Tag: social media

What I’m working on

  Last night I clocked out at 1 am after working on a WordPress DNS setup for Comfort Theory, trying to figure out why my Flexible SSL locks from CloudFlare aren’t fully green on my WordPress multisite network, and figuring out how to get a custom URL for another client, Youth Mission Co here in Asheville.

On my multisite, I’m getting a bunch of mixed content errors on my Digital Strategy Works domain, despite the Chrome JavaScript console showing me that all error URLs start with https! Sigh. More research needed.
Today was quite busy too. Between caring for Hudson, our 13-month old, all morning while my wife continues to work on her health, fitting in the configuration of Modern Tribes’s Event Calendar ticketing system with Woo Commerce checkout and PayPal IPN for CQResults.com, as well as having a late afternoon dinner with wife and son, the day is still not over.
I just launched a new coupon campaign for All In One SEO Pack Pro and cleared some social media posts tonight in Sprout Social and I still haven’t figured out my issue with my multisite. I have yet to run by another client’s restaurant, East Village Grille, to show him his new restaurant menu system I implemented using OpenMenu.com.

Ah ha! I just now finished the battle with YouTube on merging two channels. Learning something new everyday! Verification was a little difficult as well, but enduring leads to success! Just gotta work the issues.

I’ll probably be in bed tonight again at 1 am.

Tony Zeoli on WordPress & Social Media at the Brooklyn Design & Technology Meetup

Wow, how time flies! It’s been well over a year since I gave this talk on WordPress & Social Media at the Brooklyn Technology Meetup. If you know me, you know I live and breathe WordPress through my digital strategy consultancy, Digital Strategy Works.  While WordPress is not necessarily inherently social, there are a ton of tools for WordPress, like JetPack, which is a multi-feature plugin with a number of tools to help you site be social.

Here’s the video…

Top 5 things to realize when using social media to announce jobs at your company

Recently, I launched a new job search. In this search, I am attempting to use social media to a. crowd-source an opportunity, and b. display my enthusiasm for brands or companies I might like to work for. There is one specific organization I am very interested in that just announced they are hiring. Given my support for that organization, in which I hold cult-like fanboyism (if that’s even a word) for, I set about to launch a Twitter campaign through my Twitter base to ensure the company would get the hint that I’m looking and available.

Common sense says and some recruiters and experts suggest that if you advocate for yourself in social media by announcing your affinity and support for that organization, chances are some recruiter or hiring manager will see your Tweet or LinkedIn post and make contact with you to discuss your self-advocated candidacy.

In this not-so-new socially connected and dynamic online world, many experts advise candidates to “stand out” in some way or another. If you’re applying to an Internet-based business who operate chiefly in social media or reputation management, the experts say to use social media to gain the attention of an organization in an attempt to showcase your online chops.

While this advice might sound logical, for the job seeker who may also be a “brand ambassador,” using social media to advocate for yourself can backfire. For example, what if you already know people there?

If you do, Tweeting or posting online in a forum owned by that org may be deemed “annoying,” because that organization already knows who you are. And, they are possibly dealing with an onslaught of people who have the same idea you do. You are, all of a sudden, not so unique any more. You probably didn’t really need to start a massive Twitter campaign to self-advocate. Sure, you did it because you were excited about the opportunity to stand out, but if they know you already, then just an email expressing your interest to a key decision maker would have been the wiser choice.

And, don’t ask your contact to forward your resume to the “right person.” It’s an awkward thing for some people to do for you.

Just apply and then tell you contact you did with a brief note. If they feel like they should advocate for you, they will. There might be 100 other candidates asking the same favor of someone else.

Now, the responsibility should not lie solely on the job seeker when using social tools to post announcements. I’ve gone over the implications for the job seeker. What about the employer?

So, here are five tips to consider when using social media to source talent.

1. If you post a Tweet with a link your job board telling people that you are hiring, you have to expect that you are going to get pummeled in social media with candidates advocating for themselves–people trying to stand out. If you Tweet it out, expect to get hammered back. There’s no discussion. You can’t ignore it, so have an internal response strategy

2. If there is a way to ask that respondents not contact your employees through social media, then figure it out and do that. If you’re a social media company that denies a social opportunity to connect with the candidate, you are risking your brands reputation with “brand ambassadors” who love your product. Say something like, “We know many of you and you’re going to want to blast us with dm’s or mention us in your tweets, but it’s just going to make us less productive. If you could follow this process, we would appreciate it.” At least try to limit the respondents through social. I know it’s almost impossible…but, just try your best. Something is better than nothing.

3. If you’re on the inside and you know a candidate and they are using social tools to advocate for themselves, respond to that job seeker with positive words of encouragement as you direct them to follow the process. Using words like “annoying” in a direct twitter message can be misconstrued by the candidate that they are already perceived as being annoying, because the candidate may not realize the intended meaning of that message.

One of the biggest fears any job seeker has is the fear of being annoying or aggressive. In this American culture and a tight job market, those words are like the kiss of death, especially if the job seeker loves your brand so much they will advocate for you until they take their last breathe. Choose your reply carefully. Say something like, “Your enthusiasm is noted. Apply and we’ll make sure you are considered.”

I know it’s frustrating to get bombarded with Tweets, but this is the world we live in. Both the employer and the job seeker have a responsibility to each other. It’s only right.

4. I like companies that issue a candidate a reference number and a contact email address, private Twitter account, or private Facebook group that keep prospective candidates updated on their prospects for the job. Use social tools to communicate with applicants when their applications are going to be reviewed or when they have been reviewed. There is nothing worse than a brand ambassador being ignored by the company they love.

Sure, not every candidate is going to be that enthusiastic about your brand. I would think by the resume and cover letter, it’s clear who’s invested in your brand.

