Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Organic Branding for Employers

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I was recently asked by international employer branding news journal, Universum Quarterly, to be the guest writer for this quarter’s edition.  Subscribers in HR organizations worldwide will receive the publication this week.

Universum Quarterly began in 2006 and is the world’s first periodical for Employer Branding.  Each issue brings feature articles which investigate best practices and trends in employer branding, as well as examples of employer branding in action and instrumental tips for succeeding in certain industries, locations and with certain types of talent.

Organic Branding for Employers

by Craig Fisher, Courtesy of Universum Quarterly

An employer brand should be built from the inside out. Just as part of an organization’s marketing message should come from its customers, the employer brand should be championed by its employees.  For better or worse, they are the vehicles by which the message will be conveyed on blogs and social networks. Smart employers will take advantage of this tremendous PR opportunity and embrace social networking, encouraging intercompany collaboration, and communication with those outside the corporate walls by their employees acting as their brand champions in social media.  The brand message itself must be authentic, unique and attractive. Job seekers today do not care about boiler plate HR selling points.  Sure, the message should be stated clearly on an effective recruiting Web site. But if it is not first conveyed to the internal employees and reinforced by meeting or surpassing their expectations, the organization will not have the brand champions it needs to convey that message online to job seekers.

Social networking at work

Organizations that place broad restrictions on the use of social media at work will soon feel the backlash in lower employee recruitment and retention. Workers at many levels these days are used to communicating and receiving information at a speed that is difficult to achieve with standard email and corporate intranets. In economic times such as these, where cutbacks are common, communication with your workforce is vital to maintain morale.  Social networking cannot only expedite communication, but also improve employees’ sense of belonging and worth.

Top firms like IBM and Sun Microsystems have successfully incorporated social networking in the workplace. IBM created a wildly successful internal social network for communication and collaboration. Sun hosts a Twitter account that is automatically updated by Sun Microsystems’ employee blogs worldwide.  Both companies have very clear employee guidelines about the use of social networking encouraging responsible engagement, communication, learning, and contribution.

Reach new talent Web 2.0 style

Jobseekers regularly google a prospective employer to find out what current and past employees are saying about working at that company. How do companies encourage a positive online portrayal by its workers? Social networking best practices should be taught in the workplace. Employees should be empowered to feel they are part of the positive message an employer wants to communicate. Your HR team can double as community managers by setting up employee group pages on sites like LinkedIn, Ning, or Facebook. Companies need to encourage employees to join and share knowledge. They should post helpful tips for new employees to get them integrated and productive quickly by networking with their peers and managers.

Prospective employees should be exposed to such networks to get a sense of the people with whom they will work and a feel for the corporate culture. Your new community managers can even use services like Twitter to announce updates, further promoting the brand.  With such an effort, your social collaboration will become an attractive feature to future employees. 

Control vs. respect

Companies cannot completely control what is said about them on blogs or social networks.  But viewing social media as a potential liability will not help matters. Companies who rely on simply a corporate blog or Web site to convey their message to customers or potential employees will miss the mark. Individual brand advocates within your ranks can be trained to effectively relate any message to the masses on social sites. Zappos.com is a company known for excellent customer service. However, Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, has said that their main focus is not customer service, but rather their internal people. That is a powerful branding statement. One can easily ask Zappos.com’s employees how they feel about it, as many of them have Twitter accounts with names like Zappos_Alfred or Zappos_Lynn.

It is natural to be concerned about what may be said by employees who are laid off by their former employer. Company policies of surprising workers with news that their job has been eliminated, locking them out of their offices, and ordering them off the premises are common place. Smart organizations can avoid this PR disaster with better communication and by assisting their displaced workers.  Instead, companies should set up a network for those who are laid off and post advice and leads to assist in job searching and outplacement.  Taking this a step further, they can even organize a “pink slip” party. Set it up on Facebook and invite local recruiters and career coaches to come and offer assistance to those outgoing workers. Word gets around fast about companies who treat their people well, even in the wake of layoffs.

Reinforce the message

A company’s employer brand must be authentic, unique, and attractive. To consistently have the company message positively reflected in the external comments of workers, a company must clearly convey that brand to current and new employees and work to meet the expectations set by that message. From the perspective of new recruits, there must also be a strong employer recruiting site that clearly states the message and gives a good picture of what work-life at your company is like. Many of the top corporate career sites use recruiting videos that can be viewed on site, as well as on social spaces, like YouTube. These are particularly effective when utilizing current employees rather than actors.

Creating a positive atmosphere of trust and empowerment within a workforce will help to assure that the right message is communicated online. If employers remain true to their message, the brand is built naturally from the inside out. Social media becomes less of a liability and more of a recruiting tool. Empowered employees will be the best employer brand champions.

