Monthly Archives: May 2011

2 Innovative Digital CVs

The expanding availability of digital tools has meant that today’s job seekers can employ ever more creative, innovative and dynamic ways of grabbing the attention of prospective employers, whilst social media can help the good ones go viral.

Here are two of my favourites…

QR Code CV

Victor Petit’s phenomenal integration of QR code technology and YouTube video with the traditional CV resulted in one of the most dynamic résumés ever:

YouTube CV

Having recently graduated, Gareth Cash is looking for work as a production assistant.  The YouTube CV is starting to become more common; yet it’s rare to find videos as creative, innovative and truly charming as this one.  (Thanks to Sara Doron for bringing this to my attention!)


A little rant on the ‘scoring’ of social media users…

As a social media marketer, I fully understand the need for metrics, measurement and analysis, which tools such as Klout provide.  However, I’m starting to find that the rapid permeation of ‘scoring’ / ‘worth’ into individual social media use through sites such as Empire Avenue is proving detrimental to social experience.

For me, as an individual user of social media, the beauty of platforms such as Twitter has always been the ability to share, engage, connect and converse.  As an individual, I’ve networked, discovered new friends, shared resources, assisted people’s queries and had several answered of my own.

The trend in gamification has also been enjoyable – tools such as Foursquare and Yelp! have blurred the lines between online and offline even further, with location-based applications also enhancing digital ‘community’ experience.

But for me, turning social media into a scoring system runs the very real risk of turning social media into a virtual playground, where the ‘cool’ kids hobnob in cliques and strut around puffing their chests out because they have a ‘high score’.

Social media is ever-evolving, but fundamentally, it remains about engagement, interaction and relationships.  Empire Avenue is another recent classic example of how some users are developing over-inflated opinions of themselves, as their daily ‘stock’ fluctuates along with their egos!

I’m not hypocritical – I’ve checked my own Klout score and even had a go on Empire Avenue (which I have subsequently deleted)!  But for me, social media is about ENGAGAING with people; holding discussions and building human relationships in a virtual world.

Yes; as a social media marketer, metrics such as Klout influence are valuable and necessary markers of performance from a branded social media perspective.  They help to illustrate ROI and your position against competing businesses – I use them professionally and they assist me immensely.

But as an individual?  I couldn’t give two hoots whether 3 million people you’ve never met are ‘investing’ in you because you have a high score.

I’d much rather engage with real people about real things.


Heineken: GREAT campaign, but no ENGAGEMENT.

I’m a genuine fan of Heineken’s new ‘The Entrance’ campaign, which you can see below:

It’s fast, fun, creative and features a famous singer (Duffy) belting out a catchy track by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour.

I keep seeing the ad on TV, so decided to check the brand out on Facebook, where the campaign continues.

Fans of the Heineken Facebook page can access a highly dynamic digital tab for ‘The Entrance’, in which the ad is played, with interactive options laced over the top of it.  Users can then see the ‘back stories’ of the campaigns outlandish characters, which allows us to see how everything fits into ‘the hero’s’ entrance.

This is a pertinent example of how brands are increasingly turning to Facebook to expand upon ATL television advertising.  Yet for me, despite my love affair with the ad, the social strategy could have been expanded so much more.

As Facebook itself talked about at this week’s Internet world, social media and digital is increasingly playing a crucial role in the consumer’s purchasing decision:

Awareness – Heineken TV ad

Interest – Facebook ‘expanded stories’



Recommendation – Tweet / Facebook share buttons

As you can see, there is no discernible call to action, and no ability to engage deeper than simply sharing the stories through social channels, which is great for brand awareness, but that’s all.

So how could Heineken add further dynamics to the social interaction, which at this stage, remains very one-way?

  • YouTube – users could be asked to upload their very own ‘entrance’ videos featuring bottles of Heineken, providing plenty of branded, crowd-sourced material for the beer brand, with a prize mechanic.
  • Fans could follow Twitter accounts of the main protagonists as they unravel further outlandish stories daily, maintaining regular brand awareness and interaction with consumers.
  • The Facebook page could ask for people’s ‘best and worst ways to make an entrance’, again, encouraging engagement and continuing brand dialogue.

This is a wonderful piece of branding, but ENGAGEMENT is the cornerstone of social media marketing if we, as digital marketers, are to genuinely influence consumer DECISION and ACTION.

With ‘The Entrance’, there is no opportunity for consumers to talk to the brand, which is a real shame, because this great campaign is worthy of so much more.

Social by Design: Facebook’s Future for Social Brands #IWExpo

“Do not think about how you can fit social media into your business: think about how your business can fit into social media.

This morning, I made the relatively short trip to Earl’s Court to have a look around the Internet World expo, but in particular, to attend a keynote speech by Jonathan Harvey, UK Sales Manager at Facebook.

