Posts filed under 'Social Media'
By Guest Author
This is a guest post by Sam Hamilton. Follow her on Twitter @SamJHamilton.
Recently I was fortunate enough to be asked to sit on an alumni career panel at my alma mater, Roger Williams. As a former political science (and communications) major, I was put on the Government/Political Science/International Relations panel. Because of some of the work I’ve been doing with our public affairs practice, I felt comfortable talking about alternative, private-sector applications for a political science degree.
Here I was, sitting on a panel with a congressional candidate, a director of government affairs for a university, and a state government staffer and talking about the importance of networking to find your first job. While some of my fellow panelists were talking up the merits of networking events, cold calls and resume drops, I found it astounding that they were all missing SOCIAL networking. Traditional networking methods have strong merits, and I’m not knocking them, but for the current generation of entry-level job seekers, social networking has a tremendous value. A value, I found, that is greatly UNDER-valued in fields other than PR.
Time for a trip down memory lane. A year ago I was a college senior, completely terrified of joining the real world and completely lost on how to effectively look for a job. Sure, my school’s Career Center offered advice and training, but traditional methods just weren’t working for me. The prospect of graduating without ever even getting a response to my inquiries scared me to death.
So, I started job hunting my own way. I continued scouring job boards, attending networking events, and responding to advertisements. But on the side I digitally stalked every company I had an interest in (it’s less creepy than it sounds, I promise!). Then, I started following their employees and, ultimately, connecting with them (okay, this might have been a little weird). Within a month of employing this new strategy, I had connected with an employee of Racepoint Group and struck up a conversation. Ultimately, she passed along my resume and the rest, as we say, is history.
This little reminiscing interlude has a point, I promise. Networking through social channels really works and I’m living, working, RPGing proof! I’m also advocating, strongly, that social networking for your job hunt doesn’t have to be limited to just public relations. Don’t believe me? Here are 25 Twitter Chats that prove it. It’s also true that there are employers from every industry included in LinkedIn’s over 100 million users. So is your job hunt stagnating? Put yourself out there on social networks to rejuvenate your search.
What are your thoughts on using social networks for job searches?
April 12th, 2012
By Guest Author
This is a guest post by Monica Weber. Follow her on Twitter @monicaweber88.
It’s that time of year again. Screw studying for finals, college seniors have something else on their minds: the job search. That’s right – cue the long lines at resume workshops and career services at colleges, a new pool of applicants is about to graduate. What’s worse is the constant stream of information telling job seekers just how hard it is to find employment. Add this with student loans and new expenses, entering the real world can seem like a nightmare.
But never fear, there is light at the end of the tunnel. LA Times recently reported on a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which found that businesses expect to hire 9.5 perecent more college graduates this year than last. Furthermore, unemployment among college graduates up to age 24 dropped from 9.8 percent in February 2011 to 8.1 percent last month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
So what can you do to make sure you’re not moving home to Mom and Dad? Why not try social networking? C’mon, we all know that Facebook is the ultimate procrastination tool ever, so why not put it to good use? Twitter can be easily monitored on your iPhone, so rather than napping in the back row, why not search a few hashtags such as #job or #pr (feel free to insert your desired industry here) and see what pops up? LinkedIn? Godsend. Along with the added bonus of already having alumni and networking groups in place, LinkedIn houses a plethora of job opportunities. I should know – it’s how I found my job here at Racepoint Group.
So don’t fret, social media can come to the rescue. Go live up your last few months of fake life, and give #job a whirl.
Did you use Twitter (or other social media) to find your job? Tell us about it in the comments!
April 5th, 2012
By Ben Haber
As we all know, SxSW has become more of an event than a conference, and a place where new, cool start-ups have a chance to break out on the social media scene. Now that the dust has settled from the 2012 show, it’s time to take a look at what’s happened to some of the most successful companies to take over SxSW (i.e. Twitter, foursquare), and which companies are trying to follow in their footpath. The following infographic from PromotionalCodes.net.
March 30th, 2012
By Guest Author
This is a guest post by Evan Siff. Follow him on Twitter @Stairway2Evan.
While everyone is drooling over the recently released Hunger Games, I really couldn’t care less, as I have already seen it many years ago when it was called the Running Man (Katniss would never have made it past Subzero).
