Troubleshooting Your Hiring Strategy

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In tough economic times, becoming complacent doesn’t pay. With a larger applicant pools, it’s possible for HR departments to tap into greater wells of talent: a double-edged sword. On the one hand, finding the best of the best becomes more of a reality. On the other, the sheer mass of applications to wade through to get into that position takes time—and as you know, that means money.

Of course, the strategy that maximizes your time is recruitment advertising. The tactics you use should aim not for the quantity of applicants, but the quality. Tailor your media—articles and web postings—with language that challenges an applicant as much as invite their resume. If you’re looking for extremely qualified applicants, don’t be afraid to ask for that up front.

Agencies like us exist to maximize the dollars you spend in recruitment initiatives with results that improve the functioning of your organization. We welcome all questions!

Signing off for now,

Buyer Advertising
www.buyerads.com

Building a Community

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With recent changes to the way search engines like Google return results, and as a necessary step in the evolution of hiring strategies, social media is unmatched. Every day, we see companies like Progressive and Staples use their Facebook collective buying power of thousands to increase sales revenue—not to mention to exist as a powerful well of talent to draw upon. You recognize Facebook’s role in your own ability to stay competitive. But how do you get started? For those beginning from scratch, here are a few tips to steer you down the right path.

Don’t Market. Social media is a whole different species from traditional channels. When you’re deciding what to write in the omni-present “update” box, steer clear of anything that promotes your business. “Friends” are not customers, and they can smell a pitch a mile away. Stick to content that benefits them, not yourself.

Start Right. First rule of social media: empty fan lists tend to empty unless acted upon by an outside force. Ask friends and employees help “seed” your fan list to get you started. If your new fans like what they read, they just may invite friends of their own.

Lighten Up. All work and no play makes Jack… well, you know the saying. Facebook and its ilk are mediums of leisure—therefore, part of your posting strategy should be to entertain your fanbase. Try a few techniques and see what works best.

Happy hunting,

Buyer Advertising
www.buyerads.com

What Heat Mapping Has to Teach Us

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It’s the 21st century, and with these modern times comes an array of technology and tools that make us more effective advertisers. Chief among these is heat mapping—the process of tracking a customer’s eye movements when seeing a webpage for the first time. The eyes don’t lie: there’s a lot to be learned in regards to how a casual consumer relates to your landing page or site itself. Here are some important lessons.

People don’t read. On the ‘net, our time is valuable. People are very finicky consumers when it comes to the written word. Heat Mapping has shown that the average users spends almost no time reading the content of a piece—instead, they elect to scan the first few copy points or initial sentence. Having viable copy establishes professionalism; however, don’t count on it to bring in the majority of customers by itself.
Headlines Sell. Everyone loves a good headline. When analyzed, nearly every heat map has shown that people almost always read the headline first and thoroughly. What this represents: an opportunity. If you can make your pitch brief, cohesive, and compelling, you’re on your way towards a conversion.

We Love Faces. More than any other element, people are drawn to faces. Put a fellow’s (or ladies’) face up on the screen, and sure enough, a heat map will glow bright red around that image. Humanity is drawn to itself. Faces are interesting: attractive, ugly, unique-looking, every face tells a story. Count on images of people to draw attention and help tell your story.

Until next time,

Buyer Advertising
www.buyerads.com

Trend Watch: A Facebook “Terms” Page

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If you thought the untamed realm of social media is (or should be) free of legalese, think again. A growing trend for companies—especially large businesses—is to create a set of their own “terms and conditions” for Internet pedestrians to scan before becoming a follower of their Facebook page.

The extra steps companies are adding to the process of joining your online crew are (supposedly) for good reason. Take the fansite of Progressive’s new mascot, “The Messanger.” Before a patron becomes a fan, they are prompted to read specialized terms and conditions before clicking that “like” button. One excerpt reads, “You agree that you will not submit Content or otherwise use the Page in any manner that would interfere with or damage the Page, including, without limitation, through the use of viruses, cancel bots, Trojan horses, harmful code, flood pings, denial of service attacks, packet or IP spoofing, forged routing or electronic mail address information or similar methods or technology.”
In other words, don’t spam up the boards or try to scam our fans out of personal information and/or life savings.

