How To Use LinkedIn To Stand Out Among the Crowd: Professional Social Network Hacks That Work

Jessica Rogers, PhD.

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According to a recent Mashable article, 37 percent of surveyed job recruiters identify social (professional) networks as one of the most important sources for hiring. Additionally, 90 of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn’s corporate talent solutions to find future hires. Whether you are about to graduate, just started classes, or are somewhere in between: you must seriously consider utilizing LinkedIn as a career tool!

I often have undergrads asking what the difference is between LinkedIn and Facebook, as they see it as ‘just another social network.’ That notion could not be further from the truth. Facebook is more about establishing personal relationships, while LinkedIn is more about conducting business.

Profile Basics

As you enter your profile details, do not think of your LinkedIn profile as an online resume, it goes beyond that. LinkedIn allows you to create a profile that can showcase projects you have worked on that relate…

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Creating A Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media marketing strategy in the classroom

Jessica Rogers, PhD.

medium_5688645738Another eleven-week term wrapped up for my students and I last week. As we reflected on all the topics we have covered in all three social media marketing related courses I teach, a common theme emerged. Almost all the work we did in our final project within the concluding course was dictated by set goals and long-term objectives. As with any business, students first began setting goals and objectives that accurately addressed our vision and mission. With this information, they began to brainstorm about specific tactics that we could use to accomplish short-term goals and choose metrics best suited to measure performance. All of the short-term work students did also fell in line with the long term goals of the project set by myself, the instructor/creator.

The ‘campaign’ was very short in length, but it definitely gave them the opportunity to not only strategize, but also blog, utilize Google Analytics…

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Reflecting upon U.S. citizens’ use of social media on Election Day 2012

By Todd Bacile | November 7, 2012

Two of the many uses of social media in the 2012 presidential election are worth mentioning. American citizens took to YouTube and to Twitter yesterday to discuss and bring attention to serious issues at voting precincts. With each type of social media, citizens created content to combat strategic political maneuvering or questionable technology / tactics at precincts. Each points to the amazing use of technology in yet another context: political campaigns.

YouTube

The following video went viral on election day 2012 (click here if the video does not load). A man is trying to vote for one candidate using touch screen software at his voting station. However, upon touching the area of the screen for his selection, the software selected the other candidate! As the video shows, his repeated attempts to de-select the incorrect candidate and re-select his preferred candidate are unsuccessful.

This person deserves a lot of credit for having an alert sense to record a video of the issue. In less than 24 hours the video has received 4.6 million views. This was important due to his voting precinct’s volunteers assuring him everything was fine. In effect, his ability to record, upload, and share the video brought the necessary attention such a malfunction deserves. Like many people online, I shared this video yesterday.  I discussed it during the #AskAngel Tweetchat with @afmarcom (see a snippet of tweets below). Person-to-person or person-to-group discussions such as this enables regular people to bring attention to an important occurrence.

#StayInLine on Twitter

#StayInLine became a trending topic on Twitter late in the afternoon and evening on election day 2012. What was the purpose of this hashtag? Apparently, some voting lines were long. In fact, some precincts were reporting lines exceeding a 4 hour wait time at 7 PM! Yet, election rules state a person will be allowed to vote as long as they are in line by the time polls close. The purpose of the hashtag was to communicate to the masses how important every vote is in the election.

Not only individual citizens, but also the media picked up on the hashtag. In the days preceding election day some in the media accused one party of strategically limiting voter turnout for the other party in early and absentee voting in some states and counties. Supposedly, blocking or limiting these alternative voting methods heavily played into the favor of one party. #StayInLine became a citizen-generated and media-carried darling of Twitter to fight against what some people viewed as voter suppression. Below are a few choice tweets from regular people and those in the media encouraging people to stay in line to vote.

The use of this creative hashtag was one of many ways people were using Twitter. Here is a list of CNN’s “Best Election Night Tweets“.

What are your thoughts on the use of these social tools in these manners? Do you believe this gives regular people the power to combat what some perceive as political maneuvering to favor one candidate over the other?

Todd Bacile is a marketing doctoral candidate and instructor for Electronic Marketing and Services Marketing in the College of Business at Florida State University. Social Media Marketing Magazine recently ranked him as one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. You can contact him on Twitter @toddbacile

Seeking a job in social media marketing? Develop skills in these 4 areas

By Todd Bacile | September 28, 2012

Social Media Marketing Jobs - SMM

As an educator at the university level, students often ask a question similar to this, “Which skills do social media marketers and ad agencies desire for entry-level positions or internships?” It’s a valid question. These students want to be prepared when they enter the job market.

