RSS

Tag Archives: Twitter

Career Advice for New Grads in 140 Characters (more or less)

Has another year really gone by so quickly?  This post first appeared on May 14, 2010, but the advice still applies to 2011 grads.  If you contributed in 2010 and would like to update your advice, tweet at me using #Advice4Grads or leave your comment here.  Thanks again to everyone who contributed last year and best of luck to the Class of 2011!

The class of 2010 is graduating on Sunday. In their honor and in the spirit of true alumni networking, I asked many of the alums I interact with on Twitter to tweet me their best career advice for 2010 grads, in 140 characters or less.  

I got a great response and each is a little bit different.  Some of the alums couldn’t stop at just one,  and I included them all.   Us twitter folks are very good at writing concisely, and that is evident as you read through these snippets of advice.  Obviously, 140 characters of advice is not going to land you a job, but it can help you tweak what you are doing in your job search or how you behave in the workplace, to make that experience more successful.

Instead of providing the names, grad years and majors of these alums, I offer their twitter handles.  If you are interested in hearing more of what they have to say, follow them on Twitter; the vast majority have a link on their bio to a LinkedIn profile, website or blog.

You will also see a couple of longer bits here from a couple of alums who e-mailed me their advice, and a few more from some Non-SU alums, but nonetheless great people who I know from Twitter and wanted to help out.

Many thanks to all my Twitter friends who contributed to make this possible!  Many of the alums quoted here I have met on campus or at one of the SUccess in the City events, or spoken with on the phone.  Some I only know through Twitter.  All are wonderfully giving people who wanted to share what they have learned with you.  I would love to have your feedback in the comments section ~ let me know what your favorite bit of advice is and why.    (you’ll probably be able to guess what my favorite is 🙂

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , ,

Twitter and (the illusion of) Free Speech

This post appeared today on the Brand Camp University blog:  http://bit.ly/dfN1GU

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

Why Wegmans is a Trust Agent [and your Brand should be too]

Everyone knows that Wegmans is the best grocery store in the country. We in Central New York take this for granted because they began in Rochester and have been in the Syracuse area since the John Glenn Boulevard store opened in Liverpool in 1968.

Image courtesy of weddingmapper.com

If you’re unaware of the wonders of Wegmans, allow me to provide a brief overview.  Way beyond a grocery store, Wegmans is a total experience.  From the beautifully displayed fresh produce (of which there is more variety than you can imagine), their delicious prepared food items and  their friendly and knowledgeable  employees, Wegmans is three cuts above the competition.

Now Wegmans is becoming known for their prowess in another area: social media.  The @Wegmans twitter account is leading the way with 8,700 followers and a Klout score of 45.  What is Wegmans doing that is making them so successful at social media?  Let me tell you.

[At the end, I will share with you my personal story of why I will be a Wegmans customer for life.]

Offering Content their Followers Can Use. What would you want if you were following a grocery store on Twitter?  Wegmans knows.  They share a recipe of the day, information on new products, tips for using a variety of fresh ingredients and news about upcoming store openings.  Wegmans also posts links to well-written articles and quirky videos from their blog Fresh Stories on topics ranging from food and wine pairings to profiles of local farmers who they partner with.  If you’re following a grocery store, this is probably the kind of content you’re looking for.

Joining the conversation. @Wegmans bio on Twitter reads “Can’t wait to talk to you!”  And they really can’t!  If you mention @Wegmans, be prepared to get a response.  I have not seen one instance of a Wegmans mention going unnoticed.  They are consistently ‘on’, and they are listening to what their customers have to say.  In social media, if you’re not talking to people, you’re sunk.  This is a far cry from what Wegmans local competitors are doing in social media.  @PriceChopperNY doesn’t really do much conversing on their account, and they’re follower:following ratio is pretty low.  But at least they’re trying. P&C on the other hand, seems to be a lost cause.  They don’t even have a social media presence from what I could gather from their website.

Having a consistent voice. Even though they haven’t told us who’s tweeting for Wegmans, you get the feeling there’s a real person behind the account.  This is not easy to do when you are representing a brand, trust me.  And not only do you get the sense that it’s a real person, you get the sense that it’s the SAME person.  The tone of the conversation is always consistent: easy, friendly, engaging, without a hint of sarcasm.  You don’t get a young, bubbly voice one day and then a boring monotone the next.  Wegmans is always pleasant, and this fits perfectly with their brand.