So, should your company take the time to create and display a “terms and conditions” section for your Facebook page? In the short term, it’s difficult to see how a simple page of text would stop scammers and fraudsters, many of whom live far outside the boundaries of English-speaking countries in the first place, from posting fake login mirrors and advertisements for prescription medicine. However, as the legal issues and rights ascribed to social media firm up, having a terms page could be an important tool in policing your company’s digital rights. Worth a consideration, anyhow.

See you next time,

Buyer Advertising
www.buyerads.com

Online Job Interviews: Yea or Nay?

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We may not have rocket boots or flying cards (yet) in these modern times, but one futuristic trend is making its way into HR offices already: the online job interview. Although it may seem like something from the Jetsons, HR personnel and hiring managers alike are giving up the leather chairs and clipboards, and instead asking potential candidates to stay home and switch on their computers.

There are a few compelling reasons that face-to-face is becoming passé. Services like Green Job Interview (greenjobinterview.com) are promoting their product as enabling hiring staff to make decisions without the ecological cost of carbon-burning transportation and paper waste. As they put it, “By utilizing secure, browser-based technology and support services, organizations and candidates interact face-to-face while minimizing costs, maximizing time, and reducing environmental impact.” Other companies providing “virtual” job interviews include HireVue (www.hirevue.com), which promotes their service by stating you can save an average of $3,000 to $5,000 by interviewing and hiring online.

Of course, as a trend, nobody’s certain if this all-too futuristic fad will catch on. There are bound to be hiring managers who won’t give up their hiring routine for the sake of a little gasoline and paperwork. So the question remains: will online hiring become a recruitment standard, or a flash in the pan?

Until next time,

Buyer Advertising
www.buyerads.com

Social Media Strategizing for 2011

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It’s a new year, and your company has a new focus: bringing in business by utilizing New Media. It’s no easy task. Considering that sites like Facebook and Twitter are only a scant few years old, determining tactics for these new mediums is a hazy enterprise at best.

Companies are still figuring out the strategies that work for their line of business. But whether you sell shoes or jet engines, there are two goals you should have in mind: increasing the number of followers, and provide ways they can pick up what you’re offering.

That is to say, of course, that your tactics shouldn’t necessarily reflect your goals. After all, pitching offers to your fanbase one after another is a surefire way to lose your audience in a hurry. If there’s one thing that 2010 has to teach us, it’s that large companies don’t necessarily translate into successful online powerhouses. Small organizations can get it right, too.

At the risk of oversimplifying, one great strategy is simple: don’t be boring. The most successful businesses in the world may have their message down to a science, but that doesn’t mean you can robotic about disseminating it. People aren’t machines. Remain personal, laid back, even humorous. Offer content real people can use—not just CEOs. Cater to the casual. And stay interactive. Join us this year as we explore social media in detain, including ways for you to strike it big in the world of social media.

Best wishes for the new year!

Buyer Advertising
www.buyerads.com

11 Advertising Trends for 2011

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As we gear up to say farewell to 2010, we find ourselves already looking forward to the future—to a year of new technology, interesting recruitment strategies, and approaches that will innovate the field of HR, advertising, and beyond. Here’s a quick look at what the year ahead may hold.

More about mobile:

1. More apps at your fingertips. Look for organizations to deliver real-time product offerings and availability, as well as instant job openings and qualifications

2. Mobile coupons and promotions being delivered and utilized from handheld devices.

3. Innovative new ways for companies to use existing connections (think Facebook and Twitter friends/followers) to reach potential customers.

4. Text messaging growing as a means to distribute information—and reach a target audience in the process.

5. Increased opportunity to order products and provide ebrochures online.

Viral desires:

6. New games to provide some fun distraction while pitching a business.

7. Silly YouTube videos. Wacky podcasts. Increasingly bizarre commercials.

8. More ways to reach more audiences online: think the next Digg, but with social media integration.

Steamlining.

