Archive

Monthly Archives: August 2012

A picture can make you a market leader

Social media is about building relationships. You want to start and maintain conversations with your audience and research shows the quickest way to do so is through pictures. According to a 2012 study by ROI Research, 44% of users are more likely to engage with a brand if they post pictures rather than solely written content. The rapid rise of visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram proves there is an increasing desire for visual communications. Click here to find out how some brands are harnessing the power of visual media to start active online communities.

 

Games, pins, tours and more   

Establishing your online community is just as important as investing in your live one. Social media provides an array of creative tools for recruiters to build brand awareness, educate potential candidates about the business, and offer an honest perspective of the workplace all through a computer screen.

A great example of this is how Lindt Chocolate used their Pinterest boards to promote pinning for a cause. During the 2012 Easter season, Lindt donated $1.00 to the charity Autism Speaks for every pin that included the words #pin4autism. Not only did they reach their goal of $10,000 and show the “power of the pin,” they created an honest window into their organization and what they support — in turn, attracting the right type of people to their business (those that place high value on corporate social responsibility).

Click here to read more about how companies like Deloitte and Marriott are integrating fun, engaging social media tools into their recruitment strategies.

 

Get social with Target

After adding more than 2 million Facebook fans in the last month alone, Target has become one of America’s fastest growing social brands, according to Track Social. One reason they are so successful is because Target recognizes the purpose of each social media platform and customizes its approach to each one. For example, they took advantage of the immediate nature of Twitter responses and created interactive fan contests. They publicized the release of “Hunger Games” on DVD and created a live national trivia contest where the quickest tweet answer won a prize. Not only did this build buzz around a product launch, but Target created new connections and conversations with minimal cost.

Few brands are able to maintain this high level of engagement on social media platforms, but click here to read more about Target’s best practices and why they have been so successful in managing their online brand.

The “we” space

A company’s culture plays a large part in their competitive edge, so having the working environment reflect the company values can be beneficial. Traditionally, offices are set-up to mirror the hierarchy of the business – the leadership with corner offices and the interns close to the office supply closet. But Steelcase, a business that helps organizations create work environments based on empowering their people, celebrates the shift from “I” spaces to “we” spaces. For example if your company has a flat structure and values collaboration and open communication, they believe that your layout should reflect that.

At Steelcase’s own office, they moved all of the top-level executives off of the same floor and created a floor of “we” spaces for top-level projects. So, instead of bringing information to a meeting with an executive, the information stays in a room and the people and high level executives travel to it.

Click here to read more about how major companies like Deloitte, Microsoft and Google are embracing “we” spaces.

 

Customer service equals competitive advantage

We are in the age of the customer. Controlling the flow of information has shifted from the hands of your company to the mobile apps and social networks at the fingertips of your customers. According to Harley Manning, the co-author of Outside In: The Power of Putting Your Customers at the Center of Your Business, the only way for your brand to survive this technology-infused era is to be a leader in the customer experience arena.

A great customer experience directly connects to brand loyalty. It is what pushes customers to purchase your brand or recommend it to the people in their network. This positive customer experience also has a direct link to the effectiveness of your employment promise. That superior relationship should create the same loyalty among your people for them to stay with you as their employer and to praise you to their friends.

Read more to see why mastering the customer experience will help your brand flourish and attract and retain the people you want.

Everything Spanx

Laurie Ann Goldman, CEO of Spanx Inc., sat down and spoke with Forbes.com about her leadership strategy. She thinks her employees have a love-hate relationship with her – they hate her when she pushes the boundaries and insists on greatness, and they love her when they reach the full potential that she always knew they could achieve. Listen to her perspective on solving problems and why finding the right people is the hardest part of her job.

Athletes make the best employees

Every company wants to recruit top talent, and in today’s competitive environment it is easy to get lost in a black hole of resumes. According to current research used often by Richard Mendelson, Psychologist and Co-Founder of Dynamic IO Consultants, instead of navigating your way through bullet points of software literacy and past experiences, finding a qualified candidate is as simple as asking if they have ever participated in sports at an elite level. Many studies prove that athletes who compete at a collegiate level or higher possess important qualities, such as stress management, leadership and determination, which all translate from the court or the field into the office environment. Click here to read more about the attributes athletes, wrestlers in particular, have that make them great candidates for your business.

No jerks at Panera Bread

In this interview with Ronald M. Shaich, Founder, Chairman and Co-CEO of Panera Bread, he talks about his realization that profit and back-end numbers are just a byproduct of how your people are organized and work together. After writing an “official” cultural values document long after a special culture had already taken hold, Shaich discusses the type of person who is right for Panera – someone who doesn’t always follow conventional wisdom and believes in taking a leap of faith. He looks for people who approach a problem and choose the path that is not always easy or safe. Read more of Shaich’s thoughts on his people and the company culture, as well as what it’s like to be inside his head during an interview.