Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

Social Screening: the online FBI

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Gone are the days when a great CV and interview were enough to get a job. Most companies are taking advantage of social networking platforms to screen (social screening) potential employees and to get a deeper understanding of who they are.

There are over 535 million social networking users across the world. These users have one or multiple accounts across LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Any company looking at hiring new staff, looks for the most qualified and talented people as possible candidates. This is where social screening is an effective method.

Facebook is the ideal platform to investigate further into a person’s character and personality, whilst Twitter identifies a person’s interestsetc. LinkedIn offers a more professional insight into who the person is, as well as their working history.

With companies using social screening to find out more about the people they consider hiring, potential employees should consider “cleaning up” their social media accounts. According to mindflash.com there are 5 ways of ensuring you never get hired, based on social screening:

  • Digital dirt (inappropriate images)
  • Terrible Troll (swearing and adding annoying commentary to blogs posts etc)
  • Big Mouth (negative comments about previous employers etc)
  • Numerous contacts and comments (having inappropriate contacts and participating in inappropriate conversation with them)
  • Being constantly negative (never posting positive comments etc)

Although there are ways to limit the amount of information people are able to view on a personal account, being cautious about what content appears on the social media platform is the safer bet.

Numerous recruitment agencies and companies use social screening to head hunt a potential employee. However social screening is also used to dismiss staff. Although using social screening may take time and possibly cost money (Facebook Ad’s, etc) many companies find it to be the better long term option when trying to find the ideal employee to fill a position. Using social screening also increases the candidate pool.

With social media becoming more and more useful to businesses, it is important to ensure that the content that is visible to the public, compliments who you have said that you are in your CV, etc. Especially if you are looking for a new job.

Social Media Strategy Info-graphic

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

As Social Media becomes more and more entrenched in marketing strategies around the world; we need to be sure that we know how to use it. This is a short info-graphic which touches on the 3 main social media networks that businesses are using in their social media strategies.

An info graphic showing social media usage

Twitter

Twitter is a social network with a business edge, that is used to share and push information across to a select group of followers. Followers on Twitter are those people who have committed to receiving communication from you on a regular basis in the form of a tweet (140 characters of information) which needs to be compelling enough to entice the reader to click on a link within the tweet and engage further. There are currently over 55 000 registered South African Twitter users with over 1.5 million tweets a month. There is no opportunity to advertise on Twitter at the moment.

Facebook

Facebook is a social network that is primarily used for exactly that, staying in contact with your friends and their daily activities. Facebook however does allow for businesses to have a Page which people can like of become friends of. These pages get a fair amount of traffic, but it is very important to ensure that your business is right for Facebook as very often a business might not have its primary audience on a platform such as Facebook nor will its ideal clientele want their friends to know that they are making use of its services (ie – private investigators, debt councilors). Facebook does allow businesses to advertise their products or services and these adverts can then click through to either the businesses Facebook page or a specific landing page on their website. There are currently over 3.76 million South African users on Facebook with the greatest percentage of them being between 18 and 30 years of age.

LinkedIn

Linked in is a decidedly business orientated social network. There is little social interaction between users even though you can integrate it with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, being social for socials sake is not its primary focus. LinkedIn is for keeping in touch with business professionals who can either be potential or current clients. There are currently over 1.1 million LinkedIn users in South Africa and this makes it the largest network focused on professional individuals with the largest demographic being users between 25 to 35 years of age. LinkedIn allows businesses to showcase their products and services and have these recommended by their customers. Advertising is also available and users can then click through to a specific page determined by the advertiser. LinkedIn can be an excellent platform to contact potential customers as a platform to initiate communuication.

When looking at which networks to use from a business point of view; a combination is definitely the approach, rather than a mere single focus option. Each network has their own nuances and intrinsic benefits and each should be explored in turn.

Social Business – The Focus of NetProphet 2011

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

So what is Social Business, who’s doing it, and why is it so important?

NetProphetNet Prophet 2011 opened up with yet another bang this year, with Rob Gilmour covering the overall history and success of NetProphet to date. This year being no different, but with attendance exceeding the 1000 people mark.

