Category Archives: Social Media

Is Glassdoor Killing Your Recruiting?

If you’re not familiar with Glassdoor then it’s the first site you need to visit after reading this post. What Google Review and Yelp are to local retailers, restaurants and bars, Glassdoor is to companies.

Glassdoor has several typical features of HR/employment sites: job board listings, corporate profiles, list of the best places to work for. But the one feature that sets it apart from the other job sites is that it lists employee reviews that give you a more realistic view of the company culture and management styles.

I first became aware of Glassdoor around 2012 when one of the company recruiters brought it to my attention. The problem was that the company was receiving more negative reviews than positive ones. The HR team did not know what to do and was asking for help.

My first response was the same that I give local business owners, read the reviews, address them and respond in an the same way as you would do with a customer in your store on on the phone. However it’s a bit different when you have employees instead of customers.

Much like consumer review websites there are some basic trends to look for.

  • Negative vs. Positive reviews ratio: Most reviewers tend to either love or hate your company, product, etc. People who think it’s OK don’t spend time writing reviews to post a neutral rating.
  • A good ratio to target 70% positive to 30% negative. Remember you can’t please everyone and a few negative reviews is normal.

Glassdoor allows for an employer response to each of the employee reviews. This is an appropriate place to respond to any extreme allegations or update bad policies or practices that have changed. Also it’s an opportunity for the company to let the employee know they have received their message.

What you should NOT do is have HR post glowing reviews trying to counter the overall employee satisfaction rating. The satisfaction rating is based on the average of all reviews and alerts Glassdoor visitors with various messages like “employees are generally happy” or “employees are dissatisfied”.

Glassdoor also allows companies, for a fee, to customize their company page with links to social sites, video embeds and other rich media to give visitors a more well-rounded view of the company.  One item I noticed is that the reviews can be highlighted and moved up front.  Congrats to Glassdoor for putting in notification above such reviews stating it’s a featured review.

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Glassdoor Reviews

First and foremost you need to see what your employees are saying. Like any other review site, Glassdoor has the extreme haters and lovers of companies. And you can sometimes throw out the extreme reviews to see what the middle ground is saying. So after removing the lovers and haters, do you find the majority of reviews to be negative with one or two management complaints frequently appearing in the comments?

If so then you have some issues to deal with. Many companies still ignore this feedback which is a really stupid thing to do. This feedback is unsolicited, unlike most company employee surveys. If a employee writes a negative review, they are not just angry. They don’t want others to end up like them. Most likely they do not plan on staying for long since they have poisoned the recruiting well to bring in new talent the company needs.

Another tactic to avoid is to have the HR folks write posts that say the negative reviewers are “whiners.” Don’t laugh, as I’ve seen it happen and other reviewers even call out the HR reviewers. All this does is create doubt in your recruits mind. Is this company really as great as they say they are? Did they post this review calling upset employees whiners?

I’ve even been told by potential hires that they were reluctant to accept a position based on negative Glassdoor reviews.

Another interesting facet of Glassdoor is that you can also review the interview process. I mean how sick are you of HR never calling you back, never letting you know if you’re still in consideration for that job? Although not as many interview reviews are written, it does give you an opportunity to prepare and get an inside look at the review process.

Remember an interview is not only to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. It’s also an opportunity for you to determine if this company is right for you. If the corporate culture is not what you’re seeking do you want to work at the company?

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Creating a Digital Marketing Command Center

At the 29014 Digital Marketing for Business conference I presented on how to create a digital marketing command center.

When starting a digital marketing program or position, it’s often important to quickly set up essential social listening, curating and sharing platforms. You will need a command center where you can quickly scan relevant and timely content as well as distribute original and curated content to your networks.

  • Develop a monitoring station using search query results (Google, Bing, Twitter), blogs, and RSS feeds
  • Organize a content monitoring station into channels that can be shared with organization, team members, stakeholders
  • Create triggers to track outbound email, social and other digital communications into a Google calendar
  • Integrate a tracking calendar with an editorial content calendar

Speaker Notes

Digital marketing has created explosion of content. Alongside with all the content is the need to manage the monitoring, tracking and other tasks associated with digital marketing. In managing digital marketing for various companies I’ve found myself repeating the same process to streamline and organize digital content.

I recently had the opportunity to present about this topic at the Digital Marketing for Business event in Raleigh. The session, Creating a Digital Media Command Center outlined the steps described in this post and the presentation below.

Digital landscape has created a whole new level of media. Time to market with content can be immediate, real time.

