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Mobile Coupons Are Here

These days, it seems like everything is going online. Advertising campaigns, genealogy trees, even farming (we’re looking at you, Facebook). And now: coupons. Designed for touch-enabled smartphones like the Droid and iPhone, mobile coupons work work at the app level by displaying a coupon with a specific code that can be either scanned or entered into an online ordering system. And if the coupon out of date or expired? Too bad—it won’t display anymore.

Mobile coupons seem like a cute idea, but they make a lot of sense, too. It brings chronic coupon clippers up to date with new technology, and leads the bargain-savvy into logging on daily for the latest deals—meaning you’ve got an audience just itching to learn about your products. Mobile coupons are green, too. No paper needed.

Of course, there’s a ways to go before you can shelf your zip-lock bag full of Shaw’s coupons. You won’t find many storefronts (especially in mom and pop operations) that are happy to accept a coupon in the form of a picture on your phone. But the technology is both catchy and catching on: two ingredients needed for future growth. Keep an ear to the rails (and your hand on your smartphone).
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Tweeting for Jobs

It’s a simple task, yes? Simply boot up Twitter, log in with your company account information, and soon you’ll be uploading a 140-character job description for every position you have to fill. Easy! But hold on there. Before you go flooding your followers’ logs with line after line of spam, there’s one important realization you need to make: Twitter isn’t a job board. It’s a social tool.

Most people who log into Twitter aren’t looking for jobs—yes, even with today’s economy—they are human beings looking for recreation or searching for information (or both). To present your company in the best light possible and attract the most qualified candidates, you need to reach out in a human way. One way to approach Twitter is to think about helping other people—not yourself. Instead of focusing on the positions you need to fill, invite questions about your workplace. When commenting your answers, be specific, and answer honestly. Offer insight into your company day.

If there’s a golden rule in the Twitterverse, it’s this: connect. Find your niche, and interact with your followers. For some, reaching people is all about humor (think of the Old Spice guy and his recent campaign of individualized, video responses to questions). To others, connecting is all about opening the door to a play-by-play of their Friday afternoon Foosball match. How you go about it is up to you. Just remember to be kind, gracious, and human.

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Your Recruitment Strategy: Play Ball!

Every time you invest capital into your recruitment efforts, you’re stepping up to the plate. Like the best baseball teams in the nation (as to exactly which ones, we’ll leave that up to debate), you obviously want the most effective players on your side. Not only the top performers, but candidates who would best suit the environment of your offices and your culture. Let’s round the bases with a few coaching tips.

Keep your eye on the ball. Oftentimes, as strategies grow more elaborate, the goal is lost, having given way to packing in as much flash and pizzazz as possible. Even award-winning campaigns are still failures if you’re not attracting the population you want to hire. Gathering attention is great, but don’t forget to plainly state the type of candidate you’re looking for, and what they can exact as your employee.

Cover your bases. An extensive recruitment campaign brings to mind subway posters, giant billboards, and magazine inserts aplenty, but it doesn’t cover where America is spending most of their time: online. Most job seekers, especially young ones, spend more time logged into their personal computer than ever before. Don’t forget to post job opportunities and promote your employer brand on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, through blogs, and on your company site.

Swing as hard as you can. Carry campaigns into other mediums. Have mailers than send recipients to your website, and have mailing sign-ups on your site.  The more candidates you can gather, the smarter, more effective workforce you’re find yourself working beside.

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Are You a Good Brand Steward?

It’s a war of two worlds: the flash, fun, and razzle-dazzle of your brand and its advertisements, versus the reality of workers within the walls of your business. While the big players of a company can plan out a fantastic marketing campaign, oftentimes it takes longer for the employees themselves to catch up with the hype (if they ever do at all). When employee engagement lags behind, opportunities are lost.

There’s the story of a customer who wrote an email to the makers of Axe Body Spray with the single subject line, “HELP!” followed by an energetic, creative appeal. Apparently, this ppor soul had used their product, and just like Axe’s commercials, had been immediately accosted by hordes of lustful women. Instead of rolling her eyes and hitting “delete”, the rep at Axe HQ responded to this gentleman’s message instead played along, offering suggestions over the course of several emails such as where the hunted homme could hide out, and how to scrub off man musk off his body in the most effective way possible. At the end of the parlay, the rep wished the customer well and sent along a gift basket … as well as asking for his phone number. The quick-witted and engaged employee played into Axe’s brand strength—and likely earned themselves a customer for life.

Take the time to build brand appeal not just for customers, but for your employee base themselves. When your brand becomes a vessel for your promotions and lives in the minds of your employees, magic happens.