When I have the opportunity to speak with college students – student-athletes, Greeks or graduate students – I am always curious which point of the presentation will resonate most. Of course, college students believe they already know everything they need to know about social media and assume they are “doing it right.” So when I use examples from their own profiles, posts which are embarrassingly bad, they do tend to perk up and realize they have room to improve their communication skills.
This week, I was so pleased to speak with student-athletes at Cal State San Marcos. Athletic and Club Sport athletes joined me to learn how they can use social media and communication to achieve their goals.
During the presentation, I pointed out that one’s reputation also stands upon the types of posts and things you like and the people you associate yourself with online. Some of the students have liked more than 1000 Facebook Pages. I cannot even fathom what these Pages are, but with a quick glance over many profiles, they are not Pages which work to build a good reputation.
We also discussed the accounts they were retweeting. When Twitter handles like @ReallyStonedPanda and @WeedReport pop up in someone’s news feed, it’s a clear indication that they enjoy the content these accounts produce. Retweeting them is associating yourself with them and their content. And as you can gather from these two examples, this type of association does not work to build a good reputation.
Wouldn’t we love to believe that it’s just college students who do not take care with what they like and who they retweet? Many seasoned professionals have room to improve their skills, as well. So in this week’s video, I mention a few social networks and what you need to take care of to maintain a positive profile and manage your reputation.
A quick breakdown:
Facebook – Be mindful of the Pages you like and the posts you like, comment on, and share. Make sure your “friends” are people you actually know.
Twitter – Take care with who you follow AND who follows you. You are associated with both. Double check the Twitter handle and content of the accounts you retweet.
Pinterest – Follow people and businesses who have good content and who are reputable. Repinning pictures which are linked to “spammy” sites is not a good practice.
LinkedIn – Accept invitations from people you know, have done business with and who add value to your contact base. Remember my advice from my networking video – You want to be able to connect the people in your network. Help them in their business so they will help you with yours. (You can also check out the blog post on networking, too.)
YouTube and Blog Comments – Often overlooked, your comments on blogs and videos says a lot about you. What videos are you watching? What types of blogs do you interact with? If they are controversial on any level, your interaction with them paints you in a negative light. Your comments are discoverable online.
Finally, please remember that NOTHING online is private. It doesn’t take much to learn about a person with a simple Google search and a bit of browsing through social sites. When the recruiter or admissions officer, the media or your colleagues take a tour of your online profile, what will they find? And what will the things you like and the people you associate with say about you?
Tell me in the comments if you are a person who is diligent about managing your reputation. Do you already take care with what you like and who you follow? What other things do you do to protect your brand? Share your advice in the comments! Thank you!
Today I had the pleasure of speaking at the Association of Club Catering Professionals Conference on the Power of Pinterest. This marks the second annual event for the ACCP and I was delighted to speak again this year.
The Private Club industry has amazing potential to build an audience through the visual mediums like Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. The Catering and Private Event Directors are the ones who can truly take advantage of all of the wedding planning, party ideas and concepts shared on Pinterest. If your Club doesn’t have a Pinterest account, or if you are aimlessly creating boards and repinning without thought, please read on…
Here are a few of the tips I lent during my seminar:
Clean Up Your Website
Make sure your website is Pinterest friendly and has lots of fantastic images which Members and guests can share. Pinterest will drive traffic to your website. If you are inviting people to your house for a party, make sure you clean up first!
Give great consideration to what boards you will create, what titles you will give your boards and the descriptions you will use. This will help get your boards and pins found. Think about all of the potential boards you’d like to create and use post-it notes on a wall to plan. Keep in mind that when anyone lands on your account main page, the first two rows of boards are visible. Your most engaging and fantastic boards should be at the top.
Of course it takes time and effort to build your boards, your audience and to let people know that you are on Pinterest. It takes time to incorporate Pinterest into your communication routine. Yes, we are all busy, we all have full plates, but Pinterest serves as a powerful, visual communication tool which can help you better connect with your audience and attract new business. No communication tool will help you become and overnight success. You have to work at it. So get to it.
