Recruitment Shifts from Social Media

The recruitment industry in South Africa looks like it is on the rise for the first time in two and a half years. Human Resources South Africa reported “employment grew by 5.6% during March.”As business slowly starts to find its feet again after a rough few years in the global economy recruiters are looking for good people to take their companies forward. “The aim and challenges of recruitment in South Africa is to put the right person, at the right place, at the right time in the organisation. By doing this the company should hopefully improve their organisational performance and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the company ” (Human Resources South Africa) What are the trends being used that are shifting the way the recruitment industry works? There are two obvious and high impact trends that have risen out of social media and online technology that are worth looking at: Move Towards Headhunting Wall Street Journal makes an interesting observation that social media has made headhunting easier and cheaper. Networking websites like Linkedin have opened the door to finding people based on expertise, experience and CV. We are able to see immediate recommendations of people we are thinking about hiring and can make more comprehensive decisions about people before starting the interview process. On a global scale we see business looking to decrease their job board subscriptions and move towards using social technology like Facebook and Linkedin to find great employees. The general consensus being that jobs boards create too many...

Generation Y in South Africa – A Short Study

Over the last month we ran a small study on Generation Y in South Africa. We interviewed 144 students with an average age of 18 years old. The gender split was 60% female and 40% male. As the size of the sample group is relativley small this can’t be seen as the final word but rather as an indication of what is taking place with Generation Y in South Africa. The findings were quite interesting and echoed many generalizations about generation Y. In South Africa, Generation Y uses digital platforms for communication and prefer Facebook and BBM over any other communication tool. Email continues to lose its effectiveness as a communication vehicle with this generation. Google is starting to lose search market share to Facebook as 50% of Gen Y chooses to use Facebook as a search engine over Google. Although MXit is popular it’s loyalty is much lower (less than one hour a day) than Facebook (up to five hours per day). When given the choice Gen Y chose the internet over magazines, their cellphone over the internet and tertiary education over their cell phone. They are also a healthy bunch of individuals choosing healthy food over junk food, restaurants over fast food and bottled water over fizzy drinks. Here is a list of some of our findings Use of the internet 85% have an email address, but only half check it more than once a month 99% use the internet – most about 2 hours a day They...

New functionality with Facebook pages

I recently posted this on www.ideate.co.za but wanted to share it on my blog as well. Facebook recently made changes that will have a big impact on the way we manage our business pages in future. Here is an excerpt of the article to explain the fundamental changes: You can now switch roles The most fundamental change is the ability to now change your role on Facebook. Now that has all changed. Facebook allows you to “switch your role” on Facebook and let your browse the Facebook network as an organisation, company, brand, product, celebrity or business. I decided to outline a few of the benefits of the new changes: What Changed? You can now act on behalf of your page on Facebook Your page can ‘like’ other pages Your page can’t become friends with a  persons profile Your page can’t comment on a persons status update Your page can comment on another page Your page now has a newsfeed that collates all the news from the pages you follow meaning you can now track business partners, sponsors, industry experts and competitors on Facebook Your profile now sports a funky looking picture banner at the top of your page. What are the benefits? You now get notifications of comments on your page via email When you “switch” your account to a page account your notifications list will house the page notifications Your new friends button will now show a list of the people who recently ‘liked’ your page Your business...

Digital lifestyles create a way to segment our target market

One of the biggest challenges with online marketing is segmenting your market. The normal demographic, geographic and psychgraphic segmentatics tools don’t always work when looking at digital consumers. I believe that any campaign launched in the digital space should consider the digital lifestyle of the consumer they are targeting. Too often we end up targeting low technology users with high end smart phone applications. Yes that target market may own a smart phone but their digital lifestyle is such that the application may not engage the consumer. TNS surveys have created a great framework to use called Digital Lifestyles. Take a read through the lifestyles and leave a comment letting me know which lifestyle best describes you. INFLUENCERS The internet is an integral part of my life. I’m young and a big mobile Internet user and generally access everywhere, all of the time. I’m a blogger, a passionate social networker with many social network friends. I’m also a big online shopper, even via my mobile. I want to make sure as many people as possible hear my online voice. COMMUNICATORS I just love talking and expressing myself, whether that’s face to face, on a fixed line, mobile or on social networking sites, instant messaging or just emailing people. I really want to express myself in the online world in the way that I can’t in the offline one. I tend to be a smart phone user and I’m connecting online from my mobile, at home, at work or at college....