However, being a huge fan of Ridley Scott and the original Alien series, I absolutely can’t wait to see Prometheus on the big screen. I have watched the trailer close to 25 times and wouldn’t be surprised to find myself with the rest of the geekdom, camped out for tickets with a plush, Alien “Facehugger” pillow.
It remains to be seen whether Prometheus will be one of the best films of 2012, but in terms of marketing it has already demonstrated a great deal of media savvy with its website, teaser and viral video campaign, including:
Stunning stills from the film are being unlocked one by one via ProjectPrometheus.com, which was unveiled last weekend, and you can follow them on Twitter here. With three more months until its release (June 8), we can expect some serious hysteria among fans. Will you be going to see Prometheus this summer? What is your favorite viral marketing campaign?
March 29th, 2012
By Brittany Falconer
While we’ve already announced it via the wires, I can’t leave Racepoint’s move to Boston untouched on Racetalk! Yes, it’s true: Racepoint Group, our digital marketing sister company Digital Influence Group and mother W2 Group are all making their way to the heart of Boston’s financial district this June. Where, you may ask?
Try 53 State Street, Sherlock!
So, aside from the swank building, you may be wondering why else we’re relocating – fair enough. After a super successful 2011 highlighted by an incredible client roster (from emerging to enterprise), we realized that we’d need more awesome talent on our side to ensure that all of our clients will be able to enjoy the usual five-star service, uninterrupted. Not only is Boston a more prime location when it comes to recruiting talent, but we’ll also be able to expand to almost double the floorspace, compared to our current location.
In addition to being right in the middle of the Hub, our future home will also allow for an improvement in work-life balance. We’ll be easily accessible via public transit, and there’s life just outside of the offices: eateries, shopping and other amenities abound. Are you excited? I sure am (given my commute is about to get chopped by 72 percent).
Work in Boston? How do you like it?
March 27th, 2012
By Brittany Falconer
This week, the Associated Press (via Boston.com) reported on companies requesting online log-in information of hopeful job candidates, highlighting Facebook, Twitter, and in some cases, email.
The claims from the organizations employing the tactic
- Getting to know a candidate thoroughly before making an offer
- Virtual friends know more than real-life friends, thus being a better resource for background checks
- “People keep their social profiles updated to the minute, which allows us to consider them for other jobs in the future or for ones that they may not realize are available currently”
- “Akin to requiring someone’s house keys” and “an egregious privacy violation”
- “A violation of people’s personal privacy”
- “Volunteering is coercion if you need a job” (in response to companies that say it’s voluntary)
So, the companies think it’s okay, but as for everyone else, maybe not so much. Personally, while I try not to let the online profiles get too questionable (aside from all my Untappd achievements), I have to agree that providing log-in details to a potential employer is a big no-no. I understand wanting to know as much about your candidates as possible, but just because there is more information doesn’t give a recruiter the right to invade a person’s private account. Google is an impressive tool. If your job candidate did a good enough job locking down their personal information, maybe that should speak to their diligence when it comes to keeping personal matters personal.
Also, on the argument that social profiles are up-to-the-minute current, I wonder if these people have ever heard of a company called LinkedIn. It’s kind of a cool idea, where job-seekers can network with other professionals online and post their experience. What really may be of interest to those recruiters is that job-seekers on the site are most likely to have updated résumés! Crazy, right?!
I asked our HR manager, Shana Pressman, what her thoughts were:
As a human resources professional, working in a corporate setting, I have always believed in values such as integrity, respect and trust. This is a clear indication of the type of working environment the company offers to its employees. Of course, employees and applicants should be cognizant of their social activity and how their reputation is developed online; however, an HR professional should never ask for personal property or private information.
I have to agree with her. Sure, there may be some bad apples in the applicant pool, but chances are they will eventually get themselves fired (one way or another). A company that’s asking for access to something that’s kept private for a reason is not an establishment where I’d like to work (luckily, I’m here at Racepoint Group) – even in this tough jobs economy. I’d rather go back to Starbucks. Don’t get all TSA on me, HR.
Could you bear to share your log-in information if it was the difference between being considered for the job and being sent home?
UPDATE: Mashable reports that Facebook isn’t too cool with this concept either, and that it’s going to side with the users on this one:
“This practice undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends,” [Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan wrote on the Facebook Privacy blog. “It also potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability.”
Two major risks Egan highlighted are realizing age and/or sexual orientation, which could lead to discrimination suits if a candidate doesn’t get the job, and potential evidence that may pertain to a crime – and who doesn’t love having to go testify in court?