Growing your brand with social media

• Determine your authentic, unique and attractive brand message.
• Convey the message to employees and on an effective recruiting web site. Meet the expectations it sets.
• Embrace social networking in the workplace.
• Empower your people to champion your brand through social media.

Craig Fisher

Owner Principal A-List Solutions
Dallas, Texas, US

Craig Fisher has more than 18 years experience in sales and is a specialist in IT recruitment.  He is the co-founder of A-List Solutions, a full-service staffing and recruiting firm for management and IT professionals. Craig is also an avid blogger.

A-list Solutions is a full-service staffing firm providing permanent and contract placement services for management, marketing, and IT positions to organizations of all sizes. They consult with both job seekers and employers on branding strategies that utilize social media and web 2.0 technology.

Headquarters: Southlake, Texas, US

Show Your Face(book)!

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Social media is here to stay.  This unique communication mode has so many forms, people are constantly discovering their new favorites and encouraging their friends to join them.  In discussions with friends over the past month, I’ve discovered that many very smart and tech savvy people are still hesitant about jumping into the Social Media ocean and are content only "dipping their toe in the water."  A key to using these tools without hesitation is to know the "unwritten rules" for each and how to fully utilize each.  Most power users of these tools have given definitions for the big three as such:

LinkedIn:  My business networking tool — all professional all the time.

Facebook:  My link to all my friends — mainly fun and mainly social (usually you’ve met these folks before, but sometimes, Facebook IS the mode for "meeting" them).

Twitter:  My link to "new found friends around the world" — quick and easy sharing of current activity and interesting links.

There are many other social media tools that take on similar definitions/purposes and the list is growing.  It should be noted, however, that the roles for these tools are actually blurred.  You can use all three for any of these purposes.  It all depends on how transparent you want to be and what your ultimate goal is for using the tools.

For example, you can share your personal life with your business contacts if you want to share your personality, hobbies and interests, and fun links.  Twitter can be a business tool to link with folks with similar business interests.  Time should be spent exploring each of the tools to truly understand search capabilities and networking aspects.  There are virtual groups on all three, so there is no end to amount of reach you can have.

Facebook offers a great all-purpose middle ground and has recently made attempts to update its interface to make it more Twitter-like.  An article written by Doug Firebaugh has some good insights on how to leverage this tool effectively in networking with friends and beyond.

Social Media Marketing- The Ten Social Media Laws of Facebook

March 21, 2009 by Doug Firebaugh

Where have YOU been?

Unless you have lived in a cave the last 4 years, you have probably heard of this. It is a rocking hot social networking site that seems to be almost everywhere today. On the news. On the radio. On the minds of millions of folks a day.

And there are many different types of people on facebook. I am going to do a post on that soon. But these great folks all participate in what I call the “10 Social Media Laws of facebook.”

Mari Smith would be proud.

Ok- I know that you may be asking,” A LAW about facebook?” Yes, 10 of them for marketing and business success in what you so. I am a marketer and have been for 20 years. Built a training and consulting business that does business in over 20 countries, because of social media and the internet. And there are marketing laws that all marketers and business professionals must follow if they are going to have Success in the marketplace.

It is the same for Facebook. If you are an Entrepreneur, or a business professional, you may want to consider these as they will make a difference in what you do on facebook.

1.) The Law of Visibility on Facebook.

You MUST be visible on facebook of you are going to get your message out. You must spend time on facebook and get to know people. You must put yourself together a “facebook blueprint” and work it. How many hours a week are you going to be seen on FB? How many times are you going to befriend someone this week? How many times are you going to upload photos this week? All of these things put you in the ‘Visibility Zone” on facebook, and on the radar as far as people on facebook. Be SEEN and be THERE on a daily basis. Chris Brogan and Robert Scoble are.

2.) The Law of the Powerful Facebook Profile.

Why would people want to get to know you? One of the first things they check out is your facebook profile. What does it say- but better yet- what does it DO? Does it make people curious and want to get to know you? Does it make them think? Does it make them smile? Does it make them see that you have Value for their life and can help change it?

Powerful facebook profiles are NOT based on what is said in your profile- but what it DOES.

Does it direct them to DO something? Does it tell them you are person they MUST know? Or someone that has a nice picture and a nice profile- with no magnetism?  Put yourself OUT THERE and tell the world WHY they need you as a friend, and get them to take action towards YOU. Nancy Perez and Carrie Wilkerson do.

3.) The Law of the Facebook WALL.