My Florida State University e-Marketing undergraduate students were asked which skills THEY believed the job market is seeking in applicants for social media positions. Their answers included being “creative thinkers”, “tech savvy”, “customer service oriented”, and “honing writing skills”. Nothing wrong with these answers, as I can see multiple benefits for a person who possesses these talents.

I then reached out to several professionals I know within education, marketing, and the advertising industry to ask this same question. Interestingly, these marketing and social media professionals, trainers, consultants, and professors provided opinions that were somewhat similar, yet somewhat distinct from perceptions of the students. The following four topic areas were raised as important skills to have and be aware of by the professionals. Are you seeking a job in social media marketing / advertising? Develop skills congruent with these four areas.

Skills Other Than Social Media Usage or Experience

Ryan Cohn, the Vice President of Social/Digital Operations for Ron Sachs Communications, stated the following, “Before a student even starts taking classes or learning skills specifically focused toward social media, I’d like to see them take four classes: communications theory (with a heavy focus on social group interactions), rhetoric, statistics, and applied behavior analysis. Students need a foundation of knowledge that will allow them to understand how people communicate with each other, how to persuade others and change their behavior, and how to quantify and measure it all.” Christian Sack, a technical staffing specialist who has sought social media job candidates, echoes the group interaction aspect. “It really boils down to the intangibles. No longer are the days of ‘sit in the corner and code, develop, write’, today’s workforce is extremely dynamic and interactive. I suggest students be very involved in college, even if it means stepping outside of their comfort zone with joining social groups and/or campus involvement… I see extremely smart candidates with a great educational background (4.0’s, Master’s Degrees) that simply cannot convey thoughts well in interviews or even internships,” said Sack.

Evidence of the Ability to Communicate Clearly

Every professional I interviewed discussed effective communication skills as a must. Neal Schaffer, founder of Windmill Networking, believes students must be able to communicate effectively, “Are they professional in all of their communication, including in-person interviews?” Todd Smoyer, a Social Media Manager at Echo Interaction, must see evidence of clear communication. “I personally look at their ability to communicate, because social media is at its essence a form of communication.  I typically ask for writing samples from their blogs /press releases / or other forms of written work they feel exemplifies their writing skills.” Bryan Bruce, CEO and Founder of the interactive marketing firm Your Brand Voice, prefers to see evidence of written copy as well as demonstrating knowledge of newer communication channels. Bruce stated, “The ability to communicate effectively in tools such as Yammer, Asana, etc. rather than email,” as something that gains his attention as a hiring manager.

The Ability to Engage & Influence Others Within Social Channels

Engagement‘ is a buzzword in the social media business landscape and with these professionals, too. Dr. Lauren Labrecque, an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Loyola University Chicago and a recognized expert within the domain of marketing with newer media, believes engagement and influence is key. “Smart companies are looking for students who have any understanding of the drivers of consumer engagement. Oftentimes students feel that they ‘get social media’ just because they have experience using Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. The most fundamental skill that students need in this area is to understand the elements that make content ‘sticky’ and sharable. If no one is sharing, re-tweeting, or liking the content, then it’s not doing anything,” said Dr. Labrecque. Schaffer added that he not only would like to see students have the ability to create engaging content, but also do so on relevant social channels. A question Schaffer wonders about applicants is, “Are they themselves members of and active on the social media platforms that are critical to my business?” Bruce agreed and offered, “We feel that if a STAR (social trending assessment representative) is unable to understand how to generate buzz around their personal brand, that they may have issues doing it for one of the brands we represent.  The skills are very similar – once you understand how to engage – it is all about finding the right brand voice.”

The Slippery Slope of Social Influence Metrics: Varying Opinions

Smoyer, among others in industry, takes the position that the measure of a student’s social media influence with metrics such as a Klout score is not only useful to assess engagement, but also important in understanding how marketing messages are shared. “Their Klout score is a great indicator of how skilled they are in delivering a message that will engage users and elicit a response through effective calls to action,” said Smoyer. Dr. Labrecque has a similar opinion of Klout, “Yes, I believe students should have knowledge of influencer scores such as Klout as they enter the market. I don’t believe that it’s essential to have a high Klout score, but I think understanding how and why content is shared is important.” Added Bruce, “We use Klout religiously as a simple metric to track our STAR’s engagement.  We realize the metric is not perfect, but have found that giving the STARs something to focus on allows them to gain traction and grow into generating engaging content consistently. The more students are able to ‘grade’ their own engagement performance, the more empowered they will be to act when necessary to keep things flowing.”

