Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

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 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 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 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.


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.

Twitter Location-based advertising coming soon, but will it be enough?

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Twitter has finally decided that it’s going to roll out location-based advertising early next year. Dick Costolo, the new Twitter CEO, announced in his interview with The Telegraph that Twitter will soon be able to serve location-based advertising through its “Promoted tweets” and “Promoted Trends” products.

My views on this are two-fold and I’m completely undecided (yet starting to lean slightly towards the negative) as to how effective this may be in South Africa just yet.

Will it be worth it?

No. Thats the short answer. Heres the long: Location-based advertising is probably one of the most rewarding forms of marketing in terms of ROI. However, I don’t feel that the way Twitter is using its platform to deliver its advertisements is appealing enough for online marketers and businesses. For example, how often do you actually look at the trending topics? What are the CTR’s going to be like? Yeah you may get 1 000 000 impressions in a day, but whats the point if your CTR is going to be 0.0001% (“guestimation”) ?

My next question would be how many searches are actually performed on Twitter per day, per country? I might use the search functionality once a day. It hardly seems worth targeting users through this functionality either as I don’t believe the numbers are there just yet.

Give us what we want!

As an online marketer, I feel that giving companies and individuals the ability to create text-based ads around certain keywords or #hashtags would be a good start. I would then like to see these ads being displayed on the user’s sidebar depending what he/she has tweeted in the last 24-48 hours. For example, if you had to tweet “my mother-in-law just came to visit without forewarning. wish I had a hammer“, then Twitter would serve Bob’s Hardware Store’s advertisement in the advertising slot on your sidebar the next time the sidebar gets re-queried. This way, your chances of creating slightly relevant advertisements are higher than the current model.

In short, I believe Twitter is still miles behind Facebook (who is still light years behind Google, in terms of functionality) in this regard. It really would be nice to see a quality advertising platform come out of Twitter.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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