Thursday, April 25, 2013

Smartphones: An Effective Means for Employee Recruitment

SoLoMo – Social, Local, and Mobile – is not a trend; it is happening right now on this moment. If a company does not have a clear SoLoMo strategy or a mobile-optimized website by now, the company has fallen behind in competition.

I am an optimistic person and thus believe many companies have already taken SoLoMo seriously. Otherwise, they have probably been defeated by their competitors who embrace SoLoMo. My real concern is that not every company has an integrated SoLoMo strategy. Often, companies pay close attention to SoLoMo’s effect on sales and marketing. A true integrated strategy, however, must include every facet of business operations into considerations.

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported a story that highlighted the SoLoMo’s impact on employee recruitment. According to this report, mobile devices will outpass desktops/laptops and become Americans’ preferred method for accessing the internet by 2015. Among the Fortune 500 companies, 167 (33%) have already had career portals that are optimized to fit in a smartphone screen. A year ago, only 65 companies did so.

McDonald’s and Macy’s are the two examples cited in the report. McDonald’s launched its mobile career site back in 2008.  At that time, three million people visited the mobile site and 24,000 actually submitted an application on the mobile site. By 2012, McDonald’s received two million applications, with a record of 30 million visits of its mobile career site. Today, McDonald’s mobile career site brings over 10% of applications to the company.

Macy’s tested its mobile-optimized career page in 2011 with selected positions like software developers and marketers before the company rolled out a mobile page for hourly employees in 2012. Today, Macy’s receive 20-25% of applications from its mobile career page.

Recently, Convenience Store Decisions and Humetrics conducted a national human resource (HR) survey with nearly 100 convenience store chains, representing 12,000 stores in the U.S. The results also support SoLoMo’s impact on HR operations, including:

  • The two most effective recruiting tools for hourly employees are in-store ads or outdoor signage and employee referral program. For salaried positions, internet job boards and company websites become the two most effective methods.
  • Social media are being used in recruitment by 28% of respondents, significantly higher than what was reported in 2012 (2%).
  • The usage of CraigsList for recruiting hourly employees increased from 21% in 2011 to 25% in 2012 (Craigslist also has a mobile app).
  • Only 5% stores are using social media sites for screening now, but another 5% plan to add checking social media sites as a screening method in 2013.
  • About 22% suggested they will adopt new training technologies, such as e-Learning, Webinars, learning management systems, smartphones, iPad, PC, among many others.

Another market-research report by Nielsen found that 63% of Americans use mobile devices to access social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn (Weber, 2013). Mobile devices indeed provide a great means for companies to reach potential candidates. To embrace SoLoMo, some employers also use QR codes and text-messaging in mobile recruiting.

One challenge of doing mobile recruiting, however, is that mobile-optimized career sites might not be as easy to navigate as the sites on laptops/desktops (Weber, 2013). Regardless, SoLoMo in HR is happening now.

Do you think SoLoMo will play an even more important role in HR? How about its impact on other areas of business operations? How can businesses respond to the SoLoMo movement? Referring to your personal experience, for what purposes do you use mobile devices? Do you believe your smartphone can help you find a job in the future? Why or why not?

Relevant Discussion: 
SoLoMo for Social Media Strategists

Kleiman, Mel. (April, 2013). The 2013 convenience store human resources study. Convenience Store Decisions, 24(4), p. 26-30.
Weber, Lauren. (April 24, 2013). How your smartphone could get you a job: McDonald’s, Macy’s customize their career sites, but most companies aren’t moving fast enough. The Wall Street Journal, retrieve online on April 24, 2013 via
The picture was downloaded from

Saturday, April 20, 2013

SoLoMo for Social Media Strategists

A successful social media strategy must integrate three key components: “social,” “local,” and “mobile.” According to a recent special report in the Nation’s Restaurant News, $159 billion of U.S. retail sales in 2012 were influenced by SoLoMo. Over 116 million people own smartphones. In July 2012 alone, 90 million American had accessed retail information on their mobile devices. Additionally, 38% of mobile users opted in to receive location-based promotional text messages and that 18% used a location-based social media app such as Foursqure to check in at a venue. How can any business come up with an excuse of not participating in SoLoMo?

