Gis a job!

 

I am currently organising the interview process for four positions we have within our newspaper-a job I have to say I am not fond of because of the predictability of the answers given to the questions I have. However, for these vacancies I have already had some excellent candidates who have given some GREAT answers. One girl told me she is ‘hungry for a sale’ TICK, the same girl also told me she ‘would hit target’ TICK and a guy told me he would be ‘confident going in to businesses presenting’ TICK.

I switch off every time I hear ‘I’m good with people’ or ‘I love talking to people’- so droll and boring. I want to hang up there and then. Maybe that’s just me though. Even though I don’t like the process I have more often than not made good recruiting choices-the thing that sways me most in inviting the person in for an interview? A good natural two way conversation on the phone. You can’t script that and I always think that is what makes my team such a great bunch of people. They are individuals.

I’ve started babbling-back to the point of this blog. As I’m recruiting I’ve read that employers are ‘Googling’ their applicants as a screening process.

digital-footprint

Can this really help you make up your mind? I’m about to find out:

Candidate one-female- CV-possibly one of the most uninteresting and sparse CV I’ve ever seen with a catch line that makes we want to crumple it straight in to the bin. A cocky one liner! So what did I find? A Twitter account full of posts containing swearing. Several posts saying how bored she is and lot’s of posts about love. I’m sorry to say it but the impression I get it of an immature teenager who swears constantly. Not the criteria I’m looking for at all for a position which requires a professional attitude and self motivation.

I’m starting to see how this works!

Candidate two-male-good CV-no relevant skills to the job I have but that’s not always a problem as some of the best people I’ve employed have had no sales experience. I’m laughing a bit as I find a photo of the candidate in a human sized baby grow!!!!!!!!! How could you keep a straight face after seeing this? General perception though is of a family man and your typical lad. Football, football and football.

Candidate three-male-It must be getting time for me to turn this computer off as the first photo I find is of the candidate lying in a paddling pool! What is it with these men?

Finally I just check one more and am presented on Facebook more chest than the British Diving team and then on Twitter a self proclamation of  ‘I’m a bit of a c word) Wow maybe I’ve found my ideal candidate after all.

Whether you are a business or looking for a job people WILL Google you- the basic rule is that if you don’t want people to see it don’t post it or make sure your privacy settings are accurate.

To be honest I’ve seen enough grins at the camera on a night out to last me a night out and it got me wondering whether I’d have ever got the great job i’m in now if recruiters 12 years ago had seen the photo of me proudly holding a raw chicken for the world to see.

As privy to most of my sales teams Twitter and Facebook accounts I see on the whole a bunch of different characters- and they are the people that make going to work something to look forward to. Would I have employed most of them if i’d Googled them first? No! Would they have wanted to work for me if they’d have seen chicken-gate? No!

So I’m undecided about the whole Googling job applicants trend. I don’t think I see any real benefit just ways of making more assumptions but then again…………………………………………………………………is there any going back!!!

Awareness is no bad thing and I suggest you do your own research on what you online footprint says about you.

Have a good week-I hope you enjoyed this blog

Oh and before you Google me here’s a photo on one of my better days:

monday-monkey

Have a great week

 

Private eye on your competitors

Shaken not stirred-fancy doing a bit of spy work?

Snooping

Researching

Spying

Whatever you call it-never before have you had the opportunity to see so easily what your competitors are doing but ARE you even looking?

chat

During challenging economic times the more visible you are to your customers the more likely you are to take market share if your customers aren’t advertising or being socially active.

Are you spending all of your time only looking at your own marketing rather than looking at your competitors?There are some great tools to help you monitor what your competitors are up to quite easily- One of those is Lykealyzer.com. Basically analysing the interactions your businesses Facebook page gets and how you can improve on it. It will also give you a ranking. What’s even better is that you can look to your competitors stats without them knowing. Sneaky eh?

Everything I write about I test so a can explain it in my own words.

Lykealizer is simple!

go to http://www.lykalyzer.com

on a different tab go on to your facebook page. Copy the URL (web page) by computing it from the web address bar at the top of your screen.

Paste this in to the Lykealyzer search bar and click the magnifying glass

Your analysis summary should build and display in a few minutes.

Now do the same but using your competitors information-what are they going differently? What could you do better on? Never before has competition been so transparent.

On Twitter using the magnifying glass to search look for comments about and from your competitor-are they a threat to your business or an opportunity?

For example a competitor posts that they have the cheapest MOTs in town when you say that you have-are you going to see this is a threat? Change your prices? Add more value to an existing product?

Better you find this than one of your customers.

