Recruiting Landscape Changing over Next Few Years

At E Week, they shed light on a new research done by Robert Half, International which believes that over the next three years, professional social networking sites will become a key part of the recruitment process for businesses.

By using connections, employees are able to find companies with opportunities that fit their needs. While looking for a job, the article states, it’s still important to keep making contacts in various other ways such as networking at conferences.
Some companies have started to use social media tools to find their candidates, such as our friends and Community 2.0 contributors, Mzinga. Check out their hiring process for this job here.
At Social Media Optimization, they point out that while most companies now use Facebook and MySpace to screen candidates before they come in for an interview. But this will shift, as a growing number of employees are being hired from social networking as the image below indicates. In addition to Linked In, there will be sites that are closed to the general public, but open to select people that will lead to the growth in social networking, such as university alumni sites. SMO sees these sites as the next to explode on the recruiting scene.

Corporate Blogging

Are you thinking about starting your corporate blog? Here’s a great list of some Fortune 500 Companies that are already doing it. Take a look! Some that caught my eye were Coca-Cola Conversations, Real Baking with Rose Levy Beranbaum (General Mills), and Open For Discussion (McDonalds).
The McDonald’s blog, Open For Discussion, focuses on corporate responsibility Numerous critics Mill’s blog, Real Baking with Rose Levy Beranbaum, is written by Rose Levy Breanbaum. She writes a baking blog which is sponsored by one of General Mill’s products, Gold Metal Flour. Her writings are geared towards General Mills customers, bringing in interaction from customers on General Mills Products. She writes about her experiences with cooking and her upcoming process of publishing her cook book, with an overall wish to share her baking knowledge with others.
The Coca-Cola Conversations Blog is frequently updated with tidbits of Coca Cola history. It’s a great way for Coca Cola to keep their customers in the know about what’s going on with their product, and different dates that are important in Coca Cola history.
Each of the three blogs has a different focus on a core product or concept of the company, while reaching out to the individual users of the products. McDonald’s shows what good they do for society, and with General Mills, their focus is expanding the joy of baking while highlighting their product. Coca Cola, considered and iconic brand by many, keeps aficionados interested as they share the important events in Coca Cola history. While all the bloggers are employees, they express a belief in the product creating a unique human perspective from within these companies. The majority of blog posts also have readers comments that results ins strong sense of community identity around each blog’s subject matter; a definite lesson for those interested in starting their own corporate blogs and to begin to interact with their customers.
[UPDATE] Community 2.0 contributor, Scott Monty Consigliere for crayon and writes the Social Media Marketing Blog at scottmonty.com, was quick to highlight a point from our original post: ”I take issue with the wiki lumping Rose’s blog in with the other corporate blogs. From what I can tell, she’s an independent author whose blog is sponsored by a General Mills product – nowhere on her site is she identified as an employee of the company. In my view, this is very different from a corporate blog.’ Great catch Scott. There is a big difference between a corporate blog, where the focus is primarily about the company and its product(s) and is most if not all cases writing is from internal employees, to a blog that is sponsored by a corporation. One is a chance for the company to express their particular perspective on any number of related topics, but a sponsored blog, may simply be a branding opportunity. In this case, Gold Metal Flour is associated with a well-known baker and writer, even though she may cover topics and products that could in fact be competitors. Actually going back and looking through the list, I believe this is the only sponsored blog out of the other corporate blogs. Thanks Scott for pointing this out.

What happens when you take the community out of online communities?

With the end of the writer’s strike, many TV fans are rejoicing with returning their returning TV series. The show Gossip Girl, which is not fairing so well on television, is having an outstanding season online.

Do to the young audience it’s aimed at, these kids mostly follow the show via streaming it off of The CW‘s website. The Internet community has fully adopted this show as their own. Not to mention the show has an island on Second Life, and the cast members have become the center of gossip themselves on blogs around the internet.
So, as of the return of Gossip Girl to national television last week, President Dawn Ostroff has pulled all legal ways of viewing Gossip Girl for free online according to this article at Wired. However, the show is still available on ITunes. But what will The CW do to make up for the hundreds of thousands of streams they get from the CW website, how is the CW’s online community going to react?
This television show is about a blog. The CW is innovating and finding new ways to catch the viewership of the next generation with the streaming video, but now they’ve turned their back on it. Do you think it will severely affect their online presence by blocking one of the top downloaded television shows on the internet?