So we can only keep track of so much stuff. Two monitors are great and I’m sure 4 are awesome but you can only look at one and do one thing at a time.

Mapping Your Digital Property

So this is your digital property. You don’t own all of it but you own most of it. Between your owned and earned media there is a gap. We want to drive everyone to our landing pages and convert them but how do we attract them if we’re managing this?

Data Types

Different types of data that you can put into Digital Command Center. Infrastructure/performance is specific to your site speed up time, etc.

Content is both the content you push out as well as what you have available like photo libraries. KPIs are Key Performance Indicators. These are what everyone has in their goals and you should have a way to measure it. Typically conversions are the top KPI in digital marketing. Conversions can mean different things to different companies.

Create a Monitoring Station

Google search offers definitive search agent to gather relevant content on the web. Determine top 10 terms to track. Also determine if you can narrow down search using parameters such as location, negative search, by domain. So best advice is to create your top 10 searches to track. You don’t want too many as the results can become overwhelming.

Now that you’ve cast your net you need to pull the feeds together into a single user experience. There are many tools that can do this but I’ve been using one tool the past several years that works very well and has a great free platform.

In preparing this presentation and grabbing screen captures I discovered Netvibes promo video and thought it did a great job of demonstrating the concepts that I’m going to present. Now I must state that I’m not a customer or affiliated with Netvibes in anyway, I’m a simple freeloader of their software! They do have an analytics platform but I have not used it yet but it is a paid option.

So here’s a sample of a monitoring station I built in Netvibes. This is based on a profile of me and all my digital presence. I can build this for my competitors as well to monitor what they are doing. I can put each competitor and or subject stream in a tab to organize the content.

With all this content coming out we are bombarded with too much content. 5 tips to do this and that but what do you need to get your job done today?

One thing I really like about Netvibes is the ability to scan by groups and then review the subset later.

Use Triggers to Automate and Track Content

Curation is key part of digital marketing. But in reviewing this content we find stuff we want to share with our employees, customers and prospects. A really nice feature to have is a sharing option in any Digital Command Center. Once I’ve reviewed my articles I can share them straight from here.

I use Hootsuite as a social media management platform and find that its publisher feature is a great way to manage my planned outbound social messaging. After curating I tend to go to the schedule and review content again and when it’s timed to hit each platform. This will be important in a few slides and I’ll show you why.

Hootsuite does have a RSS syndicator but to be honest with you I don’t like it. It’s not as easy to use as Netvibes and hard to group and share with the team.

Robots and triggers are simple automation programs that perform an action in reaction to an event. That event can be an email, tweet, post, campaign, or an event like reaching a milestone like lowering your bounce rate or hitting a sales goal.

The tool I use is called If This Then That ifttt.com. It’s free and you can base your triggers or “recipes” on your social accounts and other actions like email. you can also base it on activity within a community using a hashtag or other keyword.

Now here is the result of these triggers in my editorial calendar. I use Google Calendar to plan and track my content and events. The solid bars represent the planned activities while the timestamped text entries show actual activities. This way I can match my activity against my plan and share with the team.

Share Your Results with Dashboards

So you’ve created your monitoring station, activated your triggers, now it’s time to share the results. The best way to do this is to create a simple link you can share with the team and have them review on their leisure. Also email weekly updates of the top KPIs to remind everyone of the fantastic dashboards you have created!

What are you going to be measured on for performance? Those KPIs need to be front and center. But at the same time you can create other reports on infrastructure status, content performance, SEO analysis, PR, you name it.

Once you get questions from the team, create new dashboards to answer the questions.

Right now I’m testing a basic dashboard tool called Cyfe. I like it because it allows me to create simple dashboards from the majority of my data sources. Each dashboard is comprised of widgets. You can create multiple dashboards with several widgets. The widgets are the individual blocks you see on this dashboard. Each one represents a KPI, metric, RSS content feed or custom data.

Custom data can be as easy as an excel table with some basis syntax formatting.

TV mode is a great feature for dashboards and Cyfe and several others offer this. Have a blank HD monitor in your office? Stream and rotate your awesome Digital Command Center Dashboard and update the entire company!

How AT&T Could Have Used Social Media During Crisis

AT&T U-verse outage demonstrates lack of social media marketing and public relationsThis week AT&T had a massive outage of its U-verse network that offers voice, digital cable and high speed Internet to consumers and businesses. This most recent fiasco has further tarnished the AT&T brand that it appears the company has either given up on PR and customer service or does not have a strong and savvy management team in place to deal with the challenges of being a major communications company.

