Get social for a job

Occasionally, I find an intuitive post on hiring that really blows my mind. With a PR client that’s in the hiring space, I find myself consistently reading and tweeting with those that write on recruitment for new grads and seasoned veterans.

Yesterday, I read a piece on BostInno “Congratulations Graduate! Also, 9 Reasons Why I Will Never Hire You” by Mark O’Toole and it actually caused me to do a double-take. The piece outlines thinks that I wish I was told as an aspiring PR guy and that I will now tell my future interns.

What left the largest impression was not the dress to impress regardless idea, rather, it was “you don’t get social media (but think you do).” And this can be a big problem for anyone now coming out of school. We think that because we grew up on Myspace and Facebook that we’re naturally experts in social media. A 30 second dissection of someone’s social network profiles would unearth the lack of actual social-ness behind their networks. If you’re not ruling Twitter or connected on LinkedIn with your friend, his/her parents, and your entire graduating class, you’re starting at a major disadvantage.

Sadly, to be truly good at social media, you need to understand that you’re not any good at social media. By the time you truly become an advanced user, another network has come out or your head becomes too big and you begin neglecting what actually got you there. Maybe you learn the best way to market using Instagram, but in the time you spent mastering that skill, a new update came out, or worse, an even better social network has taken it’s place.

Celebrities and Businesses Fail on Twitter

The worst social media users are the celebrities, athletes, and large businesses. Accounts such as Stephen Colbert’s (see @StephenatHome) are some of the worst.

This is why I was so surprised to receive  a message from Chobani, the Greek Yogurt Company. I tweeted:

and they responded. While the message was probably a pre-written response, it made me feel a connection. And guess what happened afterwards: Chobani started following me without my initial follow.

Many celebrities, athletes, and businesses miss this very obvious opportunity. I will like you more if you follow or interact with me.

What did this interaction do for @Chobani?
They’ve solidified a future customer. I tweet all the time about nutrition, now guess which yogurt I’ll be speaking about?

Conversely, I’ve stopped following many celebrities due to their painful use of Twitter. I hope that these people do not have social media advisors, however I know they do. Take for example, @BarackObama

Barack Obama Klout

His account, initially looks really good. He’s a very influential person with over 11 million followers, he has a great Klout score, the account updates a lot, and he is following a large amount of people.

However, CelebrityTweets.com shows a different side of the story. In fact, Obama’s account is following just over 6% of followers. Plus, we know that very few of these tweets originate from the Commander in Chief (I doubt many of us would like to hear that Obama is tweeting when he should be working).

So what is his campaign agency thinking? I’m not sure. I have a bunch of respect for them due to their success in the 2008 elections, but the opportunity here is obvious. If you follow back a large percentage of people, these people will think of you positively. A simple response of “Thank You” will make the day of start-struck twitter users.

If you have a large following on twitter, you have an opportunity to reach out to your followers, don’t waste it.

Just look at @KatyPerry on Twitter 

The account follows 82 people. WHAT?! Who thought that alienating your population of supporters is a good idea? People obviously like her, but how cool would it be if she followed her users back and offered a coupon for $5 off one of her concerts? Can you say ridiculous amounts of profit? If she or her PR staff responded to people, she would undoubtedly gain even more fans. All it takes is a single worker or program to follow back legitimate followers. What do these brands have to lose?

And finally for businesses. You are in this to make money. Say I follow Best Buy, it’s obvious that I want to buy something from there.

Wouldn’t it make a ton of sense to both A. Follow and B. Tweet to people that are following me? This will stimulate business growth! Best Buy has an excellent @TwelpForce for Customer Service, but somehow Best Buy Marketing doesn’t understand it’s potential.

Have you seen any examples of awesome businesses on Twitter?

 

 

 

Klout for the Little Guy

What do Matisyahu, Conan O’brien, Kim Kardashian, Barack Obama, Lebron James, and Justin Bieber have in common? They are followed and “liked” by millions of people on Twitter and Facebook.