Showing they Care. I was going to divide this into several sections focused on what Wegmans does right with their account:  following up, doing what they say they will do, being polite.  But then I realized that they are all about the same thing:  showing your customers that you care.  This is what Wegmans is best at, and it puts them head and shoulders above not only their competition, but most companies using social media.

I promised to tell you my Wegmans story. It’s the reason I wrote this post – and why they have me as a customer for life.

I found a new product that I really liked when I was on vacation in South Carolina recently.  Starbucks doubleshot Energy + Coffee in 15 oz cans.   When I got home, I went to Wegmans and searched the aisles for what I call ‘my new love.’  Hmmm, not finding it in the store.  I found a few similar items, but not the one I really wanted.  Having interacted with Wegmans on Twitter many times, and being the social media junkie that I am, I asked @Wegmans instead of going to the store manager. Then this happened:

1.  They asked me for specifics on the product.  I sent them this image.

2.  They responded that they would check with their supplier and get back to me.

3.  When I tweeted about it to my followers, they responded that they couldn’t promise anything.  That’s fair.

3.  They contacted me a few days later and said, sorry for the delay, we are still working on it.

4.  I got a tweet from Wegmans asking what store locations I usually shop at.  I gave them my #1 and #2 stores.

4.  I got a DM from Wegmans asking me for my email address.

5.  I got a very nice letter from Michelle, a Consumer Services Specialist.

6.  The products will be in both of my store locations of choice by the middle of next week, and I have a contact name in each store to follow up with if there are any questions or concerns.

7.  Customer for Life.

In their best-selling book, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith say this about the emergence of ‘Trust Agents’ in social media:

“People who humanize the Web are trust agents.  People who understand the system and how to make their own game are trust agents.  People who connect and build fluid relationships are trust agents.”

Wegmans has become a Trust Agent – and thereby my loyalty and devotion to their brand.  Isn’t that what every company wants?

Do you have a great @Wegmans story? or a story about another company who has your allegiance because of their astute use of social media?  Share in the comments.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 Simple Lessons learned from Two Years in Career Services

As I start down a new avenue along my ever-changing career path, I think it’s a good time to reflect on where I’ve just been.

In June 2008 I started work at Syracuse University’s Career Services office.  And when I took the job, I knew literally NOTHING about the field of career services.  Sure, I had the right mix of experience for the my job working with alumni, but the only experience I had in terms of career was managing my own, and somewhat poorly at that.

So two years down the line, I feel like a know a little bit about careers and job search and interviewing, and especially networking….all those mysterious things that every job seeker wants to know about.  I’m going to share with you a few of the most important things I’ve learned.

1.  It’s not Rocket Science. If I can do this, so can you.  Meaning, if I can learn how to connect with the right people, learn about job opportunities and market myself, so can you.  How did I do it?  Listen and observe. The best places to do that right now are on Twitter and LinkedIn.  You can follow the most amazing people, and they are giving away FREE advice every day of the week!  It’s there for the taking!

2.  Degree/Major ≠ Career. Having managed a database with 1,700+ mentors for the past two years, I can assure you of this fact. Rarely, do you run across someone who is 5+ years out of college who is doing EXACTLY WHAT THEY THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE DOING.  The thing is, most kids growing up are only exposed to a handful of careers.  There is no way of knowing everything that exists out there, and on top of that, new career fields are being created all the time.  So when people get out of college they tend to go for the types of jobs they have *heard about*.  And that’s all well and good until they start getting exposure to the world of work and realize all the different things they could be doing.  At that point, it becomes essential that you follow what interests you, regardless of degree.  People do it all the time.  Take me for example, I have degrees in Psychology and Elementary Education.  Do I seem to you like someone who is pining away for a nice bulletin board covered with construction paper?  At one time I was…but the fantasy was better than the reality and I had to change gears.