Schaffer also sees value in students possessing knowledge of social media influence metrics, but cautions that some hiring managers may place too great a value on the measures. He stated, “Influencer marketing is a component of social media marketing. The question is: How critical is it to implementing a company’s social media strategy?  I think that students should learn about influencer marketing as part of their social media marketing curriculum and should know that there are companies (like Klout) that are creating algorithms to ‘score’ people to aid in facilitating more effective influencer marketing.” But, Schaffer believes some hiring firms place too great a value on these metrics. “Any company that has a high Klout score as one of their expectations should probably be avoided because they probably rely too heavily on this scoring of individuals in their own marketing efforts – even though it is still a science that is being developed.  Social media marketers need to be critical thinkers and holistic in their practice, not simply relying on any one number as being critical for their efforts – including the hiring of their own employees!”

The author is extremely grateful to each of the professionals who participated in this post, as they are attempting to communicate to students which skills and areas are of interest to hiring managers for social media marketing and advertising positions.

Todd Bacile is a marketing doctoral candidate and instructor for Electronic Marketing and Services Marketing in the College of Business at Florida State University. Social Media Marketing Magazine recently ranked him as one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. Todd’s research on mobile and social media marketing topics has been presented at or is forthcoming in numerous national marketing conferences and marketing journals, including the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing and Marketing Education Review. Please visit his website for more information regarding his research. You can contact him on Twitter @toddbacile

Radian6 for Social Media Analytics: A Brief Overview

By Todd Bacile and Tessa Revolinski | July 17, 2012

Salesforce Radian6With the proliferation of social media chatter, many firms are getting lost in the information overload of consumer-created content. A common occurrence is a firm creating a social media presence without setting a social media strategy. Similar to Ray Kinsella from the movie Field of Dreams, the belief of many managers is if you build it they will come. Yet, social media used for marketing purposes is not that simple. Consumers are likely to discuss a brand, a competitor, or a product category thereby creating a nearly insurmountable quantity of data. A mere presence in social media positions a firm to be easily overwhelmed by the wealth of data, making it difficult to act upon valuable information hidden without analysis.

Salesforce has a full-service social media solution called Radian6 to help a company manage social media activity by current and potential customers. Radian6 is a social media monitoring platform that assists firms by listening to consumers via social channels and then engaging in conversation. Some of the monitoring features include tracking consumers’ tweets, posts, threads, or blog comments. The software analyzes and categorizes this wealth of data down to the individual consumer-level to create actionable information for a company with a feature called Radian6 Insights.

Radian6 brings new “insight” to the social web by providing marketers with analysis to help form a social media strategy. The software is assisting marketers by listening to, learning from, and engaging with consumers discussing a brand – or discussing a brand’s competitors.  Users of Radian6 are enabled to measure levels of influence, hone in on key demographics, learn location information, and enhance sentiment. By combining all these metrics it is easier to discover the true meaning and movement behind your social media traffic.

A branded feature called Salesforce Social Hub™ enables a manager to visually manage all customer service task orders. As consumers engage with your company via email or have consumer-to-consumer social discussions using tweets or blogs, Salesforce Social Hub™ auto-creates case and contact profiles in Salesforce.com. This real-time information management characteristic enables the software to build detailed social profiles for each customer or topic of interest.

A benefit of Radian 6 being developed by a successful CRM provider such as Salesforce is the synchronized team workflow abilities. Different personnel can share information such as classification and task assignment of posts to individual team members. The system tracks and records internal notes, engagement responses, and ticket-statuses for on-demand reports and graphs. Custom reports including posts, graphs, and charts can be designed and emailed to managers. Configurable email and instant messenger alerts for staying on top of things keeps a manager informed.

Radian6 is transforming social data into valuable information for firms such as Dell, GE, Kodak, UPS, and even the U.S. Navy. Managers should consider Radian 6 as a viable tool to use as they enter the data-laden world of social media content. Radian6 enables you to attack the data instead of letting the data attack you.

Tessa Revolinski is a recent graduate of Florida State University and has the proud distinction of having a higher Klout score than her e-Marketing professor. You can follow Tessa on twitter @mamaswoosh

Todd Bacile is a marketing doctoral candidate and instructor for Electronic Marketing and Services Marketing in the College of Business at Florida State University. His research on mobile and social media marketing topics has been presented and at numerous national marketing conferences and published in the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing. Please visit his website for more information regarding his research. You can contact him on Twitter @toddbacile