What are your favourite social media tools?
That is really hard to answer. Channel wise, my preference is always for Twitter and Tweetdeck is the tool that enables me to filter the stream properly. (I have close to 6000 followers.) I also use Hootsuite when I’m out and about because it is entirely web based and doesn’t need any downloads if you are logging in from a P.C. other than your own.
As you probably gathered, I like finding the best ways to use applications in all the channels. At the moment I would pick out the following 12 as being really useful:
1: Blastfollow – For following everyone using a twitter hashtag at the same time.
2: Tweetcloud – For seeing what key words appear most often in tweets for a targeted individual. Great for making conversation.
3: Tweetgrid – For following twitter chats which often overload the API limits and stall tweetdeck. It is also easy to reply and retweet from Tweetgrid.
4: Twittersheep – Which shows the key words contained in a twitter followers bio. This enables me to see if I need to either follow all of their followers by using a tool like Refollow that allows me to follow them all on masse, (remember 50% follow you back) or you can select individual followers that match your target area.
5: WTHashtag – Gives you a definition of the common hashtags if they are registered. You can see the number of individual tweeters behind the hashtag and the top 10 contributors. (If the hashtag is in your target area you should follow and get try to engage all of these. If the chat or conference is of particular interest, this also enables you to see and save the entire transcript for later reference.
6: The Twitter application on LinkedIn. This enables me to update my profile from Tweetdeck by using #in and to follow all of my connections that list twitter on their profile. LinkedIn is great for finding people that you want to target, whilst twitter makes engagement much easier.
7: FB140 – Enables me to follow all my Facebook friends on twitter and send friend invites to my twitter followers. Combining followers in all your channels means you can communicate with them where they want to engage and spend the most time.
8; BranchOut – Turns Facebook in to Linked In. you can see where your friends work, group them together by employer or skill set and see where your friends friends work. It also has a neat targeted job board that is free, and allows direct messaging within the network.
9: RSS Feed – I use my RSS feed for receiving questions from Linked In in my target area, Staffing. (You can also set these up for job notifications.) This way I get to answer plenty of relevant questions, which is great for network building in this area and getting noticed.
10: Box.Net – This allows you to add any number of downloadable documents to anywhere. All job seekers should definitely use it to add their C.V. to their linked In profile. The paid for version and it’s quite cheap, allows you to see who has made the download for follow up. This is also great for recruiters who can add Job Spec’s, terms of reference and other documents. You can use Box.Net on any of the social channels in particular Linked In and Facebook.
11: Slideshare – This enables you to share PowerPoint presentations and video in multiple sites. Add a brief welcome video on your linked In profile to stand out (I’m just doing mine,) and any presentations you might have done that will reflect well on you. I have seen recruiters use slideshare for presenting their services and job seekers on “what I can offer.” You can also post Slideshare in Facebook and on twitter via a link.
12: WordPress – not really an application, it’s the platform I use for my blogs. Blogs are a great way to share your message, whatever that might be, and to get noticed as a recruiter or even a job seeker. Gary Franklyn, an in-house recruitment manager and founder of the FIRM is currently using his blog to chart his job search. This puts him firmly in the shop window and lets everyone know he is looking in a positive way.
These are my 12 of the moment, though I’m constantly adding to the list. Applications now make social media simple (I’m in no way techie), and enable really effective networking whatever the objective.
Your best social media tips for job seekers out there?
I think just to get out there and do it. If you are out of work then you need to be very visible. Make it clear that you are looking for a job and the type of work you are looking for. There is no shame in being out of work. Don’t try to dress it up with phrases like “In Transition,” just say you are looking for a job! This should be clearly listed on your Twitter bio, LinkedIn profile and Facebook Profile.
Use Box.Net to add your C.V. to these places in simple to download format and announce the location via twitter with regular posts, asking your network to retweet. Make sure you attach a relevant # to the type of work you are looking for so that you show up in more than your follower’s stream. The #HFUK (Hire Friday UK) stream is followed and circulated by recruiters and others on a Friday. Monitor this stream as it also contains links to jobs. Post the link to your C.V. and your details in the stream each Friday.
You must be easy to contact. Recruiters lose patience quickly if they have to look too hard to find you. Be sure you include your e-mail address clearly in any of your bio’s, and make sure the e-mail listed isn’t something like SexySister69 @ hotmail.com!
Draw up a list of target companies that you want to work for and find out if you are connected with anyone that works there. You can use LinkedIn and Branch Out on FB to do this. Is there anyone among your connections that could effect an introduction for you?
Join relevant groups on Linked In and post a link to your profile with an appropriate message of the type of work you are looking for in the groups. Post regular comments and questions related to your job search in the groups. The more you post and comment, the more people will look at your profile, and the more people that look at your profile, the more chance you have of getting an opportunity.
The key is getting yourself noticed, and you get noticed by engagement and getting involved. Look for the on-line places that your targets visit or post in. This could be in any of the channels. Get involved in the conversation, look at what your targets are talking about and contribute on both a personal and professional level. Once you are on tweeting or commenting terms with a target you can make an approach. People will be flattered to be asked for help or opportunities and this could open the door for you.
It’s a bit harder if you are employed and looking to move. You need to be more discrete so as not to draw attention to your search. This means building a network first and engaging in order to reach the point where you can make a phone call or communicate via DM, Linked In e-mail or FB Message.
Make sure your profiles are key-word rich and that you are easy to find in searches. You can find the best key-words to use by researching what searches feature highly at google.com/sktool/# which tells you the most common key-words or phrases searched for in Google. It is very simple to use, free (unless you choose to buy links) and works. Your on-line profiles need to be not only well written and presented but easy to find.
Most importantly, social media channels are great door openers but there is no substitute for conversation and face to face networking. Social Media should form no more than a third of your job search strategy. Network at every opportunity, go to events and find opportunities for phone calls and sitting down face to face.
Best advice I heard recently was to use the 9.00 – 5.00 for getting out and about, and network on-line out of these hours. Make finding a job your full time job and don’t rely on anyone else to do it for you. Social media won’t get you a job, but used effectively it will open doors to opportunities, the rest is down to you!
Is it true that you are known as @BillBoorman in real life?
Anyone that knows me would describe me as a twitterholic, and I’m not yet recovering. It was natural when I launched my new business that I called it by the name I am best known as, @BillBoorman. It’s on my business card and my Bank Account. Lloyds Bank announced that I was their first @ account!