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Thanks to FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and a slew of other social media platforms, job seekers are closer than ever to the decision-makers at their target companies.

While social media is wonderful as a stand-alone tool in any job seeker’s toolbox, you should know that it’s even better when combined with other “old-fashioned” standbys — such as your resume.

The glory of a resume is that it’s completely fluid. A resume can be big, small, online, offline, video-recorded, illustrated, etc. No matter the format, your resume will only improve when combined with social media.

Follow these four tips to optimize your resume with social media.

 


1. Link to Social


Nowadays, 10.9% of resumes include a social media link, and the number continues to rise. The more transparent you make yourself to potential employers, the the more comfortable they’ll be hiring you.

Include your FacebookTwitter and especially LinkedIn profile URLs along the top of your resume, next to your name, email and phone number. Make sure the links are handy so the employer can quickly learn more about you, without having to do a lot of digging.

 


2. Fact-Check Yourself


While sending your information out in a dozen different directions, it’s easy to overlook outdated information. Therefore, update constantly. An employer shouldn’t see one thing on your resume and something different on LinkedIn.

Keep a list of all the social media and career sites on which have professional accounts or information. Once a month, check to make sure everything is up-to-date and matches your current resume.

 


3. Don’t Just Copy/Paste


Your resume is full of content that also works great for your social media profiles. Feel free to use information from your resume for social network sections like “work experience,” “about me,” etc.

However, remember to share carefully selected content. Don’t just copy/paste your entire resume into your “about me” section. Not only will this flood your profile, but your resume’s formatting probably won’t travel well either.

Instead of copy/pasting, select a handful of solid phrases or anecdotes for your social profile. That way, you’ll guarantee that anyone reading your profile will get the most important information.

 


4. Use Keywords for SEO


Beyond your experience, skills and goals, remember that keywords are king. The unfortunate truth about today’s job search is that potential employers use Google and almighty Applicant Tracking Systems to peruse social media sites for the best candidates.

To stay on top of current industry jargon, study similar job listings for words that pop up frequently. Additionally, a variety of powerful SEO tools, which already exist for marketers, can easily be re-purposed to optimize your resume for search.

What do you think? What other tips should social media-savvy job seekers keep in mind when optimizing their resumes for social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Provided by Gerrit Hall

There’s bad news and good news about the way consumers interact with brands on social media.

The bad news? When customers complain on social media, those complaints can tarnish your brand’s name for a wide audience faster than ever.

The good news? Just as complaints travel at light speed thanks to social media, so do compliments.

If you think you’re not “on” or “doing” social media, you’re wrong. Your company may not be active, but I guarantee your fans and your non-supporters are there. Because of this, it is the brand’s responsibility to create a social media experience that can turn a dissatisfied customer into a raving fan.

To help your brand do this, here are seven ways to create a memorable customer experience on social media.


1. Give Your Customers a Place to Talk


Some companies are afraid to set up Facebook pages because they allow customers to comment, which means someone might write something negative. It seems counterintuitive, but you should actually wantcustomers to complain on your company’s Facebook page. If your customers are complaining about you on their personal, privacy-protected Facebook profiles, you have no way to know if they’re complaining, much less reach out to them and make it right.

When customers complain on your brand’s Facebook page, you can respond and resolve issues. If you do it right (and get a little lucky), unhappy customers will turn their opinions around and recommend you to friends because of your fantastic customer service.

 


2. Integrate Social Media Into Your Customer Service


Neglecting your social media properties when they’re full of customer complaints is suicide for your brand. It’s like publishing a customer service hotline phone number that no one ever answers. (Except worse, because the whole Internet can see your negligence.)

Don’t open up the floor for complaints without a plan to handle them. Predict the complaints you may get and construct policies for replying to them. You should also plan on responding to fans who compliment you. At the very least, you should thank customers for the compliment. But if you really want to make customers happy, show happy customers your appreciation with coupons or other rewards.

 


3. Activate Your Existing Customer Base


Most brands have more customers than they do Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Start building your social media fan base by reaching out to your current customers — after all, they already “like” your brand in real life.

Think about how you currently contact your customer base and how you can use those communication channels to draw customers to your social media properties. For example, you could run a contest or promotion on Facebook and then include that promotion on your product’s packaging, in your next email, and in any touch point you have with your customers.

 


4. Be Proactive


Don’t just wait for someone to post on your wall or tweet your account. It’s especially easy on Twitter to monitor for mentions of your name and reach out when someone has a problem, even if they haven’t mentioned your account. Set your brand apart by proactively interacting with customers who are talking about your brand, whether you’re thanking them for a compliment or helping them solve a problem.