I’m glad to see that Facebook is stepping up on this one. They may continually mess with our privacy settings, but at least they’re going to be the only ones who can do that – even if it means taking legal action.
We’ll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges.
March 23rd, 2012
By Guest Author
This is a guest post by Evan Siff. Follow him on Twitter @Stairway2Evan.
Social media users are most likely familiar with the name Joseph Kony as of early last week, or perhaps they’ve already watched the 30-minute documentary by Invisible Children that has been reported to be the most viral video of all time. My Facebook news feed was bombarded by friends telling me how much I had to watch and share the video and, admittedly, it was hard not to get choked up when the loveable Jacob Acaye is on screen, as the filmmakers did a terrific job playing upon the viewer’s emotions.
I remember reading about the Ugandan Civil War (which has been going on for over 25 years), Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) for the first time in 2006, when I used it as a current events lesson in an English class I was teaching. It was among the most disturbing reports I had ever read, children abducted in the middle of the night and forced to beat their parents to death and/or kill their siblings if they refused to join.
While Invisible Children attest that the purpose of the Kony 2012 campaign is to bring a sociopathic war criminal to justice, it has also drawn some skepticism. The blog Visible Children provides a very critical perspective of the campaign and its founders, and raises some issues that are very… interesting, to say the least.
I believe that Invisible Children is legit and they truly want to bring Kony to justice and raise awareness of the situation in Uganda, but shouldn’t the Ugandan story be told by the people living it every day, and not through Western eyes? Wouldn’t it make more sense to channel efforts into teaching and training people in these situations and under these circumstances, giving them the tools to tell us their stories, empowering them, enabling them to easily and directly communicate with the rest of the world?
By no means am I suggesting that people shouldn’t support or donate money to Invisible Children, but wouldn’t we be better off putting the power of social media and digital communication into the hands of the people we want to help? Groups like Barefoot Workshops, a New York City-based, nonprofit organization founded in 2004, teach individuals and organizations around the world how to use digital video and new media to transform their communities and themselves.
A long-time friend of mine, Ranjan Roy, participated in one of the workshops in South Africa and has nothing but stellar things to say about it. “Barefoot Workshops has the seemingly simple, yet extremely powerful goal of helping teach people how to tell their own stories. They provide filmmaking workshops that are fee-based for those who can afford it, with revenues covering basic costs, but more importantly, they help fund scholarships for South Africans and Ugandans to learn to tell the world about their experiences through video.”
Social media is a useful tool for people to raise awareness of a situation and start a global conversation, but slacktivists tweeting about the Arab Spring and sharing videos on Facebook didn’t foster social change or topple regimes – it was the brave souls who were living under those regimes, risking mutilation and death to organize protests and share what was happening with the rest of the world. Kony hasn’t been active in Uganda since 2005 and has evaded capture to date, while what’s left of the LRA is supposedly scattered around the DRC, CAR and South Sudan. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be brought to justice, but Kony 2012 almost seems ‘too little, too late.’ Perhaps if the Ugandans had had the training and means to capture and share their story in real-time through new media channels, the world’s attention would have been grabbed when it was needed the most.
March 19th, 2012
By Brittany Falconer
What do history buffs, Twitter geeks and Leonardo DiCaprio fans all have in common? They may have an interest in adding updates from @TitanicRealTime to their tweet-streams. In honor of the historic voyage’s 100th anniversary, The History Press, a U.K. history publisher, will be recounting the doomed journey via Twitter on April 15 from the first-person perspective of the officers, crew members and passengers.
The account is already nearing 26,000 Twitter followers, a month prior to the April 10 “Bon Voyage.” Current posts describe the lay and the land of the ocean-liner – some more more ominous than others. Even now, the tweets are haunting, given we know exactly how it all “goes down” in the end.
The History Press blog assures us that we can expect “historically accurate tweets drawn from reliable research” (so maybe this won’t be too interesting for the Leo fans). Never mind the fact that Twitter, nay, the Internet wasn’t even a twinkle in the eye of existence yet. This will be a creative way to use social to share history in an engaging way. I’ve always enjoyed reading first-person accounts of history versus textbooks: it gives life and a personality to the subject matter. The Twitter recount will go a step beyond, giving us the opportunity to not only to hear it right from the horses’ mouths, but to hear it as if it were happening right then and there. Brilliant!