The title of the seminar ‘Social by Design’ promised to look at what Facebook has in store for brands looking to maximise their marketing within this ubiquitous social network.  Harvey delivered a confident, engaging speech and I felt it worthwhile sharing some of his points with you here.

Social media is fundamentally changing the way we use the Internet

This may not be headline news to all of you, but Harvey made the point that social networking truly is changing everything.  From retail sites that now offer social sharing integration and peer reviews / user-generated content (UGC) to sites maximising the opportunity to ‘share’ pieces of information, social is becoming (if not already) ingrained within digital technology and websites.

This has also given rise to the conglomeration of recommendations.  Increasingly, we are utilising our online and virtual networks to actively seek out trusted referral opportunities – and social is the main enabler of this.

Unsurprisingly, our online behaviour is changing according to this, as we can see from our behavioural evolution online:

1990’s – browse
2000’s – search
2010’s – DISCOVER

Harvey announced that in the 2010s, we have entered an age of DISCOVERY – and social networks / peer recommendations are where the majority of us discover new things, be it new products, tickets, events, cool websites, social memes or the latest news.

Industries and businesses are changing their entire organisations to facilitate social media

Social media is not a passing fad – as stated above, social has facilitated a substantial cultural shift in the very way we communicate.  Organisations realise that the way they do business, sell to consumers, target customers, create brand advocates – all of this has to adapt to the new social web.

Industries are now transforming by organising their entire business AROUND PEOPLE.  Businesses are becoming SOCIAL BY DESIGN.  Display advertising online has always been good for brand awareness, but social media allows an authentic, two-way dialogue between businesses and their customers.

Microsites are a thing of the past: one needs only to look at the number of businesses that drive traffic to Facebook pages to realise that this shift is fundamental, it’s happening NOW and it really is the future.

Recommendations are INFLUENCING consumer behaviour

Harvey stated that the traditional marketing steps towards purchase have now had an extra layer weaved in due to social media.  This has changed from an old, static, on-way flow with a defined beginning and an end, to an unending circle of consumer behaviour and influence:

BEGINNING Awareness –> Interest –> Decision –> Action END

However, the Social Web has ushered in a new ‘cycle’ of marketing engagement:

Needless to say, we can see that the power of social recommendation ensures that the consumer marketing cycle is now a continuous loop, allowing brands much more access to consumers rather than this typically ending at the point of purchase.

Key points?

Harvey concluded that brands and businesses need to be aware of three simple points if they are to succeed in social marketing:

1. People first; content second – this is paramount!
2. Make sharing simple and fast – A FEW CAN ACTIVATE MANY
3. Your friends are there – trusted peer-to-peer recommendations – more value than ‘traditional’ one-way marketing communications

So where do we go from here?

Social media is everywhere: it has fundamentally changed the way we behave online and integrating social into marketing strategy is essential for success.  Marketing now consists of:

i) PAID MARKETING (posters, adverts etc.)
ii) OWNED MARKETING (websites etc.)
iii) EARNED MARKETING (traditionally word-of-mouth / PR – now hugely SOCIAL)

As part of this new digital integration, it is vital that businesses and brands maximise their social activity using the following simple steps:

BUILD your brand following
AMPLIFY your following and make use of friends of your advocates – reach
ENGAGE – this is fundamental to success


For many of you, these findings won’t come as a surprise per se; but the significance of social media and its influence on the fundamental way we communicate cannot be underestimated.

My key finding from this session?

Do not think about how you can fit social media into your business: think about how your business can fit into social media.

Community. Value. People.

Unfortunately, due to various commitments throughout the day, I could not attend #ConnectingHR’s sophomore ‘unconference’ effort until around 5pm.  This late arrival means that writing my take on the event is rather unwarranted; however, I wanted to share something with the wider #ConnectingHR community at large.

I’ve been to many communities and professional engagements when you see certain people and there’s almost a sense of tired obligation – ‘Oh damn, there’s that Gareth – I met him at that conference last year, he’s spotted me, I’d better say hello.’  Cue awkward conversation.

However, upon arrival yesterday evening, I was greeted one by one by many of the conference attendees in such a warm, affectionate manner, including a lovely man hug from the ever-charismatic @joningham, which made me feel so welcomed, so inclusive, so much PART OF SOMETHING.

My point?

These are people I have met THROUGH A HASHTAG.
Had conversations with.
Gradually got to meet in person.
Shared blog posts with.
Chatted about life situations.
Asked for help.
Been helped by.
Laughed with.

The sense of community with #ConnectingHR and #CHRU is palpable.  Why?  Because we’re a fantastic group of people who are social and interacting with each other to help, assist, teach, mentor, guide, share and grow.

And all of this has been facilitated through social media.

This is the power of community in its truest sense – this is the value of #ConnectingHR.

Make sure you’re part of it.

Hashtags: #ConnectingHR #CHRU