empoyer branding

6 tips to help graduate recruiters bring the party to them

A warm welcome back to tonicthinking. We hope you found last week’s blog on how to find your online audience useful.

So far in this graduate blog series we’ve looked at:

  1. Why listening before speaking means you make more friends on social media
  2. How to discover untapped communities that provide a great opportunity for you to join the conversation and build reputation

This week it’s all about the laws of attraction and how you can supplement your marketing efforts by aggregating, authoring and helping in a bid to manage reputation and build a talent community around your brand by pulling people to you.

Content marketing is nothing new. However, its meteoric rise to become an essential part of any self-respecting employer’s talent acquisition strategy is down to a number of very valid reasons.

Why, you ask? Here are 10 reasons:

  1. Audiences are increasingly wary of ‘sales pitches’
  2. Push marketing is dead
  3. It’s informative, interesting and helpful
  4. It’s easily consumable on mobile devices
  5. It can communicate values and culture and act as a self selection tool
  6. It’s easily sharable and creates social proof
  7. It increases visibility
  8. It promotes your brand
  9. It positions your brand as the expert authority
  10. It improves SEO organic rankings

But! Content marketing has become a problem for content marketers.

If you’re already creating or perhaps thinking about creating content, then it’s highly likely that your close competition is too. In fact, most businesses are creating content and this in turn creates a problem because, guess what? There’s too much content; we’re being flooded.

You could argue that content marketers have ruined content marketing.

So what does this mean for students?

Negativity and cynicism. Because they’re being bombarded with messages to buy this and that, join so and so or work with X and Y, they’ll once again begin to raise their barriers.

Shame really because the whole point of creating and curating content is to get people to lower their marketing defence shield and allow you to get and hold their attention to deliver a message. If they’re bombarded with sub-standard content all the time, or content that’s “Me-me-me!” what will they think when they come across your content?

Enter Context Marketing!

So what is it? Simply put, it’s delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time.

Context enables your message to be unique, personalised, efficient, and ultimately more successful. If you’re going to take the time to create good content (which you most definitely should), then you may as well make that content work as hard for you as possible.

Think about your own behaviour for a moment. When you log into Facebook are you in the same state of mind as you are when logging into LinkedIn? Would the same identical content just shared on all the same channels be as effective as something that’s been created to communicate with someone on a 1:1 basis based on where they are, who they are, what they’re doing and how they prefer to consume information?

Of course, the answer should be obvious. However it does mean a little more work as you’ll need to consider that you’ll have to create various versions of content on the same topic. But the results will be worth it.

Here’s 6 tips to remember when it comes to creating content that works:

  1. Be strategic – one-off content doesn’t make a strategy
  2. Be passionate – if you don’t care about it, who will?
  3. Be helpful – create content that will make others lives easier
  4. Put yourself in the graduates shoes – everything starts with their needs, challenges and behaviour
  5. Be authoritative – you understand your industry better than anyone, so make sure that knowledge aligns with those looking to forge a career path in it
  6. Be tough on yourself – you’ll know if your content is lazy

To create content in context you’ll need to be a dab-hand at audience segmentation. And that’s something that we’ll be sharing advice on next week, so follow our blog using the follow button (top right) to receive an email when our content lands.

See you then!

In the meantime, if you want to get in touch to discuss how you can manage reputation and bring the right talent to you, drop us a line on 020 7183 2556 or email tam.salih@tonic-agency.com to set up a coffee.

http://www.tonic-agency.com

4 easy tips to help graduate recruiters find their online audiences

Last week we told you about the story of Jon and Charlie, two regular guys with different approaches to making conversation. Jon got all the friends because he knew that everyone has a different point of view, a different set of preferences, motivators and behaviours and rather than talking about himself in the same way to everyone at the party (we’ve all met people who do that, right?), he listened to the conversation first and adapted what he wanted to say to match the people he was talking to at that particular moment.

The ability to do this is one of the characteristics that sets humans apart from other species. Empathy and understanding are basic principles of psychology. Jon knows that everyone is different and uses that to his advantage.