How valuable is your website in B2B purchasing decisions?

The invention of social media and blogging has left a big question unanswered in the online marketing realms. Just how valuable is a company website in business to business purchasing decisions? Well it seems that they are very valuable but not neccessarily influential in in the three stages of purchasing. This information comes from the Buyershpere report which I believe shows great insight into the platforms neccessary to create business to business sales leads from the internet. A Summary: How important is your company website? When looking at buying business services there are three stages of the purchase that have been identified: Identifying and defining the need Indentifying potential suppliers Final selection of the supplier In all three stages a company’s website was the primary channel used to gather information, even more than web searches. In stage one industry press, word of mouth and events were next in line as channels used to identify and define the need for the purchase. The company website in this case has the opportunity to establish brand, share product details and specifications and add value to the different purchase stages. the interesting fact that rose oot of the study though was that the company website had very little influence on the conclusion of each stage. The effect of social media on business to business purchasing decisions It’s all about influence! Every stage of the purchase cycle revealed that  social media channels and word of mouth were the primary influential channels that influenced the decisions...

Is social media changing the way we watch TV?

There are big questions about the longevity of TV alongside the competition of online media. Online video content has become so popular globally and in even in South Africa there seems to be a love for video content. Recently YouTube has broken into the top 5 most visited websites by South Africans. So the question has become – is TV on the way out? I would argue no. It seems that TV programs are actually experiencing an increase in viewership. So why is this happening if people are obviously spending more and more time online? I would like to suggest that social media is shaping a new way of watching TV and that rather than phasing out TV it has chosen a symbiotic relationship. Here are a few quick thoughts about how this works: 1) Social media helps promote TV Social media is often used as an outlet to express watt important to us. When people are excited about important TV episodes/programmes they will use social media to share their enthusiasm. The last Survivor episode, an important rugby match and the chilean miners rescue are all examples of TV being shared in excitement on social networks. Once this excitement is shared more people are exposed to the TV event taking place and the potential of more people ‘tuning in’ increases. 2) Social Media adds a new layer of engagement Once the game is on and people are sitting around the beloved box there is often a conversation that begins. It...

Mike Saunders and Barrie Bramley talk about Social Media

I spent last week in Johannesburg and had a chance to chat to Barry Bramley about social media in South Africa. Barry has since put our conversation down on a podcast which captures a few clear points about social media management. Bearing in mind alot of the content here is just my opinion but we looked some case studies, why social media is important, how I launched my consultancy, the most important asset to social media and B2B marketing online. You can download/listen the podcast here

Should I focus on Facebook or Twitter for my business?

I am a fan of focus! It always gives you a better return for the same effort. Social media management is no different. When looking at Facebook and Twitter most people know that you can link Twitter and Facebook so that you only update one and the other updates automatically. I have warned people about linking Twitter and Facebook before and won’t go into it here. Assuming that you agree with my argument that you should treat Twitter and Facebook seperately, the question goes back to focus because if I am on Facebook – Twitter suffers and vice versa. According to an article in Hubspot Marketing a survey discovered that business to business companies benefit more from Twitter while products and services that are directed at the consumer can achieve better results on Facebook. This starts to make more sense when you look at the atmospheres that each network has. Twitter is more tolerant of business promotion because it is more of an information network than a social network. Business promotion is seen as more information and therefore if it is relevant to my need it is valuable to me. While Facebook adopts a purely social stance in the mind of its users. Think about a shopping center, its a social venue. People spend time in shopping centers when there are relaxing and taking time out of the normal work routine. However there is an incredible amount of business transaction that takes places in a shopping center and it mostly...

