Cardiff University Social Media Workshop

On Tuesday we went to Cardiff University to co-deliver a workshop with Graham Getheridge on using social media to develop your career. Although we had a few technical issues the session was a success and I hope the students found the workshop informative.

Technology can be fickle and unfortunately we were unable to post a live Twitter Poll during the workshop. Instead I posted it after the session and can now reveal the results.

Twitter Poll.png

As promised, here is the full workshop for those that may have missed something during the session.

My name is Katie Perkins and I’m the Marketing and Communications officer at Staffroom Education. We are a teaching recruitment business finding temporary and long-term work for qualified and unqualified teachers.

I started my career studying Music at Bath Spa University and going on to complete my master’s in arts management.

My experiences of using social media in my personal career?

It was through my MA that I completed a placement with Bath Spa Live taking charge of their social media accounts and responsible for all the marketing for the Bath Fringe Festival. After graduation I found social media a brilliant tool for not only looking for jobs, but also marketing myself and contacting potential employers. What I learnt on my placement lead me to pursue a career in marketing and later join the Staffroom team.

The first thing I learnt was the objectives of Bath Spa Live’s social media accounts. As we were getting ready for our annual Bath Fringe Festival the main objective was to promote shows and sell tickets. This meant planning a strategy for the lead up and writing copy for every show.

 We had a total of 23 shows and a schedule of posting about each show. With so many shows it would have been easy to simply copy and paste for all the posts, but that would have become repetitive and people would simply scroll past. Even though the show was the same it was important to come up with new content to write for each schedule and each social media account. I ended up posting to twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Which in the end I think it amounted to roughly 500 posts.

The second most important thing I learnt was how to use Hootsuite. For a social media manager Hootsuite is your saviour. Hootsuite is a scheduling tool where you can write your post, add tags, hashtags, and media. Then simply schedule when you would like that post to go out. Which means you don’t need to be attached to you phone or computer.

Although I was there to listen and learn from my mentors it’s important to also take initiative. For me this meant research into social media managing, especially when is the optimal time to post on each social media. Depending on which platform you are on and the day of the week, the best time to post will change. Posting at the right time can mean the difference between getting engagement, likes and selling tickets or nothing at all.

When it comes to placements my best advice would be to get stuck in, placements are there for you to get hands on experience and learn. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and say you don’t know how to do something. It can be daunting to try and think of specific areas or companies you want to go on placement with. Instead try to think of what your strengths are, what areas you would like to try or companies that you like even if they’re not in your area, this will help your placement officer gain an idea of the types of companies you want to go on placement with.

Once placed within a company I would also say during your initial meeting ask what areas they cover, and can they explain a little about it. For example, as I was doing an arts management MA I was placed with Bath Spa Live. I initially went in wanting to complete my placement within their events department as I had previous experience of events and thought that would be best for me. During my initial meeting I explained my strengths and the department I thought would be the best fit, but the main thing was that I also asked about the other departments and that I was open to the idea of trying something new. I had no previous knowledge or experience of marketing apart from one module in marketing management.

Luckily my mentor suggested I go into their marketing department and as they say the rest is history. My point is that without pushing yourself out of your comfort zone you could miss out on a potential career path. I took a leap of faith and used my placement as a way of testing out something that I had no prior experience but was interested by it. If I had decided to stick with what I know I wouldn’t have found the career path I did.

Using social media at Staffroom

During my time at Staffroom I have learnt how to use WordPress and Square Space which are website building platforms in depth, written weekly blogs for our blog page and built up our social media accounts which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Often with social media marketing you can easily get swamped in data such as when is the optimal time to post, what are our daily clicks to our website or how many followers do we have. Although it is important to keep a track of what is working well and what isn’t. I’ve found by being myself online, you often get the best response.