So why as employment marketers do so many organisations ignore this? Grouping people together into neat little boxes? Assuming that we all consume information in the same manner, hanging out in the same places, doing the same things – the things that marketers manipulate us to want to do.

Like sheep acting and thinking in the same way. It’s actually quite insulting when you stop and think about it.

Create a message. Identify an audience. Build a media plan. Penetrate that audience. Hope your message sticks. That just doesn’t work as a model any longer because in a world where we are bombarded with information all the time, content that’s not directly relevant becomes background noise.

Back to Jon’s point of view. We’re all motivated differently. We have unique interests and ambitions. As a result we hang out in different communities and consume information in different ways, having different conversations in different ways with different people.

And therein is the future of marketing (and especially employment marketing). People building real relationships with other people as a means of selling a product, service or career. Having conversations (dialogue rather than monologue), about mutually interesting topics, helping each other where possible, adding value all the time.

Where do those conversations happen? Wherever the people you need to speak with are hanging out. That could be at events, across the meeting room, on social media platforms – it’s a fragmented environment.

Where do you start? Well, there are two options here.

The first is to go to where they are. The second is to pull them to you and build your own community.

So where are they?

Here are four easy tips you can use right now to find where the right people for you are hanging out so you can start talking with them:

Twitter chats, Linkedin and Facebook groups and Google+ communities

These might seem obvious, but it’s quite rare to see employers make best use of these simple and effective options. Whatever your interest is – no matter how specific or oddball, you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be an existing community that you can join, add value to and build your reputation. Google+ Communities are particularly useful for this, and we’ve talked about these before.

Facebook Graph Search

Graph search really allows you to effectively wade through the exabytes of data that Facebook has collected on people since launch. So for example, you can search for ‘Groups of people who like TOPIC and like PAGE NAME’ or ‘Favourite interests of people who like PAGE NAME’ to get a great understanding of where they spend their time online.

This can be particularly handy when researching the hobbies and interests of those who like your competitor’s pages, for example.

For a full list of the search possibilities and examples, it’s worth having a look here: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-graph-search-marketing/

Forums

Forums are an incredibly useful place when it comes to listening and contributing. Job boards like Indeed already post jobs on specialist forums – but why pay when you can do this for free? Taking the time to respond to questions and just generally being helpful will have a far greater impact on your reputation than just posting ads.

Take a look at all these students asking for help on Moneysavingexpert.com – they have a dedicated student money saving forum with plenty of questions waiting for you to answer: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=25

Boolean searching

This is more of a manual technique than a tool, and won’t work for everyone…but chances are you’ll find be able to find positive or negative conversations about you, and join in right away.

Try Google searching the below:

  • “like” + [your brand name]
  • “love” + [your brand name]
  • “I wish” + [your brand name]
  • “sucks” + [you or a competitors brand name]
  • “hate” + [you or a competitors brand name]

Some of the results might surprise you…

We hope these little tips help you find out where you should be spending your time online.

Next week we’ll be talking about the laws of attraction and how you can bring the party to you, so don’t forget to follow our blog using the follow button at the top right and you’ll get notified when we publish new content.

In the meantime, if you want to talk to us about how we can help you find and talk with the right talent, then give us a call on 020 7183 2556 or drop an email over to tam.salih@tonic-agency.com to set up a coffee.

http://www.tonic-agency.com

5 tools to help graduate recruiters make sure they’re not a proper Charlie.

A couple of weeks back, there was a party that Charlie and Jon decided to head to. Neither of them knew anyone that was going, except for the host of course.

As they arrived they got into the swing of things. Charlie, who was loud and gregarious, jumped right in – he started doing the rounds, interrupting people’s conversations to introduce himself, talking about his job, his girlfriend, where he lives and so on.

Jon however was a little less sure of himself. Being the shy type he was not so keen on interrupting people mid-party to talk about himself. He wanted to make a good impression, but he decided that maybe listening and understanding these people – background, personalities, preferences – was perhaps the more intelligent approach.