I obviously can’t disagree that celebrities are influential people. I grew up with the thought that I should be “like Mike” (Michael Jordan) and wear the same shoes and Hanes clothing that he wears. After all, who doesn’t want to be the best basketball player of all time?

In a culture that holds celebrities above the common person, it is easy to see why the little guy often struggles to create a following. For individuals and small to midsize business, adding followers on Twitter is a hassle and being liked on Facebook is a struggle that may not seem worthwhile. It is add-ons, such as Klout, that further emphasize the influence of well-known people on these networks.

I’ve been an avid supporter of Klout and the idea that it gives across. Klout finds influential people and businesses in the social media, Web 2.0 world and rewards them with points for their social interactions. This idea rocks and levels a playing field for those seeking to learn from and influence others. If you have the desire and excellent content, you can become a heavily influential person.

The recent changes to Klout have upset many of its followers and believers. If it weren’t for previous knowledge of Klout’s prominence, perhaps this idea wouldn’t have upset many people. However, the realistic nature is that if your Klout score was a 75 one day and a 55 the next, new followers may a bit more hesitant to follow you or take you seriously.

The problem, @fondalo points out, is Klout’s new scoring system doesn’t make sense. Interactions and relationships don’t seem to positively impact your score, unless you have mass-celebrity appeal. For many people and businesses, this will be an impossible task.

I propose that Klout takes into consideration people and businesses that interact with others to create and maintain relationships. Stressing interactions and outreach will be beneficial for anyone seeking to create more influence. Klout for celebrities and large businesses should stay the same; they are influential enough to gain a following without needing to follow back (looking at you, Kim Kardashian). I can’t remember the last time Stephen Colbert mentioned my creativity or maintained a relationship with me.

In a world where quality is better than quantity, shouldn’t positive influencers be rewarded for their contributions?

foursquare and Why You Should Check Out Checking In

foursquare check in

We all know how annoying it is to hear from Bill that “I’m at Applebee’s Neighborhood & Grill (Poughkeepsie, NY)”. It fills up our Facebook/Twitter feed with nonsense, stalker loving information. However, the people that avidly use foursquare continue to for a reason.

So what is foursquare and why should you use it?

foursquare, is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users “check-in” at venues using a mobile websitetext messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby.[3]

Think of it as a coffee punch card that requires a certain amount of drinks to be bought for you to receive a free/ discounted product. foursquare operates in Continue reading

Every Small Business Needs Social Media

I get baffled when I hear of small business owners not using social media. To me, that’s like a company saying they can’t benefit from having an email address or a phone number. Can you imagine a business turning down free channels of engagement because they aren’t comfortable using it? It’s shooting yourself in the foot and trying to hike a mountain. Pizza places, PR firms, law offices, car dealerships, ski mountains, and oil companies can all benefit from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, etc.

The people that resist the most are those in a fields that are “not directly related to social media”.

I’ve been fortunate to have multiple social media proposal requests. As a social media specialist, I love this sort of stuff. I get to keep my skills fresh and I learn about new types of business. Recently, I had the opportunity to research social media utilization for metal refiners. Obviously, this is a fairly niche field. Think refining of gold for carburetors, computer chips, etc. What a weird field to market in, right?

Wrong! I live by a concept called “raising the bar”. Essentially, find what your competition is doing online and raise the bar a bit more. Whoever is most active becomes your level of mediocrity. If you want to do succeed, you need to do at least a little better than them; we all want more bang for our buck. If you offer a 10% discount, I’ll offer 11%. If you’re not doing anything in social media, I will jump right in there and set the bar myself.

But what is the ROI of Social Media?

This is another problematic thing for me. I hate to echo Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library as much as I do, but social media marketing can’t be measured in a traditional way. A business needs to “outcare” its competitors.

Example 1: I am a struggling restaurant, what are my options?
Continue reading