Last month, I attended the sixth annual AdAge Digital Conference. Today, I gave a presentation to our agency recapping some of the key presentations and learnings. Here is that presentation:
May 22, 2012
May 17, 2012
Today, I talked to Today’s THV about recent college grads looking for jobs in a tough market when everything you can do to stand out makes a difference.
It is time for college grads to start their job searches and the competition is stiff for the number of jobs compared to the number of candidates. Standing out among the competition is more important than ever. And an online brand can make all the difference in getting the call for an interview.
When it comes to an online brand for these candidates, there is a seeming indifference. They are restricting their professional lives and online representation to LinkedIn, then write and post about anything and everything but their career of choice. The bottom line: your are getting Googled before you get called for an interview. And searched on Facebook and Twitter. And the potential employer is definitely looking you up on LinkedIn. Do you know what they will find when they perform these searches? What do you want them to find? It is time to think about yourself through the lens of an potential employer. This isn’t just about removing embarrassing moments, but also about showing that you are curious and intelligent. Think about who you are and what job you want; this is your personal “brand.”
Here are some tips for getting started:
- Build online profiles in places and with content relevant to your personal brand. Determine where to do this and what to talk about based on the searches you do related to your industry, your specific career interests and your location. Look up the people that you admire in your industry and those that you would likely be interviewing with: what are they doing that you can emulate?
- Google yourself. What do you find? What would you like an employer to find? Google your likely competition for the job. What are they doing that you can learn from?
- Get your LinkedIn profile fully completed. Too many LinkedIn profiles have only a name and the school from which they graduated. Fill in all the fields. Tell your personal, professional and educational story. Think about it like telling a story.
- Create a “professional” blog around your interests in the industry in which you want to work. While a personal blog is great and can help potential employers get to know you, if you are writing about the industry relevant to your degree and the job you are seeking, they can see that you are really interested in the work and know what you are talking about. Use Google Alerts, Twitter searches and blog subscriptions (RSS feeds, Google Reader) to stay on top of your industry, then write about it. Create original content; writing about your own discoveries shows that you’re processing the information you are reading.
- Create a public Twitter profile for sharing industry and professional news. If you have a personal Twitter profile that you don’t want potential employers to see, go ahead and protect that and keep using it as you have before, but make sure you have all the privacy settings adjusted. Respond to thought leaders in your industry via Twitter. Show that you have an opinion and a backbone.
- Adjust your privacy settings in Facebook so that only friends can see your content. Be wary of friending potential employers, employers and co-workers. Consider the content that you post to Facebook and what you want them to see. Facebook has sophisticated privacy options: if you are not comfortable not friending someone, consider categorizing them to only see certain content. If there are pictures that others have posted of you that are not flattering, consider un-tagging yourself (once you have untagged yourself from a picture, you can not be retagged).
- Consider creating a website for your resume where you provide links to all of your online presences, making it very easy for an employer to see all that you are and all that you are doing. How can you be creative in the way you display your resume? Think about using video as a way to personalize the resume.
Keep in mind that the differences between a personal brand and professional brand online are blurring. You can have separate profiles, but it is hard to maintain and mistakes can be made. And Google can find almost anything. It is better to assume that everything you put online will be seen by a potential employer or employer and be mindful of what you put out there.
May 16, 2012
This Fast Company article reveals that advertising people aren’t normal when it comes to brand and advertising awareness in social networks. I was reading this article while watching “Morning Joe” this morning where they were talking about Facebook being overvalued because no one clicks on the ads (meaning they don’t click on the ads, of course).
I don’t know the future of Facebook, or the future of social networks in general, but both these channels this morning aren’t talking about the other half of the story.
On advertising people being more aware of advertising: duh. It is not because they are the ones running the ads or because they are more susceptible to advertising. It is because they are paying attending and learning. Advertising people know that an audience of 800 million people is not to be ignored or avoided. They are studying how brands are using Facebook, both for content and for advertising to learn what works, what doesn’t and how to improve the communications for the brands they represent. This only means that the advertising and the content shared by these brands is going to get better, and better content and advertising gets clicked, shared and incites interaction.
On no one clicking on Facebook ads: if advertising is not getting clicked, it is because the message is wrong for the audience who is seeing it or the advertising is bad or confusing. If we put the right message, delivered in an engaging way, in front of the relevant audience, it works. Additionally, Facebook is continually changing how brands can deliver content and advertising; ads will be moving out of the sidebar and into the news stream as sponsored content. This is dangerous if advertisers continue to deliver bad and irrelevant content because users may be frustrated and leave. It is the brand’s responsibility to make its messages engaging to the audience it is targeting and to target the right audience.
While the future of Facebook is not guaranteed, it is not fair to say that the advertising is not working and ad people are the only ones aware of the advertising. Facebook is still relatively new, and with the rules constantly changing, we are all just trying to learn and keep up with what is working, what will work and how to not ignore a captive audience of 800 million people.
May 8, 2012
While doing some research today for a client planning session, I was searching the client’s competitors on Facebook. I noticed something I hadn’t previously noticed on brand pages under the new Timeline structure: friends’ posts that mention that brand are showing up on the brand page when I view it, without the friend having officially “tagged” the brand and without having posted the message directly to that brand’s page. These posts were mostly several months old and all were negative. As a marketer and manager for brand pages, I definitely don’t like this. As a user, I think it is pretty relevant, however.
As a marketer, I don’t like this because the brand managers don’t even know these comments exist. Since the comment wasn’t tagged with the brand or posted on the brand’s page, the brand manager has no way of knowing that the comment exists. So he or she can’t respond to it and he or she can’t control what a user sees on the brand Facebook page. Facebook acknowledges this as user privacy:
“Posts about a Page respect the privacy settings of the people who create them. Page admins won’t see posts about their Page that people haven’t shared publicly even though people visiting the Page might see them if they’re part of the audience the post was shared with. Pages themselves are public spaces, and posts added to a Page’s timeline will be visible publicly and are eligible to appear in the Recent Posts by Others box. “
If the comment is positive, this doesn’t matter to the marketer one way or another (other than it would be nice to have those to report back). But the problem is the negative comments, which were what I saw today on all the brands that I was visiting for my research. Facebook is basically amplifying negative word-of-mouth. As a user, I might not have noticed my friends’ posts several months ago, or paid little attention to it in my stream. But it suddenly becomes relevant as I am on the brand page and it sticks out like a flashing beacon.
As a user, when I land on a brand page and see a friend’s comment immediately, it gives me a new perspective on the brand. If it is one that I was considering engaging with in some way and I saw a negative comment from a friend, I believe this would impact my engagement with that brand or I would reach out to that friend to learn more. I love this as a user because it helps me make decisions, helps me learn more and is extremely relevant.
We’ve been hearing and talking a lot about socially annotated search and banner advertising the last few months. The stats say socially annotated search gets a 5-10% better click-through rate. Having just experienced a version of socially annotated brand commentary, I see why it works so well.
May 7, 2012
A must-listen podcast from the Princeton University series, What does it mean to be literate in the age of Google? features Daniel Russell, a “search anthropologist” at Google. During his fascinating talk, Russell covers the ins and outs of efficient search, how most people don’t speak the language of search and only use a fraction of search capabilities. It turns out, I was one of those people. I learned new tips listening to his talk and have now added his blog to my Reader feed where he gives a search quiz and lessons. Educational and geeky fun. Check it out.