In the most recent chapter of the ongoing AT&T saga, a total lack of understanding of the ability to communicate to customers, media and the public was evident. With social media there is a clear channel beyond calling customer service to easily facilitate broadcast messages to an engaged audience.

I was actually affected by the outage and followed AT&T’s actions and lack off during the most crucial times. Customers began experiencing service disruptions on Monday. My service died sometime Monday night after I went to bed. Noticing the error we contacted the company on Monday and were informed that there was a widespread outage for Uverse and that North Carolina was not being affected according to the representative.

My wife then went to Twitter and saw that other customers in NC were affected. I immediately looked at the Twitter chatter and noticed that despite a flood of customers asking for information the company just issued a standard, we’re having problems tweet. If you look at the stream below captured on Jan 24, 2013 AT&T U-verse social media and PR team did not utilize Twitter as frequently or early on during the crisis.

AT&T U-verse Twitter stream during network outage was poor to weak at best
AT&T U-verse Twitter stream during network outage was poor to weak at best.
AT&T’s communication and reaction on Facebook was just as poor.  For the whole first day of the outage the company only had a simple post about MLK holiday.  All day Tuesday as customers were asking what was happening the company did not up a single post.  Then on Wednesday 2 posts. One that said the problem was related to hardware issues, the next saying that it was software issue.  To add insult to injury they tried to downplay the size of the problem stating that the outage was only affecting 1% of customers.  This clearly did not seem to be the problem as outages were reporting across several states.

AT&T U-verse Facebook Page was poorly utilized during crisis. What little information shared appeared inaccurate and unclear to customers.
AT&T U-verse Facebook Page was poorly utilized during crisis. What little information shared appeared inaccurate and unclear to customers.
By Wednesday evening several customers were asking AT&T why there were not communicating using social media and other digital communication channels like email and text to keep customers informed.  Between the trickle of information on social media and what appeared to be radio silence on text and email AT&T just feed the customer frustration fire that gets flamed with viral reposts, likes and sharing on social networks.  I think most customers including myself would understand that shit happens and sometimes, major network fails can occur.

Affected ATT U-Verse customers were pleading for information and receiving nothing substantial.
Affected ATT U-Verse customers were pleading for information and receiving nothing substantial.
What customers don’t want is to be ignored during a crisis.  They want transparency and clear communication as to what the status is and anticipated recovery time.  The majority of your customers will be satisfied with confident and timely communications.  What amazes me is that we are at a point in time where using social media and digital communication should be primary part of crisis communication plan.  You would think that someone at AT&T had to either be asleep at the wheel or choosing not to participate in the discussion.  Either way it’s another PR black eye for the communications company.

8 Daily Digital Marketing Challenges

It’s not as difficult as being President of the United States, but digital marketing is hard work. Most people think we just play on social media all day and create a few web pages. I wish that was true. Digital marketing is a fun career choice but can be very challenging due to several factors.

  1. Digital marketing is in a state of constant change. Search engine result pages (SERPs) change more than 75% on a daily basis.  New social networks and tools pop up every few days.  Just when you think you’ve figured it out Facebook announces privacy changes or Instagram changes its terms of service.  Whatever the state of flux what works today, may not work tomorrow.
  2. Educating others as to what’s important. For those that don’t live, eat and breath digital, there’s a large knowledge gap. A big part of my day can be spent educating others as to why certain aspects of digital marketing are unique and important.
  3. You have to play the long and short game. Even B2C ecommerce sites that can show quick conversions from email, paid search and social. But they still have to consider where there brand will be positioned a year from now, 5 years from now, etc. B2B with longer sales cycles know this well enough but again you have to educate your co-workers that
  4. It’s hard to find quality relevant data. Yes there are tons of stats on Mashable, Techcrunch and other news blogs on conversion rates, open rates, etc. But many times they are aggregated across millions and billions of sessions, users stats, log files, etc. Finding relative comparative benchmarking data is challenging and can be expensive.
  5. You have to be a part time geek.  Not just someone that loves technology but you have to understand how the web and other digital platforms work at certain levels.  Digital marketing works when the underlying infrastructure and technology support the goals and objectives of the campaign.  Without a robust framework and platform the best campaigns can quickly fail.  Understanding how the pieces work together is critical for success.
  6. You have to test on many browsers, operating systems and mobile devices. Sure your website, app, email looks great on your computer but what about the person in the cube next to you on an older browser. Or your CEO that is on his iPad. Or your customer that still uses a Blackberry.  At some point you have to cut bait and fish but the testing and revisions are important and time consuming.
  7. Traditional marketing is still important. The old rules may not always apply but lessons learned from past campaigns can provide insight into how people may respond to your campaign.  Marketing is not about selling, it’s about creating interest, awareness and demand for your product. The selling comes afterwards.
  8. There are many digital channels and associated strategies. Do I create a mobile website or mobile app? Are microsites the best strategy for a campaign. How much organic and paid search do I need to reach my goals?  Add in video, social, email, content marketing, and whatever is around the corner. Not every digital channel is applicable for each campaign, but each must be considered and reviewed.
So what do you think? Is digital marketing hard work in your opinion?Enhanced by Zemanta