3.  Most people are fundamentally nice. You know, it could be that there was some aberration and I was just handed the nicest people on the planet to work with, but I don’t think that’s the case.  From day one of my job in career services, I was able to interact with and assist and learn from some amazing people — students, alumni, recruiters, employers, faculty, you name it.  I could not believe my good fortune.  It seems that when you are in a position to help people, it works in your favor. People see *helpers* (for the most part) as being good.  Therefore, when they interact with helpers, they come in with their defenses down and their niceness up.  That’s a great way to interact with the world…so if you can position yourself as a helper, no matter what your career field or job title, you will be setting yourself up for success.

There’s lots more where this came from, but suffice it to say that grasping these three really simple concepts will take you places you never dreamed.

As I move into the new and exciting world of social media and become a communications professional, I will still continue to hone my skills in career and helping others find their dreams.  I will just be helping different people and using different platforms.  I hope you will come along with me on this journey and see what else we can discover and share.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 20, 2010 in Career, Networking, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Is #FF worth it?

Is Follow Friday a Waste of Time?

Last Friday, as I spent what seemed an inordinate amount of time working on my ‘Follow Friday ritual’, I had to ask myself (with a nod to Carrie Bradshaw), is #FF worth it?

Follow Friday, or the now more popular #FF, started out as a way to help newbies on twitter find interesting people to follow.  If I follow someone who I think you might also like to follow, I post an #FF and let you know how great they are.   However, what I have seen evolve over time is an ever-increasing love fest that really doesn’t yield many new people to follow at all.

When I was first on Twitter, I was super-excited to receive a Follow Friday from anyone.  I would wake up on Friday morning and check my @’s and seeing my #FFs would make my day.  The more followers I have gotten, the more #FF’s I have received.  And while I am still thankful for the mentions (and still checking for them), I’m starting to wonder if the effort is worth the return, for either party.

You may ask yourself, what effort is involved in #FollowFriday?  Well, I’ll take you through the steps of my Follow Friday.

1.  Track @ mentions on Tweetdeck for who is giving me props via an #FF.  Separate #FF’s from RTs and other mentions and conversations.

2.  Near the end of the day, write down all the twitter handles of the people who have #FF’ed me, not including the ones who have RT’ed the #FF from someone else.  (This seems to be the latest fad ~ and the quickest way for you to receive another mention).  Last Friday I received 23 #FFs.

3.  Thank all the people who #FF’d me.  I like to do this in one fell swoop, instead of RTing to all my followers every time someone #FF’s me.  This gets kind of redundant.

4.  Figure out who I am going to #FF.  I usually like to do a couple special lists, ie West Coast Tweeps, Tweeps Wearing Shades in Their Avatars, Media Companies I Love, etc.  After that I usually do a list of Syracuse University tweeps (can be colleagues, alums, students) and then some locals (Syracuse/CNY).  I usually put a star next to, and #FF, people who have #FF’ed me for the first time that day, or tweeps of particular interest (ie w/large followings) or people who I want to build relationships with.  I also take a scan through what I have favorited for the week , and see who shows up there.  (Those are valuable tweeps)  For me, this takes time, effort and thought.

So that’s the ritual.  What is the ROI?  I know social media people don’t like that question.  But I tell you what.  I have seen the ROI of #FF go down in direct relation to its popularity.

In my estimation, what began as a good way to introduce your friends to each other has just become a bit of a nuisance, and something that a lot of people scroll right through.  The ONLY time I start following someone new based on an #FF is when a particular name catches my eye…and there’s no rhyme or reason.  And those are usually based on #FFs in which I am included in the list. I figure if someone likes me, they must like other people LIKE me.  So I will click on their name and see if I like their bio.  If that passes muster, I check out their profile page.  If all they have is a continuous stream of FF’s, I’m probably not going to be dying to follow.  So that’s not very effective for them, is it?

The other thing (and this one is probably going to get me in trouble) is that when the same people #FF all the same friends every week, who is that really reaching out to?  Why not throw a few new people in the mix and let us see who else is out there?  That’s what Twitter is all about, right…building relationships?  I already have a relationship with you…if you want to do something nice for me, retweet a blog post or give me a #FF once in a while.  I will appreciate it more, and I think it will be more effective for both of us.

I know we will all continue to #FollowFriday and it does have some value.  If you’re new to Twitter, I think it can be really valuable in terms of finding people to fill out your tweetstream.  For me, in addition to the *fun* aspect of it, I always do find a couple interesting new tweeps to follow, and get a few new followers as well.  But that usually happens organically, on a daily basis, without going through the #FF Ritual.

