Three Ways to Use Social Media to Enhance Your Job Search

How can you use Social Media to job search? It goes far beyond plugging “Marketing Jobs in St. Louis, MO” into Google. With the interconnectivity that comes with Social Media there are several ways for employers to target potential employees, but how can you target potential employers?

Let people know you’re looking.

Put yourself out there! While it may feel unnatural to post hey I’m looking for a new job on Facebook, look to other outlets like your LinkedIn. Studies show that one of the most successful ways that companies recruit hard-working, driven new employees are through references. Posting that you’re looking allows your connections to see what you are looking to do and refer you to their companies or friends in other companies.

Do your research.

Find a company you like and want to work for? Search their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. Make sure that you know what they stand for and what they have going on. If you can prove to them that you have taken an interest in their company before they even offer you an interview, you will be a step ahead of the game. Many jobs may post on their Social Media that they’re looking for a new employee before posting it on a job board, giving their followers the first chance to see their job openings. Doing your research and utilizing LinkedIn and Facebook may allow you to better understand who the hiring manager is for the position you are looking into.

Join in on the conversation.

Twitter created hastags for a reason, so utilize it. Hashtags were developed to allow your post to show up easily in searches. Engaging in conversations about what you’re looking to pursue will allow you to gain access to potential employers also engaging in those conversations. Using tools such as hashtags or lists on Twitter or groups on LinkedIn, you can get to know the Thought Leaders in your community and get a foot in the door if a position opens up that they know of.

Using these simple tricks can get you ahead of the game when looking for a job. The market is competitive no matter what field you’re going into, so it doesn’t hurt to get your foot in the door in “non-traditional” ways.

 

The Importance of Giving Back

My life mantra is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is a few words that are always at the forefront of my mind, and recently, at the forefront of my life. It goes “to know that at least one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.”

I know that this post is a little bit different from my previous posts, but I feel like I need to share with you about my Senior Year spring break. A week and a half ago 18 of my best friends piled into cars and headed to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a week on the beach. A week and a half ago myself and eleven other University of Missouri students (only one of which I knew before this trip) piled into two cars and drove the 1,020 miles to Raleigh, North Carolina. I’ll spare the details of the drive and our sleeping situations, but I will take the time to convey to you what I learned during this week.

I grew up in a fortunate household in a safe town with an excellent education. I always knew I was going to college, and was able to live a very privileged life. I grew up doing community service and was always encouraged to give back to those in need, so when I applied for my second Alternative Spring Break program, no one was surprised. I knew that I would be headed to an awesome program in Raleigh, but I had no idea how much it would change my life.

Really, I can’t decide if I should say it’s fortunate or unfortunate that I grew up having very little experience with poverty. Fortunate because I was so blessed, but unfortunate because it wasn’t until my senior year that I experienced such an eye-opening issue that lives in so many of our backyards and neighborhoods.

We spent the week giving our time to Loaves and Fishes Ministry Inc. This is an amazing after school program that works with students K-12 who are at risk for failure without intervention. Spending eight hours a day for five days to a program that needed it and not worrying about school work or homework or anything was one of the most rewarding experiences.

I saw into a part of our society that I had never been introduced to before. I spent time with children who, despite being homeless or under educated or without secure family situations, were undeniably smart and passionate about life. Though they may have struggled through their homework or told you a story of their undesirable home life, but at the end of the day, they were just kids. My passion for children and education, especially as it related to poverty, was completely recharged and it was amazing to see the change we were able to make in these children’s lives, even if it was only for a few days.

There is no way that I will ever be able to sum up my experience this week, but it reminded me why I spent so much of my time giving back to the community in high school and the beginning of college. It’s so easy nowadays to get caught up in “what you’re supposed to be doing” and feel like you don’t have time to do things like unplug and dedicate a week to changing someone else’s life. I was born with capable hands, and I will always remember that I need to use them to help those who need it.

I suppose since this is technically my blog about how I feel about the media and such, I should relate it back to that. I spent the week almost completely unplugged. I had my phone for a few hours in the evening, but typically it was laying under my pillow and used only as a camera or an alarm clock. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and being connected, but it was refreshing to focus on the relationships I was building without my phone constantly vibrating. Both giving back and unplugging were a great way to revitalize myself as I head into my last six weeks of college.

