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Narcissism results in much more broadcasting and VERY little engagement on social networks

Social media recruiting is a cost-effective way to source candidates. Let the big influencers spread the job ad – that takes care of it.
How do we know these claims are true?
Might networking the old-fashioned way work better?

Word-of-mouth is helpful for spreading the word about a position at your organisation. Your employer expects you to post and discuss the job in the communities you are part of.

First you may post on Google+ or LinkedIn. This is quickly followed by posts on Viadeo, Xing and Facebook. Ideally, this type of word-of-mouth marketing lets those interested see the job posting.

But how well does it work?

Do you know these people?

Recently, I read a newspaper article about a guy whom I once was connected with, but is no longer part of my social network. Why?

I sent him an email congratulating him. Did I get an answer? Nope. So how good a connection is this?

[su_box title=”Our networks are too large” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]

150-people-in-your-social-network-is-the-ideal-size

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Dunbar, R.I.M. (April 2014). The social brain: Psychological underpinnings and implications for the structure of organizations. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, pp. 109-114. doi:10.1177/0963721413517118 Retrieved April 2, 2015 http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/23/2/109.abstract.
===> More publications about the social brain hypothesis.

Good thing I kicked this person off my social network. We all have a hard time managing a network of social connections beyond 125 people. It turns out that is the typical size of both social communities in small-scale societies and personal social networks in the modern world.

This size constraint is partly cognitive and partly temporal. For humans, the group size reflects both emotional closeness in relationships and the frequency of contact.

In short: You need to be close and communicate with each other more than once in a blue moon.

Thus, large networks are not necessarily productive when it comes to finding a job or a person to hire for your non-profit.

[su_box title=”Social networking: Does it work for recruiting staff?” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]

2014-09-08-EPFL-evolution-of-random-graph-Erdoes-Renyi

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Manage your career smartly

The above suggests being connected to fewer people while staying in touch is a smart thing to do.

[su_box title=”Career management for the second machine age” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]1. Envision yourself seven years from now. What will you want to do at that time… where are you, what impact do you want to have?

2. Who will matter in your life? Identify those five people and know what you want from them and what you can offer them in return. Having regular conversations with these people from now on will affect the outcome of your plans.

3. Who are your ten most important professional connections? Identify them and ensure you talk to them once a month via phone, or better yet, in person.[/su_box]

Social media recruiting is a cost-effective way to source candidates

Gone are the days of having to pay a premium to advertise in a newspaper and hope that a group of candidates will see the job posting. But how do you know that claims such as these are true:

– social media outlets offer ‘reasonable’ pricing for job postings,
– these reach high volumes of job seekers, and
– even passive candidates.

Yes, LinkedIn guarantees I will get ten qualified applicants, but are they really qualified? Not last time we checked.

In addition you have to sort through and respond to all those applications. If you post your job opening to Xing or Google+ groups / communities, you will have to answer questions.

Answering inquiries or writing a polite rejection to an applicant (remember it is about your brand, stay professional, calm and collected) takes time. And what about if you are inactive in your group and nobody reacts to your job post? Happens more than you think…

If you plan your career (see above), it makes sense to participate in discussion groups on social networks. But how many?

[su_box title=”Stay connected and contribute to the community.” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]

1. Membership means you have responsibilities. If you join a group on any network, ensure your visibility by participating in discussions.

2. Put others center stage. Add comments to other people’s posts, thereby helping them shine by keeping the discussion alive.

3. Post content with a question. Broadcasting your latest blog or webpage entry or webinar is fine. However, unless you post a question with it, what are your members supposed to discuss?

Discussion-group-on-Xing-LinkedIn-have-little-engagement-if-any[/su_box]

Quality trumps quantity

The above shows picking five groups to participate in at least every other week works best. You likely do not have time to be active in more, so why be a member?

I know, some believe that when social media is applied to marketing, it creates activity — and in marketing, activity is a good thing. Nevertheless, activity alone does not create business results. Nor does it lead to connections that:

– help your career, or
– are willing to spread your job posting to qualified candidates.