Pin For Your Audience
Consider that food and beverage are the most popular topics on Pinterest. For Private Clubs, you should be able to rock this category like no other. But what other helpful pins will your audience crave? Images should be high quality and visually appealing (like these drool worthy, individually sized Chocolate Lovers Triple Layer Chocolate Mousse Cakes), as well as serve as peak the interest and serve as inspiration to Members, potential members, brides, wedding coordinators, etc. Think about who will repin or like that photo before pinning. It will help you create high quality content.
Pinterest offers analytics for business accounts. While the analytics are pretty simple, they will guide you to understand where traffic is coming from and going to on your website, what pins are popular and how many people are interacting with your pins. Reading through the analytics will help you determine what types of photos your audience is looking for and what content is the most helpful for your Members.
Have Fun and Be You
Your Members and guests who interact with you on Pinterest are interacting with YOU. And that’s who they want to pin with. Infuse your board descriptions and photo captions with smart text and personality. Leave comments which are kind and sincere. Pinterest is a very fun way to connect with your audience. Enjoy it!
I love having the opportunity to gather a groups and chat about social media. I love it even more when the topic is Pinterest and the group members have the chance to really make the most of it! If you would like me to speak to your Club’s Catering or Private Events team about the Power of Pinterest, give me a call! 619-244-2400.
For attendees who missed the handout provided at the conference, click for your digital copy: ACCP Pinterest Handout
On September 5th, Bloomberg Business Week published an article with the title “How the NFL Woos Female Fans.” Within the article the NFL’s Vice President Brand & Creative, Jaime Weston explains some of the reasons behind the push:
“About four years ago, there was a push, recognizing how many women fans we have, that we need to speak to them. And while they follow the game like every other fan, like our male fans, they do want to be spoken to in a little bit different way.”
The article goes on to share the efforts the league will make to reach out to female fans, including a special insert in Marie Claire, print ads, TV spots and the pop-up boutiques called “style lounges.” Note that this push began four years ago.
This morning, I watched the 10am Chargers game, drank my coffee and perused Pinterest. I checked out the NFL’s account. I am disappointed. Where is the strategy? Knowing that (still) nearly 80% of pinners are women, it would seem that a well developed Pinterest strategy would help the NFL connect with precisely the audience it wants to woo. I would think that the stats for purchasing power alone would lure the NFL to Pinterest. Here’s a screenshot of what the NFL has going at the moment:
Haphazard attempt, it appears. In the “NFL” board, there are roughly 530 pins. And the content is all over the place. Some of it is news, some of it is cool photography, some of the pins are uploaded, some are repins. For many of the photos which are uploaded by the NFL, the URL redirects you to the Pinterest account, not to the NFL site or blog or press or the store. There is no care in the captions and no strategic use of hashtags. All I can think is, “Some dude who totally doesn’t get Pinterest must be running this account.”
In fact, on the board titled “NFL Store,” many of the products are not from the NFL store, but from Amazon. The seven pins on the “NFL- Women’s Fashion board have nothing to do with football at all and look like an Amazon wish list of the person behind Pinterest. Speaking of which…The two main boards are managed by multiple people, people who do not look to be affiliated with the NFL. On the “NFL” board, these accounts are also pinning.
And on the “NFL Store” board, these two accounts have been added as managers.
Who are these people and how are they representative of the NFL? Is this is an NFL Official account at all? And what do you know … This website, note the address – nfloffical.org – and the random Pinterest accounts behind it appear to be the very unofficial NFL organization presenting themselves as the real National Football League.
FUMBLE! Wow. I cannot possibly be the first person who has followed this train of thought.
The NFL needs to get a handle on this – and quick. This nflofficial.org account has accumulated 15,570 followers (people who likely believe that this is the real NFL account). NFL Official, the largest of accounts with “NFL” in their name, is completely misrepresenting the league. Essentially, the NFL has NO presence on Pinterest. The NFL is SO missing an opportunity to woo its female fans via a major social network dominated by women.