If you want to see the video of what I did while I was in Raleigh, check it out below! And I’d love to hear about ways that you stay connected to or give back your communities while you’re in the working world!

 

 

What Does Your Klout Score Mean?

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Honestly, I hadn’t even heard of Klout until recently. I just linked it to my Twitter account and realized I am sporting a measly score of 22. I gave myself some leeway since my account is only 9 days old, but after a lot of research I figured that I really ought to build it up. (And don’t worry, I’ll be adding my other profiles in the next few days).

What does your Klout score say about you? It is your online influence as a number on a scale of 1-100. Someone who sports a 100 has an extremely high interactivity with their followers and a lot of influence with the content they produce. The average Klout score sits right around 40.

Your score is based on an algorithm using 400 different signals from eight different networks. I see it most similar to ingredients to a recipe. When you connect your Facebook the algorithm looks at the likes, comments, and shares you get on content you create. Mentions signal that you’re getting interacted with and responded to, which also weigh into you score. It takes Twitter and looks at your retweets, favorites, and mentions. If you get comments or links on your WordPress, those will play in as well. Your LinkedIn can play into your score as well, the most pivotal component are your recommendations.

One thing that is essential to your Klout score is interacting with others. The more often that you interact with others who have high scores, the more quickly yours will raise. However, there is no negative affect for interacting with those with a lower score than yourself. But the higher your score gets, the harder it is to raise.

On their website, Klout gives several tips about how to raise your score:

  • Connect all of your platforms. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and more can help you raise your score.
  • Create content that people want to share or respond to.
  • Influence is raised over time, don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t change over night!
  • Interact with others. Respond, favorite, retweet, and share content, hopefully the favor will be returned.
  • Use photos. Photos and visual content are one of the best ways to garner interest from your followers.

So what are the benefits of having a Klout score? In order to have a high score, you have to engage in social media in all the “right” ways, which is interacting with the followers that you do have, rather than just adding followers for the sake of numbers. Klout focuses on interactions, so your score reflects how active and engaging you are. This number gives you a tangible representation of your ability to drive actions online and shows how much of a reaction people have to what you’re saying and what impact your content has on them. So having a Klout score and keeping track of its changes is a way to make sure that you’re growing as much as you think you are, it also gives recognition to those who are consistent influencers.

I’m curious to see how mine changes as I really focus on raising it. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks I may not know of! Good luck and here’s to a high Klout score!

Easy Guide To Understanding Social Media Platforms

It’s easy to link your Facebook to your Twitter and your Instagram to your Facebook, but that isn’t the best way to get your information out onto the World Wide Web. Even if you want to put out the same message on all of your social media outlets, they’re each organized differently and have different audiences. So how are you supposed to know what kind of content to post on each outlet? I’ve created a simple and easy guide to help you decide how to format your posts!

Facebook

You should use Facebook to do things such as create brand awareness, boast about company culture, and generate traffic to your website. You need to know a few things about using Facebook for Marketing purposes. First off, make sure you know your target audience. What are your goals with Facebook, who are you  trying to target, and how are you going to do it?

  • Facebook posts between 150-200 words get 60% more interaction than those over 200.
  • With the switch to the Timeline Facebook became more image oriented giving larger thumbnails to photos than before, so use that to your advantage. (We all know everyone would rather look at pictures than read any ways!)
  • Create a two way conversation! Encourage your followers to share your content, but make sure you give them a reason to want to!

Twitter

You know you only get 140 characters for each Twitter post, so how do you make sure you get the most out of each post? Twitter also created an update similar to the Timeline renovation on Facebook which allows images posted to be much more visible. Same thing goes for Twitter, know who your audience is and what they’re expecting to get from following you. Most Twitter users are ages 18-29, but it is becoming more and more popular to older techies as they’re learning how to utilize it for marketing purposes. That being said, you want to be consistently adding value to your followers, which means creating and posting relevant content or giving them access to information that’s exclusive to those who follow you.

  • Tweets that have an image attached gain 5x more interaction than those without an image.
  • Use hashtags to your advantage! Are you trying to grow your marketing business? Put a hashtag (or 2, but not more!) in your Tweet to make it instantly searchable.
  • If you are Tweeting you want something shared easily leave a few spaces unused so that your followers can put “RT @YourHandle” without much hassle.