There are 190 tweets planned for the telling of the Titanic’s tale, and I can’t help but wonder if there will be any engagement with other Twitter users. I imagine that for the sake of keeping the documentation untainted with spoilers, it won’t. My other thought is if The History Press, or other societies, will take this approach to other events that have shaped the course of history and where we are today – Civil War reenactments, anyone?
What do you think of the modern retelling of this iconic voyage? Will you be following through the last tweet on April 15?
March 13th, 2012
By Brittany Falconer
Almost a year ago, we hosted our first RaceTalk tweet-sourced interview with local Twitter legend @BostonTweet. The premise was simple: we asked him a few questions, then we asked him some of yours using the hashtag #AskBostonTweet. The results were definitely interesting (and perhaps a little amusing), to say the least. Now, we’re finally bringing it back: give it up for Todd Van Hoosear (@vanhoosear)!
In addition to loving underwater basket-weaving and moonlight walks on the beach (I don’t actually know if either of those are true), Todd wears several hats: Fresh Ground Principal; Society for New Communications Research Fellow; #BUNewMedia Adjunct Professor (Terrier pride!); Social Media Club Boston Founder (@SMCBoston); Launch Camp Organizer; Publicity Club of New England VP Social Media; TEDxSomerville Planner. And no, he doesn’t sleep, as far as I know.
Given his background, if I didn’t know any better, Todd knows a thing or two about social media, so of course I’ll be asking a couple questions about that. I will also be asking him about is favorite flavor of beef jerky. I will leave the rest up to you. Between now and Tuesday, March 6, tweet questions for Todd using the hashtag #AskVan – we like to keep it simple here – and at around 8:00 p.m. that day, we’re going to ask him as many of those questions as possible in front of a live studio audience. I mean his New Media & PR class at Boston University.
Got a question for @vanhoosear? Tweet using #AskVan between now and Tuesday night!
March 1st, 2012
By Guest Author
This is a guest post by Nate Towne. Follow him on Twitter @Fancy_Lad.
Pinterest, schminterest! What’s with all the buzz about this new social media channel? Is it worth your precious web surfing time? And how can you use it to build your business so you can feel less guilt about surfing boards on Pinterest on the company dime? Read on, fearless reader – you might just learn something (I swear it’s not my fault if you do.).
Our good pals at Mashable report Pinterest is currently enjoying the limelight as one of the top 10 social networks – and it’s still (technically) invite only. Though getting an invite is pretty easy if you’re on Twitter or Google+ – heck, just ask me and I’ll invite you. Or you can ask Pinterest for an invite –I’m betting dollars to donuts they’re not going to turn you down. I’m a sharing kinda guy. The premise behind Pinterest is pretty basic, it’s a cloud-based social media network that lets you organize and share all the cool discoveries you find on the web. Pinheads (yes, I’m coining that term) use pinboards to showcase their mad style, plan vacation shenanigans, organize their favorite recipes, share gifting ideas, and among other things, drive traffic to ecommerce sites – *gasp!*
What makes Pinterest a social network? It allows Pinheads (see? I’m running with it!) to browse pins and boards created by other Pinheads. Trust me, you could spend days browsing other Pinhead’s pinboards – they are a constant source of amusement, amazement and discovery. And if you’re an entrepreneurial kind of person, the two words that stand out here are “discover” and “share.” Who wouldn’t want Pinheads to discover and share your coolness on this hotter than hot internet destination?
Let’s face it – if you build it, and it’s cool, and it reaches MILLIONS of potential customers, businesses will come. But should your business jump on the bandwagon? According to ComScore’s recent data on Pinterest, the site has nearly five million users and shows no signs of stopping in its race to the top. Data from Google Ad Planner reports nearly 1.5 million unique users are visiting Pinterest daily, and spending more than 14 minutes on the site per visit (If you ask me, this number is a little low – Pinterest is *that* addictive!). If that data isn’t enough to get you thinking, digest this new insight from Shareaholic via GigaOM: Pinterest is now driving more web traffic referrals than Google+ (not surprising), on par with Twitter referrals (rather surprising!). But juicy and compelling data aside, is Pinterest right for your business?
That’s a question for another post – in fact, my next few posts will break down why brands should consider converting to Pinterest , or not as the case may be. I promise you dear reader, it will be worth the wait. And if not, I’ll gladly give you your money back…
February 2nd, 2012