More often than not, when I'm invited to speak it's about marketing strategies that businesses can use to attract and capture businesses from other businesses. Typical topics include "Getting into Your Buyers' Mind", "Developing Compelling Value Propositions", "Systematically Creating Referrals", "Online Marketing", and lately "Social Media Marketing".
This month, however, I had the pleasure of speaking with Tufts alumni on how to use social media marketing techniques to land their next position. I don't know which was more exciting doing the actual presentation--or preparing for it.
Looking for a job is just another form of marketing
Now, I've spoken on searching for a job before, because it's really just another form of marketing--only the job seeker is the "product". The new wrinkle was figuring out when, where, and how to use social media to supplement conventional job search techniques.
I started by making a list of all the normal activities that one would do when looking for a job. Examples include researching the industry, conducting informational interviews to narrow the focus of the search, getting the word out that you're looking, networking to identify promising companies and opportunities, and figuring out how to stand out from the competition.
Social media marketing accelerates the process
While making this list, I realized that getting a job is a very social activity--and that social media is ideally suited to accelerate the process. Where social media really excels is in quickly finding out what's hot, showcasing your expertise to colleagues and strangers alike, and staying top of mind with those who may hear about job opportunities.
To help job seekers find out what's hot, I recommended automated ongoing Twitter searches via Tweetdeck. For showcasing their expertise, I suggested using the status updates in Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter to raise awareness of their accomplishments and direct their network to information these individuals would find valuable.
I particularly recommended Twitter since it is searchable by everyone. Therefore, those that found their content helpful might choose to follow them and join the network of individuals that opt for direct communications.
First impressions count: but marketers say it takes 7 to make an impact
Marketers say that it takes 7 impressions to make an impact. When it comes to staying top of mind, nothing beats social media. That's because it offers the opportunity to communicate regularly without being a pest.
Most people use social media to keep their finger on the pulse. Unlike email which they tend to use for mission-critical communications, people check social media when they want to know what's going on in the work, in their industry, with their colleagues, and/or their friends. So, they expect to receive news that's interesting but not necessarily essential. Of course, it's incumbent on senders to deliver interesting content if they don't want to risk being "unfollowed", blocked, or worse yet, "unfriended".
Using social media to research the presentation: The medium is the message
The topics I've covered thus far are the topics I anticipated discussing when I agreed to do the presentation. What made the preparation so interesting was some of the other things I learned on the way.
Shortly thereafter, I stumbled upon some information sources that I never knew existed. Perhaps the most interesting was Glassdoor.com. This site provides the information everyone cares about most-- what it will be like to actually work at the company with whom you're interviewing. Visit it to view anonymous reviews about the pros and cons of working for various employers.
Finally, it came time to give the presentation. To my surprise, most of the people who came were fully-employed. Perhaps some were looking for their next opportunity, but most said they came to learn more about social media marketing. To see a copy of the presentation, please visit my LinkedIn profile and scroll down to the slideshow. Then, please let me know what you would add to improve upon this presentation.