Tag Archives: social network

Facebook vs. LinkedIn: A Look Back

About a year ago, I wrote about Facebook overtaking and eventually replacing LinkedIn. Since both social networks have been in the news recently, I thought now would be a good time to look back on that prediction — and how the social media recruiting landscape has changed since then.

In the past few weeks, LinkedIn has announced a doubling of revenueacquired SlideShare, and crossed the 100-million-user mark. Facebook, meanwhile, had its much-anticipated IPO, which fell far short of optimistic expectations.

image from pammarketingnut.com

When I wrote the famous blog post back in August, Google+ wasn’t a factor, and no one had heard of Pinterest. But now both sites are being used by big names, from Michael Kors to BWM to Fresh and Easy, for recruiting and employer branding. This means that LinkedIn is facing competition — but not necessarily from Facebook.

In my original article, I pointed to LinkedIn’s lack of innovation, calling their clean layout “bordering on empty.” But now the site offers dozens of premium packages for recruiters, agencies, and organizations, and has launched a special initiative to reach out to nonprofits. The acquisition of SlideShare, which businesses (including mine) use all the time to share presentations, has shown that LinkedIn is indeed innovating. At the same time, BranchOut and BeKnown, the two Facebook apps competing with LinkedIn, have grown more slowly than predicted.

image from Global Knowledge Blog

So will Facebook still destroy LinkedIn? Examine the evidence and decide for yourself:

The blog that started it all: Why Facebook Will Destroy LinkedIn.

I revisited the topic a week later, aggregating all the responses from other blogs.

The Recruiting Animal put Jason Ginsburg, our Director of Interactive Branding, through his usual interrogation.

And before I forget — thanks to Joe Light for writing the original Wall Street Journal article that showed some companies were finding more success recruiting on Facebook than on LinkedIn. Will other companies follow? Stay tuned…

Three New Social Sites That Could Be The Next Pinterest

Pinterest has proved that there is still room for innovative new sites on the social media landscape. Like Facebook and Twitter, it’s a simple idea that seems obvious in hindsight.

So what social media sites are on the horizon that might be the next Pinterest? I’ve scoured the internet to find three sites to keep on your radar. (No need to thank me.)

Chill
Chill is like Pinterest for videos. You can comment on or share others’ videos, just like Pinterest. Chill gives you several options for “like” – you can give a smile, laugh, wow, frown, or love. You can also create video groups, like a pinboard. Note that you’re required to link your Facebook account to your Chill account when you sign up.

How your brand can use it: Chill is wonderful if you have lots of video content that you want to host somewhere besides Facebook, where videos get forgotten by users, or YouTube, where they’re buried under thousands of new posts. Chill is a more organized site, distinct from the noise of YouTube or the professional films of Vimeo – a perfect place for a brand to grow an audience.

Pinwheel
Caterina Fake, the co-founder of Flickr, created this Foursqaure-like app that lets you attach virtual notes to real places. You can leave notes or photos publicly or just for friends. Pinwheel’s interface promises to be even easier than checking in on Foursquare or Facebook. Notes can be anything from travel tips to restaurant recommendations to scavenger hunts. The site is still in beta, but anyone can register for an invitation.

How your brand can use it: Shops and restaurants can post stories, images, ads, or discounts at their locations on Pinwheel. Real estate firms can post information about their properties around the city. You can network with relevant local businesses – or attractions or landmarks – by posting a connection that your brand shares with those sites. All of the local discovery generated by services like Yelp will apply here, with an even stronger social bond.

Prismatic
Prismatic is a newsfeed that sends you stories based on who you follow and retweet on Twitter, what posts you like on Facebook, and any other topics you select. Each item includes an excerpt, an image, and a few quotes from any friends that have shared it. It’s like a more advanced, focused version of searching for keywords on Twitter.

How your brand can use it: You may be missing out on news or content that’s related to your brand. Prismatic can find that information and bring it right to you. Twitter’s newsfeed can be too fast and Facebook’s can be too slow; Prismatic hopes to find the balance and show you a wider array of information that’s relevant to your brand’s needs.

Keep your eye on Chill, Pinwheel, and Prismatic in the coming months. As unique sites that combine familiar functions in imaginative ways, they’re the perfect places for your brand to stake a claim before your competitors move in.