9. Expect a merge: Today, on your Facebook page, you see advertisements and content. Expect a blend of the two in the future, where messaging becomes a promotional tool for companies themselves.

10. According to eMarketer, expect an increase of 10.5% spent in online advertising.

11. Advertisements becoming more content focused, delivering information rather than just the same ol’ pitch.
Join us in 2011 as we explore the wild frontier of advertising together!

Until the New Year,

Buyer Advertising
www.buyerads.com

Don’t Neglect LinkedIn

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Like any good advertising strategy, it’s easy to sweep the old faithfuls under the rug. In the midst of the growing popularity of Twitter and Facebook, there are many who neglect the underdogs. LinkedIn came into being in 2003, and since then, by-the-minute media has been the flavor of choice–with flashy features such as instant tweets and a library of Facebook apps. Simply stated, to some, LinkedIn has become old hat.

However, keeping an active account is a worthwhile endeavor for nearly any organization. Even without the designer interface and the mobile media extras, LinkedIn provides a valuable “at a glance” stats about a company without a client needing to navigate individual company websites. It’s essential for SEO, where sites like Google can parse LinkedIn to see if an organization exists outside their own little webspace. And as a portal for employees-to-be or prospective clients, LinkedIn offers an attractive way to reach individual people, rather than the info@yourcompany.com many organizations use as a default.

But perhaps the most compelling argument to keep up with LinkedIn is that people know it and use it already. It’s found a home in the bookmarks of millions, and if you’re spending time keeping up a presence, it’s only logical that you’ll reach some potential hires or customers. After all, advertising where the people are remains one of the fundamental tenants of any successful enterprise.

Signing off for now,
Buyer Advertising
www.buyerads.com

The Logistics of Going Social

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You’d love to get in on this social media thing, but you just don’t have the time. With the amount of material to read and digest, and a laundry list of “to-do’s”, it’s easy to keep putting off the bits and parts that make a successful online strategy. Here’s an approach to get you started.

Companies need to take a different route than individuals when establishing themselves on Twitter and Facebook. Not only do you have different setup routes (such as Facebook, where you need to list your company as a business instead of as a person), but you’ll need to include more information. One tip is to collect this data ahead of time. Choose an associate to manage the account. List their email address as the primary holder. Collect the following snippets: your organization’s contact information, your physical address, your telephone number, your blog address (if you have one), hours of business, and a brand image to display. You’ll need this when setting up a Facebook account, and you can even elect to use some of this in your Twitter account, too. Launching a complete social media profile helps to avoid being mis-categorized for a few days by popular search engines, and allows you to begin producing meaningful content immediately.

Once you’re set up, decide on an updating strategy. And you do want to update. Not only is social media a great way to maintain SEO and draw in customers, it’s an opportunity to promote content and change your voice, even stepping away from the traditional brand of your own product. Social media provides a chance to re-invent yourself with a fresh voice, and that’s a project few organizations can afford to pass up.

Signing off for now,

Buyer Advertising
www.buyerads.com

The Ghosts of Social Media

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Well, it’s that haunting time of the year yet again–Halloween is coming around. So to celebrate, we’re telling ghosts stories. Specifically, we’re talking about social media ghosts—aka the silent majority, or those who consume content without offering much in the way of feedback.

Here are the facts: only a small, single-digit percentage of followers and friends post comments on your company blog or Facebook. At the same time, having an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is becoming more and more necessary. Doesn’t this sound contradictory? The key to reaching out to those lurkers who remain silent is to stay active yourself. When a question or comment does pop up, respond right away rather than letter the days or even weeks slip by. A quick response time indicates to your audience that you’re an active company willing to interact with customers on a one-on-one basis.

It’s important to remember the ghosts, because the Internet at large is consumed in a rather one-directional medium: from content providers to information seekers. As you define your brand on your online space, keep your messaging comprehensive enough for all.

Signing off,
Buyer Advertising
www.buyerads.com