Think about why your customers use social media sites like Twitter — it’s because they want to “connect” and to have a voice out there. Make them happy that someone, most importantly your company, is listening to what they have to say.

 


5. Reward Influencers


Find the social media influencers for your audience and give them extras. This could be as simple as giving them advance notice of a special promotion, or complex as giving them a free trip and tour of your facilities. For example, check out what Musselman’s apple sauce did for its blogger network. Making people feel special will help turn them into advocates for your brand. Reward your brand ambassadors when they least expect it and you’ll see some pretty phenomenal results.

 


6. Create Compelling Content


Give your fans something of value on your page. For example, Nordstom’s “Beauty Central” on Facebook provides a ton of relevant, useful content. You can do something similar to this in every industry. If you’re a movie producer, post behind-the-scenes photos, and if you’re a bank, write money saving tips. It’s hard to get people to engage with your brand when you don’t have anything interesting to say. Every brand can (and should) create quality content.

Social media can be a channel to make customers or followers feel special, like they’re in an exclusive club with your brand because they follow you. Make them feel this exclusiveness whether you have ten social media fans or 100,000.

 


7. Stand Out From the Crowd


Some of the most memorable social media experiences are created by going beyond text. This can be as complex as Starbucks’s Pumpkin Picture app, or simple as using voice applications to let your brand’s spokesperson actually speak to your fans. The more interactive and engaging your social media presence, the better. In part, social media is a little anti-social because there can be a lot lost in plain text. By giving your fans a true voice on social media, or encouraging participation through photos and videos, you humanize the experience that much more. You’ll be doing so when most of the other companies out there aren’t really participating effectively this way.

 

Provided by Dave Toliver

Manchester-United-nugget14-club-23268192-1024-600

As first reported by Brand RepublicManchester United, the English Premier Football Club has announced that it will launch its own social network for its identified target of more than 500 million worldwide fans. Brand Republic says MU wants the new network to ”drive engagement with the club’s fans and tap into Asian markets, where Manchester United has a strong following and smartphone use is growing rapidly”.

Manchester United has hired SapientNitro, an integrated marketing services company as its global digital agency to handle its digital strategy, digital marketing communications and online experience. Over the past several years, SapientNitro has tackled marketing and technology for clients such as ADT, Air Canada, AT&T, Burger King, Carnival Cruises, Citi, Coca-Cola, Condé Nast, H&R Block, JCPenney, Kraft and Mercedes AMG.

Our friends at Simply Zesty write, “The site marks a huge step for the team, who have consistently embraced social media. No specific features of the site have been revealed, so it’s not clear yet how much the site will act as a replacement for Facebook or Twitter activity. It has been revealed however, that the site will have an extensive video offering, with exclusive behind-the-scenes clips and content from players.”

But wait, why not just use Facebook and Twitter since it’s where the fans are anyways? Simply Zesty points out, “It shows that as companies become more sophisticated in their use of social media, that sometimes Facebook won’t do the job.” My guess? Manchester United wants to leverage its own ad network and sponsorship opportunities for brands. (=$$$)

Interestingly enough, our TNW editor Paul Sawers points out that Manchester United is actually quite low down on the list of Twitter Influence when ranked against other European Football teams, as they have yet to post a single tweet from their official Twitter account. Also, I’m unsure how Manchester United plans to get 500 million fans to sign up for its yet-to-launch platform when it can only convince 20 million out of Facebook’s 800 users to follow it on an existing social network.

Manchester United Liverpool Red Knows Day2 80 1998050 520x390 Manchester United to launch its own social network for 500 million fans

 

Provided by Courtney Boyd Myers

microsoft-office-future-video

Microsoft has released a concept video showing its vision of the future. Spoiler alert: cell phones are going to get thinner.

 

Want to watch another concept video of what the future might be like? You’ve come to the right place. Two days ago, Microsoft’s Office YouTube channel released a video showing what productivity might be like in the future. Oddly, there aren’t many Office or Microsoft logos around and the interfaces of most devices don’t really look like Windows, though they all seem to use the Windows Phone fonts and simplistic style.

In Microsoft’s vision, all screens are as thin as a sheet of paper, cell phones are just a slice of glass, everything has holographic displays, you can flick documents from one object to another, and even desks and car windows have built in screens. The question is, do we want to live in a world like this? It seems a bit sterile.

Provided by Jeffrey Van Camp

If you’re buying a car, do you check Facebook? Or do you read up on Kelley Blue Book values and scour the company website for every spec, from horsepower to miles per gallon? What about music — do you check Top 40 radio charts or scope out what your Facebook friends are actually listening to on Spotify?