Instagram

Instagram sets themselves apart from Twitter and Facebook by being 100% centralized around user generated images. Instagram is known for its ability to create community around a brand, a word, or a theme. Companies and brands that successfully use Instagram as a marketing tool are known for being incredibly interactive and responsive to their followers.

  • It’s easy to use this platform to display current products, company culture, and even sneak peeks into the future of the company, but remember to keep the description short and sweet and the images visually appealing.
  • Use a hashtag to keep track of what your followers are doing with your product or service. They may even be able to teach you something about your own company.
  • Instagram has a wide range of users, so appeal to them all. You can use it to contests, solve problems, and show off what you have to offer.

If you’re interested, both Chobani and Nike have gone above and beyond to get on their users levels to encourage feedback and establish community around their Instagrams.

Pinterest

Women are five times as likely as men to use Pinterest, but that doesn’t mean that the only users are creating wedding boards and shopping for a weekend getaway outfit. Pinterest has a lot to offer that is still the “hidden gem” of social media marketing. When a user posts your info to their board, and another user clicks on the image, it sends them directly to your page, increasing YOUR traffic. So how do you make sure you get pinned, re-pinned, and re-re-pinned?

  • Include appealing images in your post and make sure you encode the option to directly pin it from your site. The easier it is for the user, the more likely they are to pin it!
  • Engage in Pin-It to Win-It contests and encourage users to repin so that their friends and followers see it and participate as well.
  • Show off your company culture, highlight hardworking employees and the products that they produce.

Just a few more tips

Keep in mind that if your content isn’t different from platform-to-platform, the public has no reason to follow you on more than one!

Portray a consistent online image. Even though the platforms and messages may be different, your brand should be apparent and consistent throughout all media outlets.

Have fun with it! There is no right answer for Social Media and it’s always changing. So trial-and-error, my friends, trial-and-error.

Three Tips For Using LinkedIn During Your Job Search

How can you utilize your LinkedIn to its full potential? How can you make sure that you are allowing yourself to stand out among the crowd of other soon-to-be graduates who are all looking for the same job you are? First, let’s look at some statistics about LinkedIn from a 2014 article on Digital Marketing Ramblings.

  • As of October 2013 there are 84 million LinkedIn users in the US.
  • 3 million businesses have a page on LinkedIn.
  • 200 countries and territories are represented on LinkedIn.
  • There are 2 new LinkedIn users per second.

But the most relevant stat to this post is:

  • Percentage of recruiters who use LinkedIn to vet candidates: 94%.

So now, if you’re anything like me, you are concerned about how to make yourself stand out and showcase everything you know about the field you’re going into.

Can you utilize the professional portfolio tool?

This tool allows you to add depth to your profile by giving a visual component to your list of skills and accomplishments. Putting examples of your work, whether it’s blog posts, photos, or presentations, will give you credibility and allow employers looking at your easy access to the work you’re proud to show off.

More on how to set up your portfolio here.

What should your headline read? 

Your headline is the first thing that someone sees when they look at your profile. LinkedIn will automatically make your headline read your current position and the company that you work for, but many people don’t realize that they can change their headline. It should tell the employer why they should click on your profile. Are you a self-starting social media guru with the proven ability to generate sales leads? Tell them that! How about an mechanical engineer who has assisted in designing and developing medical tools? Brag about it! Your headline should be representative of your character and your abilities in a single sentence.

Here are some examples and more tips and tricks about crafting the perfect headline.

Are you using the best keywords to make sure that employers can find you?

A lot of employers will search through LinkedIn looking for passive candidates that have a certain skill set. But how will they know if you have those skills and experiences they’re looking for? Make sure you use the correct terminology that will be registered by the programs developed to comb through potential employees. Use the same keywords throughout your profile to present a unified “brand” of yourself. Make sure you mention strong words or phrases such as “social media”, “mechanical engineer”, or other defining characteristics of your work in both your current and past work experience to guarantee you’ll show up.

This video explains how the keyword search on LinkedIn works.

Doing your research and knowing the current trends on LinkedIn will help you be visible to employers and recruiters.