The following include some best practices and direct quotes from the report. For example, Texas Roadhouse initiated a “TextUs Loyalty Club” campaign. The redemption rate reached 17% during a six month trial period, much higher than those using other media sources.

Nearly two fifth of Pita Pit’s new likes came from smartphone users on Facebook’s app.

“We listened to our most passionate fans and found exciting ways to get the Cool Ranch (Doritos Locos Taco) in their hands before it was available nationwide… We doubled our YouTube views in one month and saw our engagement go through the roof… (We) start with listening to what is trending and what our consumers are saying.” --- Tressie Lieberman (@tresslieberman), Director of Digital and Social Marketing, Taco Bell, a Division of Yun! Brands Inc.

“We’re just starting to look at Vine and Instagram, and we’re asking our customers how they’d interact on that platform (Vine).” --- Caroline Masullo (@CMM2B), Director of Digital and Social Marketing, Pizza Hut, a Division of Yum! Brands Inc.

“Traffic and sales are the most critical (return on investment) measures. We also measure brand perception and likelihood to suggest the brand or menu item (to friends). We also pay close attention to how our community is growing.” --- Jill McFarland, Senior Manager of Digital and Social Media, Applebee’s, a Division of DineEquity Inc.

“Twitter is a more casual and conversational medium than Facebook and really lends itself to interacting with consumers in a fun way. A&W has such a great mascot that we want to utilize as much as possible, so why not put Rooty in charge of guest listening?” --- Rooty and Great Root Bear, Mascot and Spokesbear, A&W Restaurants Inc.

“When hired, Wion was charged with aligning McDonald’s U.S. social media strategies and tactics with U.S. and global disciplines…We have guidelines on how people talk about their jobs in their own social feeds. Our customer service team has been a part of our social media efforts from the beginning, and our insights teams work more with us, as well, taking what we monitor in social and using it to inform operations, culinary and HR.” Rick Wion, Director of Social Media, McDonald’s Corp.

As a professional in social media field, what lessons do you learn from these best examples and social media strategists? What other best examples may you share with us?

As a customer, which mobile app has the most engaging experience (with you)? What are the cool mobile apps that you are using? Do you mind recommending some of those cool apps to us?

Relevant Discussion: 

Nation’s Restaurant News. (April 15, 2013). Special Report: Harnessing the power of social media. p. 12-20.
The infographic was downloaded from

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Did You Know?- Social Me by Zeebly

How conscious are you of the statuses you post on Facebook? Do you know how many Statuses you have posted since your Facebook birthdate? In August 2012, this social media application called Social Me, published by a company called Zeebly launched and created a patent to gain access to a copy of the data that is exposed on Facebook. The data is collected and put together using statuses, likes, post times, friends, and many other things that help discover the lives and personalities of the people who use Social Me.

Social Me captures data from a Facebook profile and creates an infographic of a person and explains their life. An infographic is a visual illustration of information or data that is projected to display multifaceted information quickly and clearly. Social Me doesn't take the information posted on Facebook at face value, rather it goes in depth and infers the meaning behind statuses, comments, likes and linguistics used by an individual and interprets it in a statistical sense. For example, in the image below you will see a bar chart created by Social Me, which analyzes my personality qualities, based off my status posts.

Social Me allows for one to realize and acknowledge how they are viewed from a different perspective on who they are and their personality. Representation in the social media world is important and if simple things like a Facebook status can be viewed negatively, someone will portray you as such. (That someone can be an employer) In the Social Media Bible, Lon Safko describes the importance of closely analyzing communication strategies in social media and how a person or company is being portrayed within in different demographic groups. Safko analyzes these communication strategies by answering the following questions in relation to different demographic situations:
o   What is the description for the demographic group?
o   Who is your persona?
o   What is your style?
o   What is your message?
o   What is your frequency?
o   What is your call to action (conversation)?

These questions are valuable to analyzing a company or an individual in the professional world. Yes, Social Me might just be an analyzing machine but in the end, these questions can also be answered in an individual basis with the analytical and statistical data provided. Social Me is quite interesting, easy to use and mostly accurate for most people.  If you want to try out Social Me, please visit
And sign in with your Facebook username and password.

