If you have a job… You better be LinkedIn!

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I think my previous statement says it all. Most people recognize the LinkIn is the go-to social media platform when it comes to job prospects.

As a recent job hunter (infographic), I know a thing or two about being a part of the job market. Everyone is vying to make themselves stand out. Everyone seems to believe they are the mystical unicorn you’ve been searching for. Some people even get recruited based on their profiles on the site. I am not one of those people. But, here are some tips an tricks on how I could use my LinkedIn to get me there. 

LinkedIn is so much more then a social media platform. It is a warehouse, of sorts, for your professional activities. I don’t know about the rest of you out there in web world, but I have never been on top of updating my resume as much as I should. Seriously, is there anyone out there that updates their resume every 6 months? Isn’t that what we are told to do? Most of us update when the need arises, when your job hunting. Even LinkedIn is taking a note and making changes to it’s own resume. The once Ugly Ducking of the Social Media World is making changes to get people to stay on the site longer. It’s also enticing companies to drop more money on premium accounts. For most people, the most important part of LinkedIn is their profile.

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What’s great about the LinkedIn profile is that you can include so much richer information than you usually can on a 1-2 page paper resume. Just, as in any resume it’s important to keep it up to date. It’s always important to come back to a site after a big update to the software. How to Optimize your Page and Profile discusses how to maximize the new LinkedIn look and feel to benefit you! What is the most important thing? A professional image on your profile. Even I need to update my picture. It’s several years old. Here are some other ways to turn your LinkedIn Profile into a Social Media Workhorse

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I offer one caviate to the LinkedIn lovefest. Make sure that you Protect Yourself on LinkedIn. It’s important to not forget that somethings still need to remain private. Keep you privacy settings up to date as well as your resume. You don’t want your boss to know you completely overhauled your profile. Do you?

Questions:

1. Do you have a LinkedIn account? If so, how often do you update your actual resume in comparison to your LinkedIn?

2. Can you for see in the future getting job leads or referrals off of your profiel? Have you in the past? What changes do you need to make to your profile to stand out from the crowd?

If you have a job… You better be LinkedIn!

The War of Words… Google+ vs. Facebook

google_fb_slapfightI’ll admit it. I excitedly joined Google+ last year when it first came out, when no one else I knew had joined. I had 2 circles outside the normal ones and one person in each circle. It just sat there, and sat there, and sat there.  NOTHING HAPPENED! You know why, because I thought that Google+ was going to be like Facebook. Surprise, surprise, It’s not.

Facebook, for me has always had its ups and downs. When the news feed first came out, I thought my world had ended. I don’t want to see all of this useless information, from these useless people I friended because we were in one picture together or we met at that party one time. WHY do I care about their LIFE?!? I don’t. All the sudden my facebook was full of clutter and then something magical happened. Facebook introduce “the algorithim.” The clouds parted, the heaven sang and my news feed was magically clear.

What those geniuses at facebook did was engaged the users with the end result being you get your own personalized facebook friends newspaper on a daily basis. In Facebook: Here’s How Your Newsfeed Works Mashable  explains “This new strategy has created an uptick in user engagement, he adds. A recent study by Facebook found that this new ranking system led to a 13% increase in stories read, and a 5% increase in interactions (Likes, shares, comments)” Engagement is important for any business looking to use the social media giant for its own purposes. Five Facebook Posts that Spark Massive Engagement  the biggest ways to get social media engagement from followers is to ask for it.

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Getting people to engage with your brand is as easy as pushing a like button. What small businesses fail to realize is that by focusing only on facebook for engagement with their clients. They are missing out on the opportunities that Google+ has to offer.