In my personal career I’ve found that most of the time people will visit our website when they seek it out. Whereas social media is constant, and not only can we engage with our current followers but also attract new people who perhaps have never heard of us and decide to visit our website and find out more. Often company websites can be a little formal and businessy. Whereas social media can be light hearted and is a great way to convey the tone of your company. For us, our social media accounts have three sections, the important things such as job openings and any company information,

the second section is informative where I will post about our latest blogs and our teaching infographics.

Lastly and most importantly is the fun aspect. I often post funny teacher anecdotes, little motivation quotes and pictures that give an insight into our office.

My experience of twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogging, LinkedIn?

I’ve found that each social media platform has its pros and cons, some are better at some things than others. For example, I create all the graphics that go on any of our accounts, I do daily updates such as Monday motivation and tip Tuesday. Graphics that include quotes perform best on Instagram and Pinterest where as our tip Tuesday infographics perform best on twitter and Facebook.  Likewise, any job openings we have perform best on our Facebook job board followed by Twitter where we tag a few twitter accounts which can retweet our job adverts such as job centre plus. Twitter is more fast paced, and light hearted, I often joke and send funny gifs in response to other companies who have tagged us in something. LinkedIn is more formal in respect that we have all our contact details, who we are and what we do.

As I said earlier I write weekly blogs which are posted on our website. Whenever I post a new blog it is shared to all our social media accounts, the topics can range from How to help students’ study, to classroom decoration ideas and how to keep children engaged during indoor break time. It’s a way of reaching people who may not have heard of us before but found us through my blog or perhaps current employees who may not have visited our website in a while. Depending on your industry, if you have a love of writing, why not create a blog. I often come across candidates who send us a link to their blog, it’s a way for them to expand on their CV, show an employer their computer skills, writing skills and to get a sense of who they are and their personality.

 In the end, social media marketing isn’t an exact science. I try out different things, see what works and what doesn’t. If something doesn’t work, I try to figure out why and try a different idea.

How I think social media will influence people’s careers?

Companies are increasingly using social media as a recruiting tool, in fact 92% of companies are using social media for hiring. LinkedIn is used by 93% of companies with Facebook coming in at 66% and Twitter at 54%. Facebook and LinkedIn already have a platform for companies to post jobs to, and following accounts on Twitter such as Job Centre Plus you will see how often they post jobs on Twitter. Although companies using social media for recruiting is at an all-time high, is it resulting in employees being hired? The Muse has found that 73% of employees were hired successfully through social media, with 42% saying that the quality of the candidates has improved and 20% saying it takes less time to hire than through traditional means.

Social Media isn’t just a job-hunting tool, companies also use it for vetting. When you join a company, most will now ask for your social media accounts, and often will look at your personal accounts before inviting you in for an interview.

Social media is constantly changing and evolving, as time goes on businesses are increasingly using it in all aspects of their business, and the need for good social media presence is more important than ever.

If you have been following the news or watch Dragons Den you’ve probably already heard of Brand Yourself. If you missed it, on Sunday they secured a deal of £100,000 for only 2% stake in their business and the company has a valuation of £5 million. The entire business is around helping individuals and businesses fix unwanted google results, clean up social media, build an impressive presence and improve their reputation report. A bad online presence can stop you landing that dream job.

You don’t have to be in marketing for social media to be a part of your job. Social media is a part of everyday life now, as soon as something happens we post about it, look for jobs on it, find out about events and catch up on news. Whatever career and job you have, in the future social media will be a part of it. Whether you are a hiring manager, an event coordinator, or teacher. All those jobs will involve the use of social media and perhaps had a part in the initial hiring process.

How my organisation uses social media to recruit candidates?

My main job role is to widen the reach of our business and to attract potential candidates.

As I said earlier each social media platform has its strengths and weaknesses. For example, our job page on Facebook is very active and we on average get at least one application a day through Facebook. That’s followed by Twitter, twitter works well as you can tag job boards and companies who will retweet your job posting on their account. I also post in the usual places such as our website, indeed, cv library and university job boards.

