Social Media Is A Game Changer!
During my career working for major retail brands, I knew the value of advertising on radio and television. Also known as major media, we could see the results of our buys, almost in real time. However, I understood the cost and limitations of traditional media. Successful advertising was all about the message. A lot of money could be quickly wasted if the message was not relevant. Social media has changed the game, especially for small business. These tools allow smaller companies to leverage their marketing budget to compete on a larger stage. It gives them a voice they could not achieve through major media. They can dialog with customers and prospects in a cost effective way. It is akin to the difference between a rifle and a shotgun. I have found social media to be very helpful in building my business.
Executive search is an interesting business. I am hired by employers, my clients, to find people who want to become their employees. One could say that I am selling prospective employees, so I guess Job Seekers are my inventory. Often, candidates become clients and vice versa. Over time, I have become more productive as my industry knowledge and relationships have grown. These relationships serve to generate more contracts and to complete assignments faster. My business is not unlike any other service-sector business as success is all about building lasting relationships. I learned that building and managing a large network is a viable strategy to build my business.
Early on, I recognized the value of talking to my clients and prospects. I created a database of followers and invited people to sign up for my periodic updates. By today’s standards, it was fairly primitive. I used Microsoft Outlook to manage my list, and mail merge. It began as a collection of clients and prospects. In time, as I received more unsolicited resumes, I added job seekers to my outreach. Later, I added strategic partners. I would tell these folks about my new assignments as well as assignments I had completed. That activity generated new business and more followers. I was an early adopter of LinkedIn and became involved with Facebook and Twitter. I didn’t understand the full potential of those applications at first. However, now I am a believer. I even migrated my email marketing campaign to Constant Contact and Mail Chimp.
I learned the importance of blogging to engage prospects who needed employees, and to professionals who are interested in career advancement. The focus of my blog is on career issues facing Baby Boomers, my prospective candidate base. This is an important target audience, as they represent my primary placements. When I began blogging, social media became even more important. I began using Twitter to generate interest and to direct readers to my website. I subscribed to Hootsuite to expand my message to my followers on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. I believe my experience with executive search is relevant to all small businesses. It is an effective business practice to maintain contact with customers, prospects, and prospective employees.
Now that I am building a Consulting Company, I am using the same digital marketing techniques to promote this line of business. In fact, I have adopted the social media platform I built for my executive search business to present this opportunity to my network. The results of this effort have been remarkable. I use social media to speak to prospective clients and to freelancers who may be interested in joining our company.
As I have done with my business, small companies should consider for theirs. Build a community of prospective job seekers. Last week I talked about using the company website to generate interest in employment opportunities. In the same way that one would reach out and cultivate prospective customers, companies should be talking to prospective employees to build a following. Maintain their interest in your brand for future employment opportunities. Depending on the nature of the business, prospective employees could become current customers. Social Media is an excellent way to engage these people.
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Jim Weber, President
New Century Dynamics Executive Search
Author of: Fighting Alligators: Job Search Strategy For The New Normal
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3. Director of Biz Dev, Atlanta-based B2B Professional Services Company: Completed
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5. Senior Accounting Manager – Atlanta-based Manufacturer. Complete
6. Controller – Atlanta-based Restaurant Company: New
7. Outplacement Assignment – Atlanta-based Manufacturer: New