Social media has infiltrated the purchasing funnel, helping consumers make informed decisions, from what to have for lunch to where to go on vacation. Depending on the decision, sometimes you turn to your social graph, and sometimes you turn to Google. So, as a brand marketer, you want to know what online channels you should be targeting in order to reach the perfect audience for your product.

But regardless of what kind of consumer you’re trying to reach or what you’re selling, your SEO better be top notch — search is the most important influence on the web.

The infographic below, featuring data from M Booth and Beyond, analyzes the differences between high and low sharers and various purchasing decisions, helping brands to understand how should be targeting consumers.

What kind of consumer are you? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

Provided by Lauren Drell

unthink-invitation

Dubbed the “anti-Facebook,” newly launched social network Unthink aims to free users from the bonds of corporate money-making by giving them complete control over their personal data.

There’s a new social network in town, and it bills itself as everything Facebook’s not. Unthink.com, which opened up registration today for an initial round of beta users, says it is the “anti-Facebook,” and vows to give users complete control over their personal data.

Unthink, which is based in Tampa, Florida, came out swinging, with a manifesto that vows to “emancipate social media,” along with a promotional video that literally says “FU” to Facebook andGoogle+ for making money by “spying – yes, spying” on users and bombarding users with ads, among other grievances.

According to Unthink chief executive Natasha Dedis, the idea for a new kind of social network came to her in 2007, when her son asked to join Facebook. After reading Facebook’s terms and conditions, as well as the terms of MySpace (which reigned king of social media at the time), Dedis said in an interview with SixEstate that she realized that these companies were operating under a business logic that was “totally irrational and exploitative.”

“…I felt that they were basically taking my son hostage,” said Dedis. “He was giving them a perpetual license to do whatever they wanted, they could change the terms at any time. So I thought, ‘Oh my god, in the real world, no business could ask its clients to enter into such a legal relationship. So how is this even legal on the Web?’ It just baffled me.”

Unthink attempts to tackle the exploitation problem in a number of different ways. First, Unthink makes all user data private by default. Users may then allow others to see the information they want public, and keep private anything they want private. Next, Unthink doesn’t sell user data to companies. Instead, users can choose to have specific brands “sponsor” their pages. Any users who don’t want corporate sponsorship can pay a $2-a-year fee to use the service. In addition, Unthink users may choose how brands communicate with them via a section that’s totally separate from their regular information stream.

As we see it, Unthink faces an inconceivably difficult uphill battle against Facebook and Google+. At the same time, however, Unthink’s servers are, at the time of this writing, completely overwhelmed by the bombardment of traffic headed to the site today. While some may see that as evidence that the company is unprepared for the big leagues, it at least shows that people are interested in a Facebook alternative – something we saw in droves with the launch of Google+.

We’ll definitely be exploring Unthink more in the coming days. In the mean time, check out Unthink’s in-your-face promo video, and let us know what you think of, er, Unthink:

Provided by Andrew Couts

Is your website meeting the needs of on-the-go mobile users?

When you’re developing your first mobile site, you may be at a loss. That’s understandable—a mobile website is an entirely different animal from a traditional website.

Given that, it’s important to keep some best practices in mind as you develop your mobile presence.

What follows are 9 best practices you can use to ensure your mobile site is as good as it can be.

About Mobile Users

But before we dive into the 9 best practices, it’s important to keep one thing in mind—the person viewing your site is mobile.

That may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many people forget that simple truth.

When someone is mobile, they’re expecting an entirely different experience from the one they’ll get on your standard website.

For example, a mobile visitor is typically looking for a few key pieces of information: directions to your office, a click-to-call phone number or a map of your store locations. What they’re not looking for are lengthy staff bios, information about your corporate philosophy or PDFs of your latest press releases.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 9 best practices for mobile website design that can help you create a site that puts your best foot forward.

 

#1: Simplify. Then Simplify Again. And Again

The first step in creating a mobile site is determining what content you’ll include. Given the restricted amount of screen space, it’s important to figure out what key pieces of information your visitors will probably be looking for.

A store locator? Probably. A “Contact Us” form with 13 different fields to fill out? Not so much.

It’s also important to keep the steps involved in going from entry point to purchase as simple as possibleFandango does a great job of this by eliminating much of their non-essential content to quickly bring their consumers what they want: movie times.

fandangoFandango does more than just provide a simple mobile web design—they provide a mobile ticket, too, thus completing the sales cycle.

Better still, Fandango completes the sales cycle by providing a QR code that acts as a mobile ticket for the purchaser. Just bring the phone to the theater and have them scan the code there—it acts as the purchaser’s ticket.