**Don’t forget: Mother’s Day is Sunday. It may be time to post those baby videos on You Tube! **

5 Secrets of a Great Intranet

What’s an intranet? A site where employees can read their about their benefits? A list of departmental phone numbers? A place where press releases go to die?

You’ve got it all wrong. A good intranet allows a company not just to inform and educate employees, but also to engage and inspire them. In a large enterprise, it might be the only way that employees connect with each other and the senior leaders. If you’re not using your intranet to build brand equity, you’re missing a crucial opportunity to improve employee engagement, satisfaction, and performance.

As the internet has evolved, the important characteristics of an intranet have changed. In fact, intranets don’t have to be accessible only on office computers – how about an intranet app that employees can access on their mobile phones?

To insure that you have an engaging and compelling intranet, make sure it has these five important elements:

Interactive
Intranets should allow communication from employees, not just to them. A weekly poll on the front page is a an easy, no-pressure way to get insights from your staff. A simple question like “How can we best improve our sales channel?” can lead to all sorts of interesting ideas.

Multimedia
It’s almost 2012 – is your intranet still just text? Employees can only look at copy for so long. You should include photos of the senior leadership team, audio of the CEO’s speeches, and videos of company events. You might even allow employees to post their own photos and videos of company parties or field trips. Facebook’s own bloggers have said that sharing pictures is one of the most popular activities on the social network.

Effective intranets engage employees.

Timely
Nothing turns employees off like old news. No matter what exciting content the site has, if an employee sees “Get ready for Election Day 2008!” they won’t take the intranet seriously. Update the site at least once a month; once a week would be preferable. “Breaking news,” such as an employee getting a major reward through the recognition program, can keep employees checking the site frequently.

Organized
You’re going to archive a lot of information on an intranet: benefits information, press releases, company directory, HR documents. But if the employees can’t find the information, the intranet is useless. Have a robust search system that lets users quickly get what they need. Place navigation at both the top and the bottom, with clear and simple drop-down menus. Use the front-page poll to ask employees what information they’re having trouble finding and rearrange the navigation accordingly.

Customizable
All our favorite sites are personalized, from Yahoo homepages that show local weather to sports sites that feature our favorite teams. Make sure that one section of your intranet home screen has a section that employees can personalize with their preferred links. Someone may want to see the company’s stock price while another might want to see how many sick days they have left. A “quick links” section not only saves the employees time; it also gives them a sense of ownership for the page.

Time to "reconstruct" your intranet?

At BRANDEMiX, we apply the principles of branding to employer branding, which covers the entire experience. If you’d like to learn how we can create or improve your intranet, visit our website or call 212-947-1001.

For the latest on social media, online recruiting, mobile marketing, and other branding trends, please like BRANDEMiX on Facebookfollow us on Twitter, and join our LinkedIn group, Your Digital Brand.

Google+ or Minus?

Do you have a Google+ account? 40 million people do, according to Google CEO Larry Page. But are you using it? That’s a very different question. Metrics, trends, and public opinion are all showing that Google’s new social network simply hasn’t caught on.

Let’s look at the numbers. Data analytics company Chitika has shown that, after a huge increase in traffic when Google+ went public on September 20, traffic has since dropped back down to the same level as when the service was available only by invitation. This means that a lot of people activated their account, which was particularly easy for Gmail users, but haven’t gone back to the site since.


Perhaps most telling is that Google’s own management team barely uses the service. Mashable’s Ben Parr wrote a brilliant piece breaking down the involvement of Google’s senior leadership. In the first three months of Google+’s existence, CEO Page had only posted seven times; co-founder Sergey Brin had posted 12. Eleven executives, including executive chairman Eric Schmidt, hadn’t posted anything at all. By contrast, Mark Zuckerberg is very active on Facebook and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has tweeted thousand of times. Schmidt finally broke his Google+ silence with a post about Steve Jobs’ death, 107 days after the service launched.

An informal Twitter poll from ReadWriteWeb asked followers why they weren’t using Google+. Some people responded that their friends weren’t on it, which seems to be a cyclical argument. Others echoed Romit Mehta, who responded, “Twitter is good for ‘fast, real time’ and Facebook is where my friends and family are. G+ solves no problem.”

