Social Media for Recruitment

When it comes to Recruitment, HR personnel often face a nightmare in shortlisting the right candidates. The task is cumbersome and requires a great deal of time and patience to draw insights about the candidate and shortlist him or her. The process becomes more demanding when the Employer is a reputed brand and there is a beeline of resumes. This in turn makes the job more difficult as recruiters have too many profiles to handle.

The role of Social Media has been acknowledged by most of the corporate houses and companies have used it effectively to boost their marketing and sales efforts. Organisations have cashed the benefits of social media to improve the brand image and to lure in customers. But social media can be used extensively to leverage Employer branding as well. We will be discussing Employer branding via Social Media in the later part; first we would take up how Social media can help recruiters in recruiting.

Social Media profiles of aspiring candidates can give away the psychographics of the potential employees, thereby enabling recruiters to unearth key insights like culture-fit. The issues of privacy breach will also be there but Social Media can certainly serve as a key tool in shortlisting candidates. A 2013 online panel survey of HR decision makers carried out for Acas on the use of social media when recruiting staff found that there was limited use of social media among survey respondents (based on 401 respondents in organisations operating across the economy, mostly (79 percent) in the private sector). Only 9 per cent said that they made extensive use of social media when recruiting staff, although 36 per cent of respondents said that they made some use of social media when recruiting staff. Just over 38 per cent of respondents said that they never used social media when recruiting staff. However, 16 per cent of respondents said that although they did not currently use social media in this way, they were planning to do so in the future.

When it comes to employer branding, Social media plays quite a key role. Quality talent is difficult to find and as such instead of the “push” philosophy to acquire talent, social media can draw talented individuals to companies. Aditi technologies did that quite brilliantly and there were a few others who managed to catch the attention of job-seekers. In fine, it can be concluded that Social Media promises of huge potential in the HR domain, although things are in the nascent stage at present. But in the near future, the role of Social Media in Recruitment will be noteworthy and is likely to become a force to reckon.

Social Media – A Client Servicing Tool

A large chunk of businesses exists in Social Media and they have communicated their messages well enough to draw in a sizable amount of attention from their prospective clients. Their businesses are increasing leaps and bounds and their brands are soaring new heights. But is it all that Social media have got to offer? Certainly no.

Ask any organizational head, and he or she  would acknowledge Client Servicing as a major functional responsibility. With the ongoing evolution of Social Media, many companies have used Social media for Client Servicing. It is a well-known fact that customers of today demand round the clock service and they want immediate resolution of issues. Social Media serves as a helping hand in this case. Delta Airlines decided to try it out and they encouraged customers to send feedbacks and reviews to their service. A similar approach was adapted by Domino’s  to stay ahead of their competitors. They tried to get reviews about their product improvements and were successful in getting healthy feedback.

There is a cost involved in acquiring new customers and hence it is essential that organizations retain their existing customers.  Client Servicing plays a crucial role in this.  Social Media as a client servicing tool offers innumerable opportunities to reach out to your clients and helps you to nurture a healthy relationship in the long run. Client Servicing can be linked with both current and potential customers  as it acts as an exhibit of your relationship with clients. In Social media, you try to form a community and engage in two-way conversation. This can make your customer feel special and a potential customer may be impressed with your way of doing business. Unfortunately, not many organizations have been able to implement the same successfully. As per a survey carried out in 2011 by evolve24, 70% of the customer complaints are not responded to. That can spell out disaster for any reputed organization and hence steps need to be taken so that the issue is nipped in the bud. The customers’ needs should be fulfilled; else the whole concept of Client Servicing is likely to go out of the window. It should always be remembered that Social Media is a means to achieve the ends. As such, the tone of interaction plays a key role in shaping up your communication efforts. So it is advisable to keep the tone personal and friendly. Companies can use this medium to inform their followers about new products. This can in turn draw new customers.

It is essential that organizations involve their audience in the entire product cycle. Else, there is every possibility that the company loses a fair share of customers. In order to avoid that, a detailed research is required and a careful approach should be embarked upon during interaction. At the end of the day, organizations prefer to have happy customers who would love to stick to their brands for a long time to come. So if you want to have happy customers, make sure that you provide excellent service to them in Social Media – a force you can’t choose to ignore.

Social Listening – Key to Brand Success

Social Media is not merely a ripple anymore; it has become a whirlpool of gigantic proportions. While it is good to be in Social Media, you should be equally good at leveraging the advantages of Social media to your benefits. The greatest advantage of Social media is that it ensures two way communication. The organizations will be conveying their messages to the customers; but are you listening to your customers?