The night was going great, the two friends were enjoying themselves, the music was good and the drink was flowing. Jon had lots of people around him, engaging in good conversation, laughing at his jokes and buying him drinks. They wanted to spend the evening with him because they felt he understood them. He was connecting so well with other guests.

Charlie however was not having such a great time. He was speaking to lots of people, sure. But nobody was really listening. He found that after 5 minutes people would wander off and he’d be left looking for the next group of guests he could start talking to.

Jon left with a whole load of new friends and even a girl’s number…the lucky rascal.

Charlie on the other hand didn’t – and he couldn’t figure out why.

We see a lot of approaches to social from a broad range of employers who ask us to plan their strategy and begin conversations. The key trend we always seem to spot is that they all want to jump right into the party, much like Charlie. They want to use social media as a megaphone to shout about their message. When what they should be doing is taking a leaf out of Jon’s book and using it instead as a set of speakers to listen to what people are saying.

Social listening is quite literally that. Listening to what’s being said about your brand online within social communities – blogs, forums, corporate pages and social channels. It can help you understand where you’ve been mentioned, and in what context. You can then begin to compare that to those you compete for talent with which is incredibly useful for benchmarking your strengths and weaknesses.

Knowledge is power as they say and understanding the good, the bad and the ugly will put you in a great position to build out a plan of action – whether that plan focuses on being disruptive, challenging misconceptions or outright education – you need to truly listen before you speak.

Here are a few free tools to help ensure you don’t make a proper Charlie out of yourself.

Hootsuite & Tweetdeck – widely used to plan outbound messages, but have some functionality to monitor and allow you to gather data and respond in real-time.

Twazzup – great for beginners looking for a Twitter monitoring tool

Social Mention – allows you to monitor and collect data across multiple platforms with basic analytics to help you measure positive and negative sentiment

Icerocket – specialises in blog searches but has the functionality to watch Facebook and Twitter too

Google alerts – a very basic way to discover when a websites is posting about you. Doesn’t cover social and is probably the least useful in a recruitment sense

We hope you’ve found this little introduction to buzz monitoring useful. If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you really listen, then pop over to http://www.tonic-agency.com and get in touch.

10 steps to becoming a more attractive graduate employer

Reputation is a funny old thing. By definition it’s a widespread belief that someone or something has a particular characteristic – something that makes it unique.

In today’s employer marketing arena, being unique is a commodity that many simply don’t have. When it comes to standing out from the crowd, being heard and generating real space between you and the competition, many employers think they’re #winning, but in reality they’re out there sounding and acting just like everyone else.

There’s a Dutch photographer called Hans Eijkelboom. He’s created a collection of ‘anti-sartorial’ photographs entitled, ‘People of the 21st Century.’ He walked round town with a camera round his neck and the trigger in his pocket, snapping people while they were unaware. Sounds a little stalkerish but the way he arranged these photo’s is what we’re focusing on here.

In a world where we all think we’re individuals choosing to look, dress and act in a way that reflects our personality and celebrates our individuality, it’s remarkable just how identical we all actually look.

Have a quick look here to see what we mean.

So where are we going with this?

How can you grab someone’s attention, and keep it, when you’re only as appealing as the next employer down the road? How do you really take that step from aspiring to be different, to truly leading the pack and setting a great example? How do you become the envy of the competition?

In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing 10 pieces of content with you, the graduate recruiter, as you begin to assess your recent performance, define goals and objectives and plan for the year ahead.

Our aim is to make your life easier, so we’ll be sharing success stories, examples of client work and the results achieved, as well as some of the latest thinking that will help you to effectively manage your reputation, persuade and influence your audience and build those all important conversations on and offline.

Follow us on Twitter, Linked In or Google + to stay up to date, or follow our blog using the follow button to the top right of this post to receive an email each week when new content drops.

Of course, if there’s any topics you’re particularly interested in then be sure let us know, and we’ll even create your own personal bit of content around that topic and share it with our wider community to fire up a discussion and get our readers input.

See you next week and have a fabulous weekend!

