Tag Archives: YouTube

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! **

Learn how to socialize your talent strategy

In a recent Jobvite survey, 80% of recruiters said they use social media as part of their strategy — and 40% used three or more social media channels. If you’re not using social media for recruiting, you may be missing out on top talent.

The incoming generation of workers has been raised on social networks and aren’t looking for jobs only on LinkedIn. They’re on Facebook, where new applications like BranchOut allow them to network while they chat with friends; they’re on Twitter, where @pepsicojobs and @UPSjobs each has more than 12,000 followers; and they’re on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine. And now they’re even on Google Plus and Pinterest.

How can you reach those job-seekers?  What brands are using social media in innovative ways? If you’re a novice, how do you even set up accounts on all these sites?

I’m here to answer all these questions and more. Join me for Socialize Your Talent Strategy, a free webinar on Thursday, April 26. 

We’ll seek out the most inventive brands for each of the six major social channels to engage applicants. We’ll talk about the unique content that differentiates your recruitment strategy from your marketing campaign. And we’ll look at the emerging trends for 2012 and beyond.

Three different webinar sessions make it easy for anyone to attend:

10 am EDT / 7 am PDT

2 pm EDT / 11 am PDT

5 pm EDT / 2 pm PDT

I hope to see you on Thursday. If you have questions, write to me for more information.

Are You Truly Socializing Your Talent Strategy? You May Be One of the Few

Last week, Bullhorn Reach published the results of a survey of more than 35,000 recruiters in its user network, tracking their use of social media. The survey focused on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

The findings are surprising. Only 21% of Bullhorn recruiters are using all three social networks. In fact, 48% are using only LinkedIn! Apparently these recruiters haven’t seen the study from Jobvite that showed that, in 2011, 50% of job-seekers used Facebook to find a job. 25% used Twitter, while only 26% used LinkedIn. Why aren’t recruiters fishing where the fish are?

Of course, use of social media, by either recruiters or job-seekers, doesn’t necessarily mean success. But in case after case, I’ve found that it does.

For example, in 2010, UPS announced that it received applications from 680 people who arrived via Twitter – and hired 45 of them. Almost 4,000 people applied via Facebook, 226 of whom were hired. Heck, UPS even received 1,000 applications from candidates applicants communicating via text messages, but I bet few recruiters have created a strategy for texting. Though it’s the world’s second-largest search engine (second to its parent Google), you’d be amazed at how few people actually have YouTube recruitment strategy.

Bullhorn Reach 2012 infographic on social recruiting

The Jobvite study goes on to state that 18.4 million Americans “say Facebook got them their current job.” Only 10.2 million Americans give LinkedIn that credit, which isn’t much more than the 8 million jobs that were the result of Twitter. Bullhorn’s survey states that “a Twitter follower is almost three times more likely to apply to a job posting than a LinkedIn connection.” So why are less than half of its recruiters using Twitter?

I think I know why. As I told ERE’s editor-in-chief, Todd Raphael, Twitter can be intimidating to recruiters because of the sheer volume of information. It takes a focused professional, not just a summer intern, to monitor your chosen keywords and engage job-seekers. Twitter can also be a time suck and presents the daunting opportunity to have public conversations with applicants. But I’ve found that conversations can begin on Twitter and then become private, via direct message, email, or even a phone call.

Whatever the reason, recruiters who aren’t using all three major social networks are missing out on millions of applicants. As applications like BranchOut and BeKnown bring more professional searches to Facebook, recruiters who remain exclusively on LinkedIn will be losing the competition for top talent.

If you missed the Brandemix webinar on Socializing Your Talent Strategy, contact us and we’ll share all our knowledge with you – from important studies of the past to the emerging trends for the future.

From Impressions to Expressions: Why Coke is a Social Media Superstar

Can’t make it to see Brands Undercover, my ERE presentation in San Diego on March 28? Then I guess you’ll miss hearing about how Coca-Cola is the #1 brand in the world.

And, in honor of my favorite award show day,  I am also going to bestow Coke with Brandemix’s very own SoMe Superstar award.