So what is it good for?

“MBA students do not make this mistake intentionally. In fact, most think they are effectively networking during their time on campus. Many students take the ‘social butterfly’ approach – trying to meet superficially with as many people as possible and then striving to win the LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends ‘competition’. But they are not taking the time to develop deeper relationships with these new contacts.” –Shawn O’Connor (2012).

Focusing on the quality of connections and face-to-face interaction is critical. It is far more effective than having hundreds of contacts that will not even recognise you at an event.

The same applies when recruiting. Send a new position opening to your 30-40 close contacts. They will be happy to share it with some of their close contacts. These close contacts and their 30-40 close connections come in handy for furthering your professional development as well – far more effective than having 100 superficial contacts.

[su_box title=”Job recommendations on Xing: Why am I getting these, if I do not fit the job profile?” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]

Swisscom-auf-Xing-Infos-duerftig-video-ist-bla-bla

Making your recruitment strategy personal, meaningful and successful takes work. But do not think you can just copy big brands like Zappos. Plus, what worked once – Atlassian, 2012 – worked so well the company never tried it again :-(

You have to find your own approach that works for you with 10 or 20 full-time staff!!

Finally, talk is cheap. Show me the numbers that indicate you do it right.
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[su_box title=”Offers I get on Xing – USELESS” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]

Xing and LinkedIn tend to show you jobs that you may be overqualified for.

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What about you?

Where in your network are the 20 or 30 people you can ask for a recommendation when applying for a job?
Who are the people that might give you more business?

I look forward to your answer in the comments!

Curious for more insights? Join 1500 other subscribers to this blog’s newsletter and read on!

[su_box title=”Effectively using social networks for talent recruitment: Do not believe everything.” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
a. Shorten the hiring cycle. WRONG! Even with social media, you will require time to post your job, get applications, evaluate candidates, etc.

b. Lower recruitment costs. Yeah, right! Building and maintaining your 30 important connections to ask for help takes time all year.

c. Address the passive problem. Nice try! Most people who are doing well in their jobs are not interested in shifting employers.

d. Use the employees that are well-connected on social media. As if! This implies that large social networks mean quality connections. But will any of their contacts read their status update about a job opening?

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Interesting reads

Jacobs, Emma (March 31, 2015). Career planning: experts’ advice for the second machine age. Financial Times, p. 10. Retrieved on April 2, 2015 from http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5c62a6e4-ce2e-11e4-86fc-00144feab7de.html

Source: LinkedIn, Xing or Viadeo: What is the more effective social media recruiting tool?

What do YOU think?

Who are your best social connections for business?
When did you last comment in one of your discussion groups? Why did you write an answer?
How do you network best?
Is your CEO active on LinkedIn or Google+? Why?

Do Dolce & Gabbana’s recent statements about gay adoption strengthen their reputation as fashion’s aging enfants terribles?
Are Madonna and Elton John right to be raising hell or just ignorant of the full statements (made in Italian)?
Will all this help sales, while further building Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabanna’s reputations?
We define the difference between reputation and brand and discuss cases to better illustrate the matter.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is credited with this statement:

Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.
Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 10.58.37

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson is credited with this statement:

Build brands not around products, but around reputation.
Airbus-Virgin-America

What do you think? Do you agree with Jeff Bezos or Richard Branson?
Should we care about brands, or should we focus on reputation instead? Leave a comment below.

Define or stay confused

Before we can answer the above questions, we need to define what these terms mean. A while back I wrote Brand versus reputation: Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, in which I pointed out that first, brand and reputation are two sides of the same coin and closely related, but nevertheless different concepts. I also disagree with people that say “reputation is part of the brand”. They are related, not the same.

Richard Ettenson and Jonathan Knowles (2008) pointed out the typical factors for a company’s top-notch reputation:

The company has integrity and is reliable, accountable, responsible and quality-conscious.