How can the NFL get set up on Pinterest and truly connect with female fans? Here are a few of the boards I would set up:
- One board per team (and work with each team’s digital media director to insist that all 32 teams are following a similar Pinterest strategy so that repins are stategized).
- NFL News (linking back to the NFL site and the blog and news stories)
- NFL Players (stories featured in any publication or news outlet)
- NFL Moms (Think Campbell’s soup)
- NFL Biggest Fans (Feature fans from around the league)
- Together We Are Football (Feature the stories of fans as on the site. Let most likes, repins, comments help decide who goes to the SB.)
- NFL History (great old photos from the archives)
- NFL Films (also from the archives)
- NFL Fantasy Football (feature what’s happening in the leagues)
- NFL Store (general products)
- NFL Women’s Style
- NFL Men’s Style
- NFL Kid’s Style
- Homegating (term pulled from the Bloomberg article)
- NFL Sponsors (always good to place nice)
- Superbowl Champions
- Superbowl History
- Football Movies
- NFL Guest Pinner Week #1(this could be a contest and feature one new pinner each week)
….I could go on, but I think you get the idea. The pins of each of these boards would strategically link back to nfl.com, the NFL store, sports publications, etc. Of course, the account would repin, comment and use hashtags just as strategically. And all of this effort is measurable. Through web analytics and even Pinterest’s analytics. Is the Marie Claire insert measurable? How much will the TV spots cost? How will the NFL measure the direct impact of a TV spot?
It’s almost inconceivable that the NFL has completely ignored Pinterest and even worse that some totally random people (who don’t even appear to be football fans) have intercepted the NFL brand on the network. It’s 3rd and goal, NFL. Will you take it into the endzone for a touchdown? I’m always wooed when my team scores.
(Feature image directly from the Bloomberg article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-05/how-the-nfl-woos-female-fans)
But the rise of visual social media is key, in that we saw that more people want to look at video and photos versus reading blog posts. Even tweets, at 140 characters are too long to hold our attention. I suspect we will see visual apps rise in popularity in 2013, based on the significance gained this year.
Social media has also infiltrated the hiring process with 92% of employers using social media to find talent. That’s a staggering number, but what’s even more significant is the number of hiring managers who use social media for candidate background checks. These trends are leading us to believe that our online reputation will grow to act more as our social currency in what some have called The Reputation Economy.
In terms of sports, we’ve seen Major League Baseball establisha fan cave and social media nights in most ball parks. The NFL allowed players to tweet live during the Pro Bowl. The LA Kingscontinue to set standards for sports brands. And athletic programs across the nation struggled to keep their student-athletes in-line, as many teams and players landed in hot water for inappropriate tweets or posts. My work of providing social media and reputation management education, could not have come at a better time!
What was evident this year is that no matter what people may say about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and more, social media will only continue to evolve. It certainly will not disappear. With more people integrating these networks into their daily lives, it’s no wonder brands and businesses are scrambling to find ways to reach out to customers and even urging their top executives to start tweeting.
Amidst all of this, I find myself working to help people and businesses better communicate with you. My goal is to infuse communication with positivity and purpose. Positivity, because goodness knows we need to receive more uplifting messages against the negativity that seems to be ever-present in the media today. And Purpose, because I want people to really think about what we say to each other. If there is no point in sharing that photo, making that comment or sending that tweet, then why do it? Why? It’s a question we should ask ourselves more often, and one which was not asked enough in 2012.
We learned a lot in 2012 about the limits and boundaries of social networks and what we need to do to encourage more meaningful interaction online…communication that will nurture your reputation and allow you to build a strong network of stellar people. I can only imagine what will happen in 2013. Buckle up!
This post originally appeared on flexjobs.com blog on July 31st. Flex Jobs makes your search for a telecommuting, part-time, freelance, or flextime job better, easier, faster, and safer. Their site is easy-to-use and even allows you to build a professional-looking resume right in your profile which you can digitally send to any prospect. The platform allows you to create more than one profile so you can filter your search and find the best matches for you. Enjoy the post!