Use a website called Metasearch to find 20-100 places your competitor is linked to-it uses more than one search engine so it will save time when you are researching. Go in to every link to see what they are doing and cross reference with a search for your business.

Like your competitors page on Facebook to see what their fans are saying.

Google your competitors and see where they are listing their business-match their marketing if you can-even better make yours better.

Get listed on sites where they aren’t present for market share i.e. Foursquare, Voucher Cloud, Pinterest, yell.com, Twitter, local directories etc.

If a customer is listed on the site and receiving 47 calls for their products every month and you aren’t even listed they will start taking some of your market share.

Make it a regular task to check what your competitor is doing-because if you don’t they will start eating your share of the apple.

Bite or get bitten!

Would your business like me to do a FREE analysis on it’s competition?

Just let me know

In my next blog I’m going to be looking at your own profile on social media-would I employ you or buy from you? What does a search on the internet bring up about you.

Is branding just a logo?

After looking in my last blog at how top companies use Facebook I started thinking about branding and like many people have assumed that branding means putting your logo everywhere.

Branding is much more than just a logo-your brand is what makes you different from every other company out there.

Answer the question yourself now-What makes my business different from my competitors?

Did you answer: customer service, price, value, knowledge, passion, experience, family industry, testimonials or product range for example? Whichever answer you gave now go on to your business website, Twitter or Facebook account and see if this USP (Unique selling point) is mentioned.

A logo won’t say much about your business on it’s own but backed up with a slogan, a mission statement, a catch line or a testimonial it can speak volumes.

I always like to back up my blogs by looking at businesses to see if what I learn is true so here goes. Are the businesses we know just a logo or a logo and something which backs up what the company stands for- take a look at these images:

tetley tesco sainsburys

pounland

Some great examples here. Each company using a phrase synonymous with what their brand stands for.

Have you ever mentioned a company and sang their radio commercial jingle, quoted a line from their TV advert for example? This is branding done well. Just think of Tesco and I bet inside your head you are saying ‘Every little helps’. Remember ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ or ‘You only get an Oooooh with Typhoo’.

Great infographic from Prafulla.net:

what-makes-you-loyal-to-a-brand_infographic-966x1024

Branding your business is one of the hardest things to get right but it should be the part which inspires you the most. Take the time out to look at your business and what you stand for to a social networker. It will be an eye opener!

Have a good week-thanks for reading. My next blog will be looking at online reputation. What are people saying about you? Where are they saying it and are you even aware of it? Frightening stuff IF you don’t do your homework!

Learning from the best!

In my last blog I said I would look at some of the worlds largest brands to see if they tried to sell to me so this week we are learning the art of engagement from the pro’s on Facebook. Firstly McDonalds-the number one hamburger fast food chain in the world surely don’t need to advertise or promote themselves on Facebook. Will it sell more burgers? FACT: McDonalds spend over 2 billion dollars a year to remain the worlds number one. Their social media pages help ensure that the brand is never far from sight or mind. How do they get engagement? 21,684 likes/ 985 comments/ 1,502 shares Was it a voucher for a free burger? A competition? No! It was a photograph which portrayed the brand people have come to recognise and trust. One glance and you recognise the brand:

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Nuby UK asked their Facebook audience- What was your little ones birth weight?

nuby

986 people commented on this Post. It was a question everyone could answer and it’s likely every single person who commented is the target audience for Nuby. Nuby weren’t selling to their customers but engaging with them.

Coca Cola asked their ‘likers’ Hands up if you think it’s the perfect weather for a coke?

th.jpgoca

1178 likes/ 803 comments

Manchester United Football Club asked: Who’s looking forward to welcoming Zaha? A whopping 39,000 likes and 176 comments. Engaging with their fans. Making them feel like their opinion counts. Making people feel as if they truly are part of the club.

So what would you expect Sony to post on their Facebook page?

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Bet you weren’t expecting that!

What was this mouth watering photograph taken with? A Sony camera of course.

A camera that took a photo that 3,959 people liked? Not only did this post engage with Sony fans but it is also branded the product. Subliminal advertising.

Finally one I like the best. Mercedes. Posted a selection of their best Instagram photographs

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57,000 likes and 472 comments. Wow-it’s that simple.

The essence of this blog is to learn from the pro’s and engage with your audience. Would it be worth their time if it didn’t, in some way, sell their products? NO WAY!

Look at your Social pages and see how many of your posts actually engage with your audience. If they don’t then get creative and change what you do. Have some fun and don’t take life too seriously.

For next weeks blog I will be looking at branding. What is it? How do I brand my business?

(I’m still learning how to use Facebook for businesses so this topic should fit in nicely)

Please feel free to get in touch if I can help your business.