Content Marketing Automation and Integration

With all the digital media channels out there you can spend a huge amount of time curating and sharing content across multiple social networks and channels.  Integrating content across networks and channels via an automation strategy can save time and money spent doing repetitive tasks.  But I want to note that this is not an all or none strategy and should not be adopted for all your communication.  Instead I approach content automation as a strategy to integrate original content with curated content in order to develop a stream of content.

Some of the basic tactics necessary to deploy this strategy include establishing a digital diet of content.  Content aggregators and curation tools are a great way to do this.  Creating great content day in, day out is a challenge.  There’s no reason why you should not view curation as a way to keep your social media streams active and healthy.  Every social media expert will tell you share great content in addition to creating your own.
Think of your content marketing automation as a daisy chain, whereby each event links to another.  There are several ways to do this.

Search to Syndicate

Search queries on Google and Twitter allow you to create an RSS feed.  These RSS feeds can be displayed on your blog or can feed a social media account like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+.  You can also use email to syndicate content via email to add articles to a queue.  So here is how I do it.
I use content curation tools on my iPhone and iPad like Zite, Flipboard, Pulse and other sources.  Articles that I read and think my friends and followers are interested I share by sending via email to Buffer.  Buffer allows you to schedule and share content on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and set up a schedule according to what day and times you want to share for each network.  My buffer feeds my personal Twitter, LinkedIn and the Square Jaw Media Facebook page.
Remember the daisy chain I mentioned earlier?  Here’s where that comes in.  Buffer only hits 3 sites but I want to also share to my Square Jaw Media Twitter as well as save to my bookmarking account on Pocket.  Here’s where my trigger tool comes in.  If This Then That (ifttt.com) is a trigger based tool that allows you to daisy chain your content automation to several networks.  So I have one trigger that is activated when my Facebook page shares a link and post it to Twitter and a second that bookmarks the article on Pocket for archiving.
Here’s where the daisy chain effect comes in.  I don’t want my personal and brand page to push out the same link at the same time.  So I use IFTTT to push out my Square Jaw Media tweet at a later time by staggering my Facebook fan page Buffer queue.  That way there’s some time distance between the two tweets.
At a less complex level Facebook, YouTube and other tools allow you to port links to other networks when you add or bookmark content.  For example when you you add a video to YouTube you can have it post a tweet and status update on Facebook.  At the same time you can also do this for content that you save as a favorite.  This is a great opportunity to share content that is relevant to stakeholders.
Another great syndication tool is NetworkedBlogs. If you are reading this post on Facebook, NetworkedBlogs did that!  NetworkedBlogs allows you to syndicated your blog to your Facebook page and profile when you publish.

Repurpose Content

The concept of repurposing content on social media should not be overlooked.  One way to accomplish this is to use the Tweet Old Post WordPress plugin to share older posts along with more current content.  As long a your content is relevant and timely this works well to drive traffic to your site.
RSS feeds have so many uses in content automation it’s hard to list them so I’ll mention a few.  If you host events or blog about them many times you want to include links to other blogs and sites that reference your event.  In the past this meant going back to articles and adding links.  But you can use In Post RSS Plugin to update a post without having to login to your blog.  By adding a link to a bookmarking site like Delicious or Pocket it will add the link to the post dynamically.  Remember to use tags to separate and segment content so you don’t spam our post or feed with unrelated links.

Don’t Forget the Sidebar

Sidebars are a great place to display content on our website or blog.  Videos, slides, photos, links and other curated content can be shared on every page of your site or segment the content and share only the specific relevant links for specific vertical markets like health care, technology or manufacturing if necessary.
In conclusion, these tactics are not a replacement for interacting and responding with users on social networks. If you try that you will soon find out that your readers will call you out and you will lose some level of trust with your audience. Instead employ a content automation strategy to augment your content marketing efforts.