The L.A. Times reported recently that, “A whopping 92% of U.S. companies say they are using social networks to find talent in 2012, according to a new survey. In addition to checking your resume, nearly 3 out of 4 hiring managers and recruiters check candidates’ social profiles — 48% always do so, even if they are not provided.”
When you are on the hunt for a new job, it is essential that you have your personal brand in order and your online ducks in a row. If you have not yet taken the time to polish your personal brand, let’s review this handful of essential tips to help you outshine your competition.
1. Define You
The most significant step to developing your personal brand, is determining what your brand represents. Your core values are the heart of your brand. It is the foundation for all of your brand and communication strategies. Ask yourself a few questions. What motivates you to get up in the morning and tackle the day? Why are you unique? What are you passionate about? When you begin to answer these questions, your personal brand will take shape. Once you have discovered your core values, you can easily draft your personal vision statement. Your vision statement will serve as your personal brand guide and will keep you in check as you continue your search and promote yourself.
2. Set Goals for Your Job Hunt
Setting your goals will help you filter your search results to apply only for jobs which align with your brand. How well does a company and job listing fit your brand’s values? If they don’t match up, don’t apply. FlexJobs has a great feature, which allows you to develop more than one profile. You can create very specific profiles to look for jobs tailored to your specific goals. There is even a video tutorial to show you how to set up multiple profiles. This will really help you narrow your search and save you valuable time.
3. Develop a Content Plan
Develop a detailed content plan so that you are continually engaging audiences, sharing valuable content and affecting perceptions of your image. Think about how often you will post to your social accounts. What topics are relevant to your job search and to your desired industry? Use a calendar to map out your social content plan and develop a strategy. Use a tool like Hootsuite to manage posts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, among others. Your communication strategy will help you stay focused on your goals and in-line with your brand identity.
4. Promote Through Social Media
Digging a bit deeper into some of the specific platforms, you’ll gain a better understanding of why you need to plan your content. It takes time to manage your profiles, but your hard work will pay off as you will be more easily found, and will be proud to share your social links because you can be confident what others will find.
- Add video to your LinkedIn Profile. This Sprout Insights article is a good tutorial for that.
- Utilize Sections on LinkedIn to highlight your achievements, especially if you have less work experience to leverage.
- Remember to include LinkedIn as part of your content plan and schedule posts.
- Tighten up your controls so that your posts, photos and/or activity are not set to Public.
- Use Facebook Lists for easy use of custom settings.
- Strategically use Life Events to post your achievements to your Timeline. Set those posts to Public so recruiters can see them.
- Schedule some Twitter time each day to reply, retweet and converse.
- Use the list function to set up lists for leads, businesses, news sources, etc.
- Update your bio to reflect your job hunting status.
- Take care with who you follow and who follows you.
- Use Pinterest as the visual form of “Interests” on a resume.
- Share photos relative to your hobbies and life goals.
- Pin the items which make you a person a Hiring Manager can relate to.
- Establish your own website, blog or splash page like about.me.
- Make sure to mention that you are looking for employment.
- Write about or post information that is applicable to your chosen industry.
On your FlexJobs profile, you can list one website per profile. Promote your site or list a splash page or your LinkedIn account to help you make a positive first impression.
5. Be Consistent
- Use the same profile photo and color schemes/background photos across all networks for easy identification.
- Make sure your bio information is listed the same on all sites.
- Follow up with your leads and conversations and track interactions.
With sites like FlexJobs, the search for that perfect job is made much easier with so many tools and resources at your finger tips. Taking the time to build your personal brand and engaging online will prove to be worth the effort, as your brand will be refined, professional and ready for any recruiter to discover.
Shanna Bright founded Beaming Bohemian, unconventionally brilliant communication, to infuse communications with positivity and purpose and to empower you to build a meaningful, personable brand which connects and inspires people. She consults with several university programs, businesses and individuals about personal branding and strategic use of social media. You can learn more about her work at http://beamingbohemian.com or contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a private consultation.