 

#2: Plan Your Site Layout

Mobile web pages will load slower than traditional web pages, so it’s important to keep the number of pages to a minimum. In addition, users won’t have the patience to click several pages deep on your site. Given that, it’s important to keep the site layout as streamlined as possible.

One technique I encourage people to use is to think like Steve Jobs. As you know, Jobs is famous for creating user experiences that are streamlined and intuitive. Put on your Steve Jobs hat to remind you to keep things as streamlined as possible. By doing so, your visitors will have a better experience when they’re on your site.

Domino’s must have been wearing their Steve Jobs hat when they developed their mobile site (and their brilliantly designed app). Instead of creating a cluttered site with confusing options, they simplified their site and limited it to the items people would most likely be searching for.

dominosDomino’s used the Steve Jobs approach to website development—it’s an uncluttered site that provides limited navigation. Surprisingly, this minimalist approach improves the customer experience.

 

#3: Match the Branding Elements From Your Standard Site to Your Mobile Site

Even though your mobile site will be much more streamlined than your standard site, you’ll still want to incorporate the same branding elements on both sides of the equation.

This is important for two reasons. A mobile site is a brand touchpoint and, like any other property, should reflect and promote your brand essence. Also, for users who are already familiar with your company, a similar design will make them feel like they’re visiting an old friend, which is an important consideration for your most loyal customers.

mobile sitesKeep the color palette and the brand imagery consistent between your mobile site and your standard site.

The 60 Second Marketer site uses the same bright color palette and iconography in both the standard and mobile websites. The result is that a user who is familiar with the standard site will have a similar experience on the mobile site, too.

 

#4: Utilize White Space

When designing any website, it’s a natural tendency to cram in as much information as possible. But fight that urge. Not only does white space give a cleaner, more sophisticated appearance, it also ensures that users can easily click the button they’re aiming for.

msnbcThis mobile site for MSNBC does a good job of keeping enough padding around all of the text to ensure that the user is able to accurately select the content he or she is looking for.

 

#5: Avoid Flash or Java

The obvious reason for avoiding Flash is that Apple products do not support Flashand have declared that they have no intention to do so in the future. Because iPhones make up about 30% of the smartphone market, a significant portion of your audience may not be able to access your content if you use Flash. Similarly, many phones do not support Java, and even if they do, using Java can be a huge drag on load time.

 

#6: Reduce the Amount of Text Entry Necessary

Do you suffer from fat-finger syndrome, which makes it difficult to use a smartphone keyboard? Most of us have trouble typing on tiny keyboards. When possible, use dropdown menus, checklists and pre-populated fields as a means of data entry. This helps minimize the challenges people face when typing text into a smartphone.

Take a cue from FedEx’s mobile site. Even though a lot of information has to be entered into the site to accomplish the user’s goal, the use of checklists and dropdown menus cuts down on the amount of text a user must enter.

fedexFedEx pre-populates text fields to make data entry easier for their visitors.

 

#7: Do Not Use Pop-Up Windows

Navigating between multiple tabs and browser windows is more difficult on mobile and can cause slow load times. If you need to open a new browser window, make sure you alert your user so that they know how to navigate back to the original page.

 

#8: Use Mobile Redirects

Once your site is designed and ready to go, make sure to put redirects in place that will sniff out when a visitor is using a mobile device and direct him or her to the mobile-optimized version of the site. For a more detailed description on how to do this, check out 5 Simple Steps to Getting Started With Mobile Marketing.

Once your redirects are in place, any mobile user who types in your web address or clicks on a link in a search engine will be sent to the mobile-optimized version of your site.

 

#9: Allow People to Visit the Full Site

You’ve worked hard on your mobile site. You want people to see it and you want people to love it. But the fact of the matter is, even if you’ve done a good job paring down your content, there will likely be someone who wants information you’ve chosen not to display.

As such, make sure you include links on multiple pages that allow the user to return to the full version of the site. You can see this feature on most mobile websites including USA Today, the Geek Squad, the Home Depot and Target.

geek squadHere the Geek Squad allows users to return to the main site at any point with a link at the bottom of the page.

Because mobile sites are a new landscape for most marketers, designing and building them can be a bit of a challenge. However, mobile sites also bring an awesome opportunity to showcase your brand and your creativity. As long as you keep the user’s needs top-of-mind, stay true to your brand and follow a few simple rules, you will have the hang of it in no time.

What are your thoughts? Have you created a mobile website for your business? What works and what doesn’t? Leave your comments

 

Provided by Jamie Turner


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