More formally, reputation is the collective representation of multiple constituencies’ perception of the corporation’s behaviour. Accordingly, reputation is about how efforts regarding brand and what the company has done or delivered are seen by its various stakeholders (e.g., investors, costumers, employees and consumer advocates).

Heads or tails, let us define the terms below.

[su_box title=”Brand is a ‘public-centric’ concept” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
It is about relevance and differentiation (with respect to the customer, public opinion, supplier). Brand focuses on what a product, service or firm has promised to its clients.
Brand is what the corporation tells the public or its investors, the news it shares about itself or the product, and most importantly, what it wants and aspires to be.
A brand helps reduce uncertainty for a client. The customer knows what they get, such as a hotel chain’s rooms offering the same features (make-up mirror, good hair dryer) as standard around the globe.[/su_box]
So, what is reputation, then? Glad you asked.

[su_box title=”Reputation is an attitudinal construct and ‘word of mouth- / experience-centric’ concept” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
Attitude denotes the subjective, emotional, and cognitive based mindset (see Schwaiger, 2004, p. 49), which implies splitting the construct of reputation into affective and cognitive components.
The cognitive component of the construct can be described as the rational outcomes of high reputation. Examples include high performance, global reach and one’s perception of the company (e.g., great employer).
The affective component of reputation is the emotions that respondents have towards a company. Thus, people talk about these things with friends (word of mouth). Media coverage can also influence how we feel toward a company.[/su_box]
Based on an extensive literature review, Schwaiger (2004) proposed an approach to measure reputation for corporations. He tested this in a preliminary qualitative study. Out if these findings he developed a survey to test his measures with a data set. Findings suggest four indices to explain reputation, namely:

1. quality (e.g., product or service),
2. performance (e.g., has vision, well managed, performs well),
3. responsibility (e.g., sustainability, being a good corporate citizen), and
4. attractiveness (e.g., offices, buildings, as an employer).

The above can be used to explain reputation as measured with performance and sympathy toward the company. Your reputation precedes you. It significantly influences your chances of doing business with somebody.

Curious? Join 1500 other subscribers to this blog’s newsletter and read on!

Does company size matter?

Size definitely matters when it comes to brand. You might have a brand in your part of the woods, but Coca-Cola or Nespresso are still in a different league; they are global. What about your brand? If your company employs less than 250 tull-time employees (what the European Commission calls a small- and mid-size enterprise or SME), you are unlikely to have a global brand.

Your resources will surely not allow you to splash your logo all over the place, so spending money on brand is hard to justify. However, spending resources on keeping your clients happy, while maintaining a good reputation is a no-brainer (i.e. go for it). However, as Emil Heinrich points out, even a SME has a brand in the region where it does business. Hence, this might help recruitment up to about a 100 km radius.

Emil-Heinrich-a-storekeeper-does-have-local-brand

Small shopkeepers do have a local brand.

Are consumer brands becoming less important?

That remains to be seen. Nevertheless, here are two industries with interesting trends.

Food: Craft versus Kraft

In a recent Financial Times article (March 17, 2015 – Craft versus Kraft), Gary Silverman discusses food business trends, in particular how Kraft or Campbell’s Soup are losing market share to small food producers (retrieved March 18, 2015 from http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/2a238422-c7e0-11e4-8210-00144feab7de.html).

There is a general disinterest in brands.

The millennial generation wants products that are low in salt, sugar or fat. As well, these must be free of artificial flavors and rich in protein or anti-oxidants. This is the result of older American consumers being more prone to obesity, heart disease and other maladies. In turn, the article insinuates that millennials do not want to follow the same path.

The article also points out:

“…how important it has become for food companies to tell consumers an interesting story, replete with details about their products’ ingredients and health benefits. Such narratives give brands the coveted — and elusive — quality of ‘authenticity’.”

[su_box title=”YES – food brands are becoming less important.” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”] In the US, the companies that are winning the game for natural, organic, protein-rich and unprocessed food are quite small.

