, my feet, and pretty much anything that I thought was remotely interesting (mostly snacks ... and my feet). Thank goodness I only interact with friends on Instagram — very, very forgiving friends. Posting or tweeting every random thing that pops into your head/in front of your iPhone is considered spamming and it is not well received by the general public. The desire to implement a new personal branding strategy may make you want to tweet about it every 15 minutes, but it's much more effective and respectful to tweet/post/share content consistently spaced throughout the day. That content should be varied, of high-quality and in line with your brand. It can be original content or not — a good mix is probably best.  If you find yourself running out of ideas for tweets, try following some interesting people to get inspired.

@ArenaFlowers is amazing! Hot Tip: If you need to take a break, tweeting on Fridays is often less effective than other business days. 3-day tweet weekend! 3 - Just Start (NOW!) There's no time like the present. Your bio may not be perfect —  perhaps your avatar is a little blurry, and  maybe you haven't yet figured out how to use hashtags. These are all pretty minor details that shouldn't derail you from putting yourself out there and getting social. Rome wasn't built in a day, but your Facebook Page sure can be. Buzzword or not, strong social recruiters succeed by harnessing the social networks they've built up with their personal brand. I believe in you.

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December 10
Hero improving-your-personal-brand-an-action-plan

I spend a lot of time working on my GPP. GPP, for those with a life outside the gym, means general physical preparedness. To me, it means the ability to protect friends and family if (when) the Zombie apocalypse happens. To those who haven't watched Resident Evil as many times as me, it means developing the physical abilities necessary to succeed at whatever tasks life may throw your way. Be it rescuing cats from trees, lifting heavy grocery bags or escaping freaky Zombie dogs, great GPP is the best tool in your belt. That's why I do pull-ups; honestly, the fear of zombies nipping at my ankles is about the only thing that could motivate me enough to do such a thing! Great social recruiters have something in common that I'd like to call GSMP, or General Social Media Preparedness. I'd like to call it that, but realize it would be very silly, considering there's already a much more common name for this type of preparedness : Personal Brand. These recruiters have worked hard to cultivate their personal brand and it's a huge part of what they bring to the table. They know that they can't simply tweet a job post and expect it to go viral without having first built up a network to receive their tweet. The best social recruiters have worked hard to find their own voice, build their online reputation, and create relationships. They come to the social networking game prepared, which, as with Zombie dogs, is the best way to come out ahead... or at least with your leg still firmly attached! I don't know about you, but my personal brand needs a little work. I wrote about this last Wednesday and linked some great articles and apps for improving personal branding. These links are awesome, but I thought it might help to lay out a few really important steps to creating and making use of an effective personal brand.

Step 0.5: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Before you can start to build your personal brand you need to figure out what you want your brand to be. This decision should be based on your perception of yourself, other peoples perceptions of you, and the type of clients and candidates you are looking to attract. If you keep these three things in mind when building your brand you'll be able to brand in a way that attracts clients while staying honest to who you are. Your personal brand is what separates you from everyone else in your field. So it has to be different. It is also the face you present to colleagues and clients so it can't be so different that it freaks them out. It's a fine line, but really not that hard to navigate. If you want to find young, edgy talent, you want to attract trendy, design firms, and people other than your mom find you hilarious, then you're personal brand can include wry jokes, tweeting about punk rock, and cuss-words. Basically, you can strive to emulate That Cynical Girl , Laurie Ruettimann. I wish I was that cool and self-aware! If your client base is straight-laced and corporate, and you're hunting for experienced talent who would rather wear suits than sneakers to an interview, make like John Sumser of HR Examiner and establish yourself as a wise authority in your field. To discover how best to brand yourself, I recommend (1) writing down your brand mission statement, (2) goals, (3) which audience you're trying to reach and (4) what type of content / voice that audience responds to.

Example: Sam Parker Mission statement

- Write articles that are informative, helpful, and entertaining. Do ample research, create my own unique content and do everything in my power to warn people of the up-and-coming zombie apocalypse. Goals

- Provide content that will keep my readers interested. Expand readership. Promote Jobcast and help Jobcast users. Which audience?

- Employers, recruiters, other bloggers in my field and job seekers. What my audience responds to

- Respect, good information, using clear language (not buzz-words), a little humor and a lot of Facebook talk. Next week: Steps 1 - 3 and my love hate relationship with LinkedIn.

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