Image courtesy of Kenny Strawn

A Google search of “I love Google Plus” returns 207,000 results. “I like Google Plus” gets 1.18 million results. “I don’t like Google Plus” returns 300,000 results, while “I hate Google Plus” returns 20,700 results. My conclusion? While more than a million people like the service, more people don’t like it than love it. And 10,000 people hate it. (These ratios were about the same when I searched for “Google+” instead of “Google Plus.”)

How about one of my favorite topics – mobile? Google+ does indeed come as an iPhone app. The latest version, released October 4, has only 39 votes (not much interest) and a rating of three stars out of five (not much love). One reviewer wrote, “Is it really THAT hard for a HUGE company like Google to make an iPad native version?” Google seems to be missing opportunities at every turn.

Here’s my personal experience with Google+. I have ten “friends” in different circles. Since I joined on July 9 (three weeks after launch, thank you), my stream has a total of six posts by four people. One of those posts is a notification that a friend changed her profile photo. These are people who regularly update their Facebook, Twitter, or both. They’re just not using Google+.

At BRANDEMiX, we recommend that our clients spend an hour a day on social media, which includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Is Google+ currently worth that commitment? I have to say no. Will it ever be? That’s the 64-billion-dollar question.

A Day in the Life of a Social Media Expert

A quick search of the phrase “Social Media” on Indeed.com just now served up 1,923 jobs with that phrase in the title. Actual opportunities range from Social Media Managers, Coordinators, Strategists and Specialists to Social Media Community Managers. Ever wonder what these people actually do? Great news, today you’re in luck. I’m Jason Ginsburg, the Director of Digital Branding at BRANDEMiX and this is my story.

At BRANDEMiX, we teach companies how to go from Social Media Starters to Social Media Superstars, and you might say that I’m the guy that puts the star in Superstar. I’m a social media strategist and addict, plugged in to cyber conversations 24/7 and continuously working to find new ways of keeping those dialogues going, for us and for our clients.

Half of my day involves listening. I track what people are saying about the brand or company, and monitor where they’re saying them. Then I respond.

I comment on whatever is happening in the industry or region, or refer to world events, or even just the weather – sometimes just to prove that a real person is running the show. I retweet and re-post anything interesting from the incoming stream, and I’ve set up special news feeds just for relevant keywords. I express sympathy towards someone who experienced poor customer service and show encouragement if someone wants to share a video. I engage with the audience wherever its mood leads.

The conversation can be quite lively and always keeps me on my toes. When a matter gets serious, I make sure to pass it along to the client for immediate attention.

I also run the social sites for BRANDEMiX, where I discuss online branding and marketing with other professionals.

All this time, automated posts that I scheduled earlier in the week have been going out.  That’s when I go into research mode. I scour the web for the latest online trends and tools that can help connect our clients’ and employer brands with their desired audience.

This week I discovered Roost before the New York Times did. I got my Google+ invitation weeks ago. Today I’m following developments in augmented reality and watching how Chatter and Yammer are changing companies’ internal communications. I also take this time to read the smartest, most innovative blogs for inspiration.

Hold on a second- it’s time for another quick check of the livestream – I never want to let a question or complaint sit for too long.

Let’s move on to the multimedia part of my day. Some contests (we call them Sweeps) and campaigns require photos or videos, or even PowerPoint presentations. I upload media to multiple sites, tag them for the best SEO, and respond to any comments on the existing photos and videos. This week I was stymied by the inability to do a bulk upload of some pics. I expressed my frustration in the form of a tweet to the company, and in 5 minutes, I had a reply tweet that said the bulk uploader is in development. Things like that make my day.

OK- time for blogging. I create content for our clients, either consumer-facing or internal, such as an employee newsletter. After writing, it’s back to – you guessed it – the social sites, to make some final posts, follow some last links, and schedule some content for the coming days.

Despite what you’ve just read, the mercurial nature of social media ensures that no two days are the same. My success is measured in business results and I am constantly refining my strategies and tactics based on desired outcomes and pre-established objectives, whether that’s friends, fans or followers.

What else is on the horizon? Well, I can’t reveal all my secrets!

Want to know more about my exciting social media life? Connect with me at @BRANDEMiX or our Facebook page.