After trying Social Me
1)    Do you think it’s an accurate test and can you agree with the analytical results?
2)    What is one thing that caught your attention about Social Me?

, Lon, and David K. Brake. The social media bible: tactics, tools, and strategies for business success. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. Print.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Productivity Applications - Wunderlist

With new apps being put on the market by the hour, it’s difficult to know which will actually help you at the end of the day. Productivity apps are among the most popularly downloaded applications today. After all, everyone needs a little reminder every once in a while, no? As an iPhone user, I knew I’d have a vast amount of apps to chose from when researching ones in the productivity realm. Once I ventured through the boundless App Store, searched through the depths of Google, and read the many copious reviews/rankings, I found my app of choice – Wunderlist.

I downloaded it and within two minutes I was signed up and ready to begin my new relationship with this application. Would it be worth it? I was never one to believe in productivity apps despite my consistent forgetfulness and lack of attention to naturally I was unsure of how long my commitment to this would last. But for the purpose of my thought leader project, I pressed on.

To the left were pre-made tabs labeled, “Inbox”, “Private”, “Work”, “Shopping”, “Movies to Watch”, and “Wishlist”. I also had the option to add or delete the tabs. I began by entering in my homework for one of my classes, setting a reminder, adding a few notes, and finishing within ten seconds. Not too shabby, Wunderlist…not too shabby.

I thought that was all that the app had to offer, but I was wrong. I checked my email and was asked to click a link to activate my account, which led me to the page below. Not only could I enter in reminders, tasks, lists, etc. into the app, but I could also share it via the Web, with my friends, and with my associates. So not only was this app going to help me remember things I would usually forget, but it would also send it to my other devices and be stored online. Helloooo...this is cloud technology at it’s best!

Coming from a harsh critic, I was surprised to find that Wunderlist was both impressive and innovative. Its most impressive feature was the cloud technological features, but I will have to keep readers posted on whether or not it helps grade-wise too (hint hint Dr. Kwok)!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cloud Computing: The Next Generation

Computing relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices. In the term cloud computing, “cloud” relates to “the internet” so cloud computing is a type of internet-based computing.  Apple’s iCloud is the most popular cloud computing service. iCloud was launched on October 12,2011 and by January 2013, iCloud had more than 250 million users.  iCloud allows users to backup and restore, login from other devices such as computers, save their emails, contacts and calendar dates, find their iPhone, store music and pictures, etc. By having all of these features, Apple has beaten out the other cloud computing companies.  iCloud automatically downloads your files to all of your devices so they stay up-to-date.  iCloud works with iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Windows PCs.  The first 5 GB of storage is free! If you want, you can buy additional space for a yearly fee ($20 for 10 GB). 

According to Strategy Analytics, almost 2,300 devices are connected to cloud computing, with Apple’s iCloud services accounting for 27% of them.  Dropbox is 17%, Amazon Cloud Drive is 15%, and Google Drive is a 10% of those connected device.  Cloud computing is “heaviest” with younger people, ages between 20 and 24 years old, and Apple iCloud attracts more females than males.  This is due to Apples lead in music storage, which is the leading cloud use case.

One of the best features in iCloud is “iTunes in the Cloud”.   Once you purchase music on any device, it automatically syncs with the rest of your devices. The music will also be stored so you can download it again if necessary.  It is possible to download purchased Tv shows and movies to your device.

The backing up and restoring feature lets a user back up photos and videos in their camera roll, device settings, apps, messages, etc.  All of this is backed up and saved into the service, and if a user needs to restore their information back into their device, it is all there.

 “Documents in the Cloud” is a great way to keep all of your documents with Pages, Keynote, or Numbers updated on all of your other devices.

Find My Device
Find my Device is another great feature to iCloud.  Find my device helps a user find their iphone or ipad if it goes missing. You go to to see where your phone or iPad is located, and then you can play
a sound or send a message to your phone incase someone else has it (as shown in the picture).

Photo stream automatically saves your most recent photos taken with your iPhone or iPad and “pushes” them to all of your other devices.

Now that you know more about cloud computing and its features, here are a couple of questions I would like you to answer:
1.     Do you use cloud computing? If so, which service? If not, why?
2.     What do you think about cloud computing? Do you think that it will become more popular in the future?