The general theme of the event was that of Social Business, and why we should all be thinking about getting involved. Although the concept is a rather fresh one, it’s something that many businesses, to a large extent are already very actively involved in. The sad fact however, is that most businesses haven’t even considered the idea.

So what is Social Business?

Social Business ThinkingImagine if you will the impact of businesses working together not only for profit, but, in the process, creating a business model that adds immense value to the broader community that surrounds it. How many times have you found yourself frustrated by a number of things that just don’t work? How many times have you thought to yourself, if I had the means, I could fix this, and make it better?

Now take this example to the next level. Imagine, you were able to conceptualise the solution, get the right team of people together, employ a vast number of free technologies to support it, raise some funding along the way, and in the process, not only fix the initial problem, but make life better for all those impacted by the same problem, and while you’re at it, make a profit from your initiative.

This is Social Business.

Social business is not about running a charity, or a non-profit organization. It’s not even about doing things for free. On the contrary, social businesses make good profits, and all the while, they are aiding a greater cause, eliminating a problem, or just simply making life easier for all those around them.

While this might sound somewhat utopian, social businesses are already a reality in most parts of the world, delivering much needed relief from a wide variety of global challenges.

Two examples of such social businesses are:

Young Africa Live, a mobile-based community portal developed by the praekeltfoundation, where young people can openly discuss critical issues such as love, sex and relationships with each other, and mPedigree, a mobile service in Ghana and Nigeria that verifies via SMS the authenticity of medication prior to being taken. Saving millions of lives and recouping lost revenue to pharmaceutical companies.

Social businesses are sustainable, they deliver true value to their community, they build trust and most importantly, lasting customer relationships, and loyalty. Another great thing about social business is that, if set up correctly, they are a great source of ever increasing annuity revenue for the founding businesses.

Technology and Social Business

With the level of technology at our fingertips today, the possibility of social business also becomes that much more of a reality. The misconception of limited Internet access in places like Africa is now superseded by present day mobile phone penetration, allowing us to reach a much wider audience immediately. Social Media allows us to share and consume content and media much faster, while also collaborating on multiple projects in real time. And finally, the Internet provides the power of research right on our doorstep.

So, the next time you are faced with a situation that you find somewhat frustrating, chances are, you are not alone. The difference however is that you might be in a unique enough position to bring about a change that has a long-term benefit to your community, while making you a handsome profit in the process.

Cell C : social media blunder or genius?!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Cell C recently made tsunami sized social media waves with their Trevor Noah social media campaign. The jist of which is that Trevor Noah, the South African comedian, wrote to his Twitter fans that Cell C was the worst network ever and that they needed to change their attitude or lose him as a client forever! Cell C CEO (the real CEO, Lars Reichelt) then placed a HUGE full page advert in the Sunday Times written directly to Trevor Noah asking for an open conversation as to how they can solve his problem.

Now from the outset, this seems like case study territory. This, wow, the CEO (the real one) of Cell C took the time to realise the power that is Trevor N……. I mean social media and respond to it, repairing the relationship and making Cell C a real social media powerhouse!

This was then followed by Trevor, seemingly, agreeing to be the face of Cell C’s social media campaign and within days (nay hours) you could not turn on the tv or the radio or drive down the street without seeing Trevor’s smiling mug as their new CEO (customer Experience Officer).  This was a onslaught of offline media driving hard at online, pushing people to go online and connect, to respond and to get involved in making Cell C the best cellular provider in the country.

Unfortunately the honesty and openness that is social media has been corrupt. Cell C staged the entire thing. Trevor was approached before the tweet went out! The domains were registered, the campaign planned, the logo changed (nice move that) and the (Im sure lucrative) deal with Trevor was signed and sealed.

Is this what social media has become..?

A place where large brands who have capital (read : cash) clout can monopolise the landsccape once more and write the story before we get to say if it is a story that we want to even read or not?! Are our delicate sensibilities yet again going to be plundered by large corporates?! (I’ll stop with the rhetorical questions now).

I personally believe that this is not the future of social media. This is an example of a large corporate who has based their social campaign on an offline strategy. Some say it is genius, others say it is ludicrous. Whatever your take on it, you have to admit it worked!  Whether it will have legs to continue being so prolific in the media and with consumers is another story which we will have to wait to find out.