Now, this didn’t happen to me with my favorite company, but I raise the point to try and set the bar higher for the employment recruiting process.

5. Please abandon these archaic human resource management system (HRMS), like the one Time Warner uses (maybe it’s Taleo?). I can’t think of the name of it. I’m writing this post on my iPhone and can’t navigate to it. Well, I tried and forgotten password screen on mobile switching between apps is too much trouble.

Update: I checked the Time Warner Careers site and can’t find the name of the product. I think it’s Taleo, but I’m not sure.

No one likes to sign-up for 30 different CMS engines that can’t share content. I know I have a ton of accounts that I just can’t keep track of.

Linked in offers an elegant single sign-on solution that pulls your data from their system and populates the recruiters LinkedIn provided dashboard. I’ve been using this tool lately in some applications and it makes the process much faster and easier for the applicant.

In today’s competitive job market, you want to be nimble and offer applicants a great user experience. That experience will set the precedent, the attitude, and shape the good will of the organization.

WordPress and Social Media Presentation

I gave this WordPress and Social Media presentation in the Spring 2011 at WordCamp Raleigh. While WordPress does not have specific social media functions built-in, there are many ways to optimize WordPress for social media.

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B2B blogging and publishing with iPhone WordPress App

(This is an updated post to the original. WordPress App for iPhone didn’t save my post the way I’d originally intended it to. I had to update this post and republish using my laptop, defeating the purpose of the article. I’ve am grateful I remembered most of this post. There’s nothing like losing your content and having to start from scratch.)

I’ve been carrying this iPhone for well over a year now with the WordPress iPhone app installed, but I rarely pull it out to post to any of my blogs. Amazing technology hangs on my belt, but I’m not using it!

Usually, I’ll pull up my Facebook or Tweetdeck app for the iPhone to publish my random thoughts, keeping my 1,500+ friends on the FB and over 700 followers on Facebook updated. But there’s only so much one can say in 140 characters or less. The concept of SMS texting and status updates have changed the dynamics of interpersonal communication. I recently heard a report on WNYC radio in New York City about a young girl who posted 14,528 texts in one month. While that’s an anomaly, companies like Twitter, Jaiku, and the defunct Pownce responded to the demand for applications to post quick, short updates using mobile devices. While each company provides the ability to post updates on a website, most posts come from mobile handsets, which provide a constant connection to the web.

My girlfriend recently checked out You Are Not A Gadget for me from the Bronxville Public Library. I’m not even 20 pages in yet, but have already been introduced to author Jared Lanier’s belief that the use of status updates have had a negative affect on interpersonal communication. Whether that’s true or not depends on how we value social media tools in our daily lives. Our children are being trained to communicate in short bursts of information, communicating in acronyms and hacking punctuation to create smiley faces and frowns as a substitute for words. Young people have always created new forms of communication. There isn’t much different in that regard, but we race to understand it and try to limit it, without even really comprehending its affect on us.

While I’m pro social media, one can’t ignore that communication has been irrevocably altered. While some argue SMS and status updates are disrupting the art of writing, which will lead to the decline of Western Civilization as we know it; others say that technology innovation makes improvements to our lives that we have yet to fully understand. Why use so many words to explain simple concepts? Status updates are brief and too the point. Once the wheel was invented, people chose to drive over walking. I’m sure there are those who argue nothing beats walking, but others embrace progress and use the new tools to their advantage, speeding by who they consider the walking fool. To each his or her own in this world. Let the chips fall where they may.

For bloggers, it’s easy to fall prey to the allure of SMS and status updates. As I use the WordPress App for iPhone, I realize there are three distinct issues for those who want to publish long form text on mobile devices. The first issue is screen size. It’s very difficult to view what you’re already written that is hidden behind a scroll. You can only really see a few lines of text, which impacts your ability to quickly refer to what you’ve already written.

The second issue is typing for an extended period on a mobile device. The size of the keys in portrait mode are difficult to master. Constant spelling errors abound. And, WordPress on the iPhone doesn’t identify spelling errors. You have to be on point and make sure there are no mistakes.

And third, I’m here (I was here, I’m back at the hotel room now trying to salvage this post) in at the Four Points Sheraton in Raleigh, NC attending Wordcamp Raleigh. It was pretty easy for me to pull out my iPhone and tweet, Facebook my status, and use FourSquare to tag my location. I’m here at the listening to Jeffrey L. Cohen from Howard, Merrell, and Partners give a presentation on business blogging, which reminded me of a conversation I recently had with my girlfriend, who asked me why I post status updates instead of using my blog as my outlet. She knows that if I publish to my blog, Twitter Tools will post an update to Twitter, which is linked to my Facebook profile. Why not publish my thoughts on my blog and drive traffic, instead of ignoring the site in favor of the others?

The answer lies in the time it takes for someone to blog at a conference. If I were just attending Wordcamp Raleigh as a blogger to cover the event, things might be different. I might have more time to sit down and publish an extended post about what I’ve learned. But, I’m attending as a business owner. I’m not only taking in the sessions, I’m also networking and talking business.

With Jeffrey and my girlfriend’s comments on business blogging in mind, I thought I’d pull out my iPhone, fire up the WordPress app, and do what I tell my clients to do all the time. It took me about 3-hours to fully complete this post. And, once completed, while I thought my post was saved correctly, somehow I lost the entire post and had to go back and remember everything I wrote to recreate the original intent.

I consider myself an expert on WordPress, having blogged and constructed sites on the platform for the past 8-years. Today, when it comes to blogging over mobile using WordPress for iPhone, the key word is “FAIL.”

That sure won’t happen again! Maybe an iPad will solve the problem.