You MUST use your Wall to market or message. many folks regard their Wall as a communication utility like email. It is not that. You already have a facebook email. The Wall is for you to BUILD- BRICK BY BRICK- MESSAGE BY MESSAGE- NOTE BY NOTE- VIDEO BY VIDEO- your Brand on Facebook. Every time something happens with you- it goes on your Wall. Don’t stare at the wall- CLIMB THE SUCKER and make your message the PEAK of the page- and keep yourself out there with the Wall. And answer the messages on your Wall. Thank people for sharing with you their visit or message. This will show up on THEIR wall. This will set you apart from most on facebook. The Wall is simply a BILLBOARD of what you are doing and your friends are doing on Facebook. Use it often and wisely. Matt Bacak and Adam Urbanski do.

4.) The Law of Your Facebook Network.

You are part of a local facebook network and you have access to that network to befriend them. I live in Birmingham Michigan, and the network I am a part of is the Detroit network. There are 640,926 people in my network that I could potentially MEET LIVE in a local place and get to know them and connect with them. You have local folks as well. Where do you find your network? 

Click on “settings” and then click on “network.” You will find it there. This is a GOLD MINE of people in your local area to CONNECT and construct new trust bridges that may lead to business down the road. Timothy Carter and Valerie Maltoni do.

5.) The Law of the Facebook Notifications.

This is an overlooked and rarely talked about utility. Notifications are part of your “facebook email system.” Go to “email” at the top of your Facebook profile page, and then click on “notifications.”This is list of who is thinking about you, talking about you, including you in tags, and generally is pointing to you. This is a GOLD MINE of people that have PROVEN they are behind you and willing to make you a part of their Facebook experience. Pay attention to the facebook notifications. Thank them for their thoughts of you on their Wall and let them know you appreciate it. Include them as well on your tags and other activity on facebook. The notifications are GOLD and is a prospecting Vault of Leads. make sure you stay CONNECTED to them. Coach Deb Micek and Scott Monty do.

6.) The Law of Facebook Link Love.

The Link application on Facebook is a HOT commodity. It allows you to post a link that you like and then sends it out on the news feed that is on your home page. It picks up the image that you want on the link page, and allows it to be a LIVE link. Send out other people’s LINK and given some LOVE. Do NOT just send out your own links. Let others do that. Find interesting links of others and send them out.

WHY? EXPOSURE for you. You will be given credit for the link. People LOVE link love. If you send out a LOT of other people’s links on facebook, they will start sending out YOUR links. Been there done that. Joel Comm and Yanik Silver do.

7.) The Law of Facebook Groups.

Join groups. Join a LOT of Groups. Start your OWN groups. The join MORE groups. Why? EXPOSURE. CONNECTION to other Group members. AUTHORITY. Start your own and be a Leader. REACH. Groups extend your reach into Facebook. MULTIPLIED PROSPECTS. There are more people in a group — then on a profile page.

Duh. Build a list in your own group and then you can become an admin and email messages to them. Make them messages of VALUE and interest. Kevin Nations does.

8.) The Law of Facebook Events.

Attend events. Attend Events. and then attend MORE events. Why? It allows you to leave a message on the events page wall, and create exposure. I attend at least 2 facebook events every week- to learn- and to network. Events can be found on the new Facebook page in the upper right under “Upcoming“-these are the events that are upcoming. One unique twist. You have birthdays under the “upcoming” tag- and you can send presents to folks. THIS will get their attention as it shows up on their wall and the news feed as well. Attend as many events as you can. make them worth your while- learn and grow from them. BUT–always leave a RSVP message about attending or not- with an encouraging message. This will show your professionalism, and caring.

Event UP! This will do you well on facebook. Put the term “events” in the search box, and it will find every event that is going on in your network of friends- a GOLD MINE of new possibilities of business. Become a master of events!

9.) The Law of Facebook Multimedia – Videos and Photos.

People LOVE photos and videos. They are the most looked at and watched pages on facebook. Make some videos and upload them. Upload some photographs. Not only will the be seen on your wall and the facebook news feed, but also will allow you to “tag” others on these. This means that you can pick out people you have befriended and let them know you are thinking of them. And when you tag someone- it shows up on THEIR wall. Now isn’t THAT cool? It is called EXPOSURE! Larry Hochman and Diane Hochman rule with facebook Videos.

10.) The Law of the Facebook NEWS FEED.

This is the big kahuna of exposure on facebook. This gets you out to ALL of your friends and creates a massive exposure vehicle that can keep your brand in front and recognized. You also will be many times on the “featured” part of the new news feed on the right. This gives you HUGE exposure. Whatever you do, like change your status, upload a video, write and publish a note, or just comment on another person’s message on the facebook news feed- it SHOWS UP in the news Feed. Be seen- and be seen often if you are trying to brand yourself on facebook.

Yes, you need to establish relationships, and build community. But if you are going to MARKET on facebook-then you need to at least get a guideline of what and how to do it. The 10 Social Media Laws of Facebook hopefully gave you some idea in your social media marketing.

For the more advanced Power User of Facebook, check out this link for more tips.

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