Social media is great for us because as soon as a candidate applies for a job through Facebook we can speak to them through messenger. It speeds up the process as often people don’t answer numbers they don’t recognise or are slow to answer emails. Whereas pretty much everyone is either on social media or has the notifications, so we can go from a candidate applying for a job to organising a registration within a matter of minutes.

Any useful tips or advice I have for undergraduate students?

Those of you who want to get into Teaching, social media is a brilliant tool to use. Although there are some rules you’ll have to follow. Rule number 1 is do not accept any requests from students. It’s important to keep school and home separate. That being said Social media can be used not only for career development but also to enhance your classroom lesson plans.

You could use hashtag searches on Facebook or twitter to link discussions you have in the classroom to wider discussions in the world. This allows your students to see how what they are learning has real world applications.

A tip many teachers use is to change their last name on Facebook to either their middle name or something else. This avoids any savvy students who may find out your first name and try to look you up. Also, with twitter there is a huge education community exchanging ideas, resources and advice. I would suggest setting up a twitter account with Miss/Mr and your last name. This can now be solely a professional account and keep your personal account well personal.

For those of you who haven’t come across GDPR it stands for General Data Protection Regulation which was brought into effect May 25th, 2018. These new laws are there to help people gain greater control over their data and who has it. So how will it affect those of you wanting to go into teaching?

Luckily for you, by the time you get into the classroom GDPR would have already been in place for nearly a year. There will be necessary training on how to report a breach and processes to follow and how to inform your Data Protection Officer. This will involve things such as only using the school email for work-related conversations when sending sensitive documents, making sure the document is password protected, ensure your laptop has adequate protection so that when you are working from home data cannot be leaked. Also, many schools have now banned USB sticks as they can be easily lost or even stolen.

After all, GDPR is there to protect you and your students, online and offline.

How to use social media when looking for a job

So how can social media help land you a job? With 93% of companies using social media to hire, it would be crazy not to look for a job on social media first. In the US 14.4 million have used social media to find a job. As with our company, as soon as we have a job opening we post it straight away on social media. Many companies allow you to have push notifications whenever a new job is opening which will allow you to never miss an opportunity. Stay connected with companies you’d like to work for and see their updates with your regular feed.

Try to think of social media as your online CV . Your first port of call should be your LinkedIn account. If you don’t have one then I strongly suggest setting one up. Invest time in making your LinkedIn an All-Star profile. Update regularly and try to get lecturers, current and past employers to endorse your skills. It’s a way of employers seeing all your strengths and any awards you’ve received.

I used LinkedIn as a networking tool, I connected with fellow academics and staff from my university as well as professionals in the industry I wanted to pursue. If you find a company you want to work for, but they aren’t currently hiring, why not connect with them on LinkedIn and send them a message. Employers will be happy to see you being proactive and taking initiative.

Be mindful that potential employers will look at your personal accounts so try not to upload any incriminating pictures or complain about current or past employers. 3 out of 4 hiring managers or recruiters will check your social media profiles and a staggering 1 out of every 3 potential employees are rejected based on something that was found on their social media profiles.

We have seen lots of examples of celebrities getting in trouble for what they post on their social media account. For example, Jack Maynard had to leave I’m a celebrity last year because of Tweets he wrote dating back to 2013. Although it may seem extreme, something you post may come back to haunt you when applying for jobs. Just think when posting something, would an employer be okay with it, if the answer is no, perhaps keep it private and not share to the world wide web.

Lastly here are my top tips for getting a job:

- Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date

- Ensure your social media accounts state that you are actively looking for a job and the type of role you are interested in

- Follow companies you wish to work for and companies within your industry

- Initiate conversations with companies you wish to work for, even if they aren’t hiring now.

- Make sure to only post things you don’t mind a future employer seeing

- If you love writing, start a blog

- Make sure to have those push notifications enabled so you never miss a job posting