Yammer Me

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Forget Twitter, soon everyone will be “Yammering”. Yammer is the new networking site for companies. Through private, internal communication, staff in an organization can keep in touch with one another. Pre-designated groups can also be formed to enable group conversations.

This micro- blogging service was launched in September 2008 and is unlike Twitter as messages are not available for public display. Over 70 000 companies use Yammer as a way to communicate. Only those with appropriate email addresses may join the respective networks. In February 2010 Yammer launched “communities”. This allows businesses to communicate with other groups such as clients, partners or suppliers.

The idea behind Yammer is to ensure that people inside a company know at all times what each person in the organization are working on. The founder of Yammer, PayPal’s COO, David O. Sacks, has created a platform upon which companies can improve internal communications. Research has found that people prefer short snippets of information rather than longer conversations. When information is documented it also makes it easier to refer back to points that otherwise may have been missed in a face to face conversation.

Yammer is certainly less invasive than instant messaging and does not require the effort and time that emailing involves. In fact this networking site finds itself in between the two, making it perfect and convenient for business purposes. It is less time consuming to check your Yammer account throughout the day when it suits you. Being bombarded with instant messages however is distracting and can become a nuisance.

Yammer allows for management to keep up to date with work that is completed or still being worked on. This helps to understand the progress that their business is making. It also means that fewer meetings need to be held because everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

With social networking evolving like it has over the last few years, it only makes sense that something like Yammer be created to assist the corporate world. We have all become accustomed to the terms “Facebooking” or “Twittering”. Soon enough companies all over the world will be “Yammering” each other information back and forth.

To find out more about Yammer or to sign up to Yammer, visit www.yammer.com

Generating Traffic through the use of Social Bookmarking Sites

Monday, September 21st, 2009

To be able to actively generate more traffic to your own site or blog, there are a number of methods you can follow. An important means of creating instant traffic and instant link juice is by firstly, posting relevant articles to your site or adding posts to your blog consistently, and secondly, by submitting these articles / posts to a number of social media and social bookmarking sites.

Social bookmarking (SB) has made this entire process more manageable and successful which results in generating website traffic that is both more consistent and more targeted. By posting your articles to social media and social book marking sites, which have large user bases, you are increasing the exposure to your article or post and thus increasing exposure to your site and its content. This in turn increases direct traffic to your site, improves Alexa ranking and is effective in creating valuable backlinks.

Social bookmarking sites such as digg.com, reddit.com and stumbleupon.com provide quality backlinks as they are deemed important and relevant by Google and come up at the top of searches. So by submitting your articles to these sites, you are indirectly gaining link juice and organic search results from Google searches.

You do however need to be careful as to what bookmarking sites you are submitting to as not all of them will generate traffic even though they provide backlinks. Here we are mainly referring to sites where articles do not get instant exposure once posted.

The social media and bookmarking sites you want to submit to are those where your content appears instantly once submitted under, for example, the “new” or “latest” category – where users can read and then rate or vote on those articles to keep them current. An example of where this occurs is South Africa’s muti.co.za.

Certain social media sites require you to categorize the new submission and / or to submit tags which pertain to the content of the post. Relevancy is of utmost importance here.

You also need to be careful not to be a spammer. This is where you submit irrelevant content or submit the same content over and over. Also your content needs to be of a high quality and standard as well as informative and value adding. If this is not the case your site will lose credibility with readers and will ultimately result in a decrease in traffic to your site.

Take Action Now

So what are you waiting for? Take some time (at few hours at least) and create accounts for all these social media and bookmarking sites to which you wish to publish your new content. You then need to publish posts and articles consistently to your blog or website and then submit the new content to all these social media accounts. This will then in turn increase exposure and traffic to your site.

Alternatively contact us @ DiscoverSEO and we can save you the time and energy by handling everything from writing the relevant keyword dense content to uploading it to your site and then to submitting it to at least 15 social media and bookmarking sites for you. This can be done on a regular basis to ensure optimum results.

Call us now (011 807 6149) or contact us for a quote >>

For a list of links to DoFollow and Nofollow sites and their page ranks refer to this article below:
http://blog.opencircle.co.za/social-networking/dofollow-nofollow-social-bookmarking-list/

http://www.directoryroll.com/social-bookmarking-list.php