Accordingly, one’s reputation for being quality-conscious and accountable is increasingly important (remember the neighborhood shopkeeper).[/su_box]

Clothing: #DolceGabbana or #BrandyMelville

The Dolce & Gabbana label came under fire in 2007 for an ad that many felt depicted the gang rape of a woman. The ad was ultimately pulled soon after, but unfortunately, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were accused of referring to people who were offended as ‘a bit backward’. Of course, belittling those who took offense is neither acceptable nor in good taste.

Dolce-Gabbana-Gang-bang-ok-IVF-same-sex-marriage-NOT

Dolce & Gabbana do it wrong – AGAIN!

The above image is from Kelly Cutrone’s tweet about the ad, which she tweeted on March 15, 2015. It got a lot of attention in the US, Canadian, UK and German media, partly because of an interview the two fashion icons given Panorama, an Italian magazine.

According to Dolce & Gabbana, and as stated in the printed interview, “la famiglia tradizionale, fatto di mama papa e figli, (a traditional family, comprised of a mother, father, and children). Of course, if one reads the interview more closely, it is clear that the guys are referencing their own upbringing and Sicilian traditions in general. There, this family model is paramount.

What got people like Elton John and Madonna upset was that the fashion designers dared to raise some scepticism about in vitro fertilization and surrogate mothers, mentioning their personal opinions about this. Whilst we may disagree, a democracy thrives on allowing people to state their opinions; castigating them thereafter on social media is an increasing – but worrisome – trend.

Of course we have to forgive Madonna. She is pushing her latest album Rebel Heart, which debuted earlier this month. Sales were lagging until Madonna posted this on Instagram.

Madonna-should-read-things-carefully-before-throwing-stones-at-others

Did Madonna “think before she wrote this Instagram post”? SURE – helping her latest album Rebel Heart to push up its lagging sales….

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are also the guys who drew applause for sending a pregnant model down the runway as part of their tribute to mothers.

Similarly, some people got rather miffed earlier this year about Brandy Melville, a clothing brand that offers only size small. It clearly discriminates against people of different size. Of course, it is unlikely you will fit in a small size dress if you are over forty. I do not :-) Again, some social media backlash happened. Questions about the viability of the brand continue (see DrKPI and #BrandyMelville). Can such a brand survive or will it simply die, as Abercrombie & Fitch seems to be?

BrandyMelville-one-size-does-not-fit-all

Size Small does not fit all of us, does it?

[su_box title=”Dolce & Gabbana: Social media talk is cheap” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]Social media poses a substantial risk that opinions communicated by company officials (e.g., as spelled out in documents or stated during interviews) is taken out of context and spread widely.

Using Twitter and Facebook to share news is fine. But please Madonna and Elton John, check the facts before you share.

(Mr. Dolce: “I am gay. I cannot have a child… I am not convinced by what I call children of chemistry, or synthetic children. Uteruses for rent, sperm chosen from a catalogue.” – see Fashion’s ageing enfants terribles).

Finally, talk is cheap. As consumers, let our actions speak louder than words: Don’t buy!

By the way, negative press and social media coverage is better than none… see Benetton below. And here’s a sucker’s bet: I would bet you most of those people who feel outraged or miffed today will likely continue shopping Dolce & Gabbana and Brandy Melville stuff as early as next month! It is so bla bla, superficial…[/su_box]

Benetton-advertising-with-dead-Bosnian-soldier-wearing--bloodied-shirt-with-bullet-holes

More brands than Dolce & Gabbana or Brandy Melville have raised controversy: in 1994, Benetton took a fallen Bosnian soldier’s uniform, using its red blood and bullet holes for an ad campaign.

Interesting read: Henry A. Giroux (2014). Benetton’s “World without Borders”: Buying Social Change

Source: Dolce & Gabbana: When reputation damages brand

Bottom Line

You read so far, I invite you to join 1500 other subscribers to this blog’s newsletter!

The above examples offer two insights as spelled out below.
[su_box title=”Brand versus Reputation” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]1 —Corporate brand – reflects what the corporation aspires to be while the me brand reflects what I as an individual aspire to.
Reputation – the other side of the coin – is how people feel about the company or the person.
SMEs should focus on reputation, spending little on building a brand beyond their geographical territory.
Unfortunately, in practice brand and reputation are rarely if ever treated as separate BUT related constructs. This is a dangerous mistake to make.

2 — Corporate reputation is based almost exclusively on perceptions, not real knowledge. Hence, while managing corporate reputation is primarily a corporate communications task, that is not where it ends. Yes, doing good things and talking about them is great, but remember the goal.
To illustrate, companies sometimes appear to spend more money on advertising their good deed than providing money to the cause itself. Not really conducive to a good reputation…
Finally, if you don’t like a brand, its reputation or the owners’ behaviour, don’t just tweet about it, stop buying the product![/su_box]

What is your opinion?
Do you trust your clothing label’s reputation?
Do you care about your brand’s reputation when you shop?

Key messages
– Since we assessed citizenM’s social web performance in 2012, much has changed – but not all for the better.
– Like Coca-Cola, citizenM is discovering how hard it is to move from a broadcasting, to an engagement model where dialogue rules supreme.
– We present some data from the DrKPI Social Media Audit Toolkit.

CLICK on IMAGE - Corporate Blogs are more than just PR or marketing tools.

Keywords:  data analysis, cost-benefit analysis, social hospitality, ROI, social media audit, value proposition, return on investment.

Social hospitality is all about making people feel welcome and part of a community. And of course, word-of-mouth has always worked, but it has little if anything to do with technology, and everything to do with relationships.

Remember the shop owner or more likely manager that talked to you last time you went to buy your groceries? Hotel staff that last asked you if everything was okay? Often, it is just lip service and has little to do with really caring. For instance, two days after check-out, I completed a customer survey I was requested to fill out via email. The email below was my answer:

From: Hotel Berlin
Subject: Ihr Aufenthalt im Hotel Berlin, Berlin

(Your stay at Hotel Berlin, Berlin)
Date: 14 May 2014 14:37:11 GMT+2
To: Urs
Sehr geehrter Herr Gattiker,

(Dear Mr Gattiker)
wir hoffen, Sie hatten eine angenehme und gute Heimreise nach Zürich.
(We hope you had a pleasant journey home to Zurich.)
Herzlichen Dank für Ihren Besuch und dafür, dass Sie sich die Zeit genommen haben, unseren Fragebogen auszufüllen. Gerade Ihre Meinung – als Re:publica Gast – ist für uns von sehr großer Bedeutung!
(Thanks very much for your visit, and that you took the time to fill out our survey. Your opinion, particularly as a Re:publica guest, is very important to us!)
Sie waren mit der Freundlichkeit unserer Housekeeping Mitarbeiter und unserem Internetangebot nicht ganz zufrieden. Bitte nehmen Sie für diese entstandenen Unannehmlichkeiten, unsere aufrichtige Entschuldigung entgegen. Ich habe Ihren Kommentar umgehend an unsere Leitende Hausdame und unsere IT-Abteilung weitergeleitet um hier schnellstmöglich Abhilfe zu schaffen.
(Please accept our sincere apologies for your dissatisfaction with the friendliness of our housekeeping staff and the internet service. Your comments have been promptly passed on to the appropriate people to assure fast assistance.)
Sehr geehrter Herr Gattiker, es ist unser Qualitäts-Standard, dass jegliche Bewertung und jeder Gastkommentar ausgewertet und beantwortet wird. Somit erhalten Sie unverzüglich Feedback und wir haben des Weiteren am Ende jeden Monats und jeden Jahres einen ausführlichen und weitreichenden Überblick über unsere Verbesserungspotentiale. Herzlichen Dank noch mal für Ihre aktive Mithilfe!
(Dear Mr Gattiker, our standard of excellence dictates that each and every opinion and guest comment is acknowledged and replied to. This way, you receive feedback and we maintain a broad overview of our room for improvement. Thank you again for your active assistance in this endeavour!)
Wir würden uns sehr freuen, Sie auch zur Re:publica 2015 im Hotel Berlin, Berlin begrüßen dürfen. Ihnen und Ihrer Familie wünsche ich einen sonnigen Frühling.
(We would be pleased to have you stay with us at Hotel Berlin, Berlin again for Re:publica 2015. I wish you and your family a sunny Spring.)
Es grüßt Sie freundlich
(Kind regards)
Hotel Berlin

I then replied, clarifying that while housekeeping was great, they neither spoke German nor English. Asking them for help was, therefore, difficult. I also mentioned that the Internet speed in the room was dismal.

Do you think I got an answer?

Of course not, because customer service is not scalable. Accordingly, the process must be designed in such a way that it can handle the challenge. In other words, reply to the customer when a reply is desired.

I certainly did not feel welcomed or part of the community. Did anyone care about my comment? Nope.

Does the citizenM hotel do better?

Click on image - citizenM Hotels' claim to fame - we know what our clients want.So is the Hotel Berlin a lonely example of having trouble coping with the barrage of client feedback? Here comes another case – citizenM hotel.

Recently I got an email from a student doing his Bachelor thesis. He included several questions that he wanted to ask me about citizenM hotel. I edited them slight for readability, and for brevity’s sake, chose two of the many to answer here:

1. How would you describe the citizenM Social Media Strategy? Do you think the company punches above its weight?
2. Do you think citizenM uses Social Media as storytelling or sales strategy? Can you give us an example?

Those two questions got me curious, especially since I had benchmarked citizenM’s social web performance in 2012, almost 21 months ago.

Strategy

I am not sure what the company’s strategy is, but it appears to be one that encompasses a unique feature or value proposition such as:

– Provide clients an affordable night at our hotels including a decent room, ways to connect with others (i.e. public spaces at hotel) = value for money…

In an interview part of a case study by Bob Lillis, Chris van der Hoven and Keith Goffin from Cranfield University School of Management, Chief Operating Officer Michael Levie put it this way:

“So taking that clean slate, we felt it is not about taking something from the past and improving it, but basically looking anew at a mid-market traveller that does not have a deep wallet, nor personally or for business travel, but does have a lifestyle aspiration, what’s important to them and what do they look for? And those limited things we do real well, and the rest we cut out, we simply don’t have.”

So what is the unique value proposition of citizenM hotels’ social media activities on Twitter, Facebook or its online magazine? Put differently:

What added value does the social media yakking, tweeting and bragging provide the mid-market traveller?
Curious? Join 1500 other subscribers to this blog’s newsletter and read on! Read more
Key messages
What characterizes a well-executed Social Media Audit?
What challenges can it pose for your company? What do experts not tell us?
With the help of video and slides, etc., we discuss how small data can help you get to the bottom of things faster, while focusing on your ROI (return on investment).
PLUS check out a FREE download of chapter 1.

Keywords: analytics, analysis, brand, cost-benefit analysis, employer branding, Facebook, Google Plus, KPI, key performance indicators, LinkedIn, metrics, ROI, return on investment, social media monitoring, Twitter, Viadeo, Xing

Watch the video in German.

CLICK - 25% discount - more info: Gattiker, Urs E. (2014). Social Media Audits: Achieving deep impact without sacrificing the bottom line – ISBN 978-1-84334-745-3 (print) ISBN 978-1-78063-426-5 (e-book)My latest book was published almost a month ago (or at least I got a copy on my desk), and I have collected some information about its contents:

Gattiker, Urs E. (2014). Social Media Audits: Achieving deep impact without sacrificing the bottom line. Oxford, UK: Chandos (Elsevier Imprint).

In addition the to the video below, we offer a presentation of the book, and most important, the first 55 pages as a free download, so you can easily peruse some of the content on your computer or mobile device.

Video interview with DrKPI

The video’s content addresses Social Media Audit matters from these angles: Read more