Enjoy the heat wave everyone

Facebook links related to this blog:

https://www.facebook.com/MercedesBenz?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/Sony?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/McDonalds?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/nubyuk?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/manchesterunited?fref=ts

 

I’m going to sell my products on Facebook…right?

The fundamental mistake most businesses make on Facebook is trying to constantly sell their products to their fan base. Question: What do you go on Facebook for as a user? To message a friend, to post a video, to share music, to invite friends to an event or to see who’s messaged you. I bet you didn’t answer to buy a sofa, to buy groceries, to buy a car etc did you?

People go on Facebook to waste time-how can you get them top waste time with you?

Engagement. Simple as that.

Online everyone has an opinion and people’s influence counts. It won’t feel natural and it certainly will feel like there’s little gain but I promise you there will be.

How do I get my audience to engage?

Have you ever got so worked up about a question someone asked on Facebook that was impossible NOT to answer it? One day someone posted a question:  name a drink that hasn’t got the letter A in it. I left approximately 10 separate answers. The post itself had hundreds of comments. Afterwards I realised the whole aim was to put a question up which engaged everyone. Because everyone could feel like their opinion counted. THAT’S engagement.

Next time you post on your business page ask a question everyone can answer, if you share a photo ask people if they like, put two photos up and ask people which they prefer. ASDA do this and it’s so hard to resist a comment.

If people engage with you they will start to trust you. If trust you they’ll buy from you. Get it?

Great infographic below from Visual.ly-as always look at your businesses page and see how much of this you are doing

(Infographic-Basically lots of information in picture format)

image

In the next week I’m going to look at some of the worlds biggest brands to see how they use their Facebook and whether or not they are trying to ‘sell’ to me. Findings in next week’s blog.

Enjoy the sunshine today everyone

Starting at the beginning…

If you are using social media websites for your business then it’s really important to take a bit of time out to look at your pages from a customer’s point of view. In this blog we will just look at facebook-it’s important for you to know that my key aim for my blogs on social media is to learn how websites such as facebook can help your business and in what way. If you have any case studies as we go through each topic please share them with me.

Facebook has made it’s fortunes by encouraging people to share content with the people they are linked to (Friends). This can be photographs, music, personal thoughts, messages, links to other websites and videos.

The biggest trap businesses fall in to is sharing content without wearing their ‘business hats’. facebook

 

Here is a top 10 list of basic facebook do’s and don’ts:

  1. Bad reviews won’t damage your business IF you reply to them and answer any questions professionally and promtly
  2. Don’t make every post about selling your product services-encourage people to engage with you by asking questions, sharing news, sharing stories relating to your field of business.
  3. People buy people-don’t whinge or moan in your posts as this may damage what people think of you. People will buy from people they like
  4. Do use facebook as a forum for your business to assess what products people like, what people are buying and talking about. Ask your customers questions about your products.
  5. Do post regularly. Only 12% of your Facebook posts will get seen-the people who interact with you on a regular basis are more likely to see them more.
  6. Don’t talk at people-talk to people
  7. Do watch your language-swear words, slang words, negative comments, aggression and moaning will not make people think you are a professional business
  8. Do use all the media available to you to make your page interesting. Add photographs and in the captions ask people what they think of it, add testimonials from happy customers and end the post with an action of how they can book your services, ask questions and share good info from website.
  9. Do show that you are a master in your field. An expert. THE person to go to for XXX
  10. Make sure your Facebook page has a link to your website, telephone numbers, email address, business address, Twitter account and a good bio (A short paragraph about your business)

Keep a business account and a personal account to separate work from your personal life.

Here is a link to an official Facebook document on how to make Page publishing a core competency http://t.co/Mh9YQxjjlU

Have a look at your Facebook page now-how much of these tips are you following on a regular basis?

I’d love to hear what your findings are.

Starting at the beginning…….


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How do you start a blog about social media when you haven’t properly started discovering social media?

Are you completely baffled by the amount of information, lists and tools available? I am too!

My blog will be a journey through social media- a journey we can travel together. I have no starting point so that will be task number one

Writers block already? A subject that spans the world. A subject that has lots of questions and few definitive answers. A subject with no rules and many players. No wonder so many people, including myself, haven’t quite got it right…….yet!

Let’s change that and find our own way through the maze.

WARNING! I have the attention span of a small fly so my blogs will be digestible chunks of info. I find it hard to read reams of info if I don’t understand the subject and I detest instruction manuals. I am a ‘give it a go’ type. I may get it wrong sometimes but I am a strong believer that you learn more by doing yourself than watching others doing it for you.

“It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated” Alec Bourne

I look forward to us learning together and learning from each other