Here’s why:

1. In addition to tracking consumer impressions, they are increasingly tracking Consumer Expressions. Defined by Joe Tripodi, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer of the Coca-Cola Company, it means “any level of engagement with our brand content by a consumer or constituent. It could be a comment, a ‘like,’ uploading a photo or video or passing content onto their networks.” While consumer impressions have long been the metric of choice for measuring SoMe ROI, they are passive, unlike consumer expressions which track active involvement with a brand.

2. They  have a webpage with their Online Social Media Principles which include The Five Core Values of the Company in the Online Social Media Community: Transparency, Protection, Respect, Responsibility and Utilization.

3. Their Super Bowl 2012 ad was so successful at driving traffic that it actually crashed their Facebook server.

4. They have embraced the communication strategy of keeping  “Liquid and Linked,” defined as curating work that is so emotionally compelling, authentic and culturally relevant that it can flow through any medium.

It must be working. Coke estimates that of the 146 million views of content related to Coca-Cola on YouTube, only 26 million views were of content that they themselves created. Nice to have 120 million brand ambassadors on your team! Which brings us to:

5. They have relinquished control. When Coke’s Facebook Page was targeted by an activist group whose members posted negative messages, it was the Facebook fans who rallied and responded with messages of support for the company.

As Coke gets ready to celebrate their 125 anniversary, they are a shining example of getting old both gracefully and greatly.

Congratulations to Coke on being Brandemix’s SoMe Superstar! Might we humbly offer one bit of advice? It might be time to freshen up your careers site to keep it as great as your brand. We know someone who can help.

Why State Farm is a Social Media Superstar

As many of you know from my speaking engagements around the country, I like to discover brands that are using social media in innovative ways. I honor these organizations with the name “SoMe Superstars.” Recent winners include PepsiCo and Moleskine.

Today I’d like to recognize a company that’s using social media for recruiting: State Farm. I like how the insurance company recently rebranded with its clever “Magic Jingle” commercials, alongside funny ads featuring everything from falcons to giant robots. But the company has continued its transformation with a big push in social media and interactivity as well. Here are the three superstar ways that State Farm engages job applicants:

First, State Farm has a dedicated careers Facebook Page with more than 16,000 Likes, featuring lots of interesting content from both the corporate communications department and individual agents. Responses to questions and grievances usually come within 24 hours. The page’s admins go beyond typical stories of disaster recovery to include posts that are useful to job-seekers, such as asking “What’s the strangest thing you ever sent a recruiter?” and giving “Tips for networking at holiday parties.” This makes the Page a destination for anyone looking for employment, even outside the insurance field.

Second, the State Farm careers site includes eight videos under the title “See For Yourself.” These feature testimonials from agents and employees and great photography of the State Farm headquarters. The company offers a section called “Meet Our Interns,” with videos, written interviews, and “Advice and Guidance from Real Interns.” This is a powerful way to reach out to young people by providing content that’s educational but also fun. It also shows an awareness that Millenials would rather watch a video than read a long corporate mission statement.

 

Third, State Farm offers a unique interactive website, exploresfagency.com, which the company calls a “virtual job tryout with real-world scenarios.” Job-seekers are put in situations faced by real insurance agents, from marketing a new office and handling staff to dealing with customer complaints. There are no wrong answers; users simply pick the action they’d most likely take, and the one they’d least likely take, from four options. State Farm then evaluates what sort of agent they’d be. It’s a job preview unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Finally, these career sites add to the overall State Farm online presence, which includes branded accounts on YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr – and an interesting Facebook Page called State Farm Nation, “where fans can get helpful tips, be inspired, and have fun connecting with others.” That Page has more than 1.3 million Likes.

What can you learn from State Farm? First, set up a dedicated careers site, preferably accompanied by a careers Facebook Page and Twitter profile. Then post content that’s useful to anyone looking for employment, not just posts about how great your organization is. Offer photos and videos, showing job-seekers what your office looks like and what your employees love about working there. And, if you really want to stand out, invest in something unique like State Farm Nation on Facebook or the revolutionary “Day in the Life” interactive site.

For communicating with talent in smart, fun, and interactive ways, I name State Farm Insurance a SoMe Superstar!

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.

Social Media PR Disasters: Chevy Tahoe

In today’s digital world, customers now have access to the same mass communication tools once enjoyed by newspapers and TV networks, allowing regular people to broadcast their messages to the world. And sometimes those messages aren’t very positive.

