Category Archives: Blogging

5 Social Media Realities in November 2011

Social MediaWhether you are starting out in social media, or have been using it for some time, here are 5 useful tips that will help you keep ahead of the competition as we come to the end of 2011. Read the rest of this entry

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What to Blog? Or Not to Blog!

Hmmmm?Since starting a new job in August I’ve been finding it harder to find inspiration and motivation to write new posts on here. Read the rest of this entry

Facebook to Introduce Subscribe Button With 3 Features

Facebook Subscribe ButtonFollowing Twitter’s announcement that they will soon offer Twitter Web Analytics Facebook are to release a subscribe button. At first, this may not seem like a big deal, however this will have massive implications, which will ultimately benefit the world’s largest social network a great deal. Read the rest of this entry

Social Media Sharing Made Easier

Social media sharing toolThis is a blog that centres around social media, so it goes without saying that I use social media networks quite a lot. In isolation, each network I use is fantastic in its own way. I mean, they all have their little quirks. Facebook is annoying, Twitter is sometimes a bit too simple, barely anybody is on Google+ and don’t get me started on Reddit (their link submission tool is a real pain to use sometimes). Read the rest of this entry

Two Apps You Shouldn’t be Without

Evernote and DropboxThis is by no means a ground-breaking post, or even talking about anything new. But the number of people who I speak to that don’t use these two apps, yet could really benefit from them, has prompted me to write about them – Evernote and Dropbox. If you have both of these apps already, then I’m sorry. Please enjoy this picture of a monkey riding a dog for your troubles: Read the rest of this entry

#mansms takeaway: Social media for recruitment

Social media for recruitment takeawayThe May 2011 Social Media Surgery Manchester event took place last night, the topic for the evening was ‘Social media for recruitment: Getting a job through Twitter or Linkedin or Facebook’. Social media surgery events are free to attend and supported by the Manchester Digital Development agency (@MDDA on Twitter). The event was transcribed by Holleh Nowrouz (@Orchard_holleh) from Manchester-based digital recruitment agency Orchard. You can find details of the panel, attendees and the discussions that took place on the live blog page.

Following last night’s discussion here is my social media for recruitment takeaway, designed for job seekers as opposed to tactics for using social media to recruit:

  1. Don’t neglect the Old Skool. We are in the midst of a cultural shift and, whilst a professional social media presence will offer many advantages in a job search, they will be immediately undone if your CV is not up to scratch. A strong CV and cover letter remain an essential element of a successful job search. My employer Prospects.ac.uk has a great CV and cover letter section. Once you have a strong CV, then move on to setting up a professional social media presence (your personal brand), and if appropriate take it even further with a Facebook CV, about.me page or video CV (ok, maybe not like this one, but you get the picture).
  2. The social media shop window. Don’t just look at social media as a channel for searching for opportunities, use the various channels as an opportunity to showcase yourself, i.e. help a recruiter to use social media to search for more information about you. Don’t be under the illusion that if you create a fantastic set of social media profiles a recruiter will come knocking on your door. You still have to put the same amount of effort into finding a job, but you can use your CV to direct potential employers to your social media profiles which will then give them more of an idea about what you’re about and the skills you possess.
  3. Linkedin groups. Join Linkedin groups that your target employers are members of, not just the ones that they set up – for example the Association of Graduate Recruiters group. Don’t just be a spectator, contribute to discussions and share your experience, and more importantly try to add recruiters as connections after engaging in discussion with them – give them a reason to connect with you. Read my 9 simple steps to getting the most out of Linkedin post for more advice.
  4. Social media amplifies your efforts. Every piece of work you do, every event you attend and every conversation you have requires effort. Make the most out of these interactions and activities by tweeting, blogging and connecting. To use #mansms as an example, I blog prior to and after the event. I tweet before, during and afterwards as well as following all attendees and panel members. I direct people to my Linkedin profile and try to connect with as many attendees as possible. I also take a picture for blog posts and my Flickr account. So from a 2 hour session, which is very useful even in isolation, I’m amplifying the benefits by using it to create content for my social media profiles.
  5. Be social. Remember that social media, regardless of the tool used, is about facilitating relationships. If you meet someone face to face, add them on Linkedin and Twitter so that you can build on that relationship. Also, if you have an online connection that you regularly communicate with, arrange to meet them in person to consolidate that relationship. Whether they are potential employers, potential job referrers or just an interesting person, good connections always lead to opportunities.

Here are the attendees from last night’s surgery. Whether or not you attended last night, feel free to add your name, a bit about yourself and your social network profiles as comments to share/connect with other readers of this post.

#mansms

Micro-volunteering and why you should give it a go

Micro-volunteering involves the donation of time to small projects, typically supporting not-for-profit or charitable organisations.

The type of micro-volunteering that I have been trying my hand at is based online. It is perfect for those that either don’t have the time, or the stamina, or the inclination to run a 10K race* or participate in a triathlon. Instead they can donate their expert opinions and experience to answer issues such as ‘What do I do with my website?” and “How do I write a business plan?” that are posted by these charitable organisations. These charities can’t afford to pay marketing consultants, they’re operating on a shoestring, and thanks to social media they can see fantastic returns that require little financial investment.

I think it is a fantastic idea and I have been using Sparked.com** for a number of months now. Go ahead and give it a try, it offers a great way to make a real difference.

*I ran the Manchester 10K for Parkinson’s UK last year and, well, look at me. I’m sticking to micro-volunteering from now on. It’s not right to inflict those legs on the general public!

**Other micro-volunteering sites are available, feel free to add them – ‘Add a comment’ link is at the top of this post.

Shopping list for a first time blogger

Right, before I get started with this blogging lark, I’m going to need a few things. Here’s my list of stuff and things that may help you to take the plunge.

1. The right blog platform

First off I thought of WordPress, then a couple of people recommended Tumblr. After having a nosey and a read up it seems that Tumblr is more suited to casual blogging, based more around uploading media than text-based posts. Wordpress it is.

2. A (good) HD digital video camera

To begin with, I know my posts are going to be text based but video content is far too effective, and quick to produce, to ignore. Money is uber tight thanks to the little fella and, luckily, I run social media strategy at work. Anyway, I had a £100 budget so I’ve gone for this little number from Toshiba. £79 including 4Gb SD card, all the leads you’ll need including HDMI, tripod, one-touch Youtube upload and it records in 1080p HD quality (although the reviews suggest recording in 720 to avoid compromising quality when moving camera about). I’ll put a post together once I start using it to let you know whether I should have gone for the Flip instead.

3. Evernote and Dropbox

Evernote I’ve been using to jot down ideas, Dropbox more for images and Word docs. Both are brilliant, I’m sure there are alternatives out there, but these two are doing the job for me at the minute. Both are accessible from work PC, home laptop and phone. Basically they have meant that I’ve been able to ditch the dog-eared notepad from my wallet and no longer have to email files to myself if I want to write about them later.

4. Photo hosting

I’ll be using Flickr for this and using Camera 360’s app on my HTC Desire to take them. Love this app, the effects are great and the app takes two copies of the picture, keeping one in it’s original format and applying effects to the other.

Shopping list complete, for the time being at least, now to start creating content and if there’s time, engage in some guest posting on other people’s blogs. Anything else to add? Add your comments below.

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