Social Media Listening is very often confused with Social Media Analytics and Social Intelligence. Though a very thin line separates these three entities, Social Listening forms the fundamental building block for any successful Social Media campaign. Social Listening comprises of tailing your brand’s identity across the internet and not only across various social media platforms. In other words, you are collecting humongous amount of data about your organization from the cyberspace. It’s the customer’s message to you – you better not miss it.

Social Media has always revolved around Community Building. One mistake you would like to avoid as a company is to make the engagement revolve around you. Social Listening enables organizations to be proactive and find out what consumers are looking for. When the Pink Slime controversy hit US, Wendy’s leveraged social listening to understand the concerns of the people. They delivered a clear message that the product was not used in any process of Wendy’s. As a result, the customers heaved a sigh of relief and their loyalty remained intact. Dell leveraged Social Listening to leverage their brand identity and soon became a ‘Social’ Brand.

Social Listening contributes significantly to word-of-mouth popularity as well. Customers usually trust what other customers have to say about a product or service they have experienced. A good review by a peer is always considered more trustworthy than the perception created by Brand. Social Listening allows you to identify those advocates and engage them with your brand so that your Brand’s image remains strong for a greater period of time.

In a nutshell, Social Listening is quintessential for Social Media success. So if you want your Brand to thrive in the long run, you need to Listen.

ROI & CONTENT MARKETING: THE NEXUS

Reliable and helpful information is often difficult to gain in cyberspace. The place is crowded and the search for necessary content is time-constrained. The cacophony of content sometimes leaves the seeker blind. As such, seeking quality content is like searching for a needle in haystack. Content Strategists and Marketers have often wrecked their grey cells to deliver quality content to the Target Group and also have been awarded fair amount of success. But the goal is not only to make people listen; it should be good enough to increase the bottom line of the company. Now how is one going to achieve that?

The nexus between Content marketing and ROI has always been a masked one. The million dollar question is it possible to link up ROI with Content Marketing results? The answer is ‘YES’ although some might take it with a pinch of salt. Now the obvious query is how one achieves ROI with the aid of content. To pinpoint the way, I will first explain the three direct outcomes of valuable content marketing.

  • Lead Generation: A focused content marketing effort will help in reaching out to Target Group and in the end may lead prospective clients to your door. It is not necessary that the flood of inbound queries are sales ready, yet they can be good enough to form prospective clients in near future or better still you might attract an investor or a partner in the process. If none of the aforesaid transforms into reality, you might still end up in engaging yourself with a community which might bear fruit in the long run.
  • Thought Leadership: Being labeled as a pioneer in your domain of expertise can be quite helpful for your business. You may become the yardstick of excellence and recognized as a knowledge hub. Whitepapers, Analysis, Case Studies et al are excellent tools to showcase your thought leadership. “Reputation Building” will be the icing on the cake.
  • Brand Building: Better content results in better traffic, better reach and better perception of the brand. A healthy share-of-heart and share-of-mind would undoubtedly enhance your brand value. Continuous engagement will make you a ‘responsive’ brand and a loyal set of followers would certainly amplify your reputation. One should always remember the fact that Story Telling along with an effective Content Strategy gives you that infallible mantra of Brand Building.

The three direct outcomes of an effective content marketing program would thus help in building your brand and draw prospects for you. Once the brand is established and there is a steady flow of queries streaming in, half the battle for revenue generation is won. After all, it is much easier to bag an interested prospect than to win over an impassive one. Therefore, I would safely conclude that Content Marketing, though not directly related, is instrumental in yielding returns to the company.

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ORM beckoning – Where are you?

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln.

What if somebody projects your ‘shadow’ in a different light and it gets deformed? Wouldn’t it hold your character in doubt? And in this highly connected world, your shadow spans across the entire web. A slight tweak in any part and your entire appearance becomes despicable. The damage is all the more devastating if your business is at stake. You lose reputation, repel customers and thereby shrink your bottomline. No business can withstand such an overwhelming effect. It is obvious that you need to be on your toes to keep your reputation shining. So how do you do it? Answer – ORM or Online Reputation Management.

ORM helps you to grow your reputation, prevents disastrous word-of-mouth campaigns and helps you handle your unhappy customers. In the process, it builds your brand value and holds your company in positive repute. Many organizations hire Social Media companies to manage their online reputation while some others prefer to settle it in-house. But how effective are they? Applebee’s PR disaster had made them end up in a sorry state where people demanded the employee to be re-hired. Every explanation, every argument and every act of defense put up by the company landed in deaf ears and the wailing and boos increased. United Airlines stock holders suffered 10% loss of stock value when a You Tube video called “United Breaks Guitars” turned viral. We all know how BP suffered in 2010 owing to the massive oil spill in Gulf of Mexico. Adecco could not fare well the backlash when they involved themselves in plagiarism. The above mentioned are only a few of the innumerous Reputation disasters that organizations have faced across the globe. The message is clear – No matter how big you are, if you don’t do the right thing, you are going to get punished. The Bottomline – Better be safe than Sorry.