How do brands respond? My ongoing series of Social Media PR Disasters finds the lessons not only in brands’ failures but also their successes. Today I’ll show you how a brand deftly navigated a disaster and came out looking both smart authentic.

The Brand
Chevrolet

The Incident
In 2006, Chevy promoted its 2007 Tahoe by posting video clips of the SUV, along with graphics and music, and invited fans to create their own commercials. The car company assumed the interactive element would draw a lot of participation, and that anyone who made a video would promote it to their friends.

The Problem
The editing application allowed users to create text that accompanied the images. Critics of SUVs’ notoriously low gas mileage and poor environmental impact began crafting commercials with captions like “We deforested the hills and strip-mined our mountains,” and linking Chevrolet to the Iraq War. The fact that these attacks accompanied official Chevy imagery made the commentary brutally effective.

The Response
As the negative videos became more popular than the positive ones, Chevy’s marketing team had to decide whether to pull them off the site. To its credit, the company chose not to take any action. A spokesperson told the New York Times“We anticipated that there would be critical submissions. You do turn over your brand to the public, and we knew that we were going to get some bad with the good. But it’s part of playing in this space.”

The Result
The carmaker claimed that 20,000 positive videos were made, compared to 400 negative ones. By allowing the latter to stay online, Chevy silenced critics who would have certainly called foul if the company had resorted to censorship.

 

The Takeaway
How can you avoid a social media PR disaster the way Chevy did?

– Acknowledge the conversation. You’re starting a dialogue, so be prepared to give up control. Two months after the campaign, Chvrolet General Manager Ed Peper posted on GM’s Fastlane blog: “Early on we made the decision that if we were to hold this contest, in which we invite anyone to create an ad, in an open forum, that we would be summarily destroyed in the blogosphere if we censored the ads based on their viewpoint. So, we adopted a position of openness and transparency, and decided that we would welcome the debate.”

– Think before you act. The urge to pull down the negative videos must have been very strong throughout Chevrolet’s marketing department. Doing so would have solved one problem but undoubtedly started another – and a larger one, as the story would have shifted away from the videos and focused on Chevy’s censorship. Luckily, Chevy brand mangers didn’t give in to the panic and realized the best course of action was to let the videos remain online.

– Be patient. Believe it or not, the bad press had no effect on sales of the Tahoe. In fact, in March of 2006, AutoBlog reported that “While nearly every other manufacturer suffered a decline in full-size SUV sales during the month of February, Chevy sold 15,431 Tahoes, a 42-percent improvement over [2005].”

Read my recent article on how United Airlines didn’t fare as well in avoiding a similar disaster.

Why Moleskine is a Social Media Superstar

As many of you know from my presentations and webinars, I’m always looking for brands that are using social media in innovative ways. I honor these organizations with the name “SoMe Superstars.” PepsiCo, with its brilliant social recruitment marketing, was the most recent winner.

Today I’d like to recognize another company that’s interacting with consumers in exciting new ways: Moleskine, the Italy-based maker of fine notebooks and journals. Rather than seeing its products as simply blank books, the company brands itself as embodying creativity, bringing tools to artists, writers, and travelers. To further this branding, Moleskine has created a number of social media channels that celebrate painting, drawing, writing, poetry, and scrapbooking, and encourages users to post their work. The result is a remarkably loyal fan base that consistently uploads and shares new content. In fact, BrandChannel recently declared that “If any brand name seems to be loved by all who come in contact with it, it is Moleskine.”


Here are the three superstar strategies that Moleskine uses to engage with its audience in a branded way:

* Moleskine has profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Tumblr, each with active communities and lots of user-generated content, from artwork to fiction to videos.

* For “old-fashioned” content, the company runs a blog, Moleskinerie, that integrates many of its social efforts while also providing unique content.

* Moleskine has just launched a mobile app that allows users to write or draw on their iPhone or iPad as they would in an actual notebook.

As the New York Times recently reported, Moleskine’s social efforts are immensely successful. 91,000 people are fans of the company’s Facebook page, while 12,000 people follow the company on Twitter. On both Facebook and Flickr, Moleksine encourages its fans to post their sketches, paintings, and collages, creating a community of user-generated content and supportive feedback.