Google+ can really be a savvy business persons best friend. No joke though. The number one reason is that Google+ drives up your SEO. If you’re a small business and on the web, then you should care about your SEO. Check out this article if you don’t believe me, 10 Ways Google+ Will Improve your SEO Honestly, I didn’t believe it myself at first. Then I started blogging and utilizing my long forgotten Goggle+ account. Voila! I’m ranking higher then my former nemesis of SEO, the Helena, Montana Peace Seekers Association! You might ask, why this sudden change and my nemesis’ sudden decline because Google is rewarding you for using its social media platform. Which makes it very easy to begin to except Why Google+ is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy. You can’t ignore Google+, as I did for so long, because guess what Google and facebook can’t play nice. Whereas, when you use Google+ it only helps you. Hello, SEO boost!

Facebook is beginning to peak out from behind its self imposed wall, with the new graph search. Is this too little to late to match what is happening on Google+? Time will tell, as it always has on the internet. As for me, I’ve dusted off my sad Google+ account and am happily +1ing away!

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Questions:

Would you use Google+ merely for the SEO boost or do you see the usefulness of Google+ for business in relation to facebook?

What do you think is the least cheesy way to drive engagement on Facebook?

 

The War of Words… Google+ vs. Facebook

Twitter: A Life Lived in 140 Characters or Less #TwitterRules

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Although I have long understood the principles of twitter, I have not always been a proponent of the social media giant that has taken the news world by storm. Would you have ever thought, in your wildest imaginings, that twitter would break news faster then, well the news.

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Remember the guy who tweeted the Osama bin Ladin raid? He was just online late at night. He inadvertently broke the news of a secret military operation, from Abbottabad. Twitter is global, and its not going away. People need to learn to leverage Twitter in all its magnificence for there own purposes.

In using twitter for business and self-promotion. Here are some of the three ways to use twitter effectively to build a personal brand.

Be Prepared:

Twitter is more effective for a business when you go into the twittersphere with a plan. Aaron Lee addresses this exact issue in his blog post, “If I could start Twitter over again, what I would have done differently.” I may not agree with all of Lee’s conclusions, but I don’t have the cadre of followers he has. I do think his tweet cheat sheet is useful. Its a list of basic twitterquette for effective tweeters

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Be Responsive:

Every article and blog post says the same thing. Twitter is all about engagement. It’s about how you engage, who you engage with, and what you say when you engage with them. Some brands are totally doing twitter right. They’ve got the right amount of tweets balanced with the right amount of follower engagement. Interestingly, three of my favorite twitter feeds makes the Top 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter list: ESPN, CNN and Funny or Die. Because I personally follow all of these brands, I can definitely understand the fact that they make the list. CNN and ESPN are where I go to get my quick fix of news and NCAA Football. Funny or Die is entirely different. The site is driven by user engagement. People vote whether a video posted to the site is funny or must die. Who can ever forget this Pearl of a video posted to the site…

Be yourself:

If I have learned anything, Its that you need to need to be yourself when it comes to social media. People recognize authenticity and are drawn to you for a reason. Currently, I only use twitter for my own personal enjoyment. If I have learned anything, its that I’m a brand, I’m unique. I need to use social media to showcase myself and build my personal brand. Become apart of conversations that are happening online. One of the fastest and easiest ways to do this is through hashtags.

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I love #hashtags! I usually use them as an emphasis of an over arcing theme of a tweet rather then to engage in conversation. Hey, I’m #weird. Seriously though, hashtags are everywhere. You can’t see a movie trailer, tv show, or music video even without a hashtag. So, get involved and start tagging.

Social media has enmeshed itself in our culture. It’s our responsibility to recognize where the boundaries between our true self and our online self cross and diverge. It’s important to be yourself online, but you needs to keep somethings personal. Over sharing happens quite frequently. It’s important to find a balance between self and the

Twitter: A Life Lived in 140 Characters or Less #TwitterRules

Fuel for my Fire!

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These are three tenets to live by when beginning any foray into social media. It’s a personal mantra of mine to only post things on my facebook and timeline that I would be proud to support or for my grandma to see (I ❤ my Yia yia). I think the same can be said as a brand advocate for my company’s social media. Many people who have grown along with the evolution of facebook probably understand this as well.