ORM has been instrumental in Brand Building. ORM not only pulls you out of embarrassing situation, but also throws light on your good deeds. It helps to cast away your negativity and offers total makeover. It is always advised that you approach the situation meticulously and with a broadened view. A narrow mindset and funneled view may worsen matters. Be sure to understand the scope and criticality of the issue. It is always advisable if you have a Disaster Management Team ready; of course you cannot predict bad news, but surely you will have your resources ready. It is ideal to have a comprehensive strategy so that once the bad phase starts, you can always work on the pros and cons of different action plans.

All of the above does not guarantee you assured ORM; but it certainly does make you ready for any online mishap. Hence, it is always better to be on guard so that your hard work does not get clouded by the cacophony of an insignificant mistake which might inundate all of your goodwill.

 

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SOCIAL MEDIA in B2B Landscapes – the Hows & Whys

Social Media has been universally accepted as a powerful tool for Business; but when it comes to B2B, the hue of the portrait slightly changes. B2B marketers are quite tentative of Social Media and their doubts are reflected in this figure:

The Social Media Platforms seem to be far less appealing to the B2B Marketers as compared to Traditional Marketing Channels. Although 93% of B2B marketers engage themselves in Content Marketing, they are not sure of the outcome of the content Marketing strategies deployed. On an average, they use 15 tactics for Content marketing but they are quite skeptical about the result.

Linkedin still tops the chart of B2B Marketers followed closely by Twitter and Facebook. According to Jose Graff, Head of LinkedIn marketing Solutions across Europe, most of the traffic streaming into LinkedIn is interested in finding information about the companies. But most companies miss out on the fact that Facebook and Twitter can help them map potential clients. For example, you can follow the CMO of a potential client organization and check out the person’s interest. Accordingly, you can follow that person in Twitter and tweet about a few topics which can get hold of the attention. Devise content appealing to the person and allow him/her to feel connected. Congratulations, you have just impressed your client. Now client acquisition should not be much of a headache for you. The moral of the story is that you need to have a strategy for your Social Media and you should use it effectively to gain attention of potential clients. Once you outline the blueprint, you can work out a strategy and keep improving it from time to time to suit your needs.

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Social Media Marketing : The Tipping Point Perspective

In a time when Social Media plays a dominant role in shaping a company’s brand image and influencing customer perception, every company is trying to work out a magic mantra that would assure them of success. The age old marketing strategies need to be reviewed, revamped and improved upon. Of course, the basics still remain the same but a few of them require fundamental rethinking.

A few years ago, Malcolm Gladwell in his epic masterpiece, “The Tipping Point” had unearthed the ingredients for creating successful ideas. He identified three traits as a must-have for any idea to soar high – The Power of Context, The Law of the Few and Stickiness Factor. Marketers over the last few years had tried to shape their strategy on these factors and had tasted success in quite a few endeavors. Now can the same tactics be deployed in case of Social Media Marketing? In order to find a solution to the query, let us first find out how relevant the concepts are to Social Media Marketing.

The Power of Context- With nearly 3 billion internet users across the globe, Social Media Marketing has sprung up in the perfect time. It has arrived and it is here to stay. With 3 billion users to target, the companies can reach out to their most desired target audience and effectively communicate their ideas

The Law of the Few- Gladwell argues in his book that there are three kinds of people who are instrumental in promoting ideas- The Mavens, The Connectors and the Salesmen. In this internet savvy world, the Mavens would be the internet knowledge seekers, the Connectors would be persons of repute with an infallible network of people and the Salesmen would be the professionals spreading the ideas over the internet. In a nutshell, in the cyberspace, the skeleton remains the same; just the implementation differs.

The Stickiness Factor- Femina had carried out “Why women Lie” campaign in Twitter and within one and half hour of its launch, the campaign became the hottest trending topic in the country. Similarly, Penguin Books’ endeavor in Facebook by keeping the followers engaged and curious about their upcoming releases bought them a huge fan following. The mantra is – The Idea should stick. If your content is filled with creativity, it is bound to hold its audience in awe.

Whatever may be your idea, if its ingredients are compelling enough and if you pitch it in the right way keeping those factors in mind, it is bound to be a runaway success. Once the effort in the right direction is put up, the results are bound to follow. Thus it can be safely concluded that Gladwell’s mantras, if followed well, is bound to reap results in Social Media Marketing.

 

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