Moleskine’s YouTube channel has 3,800 subscribers and more than 235 videos, both from fans and the company itself. The videos range from actual footage of artists drawing in the books to short films that celebrate the company’s creative spirit. The company also posts videos of its traveling art exhibitions and its workshops, which allow fans to meet and collaborate, making the Moleskine customer base feel even more like a community.

Most companies have a blog, but the Moleskine blog stands out by serving as a companion to its Facebook and Twitter accounts, rather than simply duplicating them. “Tweet” and “Like” buttons atop each post make it easy to share the content on users’ social networks. Moleskine also made the bold decision to stay distinct from the company’s website, giving the brand a platform to focus solely on its community. The blog includes a link to a very cool beta application, myMoleskine, which allows users to upload their own written or visual content, or images from a gallery, and create a virtual notebook, complete with turnable pages.

Even while it embraces its product’s low-tech charm, Moleskine is moving into the modern era with a clever new mobile app. Users choose a Moleskine notebook paper style, create a new “thought,” and then type or draw, using different colors and sizes. These “thoughts” can be geo-tagged, catalogued in different categories, and shared with others through social networks or email.

Art by Jinho Jung

In speaking to the New York Times, Moleskine America president Marco Beghin said “We let our fans speak for themselves. We wanted to create a relay of stories to become the ambassadors, interpreting the message.” Moleskine knows that its customers are creative and gives them an outlet for them to express themselves.

What can you learn from Moleskine? First, find the positive and compelling aspects of your brand, company, or product. Then learn who your market is and how they relate to those aspects. Finally, find ways of connecting with that market that utilize your strengths and are on-brand.

For fostering creativity in creative ways, I’ve dipped my quill and inscribed Moleskine in the honored list of genuine SoMe Superstars!

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.

Social Media Superstar: PepsiCo

As I travel around the country giving my presentation “Socialize Your Talent Strategy,” I’m always on the lookout for companies using social media in innovative ways to attract job applicants.My latest unbiased SoMe (if you don’t know what that means, sign up for my next Webinar) Superstar discovery is PepsiCo, the family of brands that includes the famous soft drink, Quaker Oats, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, and Lipton. True, a few weeks ago, Pepsi lost out to Coke in my head-to-head competition of consumer-facing social media. But when it comes to social recruitment marketing, Pepsi has some fizz.Here are 4 reasons why:

  • The company maintains one digital employer brand. 
  • The company offers iPhone, iPad, and Android apps solely for job-seekers. 
  • The company manages a separate Twitter account just for job-seekers and a fully optimized LinkedIn Careers tab.
  • The company speaks to the next generation of workers by posting in Spanish, highlighting PepsiCo’s jobs perks, and emphasizing its environmental and charity efforts.

Employer Branding: “The Power of Possibilities,” and four value propositions: Culture, Benefits, Diversity, and Development are featured on their Careers Site. (Memba when I called them out on this:http://bit.ly/mrhzNr?) Job-seekers can also watch four well-crafted videos that each tell a story about a different employee. This section includes download options for Pepsi’s mobile jobs applications (which I believe is the future of best-practice recruitment). 

Many members of Generations X and Y claim that salary isn’t as important to them as working for a company that does good. PepsiCo addresses this issue on their YouTube channel, with videos such as PepsiCo Feeds America and PepsiCo’s Global Water Goals. The employee profile videos are also here, for candidates who don’t visit the main site.

PepsiCo’s careers Twitter profile has over 4,700 followers and continues the “Possibilities” branding. True to my philosophy of providing interesting content, the company’s tweets include recipes (“Spice Up Your Snacking with Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Fritos Pie”), answers to applicant questions (“Hello, Gunther. Make sure your contact and work history are current…), and even posts in Spanish, which broadens its applicant pool.

But it’s on LinkedIn where PepsiCo really stands out. The Careers tab is branded with the “Possibilities” logo. There’s a video message from the CEO, a list of employee benefits (including an on-site gym and café), three testimonials from employees, introduced by a particularly powerful employer value proposition for the marketing and communications positions that PepsiCo is trying to fill: 

We entrust our marketing and communications experts with creating our message, positioning our products in the right markets, understanding what consumers want and building demand for our products. They are the curators of our message and the guardians of our brands.


So, we raise our glass of soda to Pepsi,  BRANDEMiX latest unbiased example of a SoMe Superstar!