Let’s Not Forget Face-to-Face

There is no doubt that online communities have become robust, sophisticated, and customizable to a degree never seen before. Aside from many off-the-shelf and well known social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, there are white label options from Ning, Kickapps and Mzinga (a Community 2.0 sponsor), to name a few.

And with every new development available technologically – applications, widgets and other virtual marvels – there’s still a very basic ingredient from which community managers can benefit. And while it’s going to seem like heresy here because it’s so “1.0,” it’s an essential component to building relationships with customers and community members. It’s simply human nature.

It’s face-to-face.

Yes, there is an unheralded opportunity to connect with others online and to get feedback through a variety of methods. But somehow, there’s nothing like sitting down with a customer, colleague or online friend and getting to know them in a much more personal and intimate way.

Conferences (and unconferences, for that matter) are great ways to connect, but it doesn’t have to be that formal. When I’m traveling, I like to arrange “Tweetups” in cities I’ll be in by activating my Twitter network. And I like to get out to lunch at least once a week with colleagues in the new media space. Exchanging ideas, picking brains, challenging assumptions, sharing the latest developments – it’s all fair game in such situations. And I find that there’s nothing as refreshing and invigorating as having that real-life interaction.

I’m aware that there have been opportunities for face-to-face meetings for members of some online communities from Communispace (a Community 2.0 sponsor). These were individuals who knew each other online for years who decided to meet when one of them was diagnosed with cancer. It was as if it was a family or long-lost friends were getting together again. Like a reunion without the benefit of ever having met before (a preunion?). It was powerful and it completely solidified the existing relationships.

So while it’s utterly fascinating to ponder the possibilities of online communities, there are some offline components that are worth considering. After all, sitting with your laptop won’t sustain long term relationships. You have to take the time to sit with people too.

Scott Monty is Consigliere for crayon and writes the Social Media Marketing Blog at scottmonty.com.

Facebook: Creating networks no matter who you are

As reported in the BBC Friday, April 18, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen organized a group of 100 people to go jogging on his personal property in Marienborg, which is located north of Copenhagen. The group was organized through Facebook to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Prime Minister Rasmussen’s leadership of the Danish Liberal Party, also known as Venstre.
The internet provides a powerful place to bring people together. Many times, when creating a community through a social networking site, you never know who is going to join. As we’ve heard, most of the time, word of mouth marketing is the best way to influence customers. With powerful people joining and creating these groups, who knows who could join your networking group.

Segway Scooters get a Social Network

According to AdWeek, Segway Scooters have started a social network. Segway scooters are self balancing electric scooters for adults. The aim of this new social network is to allow scooter users to foster a relationship over the brand.
Once Segway realized that there were customers who had sites set up in order to facilitate communication between other scooter users, they decide they needed to give their customers a way to communicate through them.
While many social networking sites for products have failed, Daryl Ohrt, the Brand Manger at Plaid, believes that this site is truly for the customers. It can allow them to interact with other scooter users in the area and set up functions where they can all gather. The marketing for this campaign will be primarily through letting new users know
I think Segway has caught onto something. The community that can grow between scooter users can be tight knit, and network with each other in order to have more fun with their product.

Social Media is about the People

In a recent post at Cosmedia, Geno Cosme brings up a very important point that is often forgotten when it comes to social media companies adopting Web 2.0 software. It’s not about the best technology, it’s about the customer.
A company brings in a communication channel via web 2.0 in order to begin communication with the people that support the company. A successful outcome in this arena means that there is meaningful conversation between the company and the customer. Due to the corporate mentality, companies focus on the technology that is the best. So when they bring this ‘best’ technology, often times they forget to think about the customer.
So, mold your technology for the people its catering to. Your people shouldn’t have to navigate technology they don’t understand or have no reason to navigate. Focus your web tools purposefully for them. After all, the best communication will come from happy customers who are excited to use your technology.