So what do you think about #FollowFriday?  Have you found interesting new people?  Do you have your own #FF ritual?  Do you think it’s become overkill?  Share….

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 17, 2010 in Social Media

 

Tags: , ,

Career Advice for New Grads in 140 Characters (more or less)

Has another year really gone by so quickly?  This post first appeared on May 14, 2010, but the advice still applies to 2011 grads.  If you contributed in 2010 and would like to update your advice, tweet at me using #Advice4Grads or leave your comment here.  Thanks again to everyone who contributed last year and best of luck to the Class of 2011!

The class of 2010 is graduating on Sunday. In their honor and in the spirit of true alumni networking, I asked many of the alums I interact with on Twitter to tweet me their best career advice for 2010 grads, in 140 characters or less.  

I got a great response and each is a little bit different.  Some of the alums couldn’t stop at just one,  and I included them all.   Us twitter folks are very good at writing concisely, and that is evident as you read through these snippets of advice.  Obviously, 140 characters of advice is not going to land you a job, but it can help you tweak what you are doing in your job search or how you behave in the workplace, to make that experience more successful.

Instead of providing the names, grad years and majors of these alums, I offer their twitter handles.  If you are interested in hearing more of what they have to say, follow them on Twitter; the vast majority have a link on their bio to a LinkedIn profile, website or blog.

You will also see a couple of longer bits here from a couple of alums who e-mailed me their advice, and a few more from some Non-SU alums, but nonetheless great people who I know from Twitter and wanted to help out.

Many thanks to all my Twitter friends who contributed to make this possible!  Many of the alums quoted here I have met on campus or at one of the SUccess in the City events, or spoken with on the phone.  Some I only know through Twitter.  All are wonderfully giving people who wanted to share what they have learned with you.  I would love to have your feedback in the comments section ~ let me know what your favorite bit of advice is and why.    (you’ll probably be able to guess what my favorite is 🙂

Read the rest of this entry »

 
5 Comments

Posted by on May 14, 2010 in Networking, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

College & Career Chat on Twitter: #CCchat

For the past couple of months, my colleague Dan Klamm and I have co-hosted the #CCchat on Twitter.  We answer questions from (mostly) college students and new grads about their job and internship searches, interviewing, resumes & cover letters and a variety of other career-related topics.  We’ve been doing the chat every other Tuesday at 8 pm and have had a pretty good variety of participants, including other college career professionals, recruiters and career expert friends.

If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before, i’ts actually a lot of fun.  You follow the hashtag (in this case #CCchat) either by searching twitter for that hashtag, or using a site like tweetchat.com to make it simpler.  When you follow along, you will see all the tweets that come in from all the participants.  It may be intimidating at first to jump in, but all the chats I have seen are very welcoming, so introduce yourself and join the conversation.

This week, we decided to forego our chat since, at Syracuse University at least, it’s getting to be finals week and we weren’t sure what type of audience we might attract.

Our goal is to make #CCchat into a valuable social media destination and we would love to have you weigh in on how we can do that.  So here’s where we need your help:

1)  Do we continue #CCchat after graduation, or do we take the summer off and start again at the beginning of the fall semester?  We are willing to continue through the summer since we know that there are lots of new grads out there who can benefit from the chat.  On the other hand, if you don’t see yourself participating during the summer break, we can regroup and come back at the end of August or early September.

2)  Whenever we come back, would it be helpful to change to a later time?  We’re currently at 8pm EST, but are considering moving to 10pm, EST since many of our students have classes until 9 pm and we know that would be easier for anyone who wanted to follow on the west coast, where many of our new grads land.

3)  What are the topics or questions that would be most helpful to focus on?  What burning questions do you have that take longer than a tweet to answer and would generate a good conversation?  Since this is College & Career Chat, we can always address the issues that aren’t covered in other job chats, like career fairs and changing majors.  It’s up; to you.

I welcome your comments, questions and feedback.  We look forward to making #CCchat an hour that you look forward to where you can meet interesting new tweeps and find valuable information that will help you in your college & career endeavors.  Thanks for your help!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 4, 2010 in Social Media

 

Tags: