Social Recruiting is NOT a completely new concept in the global Human Resources space but in Nigeria it may be NEW!

Social media has become an indispensable tool for companies leveraging it to generate sales, increase brand awareness and build communities around their brands. It offers companies a way to connect and engage with consumers, but that’s not all.

Today, staffing and corporate recruiters are now leveraging social media to post job vacancies and recruit (attract, source, engage and hire) talent, but it’s still new for a lot of organizations (corporate Nigeria inclusive). Is there any real reason why Social Recruiting must be embraced by Corporate Nigeria? To answer this simple question, the following 3 reasons would suffice:

Reason 1: Social Recruiting is the future of Recruiting – According to the JOBVITE 2012 Social Recruiting survey results, “Social media has quickly become a dominant force for companies to find and hire quality talent. Because it allows employers to tap extended networks for candidates that would not be found otherwise, social recruiting offers tremendous value to companies of all sizes. It has become an essential avenue for recruiters to successfully compete in the war for talent.” It is worthy of note that most of the beneficiary of Social Recruiting today are mainly Europe and the United States. Hence, the need for Africa or at best Nigeria to join the trend. Read my earlier post here.

Reason 2: The Nigerian ‘Social Population’ speaks for itself. As at the time of writing this post – there are over 152 Million LinkedIn members, with Africa having over 5 Million LinkedIn members and Nigeria with over 840 Thousand LinkedIn members; Facebook users crossed the 1 Billion mark few days ago, with Nigeria accounting for 5 Million of this number as at June 2012; there are over 140 Million active users on Twitter, with Nigeria been the third tweeting nation in Africa (by a survey carried out by a Kenya-based agency, read it here).  These figures are huge and must be harnessed via Social Recruiting.

Reason 3: Social Recruiting is efficient and cost-effective compared to traditional recruiting approach. So you know joining most social networking sites (like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) is FREE. Once employers and job seekers join social networking sites, the opportunity to assess talent communities become available. Overall, social recruiting strategies enable more effective networking between candidates and employers, and they provide effective engagement opportunities to attract and retain both passive and active job seekers at a significantly lower cost compared to traditional techniques. We would explore this area in the days ahead.

Till next time, we are all work in progress…

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Your first memory of social media is, of course, very much determined by your age.

Teenagers and some young adults likely won’t remember a world without Facebook, Twitter and possibly Myspace. Thirty-somethings might have fond memories of pioneering social platforms such as Friendster and even early blogging.

And for the rest of us? Our first truly social experience online developed with internet services such as AOL and Compuserve, and, before that, good, old-fashioned email. Yep, email. Kids today, eh? Don’t even know they’re born.

This infographic from redpepper takes a closer look at the history of social media. Happy reading 🙂

The History of Social Media Brought to you bt Redpepper

1970 First E-mail travels between 2 computers

1980 The birth of those embarrassingly Hilarious Screen Names\

The Blogging Era Began with Livejournal & Blogger

2000 friendster became the first popular social network

Linkedin Launched in 2003 and has become the largest professional social networking site.

Myspace revealed the terrible design sensibility of the average person with its customizable layouts

Mark Zuckerberg takes over the social network kingdom by launching facebook in 2004.

Special Fact

15% of the world’s population uses facebook monthly

YouTube was created in 2005

Special Fact

More than 1 Billion unique users visit a month. Over 6 Billion hours of video are watched a month.

Twitter

Made its first tweet in 2006

Special Fact

100,000 Tweets are made each second. 163 Billion Tweets since Twitter started

Tumblr.

David Karp made Blogging simpler and easier

Spotify

The latest craze in music streaming launched in 2008

2010 Instagram, known for their square frame photos, was created

Special Fact

45 million photos are uploaded by people every day with 130 million different monthly users

Pinterest

Allowed users to save and categorize images through boards

Vine was created in 2013, allowing users to post video clips of up to 7 seconds 

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Question

I run a small business in Lagos. I have read quite a number of articles about the importance of social media in this era. However, what is not clear to me is whether I should hire a social media staff, a social media agency or just do everything myself. I will like your insights about these options. Thank you

Answer

Hey There,

Congratulations first of all for taking a step to running a business in Lagos, and even considering exploiting social media, as many business are yet to understand any value for using social media tools for increasing reach, engagement and in turn sales. Social media can become a leveller especially for small business, so congratulations again.

That said, it is common place to ask the question – who best to handle social media management for my business – and you seem to have listed out the options:

1. Hire a social media manager

2. Outsource to a social media agency

3. Manage it for yourself

However, it is going to be more tricky giving you an answer as there is no one correct answer, and it boils down to what your business needs, where your business is, and an overall marketing strategy. You did say you run a small business so you may just consider an hybrid between the first and third option.

It is always good if you are very much involved with your social media management, and even though time is always almost the problem, the more you get involved at the start the more habitual it becomes – remember social media is same as you would get social offline – meet people, engage with those interested in you (in this case product or service), but this time online.

SEE ALSO: Should You Hire a Social Media Manager?

Albeit, business can be so good that you really have to handsoff, then hire a social media manager but try to work with him or her as you want to be consistent in terms of communication and marketing strategy, including tone, call-to-actions, and conversion mechanism.

Let’s face it. Doing social media marketing the effective way is quite hectic. It is not only about posting, but also engaging – from simple things like replying comments, mails, and twitter mentions – to the not-so-simple things like setting and following up on web alert, and then reporting and analytic. So if you want do it right, you probably want to hire someone, but if you are not still sure, then ask yourself these questions.

Perhaps one day your small business becomes big and you want to outsource social media management, then you should know these 5 Real Reasons To Hire A Social Media Management.

Till next time, I hope these information helps. Do feel free to buzz me on twitter – @ae_dada.

[Editor’s Note]

This is a question and answer series. Do you have any social media related question? Send it to editor(at)socialmeep(dot)com and we’ll have Alex or any of our contributors respond to them.

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Social media can level the playing field between industry leaders and upstarts, between multinational corporation executives and small-business owners, making peers of all participants. Yet appearances can be deceiving. To borrow from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, all social-media users are equal, but some are more equal than others.

So what makes the difference between a following of 500 and a following of 500,000? While A-list celebrities can have an advantage over most everyone else, other social media darlings have grown their base of fans more organically, and you can learn from their strategies.

What follows are five keys culled from darlings of the current social media landscape for increasing your influence in a way that can make a difference to your business strategies.

1. Produce quality content.

If you want to make your mark on social media, first and foremost you should provide quality content. “Content is twofold,” says Mari Smith, a social-media marketing expert and author of The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web (Wiley, 2011). “It’s generating your own, [being] a thought leader. The other element is what I call OPC — other people’s content — and not being afraid to share that.”

One man who successfully balances both elements is entrepreneur, investor and author Guy Kawasaki. “He’s a self-professed ‘firehose of content,’ ” says Smith. “He has a way of creating a nice blend of other people’s content as well as his own thoughts and opinions.” Not only that, but according to his Twitter bio, Kawasaki repeats every tweet four times in order to reach all time zones.

Quantity is not the same as quality, of course, but what is remarkable about Kawasaki, says Smith, is “his masterful ability to curate such volume. I could skim through his tweets and probably find a few things every day that I could pass on to my followers.”

2. Be open and engaging.

On social media, it’s important to be available to your audience, and few people exemplify that principle better, says Smith, than entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. “On Twitter, he does a lot of responding” to followers, she says. “He treats everybody as an equal, and he responds at an amazing velocity.”

What’s the upside of all this time-consuming engagement for Vaynerchuk? A loyal and devoted following for his business books and priceless visibility for his consulting business, VaynerMedia. “People love it,” Smith says. “If they get a response from Gary, even if it’s a smiley face, they’re like, “Oh my God, Gary tweeted back at me!’”

3. Focus on a specific niche.

On social media, you can either be a generalist — producing and curating a hodge-podge of content across many different disciplines — or you can choose to specialize in one or a few areas. Specialists tend to bend more ears than generalists, says Smith. “Social media is extremely noisy. You’ve got to be able to stand out,” she says, and the best way to do this is to own a particular subject.

Jessica Northey, founder of Tucson, Ariz.-based social-media marketing boutique Finger Candy Media, “owns” country music, says Smith. Northey hosts a live weekly Twitter chat and Google+ “twangout” for country-music fans. This year, Forbes ranked Northey at No. 3 on its list of the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers. She has more than half a million followers on Twitter and more than 700,000 on Google+. “In my travels, if I came across anyone in the country-music arena, Jessica would be my choice” of someone to connect them with, Smith says.

4. Use Social Media to build your business, and vice versa.

For an entrepreneur, time spent on social media might seem like a distraction from the more important tasks central to running a business. Because it’s so time-intensive, you should back up your thought leadership on social media with a real profit-making enterprise. Chris Brogan, founder and chief executive of Human Business Works, a business-training company in Portland, Maine, is one example, says Smith. “He walks his talk. He speaks all over the world, and he consults with a lot of companies on social media.”

In other words, Brogan demonstrates his expertise in blog posts, uses social platforms to broadcast those posts and then uses the resulting visibility to market himself for speaking gigs, coaching sessions and more. These, in turn, increase his social media following. And it doesn’t hurt that he was able to carve out a place for himself by being an early adopter of social platforms, Smith says.

5. Embrace each social network’s unique culture.

Each social network has a “unique culture,” says Smith, and the best users embrace it rather than sharing identical content across platforms. Take Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J. He relies mainly on Twitter, where he has more than 1.2 million followers, and Facebook, and uses each platform in a way that takes advantage of its native capabilities.

“On Twitter, I see him retweeting people, I see him thanking people and engaging with them,” Smith says. She also notes that Booker makes use of hashtags, a popular way of marking your tweets for a specific purpose or larger conversation.

On Facebook, by contrast, Booker posts less frequently. “You don’t want to bombard people on Facebook,” says Smith. He finds more elaborate ways to involve his community in his activities. For instance, he uploads albums of photos from various events where he has spoken.

Some power users maintain a presence on multiple networks, Smith says, but for most people two are enough. “Really you want to have Facebook and one other [platform] that you’re active on,” she says.

Source: Entrepreneur.Com 

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The LinkHumans team recently conducted a survey to understand if people use Facebook when looking for a job and if yes how they would use it. They found the results interesting and decided to create a short infographic to present them in a nice way.

In a nutshell – you’ll find out that people don’t really use Facebook to find a job but they would definitely do it to get more information about a company. On the other side of the coin they are mainly not happy when a recruiter contacts them on Facebook and would not connect with colleagues. All these results allow us to deduct Facebook has a personal use and private use. Job seekers tend to use other social platforms like LinkedIn more, the number one social network.

Take a look at the infographic below and drop your comments

How do people use facebook for job search?

Have you used Facebook when searching for jobs?

Have you ever found a job on facebook and been hired?

A friend of a friend became my employer

A friend saw I was looking for a new job

I saw a status about the job, applied then got the job

Facebook Profile

Have you filled in your professional information?

Would you connect with present/past colleagues?

Find out more about companies

Using groups, recruiter’s pages, friends

Job Alert according to my jobsearch

Getting a feel for the company culture

Are you happy for recruiters to approach you on facebook?

Have you ever contacted a recruiter on facebook?

Would you use Facebook:

To find more information about a company?

When looking for jobs?

Yes 50%

If yes

Employer details I’d give it a chance

Follow companies

Networking

Vacancies for graduates

I’d put a summary similar to linkedin

Facebook Careers pages

Got any facebook questions? Get in Touch!

Linkedin Humans

A professional Approach to Social Media

Segun Akiode is a human resources professional with HR related experience covering talent acquisition, HR consulting and HR generalist. He has a passion for knowledge sharing, with a growing interest in social recruiting and employer value proposition/employment branding. Follow him on twitter – @segunakiode

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For a while now, I’ve been looking at what a few marketing agencies, traditional PR consultancies and fresh-on-the-block digital marketers are doing on social media platforms. And it concerns me.

Why?

Because I don’t see much innovation – which, by definition, means ‘something new, and contrary to established customs, manners, or rites’ in the mix.

Hardly anything new or exciting. Very little risk-taking, and nowhere near enough authentic conversation. It’s often a case of same old, same old. Such a shame, given the huge, positive, amazing potential that such platforms represent.

Corporate, safe, sterile, anodyne presences.

I can hear almost hear the comments in these Boardrooms, as social media engagement is discussed.

Comments such as, “let’s get a Facebook fan page”, or “make sure we get the newest Agency account executive to pop some content on a Twitter account” or even “cut and paste the newsletter onto a blog page, that’ll do” – without first asking that crucial question ‘why’ which should underpin all social media activity and engagement.

I’ve even seen – horror of horrors – a digital marketing agency engaging in direct marketing via Twitter. A scam-based ‘campaign’ designed solely to get hold of email addresses for future direct selling. Awful.

I blogged about it here at the time, seeing as I was one of the unfortunate individuals to be spammed.

Here are six ways to use social media with innovation in mind:

1. Take an interest in other people – and pass on their content. It will get you noticed – the Law of Attraction. It really does work: these people will notice you back, in time, and reciprocate.

2. Take risks – be authentic, speak with your actual voice on social media platforms. Get the vibe of your business or Agency out there: let people know what working with you looks like, feels like.

3. Be real – don’t tell me about how many new widgets you manufactured this month, let the person who actually makes them tell their personal story. Your business is brilliant, but you have to get this story out there – from each employee outwards.

4. Be selective – don’t set up a Facebook page if you don’t have to. Select which social media platforms are best – it may be that your business or Agency only needs a real presence on one or two – and focus your attention, effort, and energy there.

5. Be unique – don’t copy what your competitors are doing: show your audience the uniqueness in your business or Agency, give them your biggest unique asset, your people. Get everybody involved, to tell their stories in a way which makes your business or Agency so attractive, natural engagement form others will follow.

6. Stop talking and start listening – too many Agencies (PRs are the worst culprits) are so busy shouting about how brilliant they are, and how many industry (navel-gazing) awards they’ve won, they forget the audience. Less broadcasting, more listening please.

These six simple steps, executed over a few months, will transform and innovate social media engagement for you. Guaranteed.

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Sometimes ago, I got a Direct Message on twitter that looks similar to the one below:

…do you know any great developer in Lagos?

I thought about who I could recommend but I was just blank despite tons of developers around me. After few minutes of deep thinking, I remembered someone whose bio reads:

I’m a software engineer, a philosopher, and also an activist. I’m a very interesting person to meet also.

The first part was all I needed. Then my recommendation went his direction. You see, it’s funny that I can recommend a twitter follower I have never seen in real life. It felt strange at first but I quickly remembered this is the digital age. I may not have met him in the real world, but I’ve e-met him :)

An elevator bio, as short as it is, works wonders (permit my churchy language). In recent times, I have had to go through the bio of several people both on Twitter and Facebook and all I can do is shake my head. Here are some for your perusal:

  • “I am Me”
  • Working on it. Check back
  • “Jesus’ child”
  • “Why do you want to know? #FollowBack Team”

In my opinion, the bio section on all social avenues is the place to begin your Social Media journey. It’s just like meeting someone for the first time, the first thing I believe you want to know is “Who are you”, or “what do you do”, depending on the situation. The same applies on Social Media platforms, only that your profile speaks for you. You see, don’t just assume your friends know who you are. These days, tweets fly beyond your immediately followers via Retweets and posts go beyond your immediately self via likes, reshare and tagging. So, you never can tell who will click on your profile.

Among other things, you will have to master the art of writing a short bio (elevator pitch). Here are three quick ideas you can explore while drafting your bios:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. What Have you done?

If you can provide the above in less 160 characters or less, you rock!

Here are real samples you can use as a guide:

  • “African. Social Entrepreneur. ICT for Development (ICT4D) Consultant.”Gbenga Sesan
  • “A style and fashion enterpreneur, the brand curator of the FACUADE brand; building a local brand with global reckoning.”Tosin Olukuade
  • “Digital Storyteller | Advocate of Social Marketing and Nation Branding | Designer of social change projects | Creator of The 419Positive Project”Rosemary Ajayi
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Social media is now a crucial part of any successful businesses marketing plan. It offers us a platform to interact with existing and potential customers and can often provide us with feedback and new ideas. If you aren’t already using this powerful and cost effective marketing tool to its full potential, maybe these facts will give you a push.

Integrating your business website with Facebook has never been easier and the benefits speak for themselves, with 50% of Facebook users checking their profile every day. 23% do this 5 times or more! Think of these log-ins as opportunities to expose your followers to your brand through creative content and interaction.

Social media isn’t just used for connecting with existing customers, it’s also a great tool for acquisition. With 54% of marketers gaining a new customer through Facebook this year alone, businesses should be looking to join this trend.

Facebook often comes out on top in the world of social media, however Twitter should by no means be overlooked! With 36% of businesses gaining a new customer through Twitter, this easy to use microblogging platform should be considered just as highly.

LinkedIn is a more professional network, with over 200 million members and 2 more joining every second. This is a great place to build business connections, hunt for potential employees and find out what other businesses are doing to stay ahead.

The infographic below is created to Twist Forum and it provides more information on why you should be utilising social media for your business.

2013 SOCIAL MEDIA FACTS

EVERYTHING SOCIAL

 Average Age Distribution across Social Networks

189 Million Facebook Users are mobile only users

Wvery Second 2 new members join LinkedIN.This platform is great for building business connections.

LinkedIN launched in 2003 ending the year with 81,000 members, and now has over 200 million members!

UK

 comes in at 6th place for most facebook users

There are 87 million users on Flickr and 137 million on Instagram.Photo networks are growing extremely fact!

Turkey is the fastest growing country on Linkedin

TOP OF THE GAME

  54% of all marketers have acquired a customer through Fac in Facebook in 2013

50% of Facebook users log in to Facebook in any given day.

You have just 10 second to grab attention with a video

Google is the fastest growing network ever!

The Google+button is used 5 million times a day.

293,000 status updates on Facebook every 60 second

23% of users check Facebook 5 times or more a day

36%al all marketers have found a customer via Twitter on 2013.Women more likely to check out a brands social page than men

1 million websites have integrated with Facebook

80% of pinterest users are females

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Customer reviews, feedback, metions and comments are crucial for yoru overal Web reputation. Before you know it, they can either build your online reputation or break it to pieces.

In fact, when you think about it, what your customer says about you online can already be considered as digital “word of mouth advertisement.” Priceless, right? However, as much as you need to exert effort to please your online audience, you need to focus on the potential threats as well. Prevention is better than cure, so be careful and watch out for these 5 common online reputation management mistakes:

1) Neglecting Your Online Presence

No matter how hectic your schedule is, you really need to make time to check all your online accounts (social media, offical email, website comments etc). All of them. Take note that people do not just post reviews or comments on one site. They will post to any of your “recognized” official accounts, expecting response in a timely manner. Make sure to check your official pages and profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. at least twice a day for any concerns about your product. Be where your customers are online.

Having an online presence is not enough because there are many other sites where your customers can talk to you or about you. While it is not necessary to have accounts on all social networking sites or to find out all blog site that might be mentioning you, there are ways to monitor conversations about your company across the web. An efficient monitoring tool you can use is the Google Alerts.

2) Passing on Your Personal Opinion

Talks about religion, politics or any controversial topics should always be separated with your business pages and profiles unless it touches on the nature of your business. As tempting as it may get, don’t let your emotions get in the way with these 3 sensitive topics. While you may feel strongly about a certain issue and share the same sentiments with some of your customers and stakeholders, there will be other stakeholders who do not. Personal insights should remain personal to avoid isolating and turning off people who may be important to your business. The goal is to appeal to everyone. Maintain your business to be always neutral.

3) Failue to Apply Social Media Policy for Employees

Your employees directly represent your company. What they do online might have a big impact on how your customers view your business. Imagine a circulating photo of employees of a restaurant playing with ingredients inside the kitchen area. Wouldn’t that have a bad reflection of the restaurant?

While you are not imposing what they should do online just because they work for you, having a social media policy for your employees will help you manage what kind of online “publicity”your business should get from them. A social media policy will also help make your employees understand the value of professionalism and will set your legal responsibilities over their behavior online as well.

4) Engaging Customers in Anger

Negative reviews happen, and while not all are valid, a raised legitimate concern should always be addressed in an objective and open-minded way. Remember with the online community, one complaint can be seen by multiple people. In the same way that one well-thought of response can be witnessed by a lot of people. Engaging an irate customer head-on could never lead to anything good. Instead, keep your cool, acknowledge the complaint with politeness and state an action point to appease the customer. Never take the defensive approach to a negative feedback even if you suspect that the feedback is a dirty trick from the competitor or a troll. How you respond to angry customers will have an impact on all those who will witness. So the next time you encounter one, take a deep breath before composing your message.

5) Snubbing Customer Comments and Reviews

One of the biggest benefits of going digital is the ability to create and nurture a relationship with your customers. Ignoring comments and reviews made by your customers gives your business an unwelcoming impression. Who wants to have a relationship with someone who is giving you the cold shoulder anyway? While attending to your online presence does not only apply to negative feedbacks, it is equally important to acknowledge postive posts by thanking customers who took the time to say something nice about your business. Issues that cannot be resolved immediately should be replied with a turnaround time or with a suggestion for a solution that they need.

The key here is to make the customer feel valued by responding to their comments, whether postive or negative, in a timely and tactful manner.

Because the Internet has empowered every customer to voice out an opinion about your business and broadcast it to millions of people in realtime, online brand reputation management has become an integral part of any digital marketing campaign. Getting it right early on can save you from experiencing an online brand reputation nightmare.

***Originally published on: SocialMediaToday

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LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network has multiple usefulness for business owners, recruiters and job seekers.

Being on the world’s largest professional network as a job seeker, gives you the opportunity to access over 200 million professionals who use the network to exchange information, ideas and opportunities. It also, increases your visibility to recruiters and hiring managers.

Recently, LinkedIn did a compilation of tips for landing your dream job as told by actual members who found their dream jobs.

Read below the slides of the 5 Tips for landing your dream job as published by LinkedIn on slide share.

Happy reading 

5 Tips for Landing Your Dream Job from LinkedIn

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