Podcasting plans for Community 2.0

As a guy who’s done a fair bit with podcasting over the last couple of years — both producing my own show and editing episodes for clients — I’m a strong advocate of using audio and the power of the human voice as a channel for sharing news and stories from conference and other live events.

And since I’ll be the guy sporting the brand-spanking-new Zoom H2 digital audio recorder at this year’s Community 2.0 Conference
(I just put in the order on Amazon yesterday!), I’m going to make sure we do just that while I’m in Las Vegas next month. My plan is to post a series of short audio interviews throughout the event, as I capture the thoughts, reactions, and learnings from presenters and attendees.

To give you a sense of how other conferences have incorporated podcasting into their events, check out these three examples:

Conference podcasts are never a true substitute for attending the actual event, but they can serve a number of useful purposes, depending on when they’re released and who’s listening: building buzz for an upcoming event, keeping attendees in the loop about alternate sessions or last-minute schedule changes, giving non-participants who are following the event online a sense of what their missing and whetting their appetite to attend the next time, and creating a digital audio repository that will live on in the long tail of the Web.

Bryan Person is a community organizer and social media evangelist from Boston. He blogs at BryanPerson.com.

Community 2.0 Webinars This Week!

We’re excited to deliver to you the most up to date information directly from the experts. So this week, we have two webinars on community building for your enterprise.

First, on Wednesday, we’re presenting ‘Developing a Playbook for your 2.0 Community ‘ presented by Sylvia Morino and Kathleen Gilroy from the Otter Group and on Thursday, we’re presenting to you ‘From Networking to Net Work‘ presented by Community 2.0 keynote speaker Patty Anklam. The latter half of this post will give you descriptions on each presentation along with a short introduction to the presenter.

Webinar 1: Developing a Playbook for your 2.0 Community

On Wednesday, April 23rd from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EST, Sylvia Marino and Kathleen Gilroy of the Otter Group will be presenting Developing a Playbook for your 2.0 Community. Sylvia Marino is the Executive Director of Community Operations at Edmunds.com Inc. Kathleen Gilroy is the CEO of SWIFT Media Networks and an expert in implementing web 2.0 tools and services for business applications.

This one hour webinar will begin to explore how to develop a playbook for your 2.0 community. The playbook is a document that describes a set of strategies and tactics for building a successful community. The webinar will walk participants through what steps are needed to create and document a playbook and explore some tactics and technologies for executing on the strategy with technologists, users, community owners, and other key stakeholders. The webinar will also look at some sample plays that have been used by Kathleen and Sylvia in communities they have built.

To participate in this web seminar, register here.

Webinar 2: Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World

On Thursday, April 24th, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm EST, we’re having Patty Anklam, a keynote speaker at the Community 2.0 Conference, who is also an independent consultant with expertise in collaboration practices, social network analysis, and knowledge management systems strategy and architecture.

This talk, a preview of Patti Anklam’s keynote at Community 2.0, will include highlights from her book, Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World. Patti offers insight into ways of thinking about networks ‘ terminology, different types of networks, ways of categorizing networks, ways to analyze and make sense of networks ‘ so that we can be more effective and productive in how we approach being in the multiple networks we live in.

To participate in this web seminar, register here.

Both of these webinars are brought to you by the Community 2.0 Conference May 12th through 15th at the Red Rocks Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Social Marketing Efforts

Today, the internet is seen as a place to strike gold. With little effort, you website and/or online community will instantly take off, and bring you lots of profit and customers.

In a blog post at Affinitive’s Social Media Playground, they point out that when it comes to marketing, word of mouth is usually the best way to go. It is easy to use the internet in a word of mouth fashion.

With all the studies of the buying habits of the millennial generation, it’s not hard to see why. They’ve been saturated their entire lives with advertisements, and now look to their friends and peers for recommendation. As a result, social media can be beneficial in spreading the word about your product. However, it takes time and patience to see your network take off.

So take your time, build up a loyal base of customers by giving them an outlet such as a social networking community to create a buzz about your product. It may take some time, but if your product is worthwhile, your social marketing efforts will take off.