Google has bigger privacy issues than Facebook

Everyone is talking about the privacy rights of Facebook at the moment but a very interesting statement was made by Mark  Zukerberg in a recent interview: Let me paint the two scenarios for you. They correspond to two companies in the Valley. It’s not completely this extreme, but they are on different sides of the spectrum. On the one hand you have Google, which primarily gets information by tracking stuff that’s going on. They call it crawling. They crawl the web and get information and bring it into their systems. They want to build maps, so they send around vans which literally go and take pictures of your home for their Street View system. And the way they collect and build profiles on people to do advertising is by tracking where you go on the Web, through cookies with DoubleClick and AdSense. That’s how they build a profile about what you’re interested in. Google is a great company, but you can see that taken to a logical extreme that’s a little scary. In essence it is becoming more and more evident that Google is breaking the boundaries of privacy by gathering information without consent. Google tracks most of the activity on the internet and then uses that information as they please. Mike Wronski spoke about an experience where Google potentially scanned his email and used the information to tailor advertising to him. Although this sounds like Google is being extremely clever there is an underlying privacy issue that Google needs...

Measuring marketing effectiveness with Facebook

Facebook has recently announced new analytic measurement platforms that will make it easier to justify the marketing power of social media management. Facebook Insights: The new and improved insights platform for measuring the activity on your Facebook pages has added a few interesting points: 1) How many people have hidden your updates from their Live Feed? 2) Which websites refer people to your Facebook page? 3) How do people find out about your Facebook page? In additional to these new statistics and the information already available it is now becoming easier to make calculated strategic decisions about how to market your brand inside Facebook

Coaching the Leadership Coach

Probably the most daunting experience I have ever had was to coach Keith Coats in Social Media. Keith is a well respected and seasoned leadership coach. So I was nervous that I would not hold up under the pressure. Well Keith turned out to be great to coach, he was very interested in learning and spent alot of time doing additional exercises between sessions to ensure that he really got the hang of Social Media. Here’s what Keith had to say: It wasn’t long into a meeting with Mike (one he had initiated and in which he approached me to do some mentoring with him) that I realized I had more to learn from him than the other way round! What followed has been an amazing journey as Mike has coached, mentored and supported me in exploring the world of social media technologies and most importantly, how to strategically connect the dots in this world. Mike’s skills sit not merely in his undoubted expertise in this area but also in his incredible ability to make sense of it for someone for whom it…well, doesn’t make sense. I have no hesitation in endorsing Mike as a Coach in this area…and have done so repeatedly. I wish more of the leaders with whom I engage would avail themselves of Mike’s expertise. Then again, I suspect many who work with and for these leaders, wish the same! Taking things further Keith is still in coaching as we have dived into further Social Media...

Is Facebook getting bigger than Google?

A few weeks ago I wrote on the Ideat blog that Facebook had the potentional to become the King of the Internet. This was highlighted by the fact the Facebook had been the most visited website in the US a week or two earlier.More recently Facebook has become the most popular searched brand in the US. What has become more interesting is that in South Africa 82% of the online population are on Facebook and 74% of the population are actively involved in social networking.  In March we also saw the launch of Google real-time search in South Africa, which brings social media updates into Google. There are also develoments, made by google, that mean you have better search potential in Google if more people are following you on twitter. What is taking place is a fundamental shift in the way people use the internet. People are choosing to network, search, discuss, aggregate and understand the internet through social networks, of which Facebook is the largest. This has meant that Google has had to go to the social networks to get the information that people are intesteted in. So the question: Is Facebook getting bigger than Google? What about in a South African context? What do you think?

What on earth is a Facebook Community page?