Pam Moore give people 50 rules to get people engaged. Some of these rules are pretty self explanatory. The first 5 especially. 1. Inspire them. 2. Connect with them in an authentic, human way. 3. Entertain them. 4. Educate them. 5. Empower them.

My favorite from the list: 15. Make them feel emotion of any kind. Make them belly laugh or do the happy cry. (I’m going to try and achieve this from one of you this week!)

Helena’s Social Media Rules:

I realized a long time ago there are some things you say online, and some things you don’t. Here are some of the personal social media rules that I live by. I think its important to know what your social media personality is…

  • Keep it clean (Well I try anyway)
  • Keep people engaged. If I think it’s interesting, someone else might agree. If not, resort to cats, baby animals, or a meme (Grumpy Cat =’s trifecta)
  • Know what people like.
  • If you didn’t share it first, share it second. You have followers that they don’t; people still might want to see it, a re-share is a great ego booster.
  • Engage directly with people. Make sure you respond! People like it when other people pay attention. It’s good to reciprocate.

A lot of my rules are very similar to Guy Kawasaki Apple’s former chief evangelist’s 10 tips to build Social Media influence

Ten rules for JWA to live by:

Seriously, I’m taking them to my boss tomorrow. This is how JWA will apply the 10 tip according to me:

  1. Start Yesterday! (Yup. We’re already playing catch up)
  2. Find the right social network for you (LinkedIn, possibly Google+)
  3. Make a great profile (We need to invest in some stock photos)
  4. Curate and link (Know where content comes from)
  5. Cheat (The term is “leverage” 🙂 )
  6. Restrain yourself (Truth)
  7. Add bling (People like pretty things)
  8. Respond (but keep it simple)
  9. Stay positive or stay silent (Make sure you respond to the critics, but don’t be Amy’s Baking Company)
  10. Repeat good stuff (Even if it’s from a competitor)

QUESTIONS:

1. What are your personal social media rules? Do you have any? How has class changed your ideas about that?

2. What Rule from the 50 rules stuck out to you? Comment and tell me what was your favorite. Tweet me and see if you can achieve your goal! (See my goal above to achieve #15)

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Fuel for my Fire!

Are you listening?

I created this logo as part of a “personal brand” except, it doesn’t say anything about me. That’s why people go to your social media to find out about who you are and not the “who” you present to the world.

My personal logo, I made a few years ago.
My personal logo, I made a few years ago.

Honestly, I completely hid myself on social media while I was searching for a job. I don’t think it hurt me, but I’m not sure it helped. The problem is that you don’t know. You read the statistics about what recruiters are looking for. I decided not to give them the option of prejudging me based on my online presence. Would you make the same choice as I did now? What has or hasn’t changed your mind?

My opinion has changed some what. But, now that I work in social media, its imperative that my presence is seen online. At the time, when I was looking for a job I wasn’t looking for a job in social media. It kind of fell into my lap, isn’t that always the case?

I only recently started my job at JWA, I just had my 6 month review. But, I was originally hired out of a recruiting firm. I know that they didn’t look me up on LinkedIn. Actually my firm could have cared less about that. I sent them 2 different resumes. One was a very generic, made to the specifics that the career center lays out for you. The second one was my “content design” resume. They didn’t like my design resume. They wanted the plane Jane resume with out any bells and whistles. Although, I still got my job, I’m sure JWA would have loved to have a better idea of the design eye that I could bring to their brand. That’s the expectation these days, you have to be able to show case your skills, the number one product that you are selling is yourself. The big names need to make sure that they keep their names big. They work hard on what face they show to the public.

brands by state

Interesting that every state has a major brand associated with it. I’m from the land that Coca-cola built and now I live in Starbucks-land. Doesn’t that tell you a little more about me? It’s the human aspect of the story that people are drawn to. I’ve already connected with one of the other students in the class, because we have the same type of dog! Puggles Rock! When I post on fb or any other social platforms the post with the most likes, comments and “activity” are my posts about him. 🙂 My dog is more popular then I am.