The team at Tonic

http://www.tonic-agency.com

Everyone’s in the game!

“Diversity is a reality, inclusion is a choice.”

KPMG were keen to promote inclusiveness on campus, and our crowd game helped them to do just that. We invited students who didn’t know each other to step up and take part in a fun and engaging game. The goal was to control a virtual hot air balloon on screen by using your body. Waving your arms left and right would move the balloon in the respective direction on screen. The idea was to get from start to finish as quickly as possible and clinch 1st spot on the leader board.

However, there’s a couple of twists. Firstly, you’d need to avoid the flocks of geese, lightning bolts, UFO’s and oncoming airplanes that try to pop, zap and shred you on your way to the finish line.

Secondly, students would need to work together to ensure that teams of up to 15 players were all moving together as one. Find out more by watching the video here.

How can Google Communities help position employers as a source of value?

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Welcome to the penultimate part of our 5-part blog on how employers can make best use of Google Plus. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading and viewing our content as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it.

Last week we shared a video blog that talked about Google Hangouts and how employers can use them to be more personal. If you missed that, take a look at the video here.

This week we’ll be discussing Google Communities, and how they can be used to help position employers as thought leaders and a source of value amongst their audience.

For those who are unsure, a Google+ Community is something that resembles a traditional message board that focuses around a central theme. This could be “I love my cat” or “Manchester United fans” – literally anything. In these communities, followers can interact with other like-minded individuals while allowing the community moderator to share personalised content with that specific community.

Google+ already has a large variety of communities to choose from, whether they focus on engineering, computer science or quantum mechanics. If there’s nothing that suits your needs already, you’re able to begin building your own community and driving the conversation yourself. This can be open to the public or invitation only – whichever suits your purposes.

Communities on Google are fairly young, but as interest in G+ grows, so does the number of communities. And when you consider the rate at which the network is growing, you’d expect the current figure (100,000+) to grow extremely rapidly, largely due to the Google Eco-system, but also due to the way communities differ compared to groups on other social networks.

So what does this mean for employers?

Let’s take John, an Engineering graduate in his second year at Kingston University. What exactly makes an employer valuable to John? Is it the fact that they’ll be making him plenty of job offers in the future and filling his Facebook page and Twitter feeds with current vacancies? Or will helping John with careers advice and guidance be more helpful? How about giving John the latest thinking around an interesting Electrical Engineering project? Or perhaps sharing useful resources for him to visit online? The bottom line is that people will talk to you if they perceive value in it for them. By helping people, you automatically gain the status of a good source of value and naturally, you’re front of mind.

If you missed our thinking about how HelpMarketing can tie into your attraction and reputation strategy, then have a look here.

G+ communities allow you to develop or participate in a community conversation around a specific shared interest. This not only raises awareness around your brand, but allows you to develop authority as an industry expert, share advice and latest thinking and furthermore, allows you to engage directly with potential talent and begin following them or adding them to your circles to continue the conversation you’ve begun.

A few other nifty features of G+ communities that similar platforms such as LinkedIn groups don’t offer are:

  • Using #hashtags to tie posts to specific searches on the platform and to a broader audience outside of G+
  • Creating categories within communities to allow you to group and allocate content as you see fit
  • With Google Ripples you can create an interactive graphic to see how a particular post has been shared and re-shared over a period of time, useful to assess the reach your content has
  • Posts within a community are indexed by Google and will be found easily via anyone searching for that topic on a Google Search
  • As with most of the G+ platform, the ‘plus one’ gives an indication of the popularity of the content you share – a good indicator to see if your content is resonating with your community

All of the above go a long way when it comes to helping employer’s position themselves as a source of value amongst the people they hope to begin a conversation with. And ensuring you remain font of mind means half the battle is won.

Next week will be the final of our 5-part blog, and we’ll be talking about the beneficial impact of G+ on your SEO and search visibility and tying together all the features we’ve discussed so far.

If you’d like to talk to us about any aspect of G+, or simply find out how you can be more valuable to talent, then pop over to http://www.tonic-thinking.com and get in touch.