The biggest question I am asked as a social media coach has been “what should I use to promote my business? A page or a group?” Well now we have something new to consider: Facebook Community Pages What it looks like and why have one? A Community Page looks and feels exactly like a normal Facebook page but it has a slightly different purpose. The page is meant to be used for all the unofficial band, brand and business pages that are out there. Facebook seems to be trying to bring a more official status to a Page by letting the unofficial pages have their own platform. What’s so different about it? Basically the biggest difference is that when these pages gain popularity they have the potential to be handed over to the Facebook community. This will mean that the community page will start to look like a wiki about the page topic. Why not just use a group? My personal opinion is that Facebook is trying to phase out groups but there is no proof for that other than my gut feel. Another thought would be SEO. Groups on Facebook are not indexed by Google. So if you would like to start a community of people and wish that community had a search engine presence then a Community Page is they way forward. The other thing to remember is that pages provide user statistics. So your community page could provide some interesting insight into its users. Allfacebook makes a...

Team Training in Facebook and Twitter Marketing

The International Hotel School (IHS) hosted Mike Saunders for two days as he worked with IHS and members of the Three Cities Marketing team. The workshops took the candidates through a fun and strategic understanding of how to use Facebook and Twitter as a marketing vehicle. This is what some of the candidates had to say about the training: Mike, you are a star! Your social media training with us has been invaluable. Thank you – Ruth Paulsen (Head of Marketing – IHS) Thanks for the insight over the last 2 days. It was great fun and very exciting looking at the integration possibilities. Now we need to just get out there and use the technology – Jillian (HR Manager – IHS) Hi Mike..it was a fantastic experience..i am so excited 2 lift off..i get bored and lose focus so quickly, but u had my attention the entire time..u brought my focus back 2 the wonderful world of online networking..tx a mil! – Carla Rossouw (Lecturer – IHS) Mike thank you, you have no idea how your workshop helped open my eyes to whats out there in terms of social media and the internet. Im so excited, I cant wait to see whatsinstore for IHS. – Neliswa Sithole (Consultant – International Hotel School)

Music meets Facebook in South Africa

I wanted to share a very interesting video with you. A local South African musician wrote a very unique song only using the content from Facebook updates. I love to see this type of creativity in people, especially when they use social media as their topic. You can visit Shannon Hope website here. Here CD is available here as well.

Advertising Online: Are all your eggs in Google’s basket?

Advertising online seems to be fairly straight forward. You call your Google Adwords Consultant and ask him/her to place some advertising around a few of your favorite keywords. This often generates the traffic results you are looking for and you can rest easy. I would like to suggest 3 points that may start you on a different train of thought. 1) Facebook advertising Advertising on Facebook has become the first competitor to Google Adwords since forever. The big strength with Facebook is the ability to fine-tune the demographic that you advertise to. Facebook collects rich demographic data from its users and allows you to target you audience in very unique ways. In South Africa the main weakness would be that the Geotargeting options are limited, in that the smallest geographic area you can target is the whole of South Africa. 2) Niche Markets show high levels of loyalty Banner advertising has lost its flavor over the last years or so, however niche market websites that provide banner advertising may be a great way o establish your presence in the mind of your customers. This type of advertising may become very useful for B2B advertising. The effect created with this type of advertising has a similar effect to advertising in a print based trade magazine. 3) Google will always drive traffic Google is a great medium to drive traffic to your website. I still advise clients to take on Google Campaigns as part of the internet marketing campaign. The trick is...

One-on-one Social Media Coaching

“Ever stood facing the cold pool water when all that stood before you and the shock of the cold water was the commitment to jump? Of course you have. And your hesitancy was most likely being subjected to the taunting of kids already in the pool. Then you jump and there is a split second of mid-air realization that there is no going back before you are immersed in the ice-cold water. I have just jumped. I have just had my first coaching session in Social Media.” – Keith Coats, Leadership Expert“ Like Keith many people have recognised that they need to learn and understand this new realm of social media. You can attend all the courses you like on this topic but nothing will entrench the topic in your mind like one-on-one coaching will. These one-on-one meetings are a an opportunity to have your questions answered while following a predetermined curriculum to ensure that you gain a complete understanding of social media. So if you would like to know more about facebook, linkedin, twitter, MXit, blogging, websites, mobile media, internet advertising, online marketing and promoting yourself online please contact me for more information. You can see a few articles about some people who have gone through this type on one-on-one coaching here

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