So, I checked my Klout score today, spurred on by our readings. I’ve got a 43. I’m not really sure what the equates to, if Klout was school I’d be failing. If the recruiters discussed in the article were looking for people with a Klout score of 35 or higher I guess a 43 is good then. Did anyone else check there score? Do you think its a fair assessment of you social media abilities?

Questions:

What does your personal brand look like? What is important about your personal brand that you present to the world? How does this humanize or distance you?

Do you agree that a Klout score should be included in an interview/application process? How do you think it could affect your job one way or another?

Are you listening?

How Social Are You?

I’ve been a pretty early adapter of social media and the different platforms out there. I was in college when Facebook started making its way onto the scene. Since then, I have generally taken to all of the different platforms relatively quickly, except for Google+ for the life of me I can’t figure it out. I need to find a manual or something.

Needless to say, I have always recognized there is a fine line we must walk when it comes to social media. It’s a balancing act of who we are, and who we want the world to see.

All the readings for class this week, were right up my alley because JWA is starting on their own social media quest. Our main competitor, Simpler, has an entire department devoted to Publishing and Social Media, but they have a lot lot more consultants then we do. JWA only has me. I’m the loan social soldier competing against a giant. But, in that story the little guy wins, right? Right?! So, currently in our small part of the consulting galaxy the conversation is going on with out us, which is why we need to play catch-up. Or, we need to join the conversation at least.

JWA has always operated by referrals and word of mouth. Now, as Gary Vaynerchuck’s said, “Word of mouth is the currency and now we have infrastructure for word of mouth to be on steroids.” JWA is selling a different type of commodity then most people marketing themselves and their product. Our product are the consultants that work for us and the knowledge that they bring to the table. Here’s some background: JWA teaches companies the Toyota Management System of Lean Principles. What does that mean? Basically, a really simple answer is that the consultants take inefficient practices and make them more efficient by increasing productivity and turnover time, but not by decreasing the work force. They don’t go in and lay people off. They go in and make people more productive. The Toyota Management System has always crowd sourced its employees in the same way that businesses are leveraging their work force to solve problems through social media.

My bosses understand that the world we live in has changed a lot, which is why they hired me. JWA is a brand, just like any other company. The thing about branding is that it has to be united across all platforms. The same is true of social media, you have to brand yourself and be true to you company, their customers, audience, and workers. JWA is never going to have a entire department devoted to social media, but that’s fine they don’t need to. All they need is a plan, that they stick to. Sometimes people get in over-their-heads when it come to social media, you have to know what platform is right for your business and where your audience is online. They world is shifting so fast these days.

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If you had told me, 5 years ago that I would be allowed to surf the web at work and hang out on social media sites all day I would have called you crazy. Now, look at me. Who’s crazy now huh?

How Social Are You?

Here’s a little something about me

Alright, so unlike most people that will be reading my blog. (*cough* Social Media class *cough cough*) I am about to complete my Masters in Professional Communication at Clemson University, Go Tigers!

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Shocker right?! So, if your twitter feed and facebook newsfeed have the wrong kind of orange in them and may have an ACC twinge, yeah that’s all me.

But, it gets weirder. Also, I live in Seattle, WA

Pikes Place with my bestie, who came out for a visit
Pikes Place with my bestie, who came out for a visit

I’m the Social Media and Content designer at a small consulting firm. <– This is where social media fits into my life currently. It’s what I do. My reason for taking the social media course was to get better at what I do. Everything that I know about social media is garnered from personal experience and articles that I’ve read in my Professional Communication courses. I’m looking to use this class to help me a I build their social media from the ground up. The thing about our firm is that most of the clients we get are by word of mouth or referral. But, this is a new age and one of the big pushes is your digital presence or lack of one. So, I’m helping them to start dipping their toes in the water of the social media world, we’re starting with LinkedIn and taking baby steps from there.

Long term, I plan on this Social Media certificate to help bolster my already jam packed education. It’s always nice to have a little something extra when going in for a job interview. Plus, there is something to be said of having an education to back up the talk. I’m pretty excited about being a SME, I don’t know about the rest of you.

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