BRANDE : blog archives for July 2015

July 27, 2015

Social Media Fun Facts 2015

As Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix, I constantly research trends in social media. Recently, I’ve come across some interesting facts and statistics across the biggest social networks. Here are some of my most surprising social media findings.

The most geo-tagged location on Instagram is Disneyland, pushing last year’s winner, the Siam Paragon Mall in Thailand, to fourth place. The Magic Kingdom also beat three New York attractions — Times Square, Yankee Stadium, and Madison Square Garden — for the crown. (Source: Time)

Disney’s US “properties” (no distinction is made) are also the most checked-in American locations on Facebook. Rival park Universal Studios Hollywood is second. (Facebook)

The most viewed video on YouTube is still Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” which has reached 2.3 billion views. Next is the music video for “Baby” by Justin Bieber and “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry. All of the most popular uploads on YouTube are from musical artists. The most popular non-music video is the “reality” classic “Charlie Bit My Finger,” now at 825 million views. (Wikipedia)

The most popular pinner on Pinterest is Joy Cho, whose account has 88 boards, almost 13,000 pins, and more than 13 million followers. Unlike the other major social platforms, the top Pinterest profiles are not affiliated with brands or celebrities. (Top Pinterest Users)

Over on Twitter, the most popular account in the world still belongs to Katy Perry (#3 on YouTube, you’ll recall), with more than 72 million followers. Behind her is Justin Bieber (#2 on YouTube) with 65.6 million and Barack Obama with 62 million. Interestingly, YouTube’s Twitter (#5) is more popular than Twitter’s (#10). (Twitter Counter)

Twiter stats

The most retweeted tweet is also unchanged from last year: Ellen DeGeneres’ famous group selfie at the Oscars has 3.3 million retweets. After that is a show of love and support from One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson to bandmate Harry Styles, which has passed 1.3 million retweets. In third place is Obama’s “Four More Years” photo from the night of his re-election, with about 744,000 retweets. (Adweek)

The most popular recruiting Twitter is Twitter itself (@JoinTheFlock), with 451, 428 followers. It finally overtook last year’s champion, Park Place Careers, which recruits for a chain of car dealerships across Dallas. (Social Recruitment Monitor)

On the same subject, the most popular Facebook page for recruiting is the US Air Force, with 652,729 page likes. On YouTube, the title goes to Disney’s College Program, a channel with more than two hours of videos and more than 1.4 million views. (Social Recruitment Monitor)

LinkedIn recently analyzed the employment history and profiles of its 330 million users, and discovered that the most “in-demand” skill that got people hired in 2014 was statistical analysis and data mining. Network and information security was #4, SEO/SEM marketing was #5, and mobile development was #7. (LinkedIn)

The brands with the most Facebook likes in America are Amazon (#3), Subway (#2), and Walmart (#1 like last year). The most popular person on Facebook in America is Vin Deisel, with about 94 million likes (compared to Walmart’s 32.7 million). Next come Eminem and Michael Jackson. (Socialbakers)

Want to learn more about these and other social media sites, and how Brandemix can use them to help your consumer branding or employer branding campaigns? Contact us!

Jason Ginsburg is Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix.

July 20, 2015

The Changing Face of Intranets

Brandemix has been creating company intranets since 2008. I thought it would be interested to see how best practices and innovations from that year compare with the latest design trends of 2015. Looking back at how far intranets have come can give insights on to where they’re going next.

I’ve dug through the Brandemix archives and conducted a web search limited to 2008 to determine what was trending then, and contrasted the results with this year’s innovations.

Then: Desktop-friendly
Now: Mobile-friendly

Intranets used to be accessible only to employees sitting at their desks. That meant a large screen, often a Windows operating system, and standard dimensions and colors. Thus, the intranet had to look good on only what type of machine. After all, why would an employee check work information at home, in their free time? And they certainly wouldn’t use a mobile device to browse a company’s intranet, since the first iPhone had been released only a few months before.

Of course, the iPhone changed all that. Now employees want to be able to check their benefits, schedules, sick pay, and other information anytime. And they do it on a number of different devices with at least three different operating systems. As the Nielsen Norman Group notes about this year’s Intranet Design Award-winners, “bevels, shadows, and elaborate framing effects” have mostly given way to simple flat circles and rectangles, the easier to be tapped by a thumb. Responsive design is a must, since the intranet must look good on devices of every size.

Bank of America's intranet, 2008 Bank of America’s intranet, 2008

Then: Photo of the day
Now: Image carousel

In 2008, intranets were transitioning from utilitarian (and boring) text-only formats and starting to embrace multimedia, starting with photos. Many organizations posted a “Photo of the Day” that greeted employees when they accessed the intranet. Some of these pictures were from the company’s files or employee events, others were simply stock images, which weren’t very engaging.

In 2015, many organizations are using image carousels to provide multiple photos to employees each time they log in. Here, the content drives the images — if it’s open enrollment for health benefits, the image might reflect health and wellness. It the winter holidays are nearing, the image may show employees exchanging gifts or spending time with their families. This makes the intranet homepage much more relevant and engaging for workers, and makes the entire site easier to navigate.

Then: One-way video
Now: Interactive video

Seven years ago, video was just making its way onto intranets. Back then, you could expect two kinds of content: Training videos and speeches from executives. Useful, but limiting. There was no chance for a employees to respond or to post their own videos. The intranet was considered a one-way portal of information, with no thought of employees contributing to the conversation.

Today, the idea of social media has changed that philosophy. Rather than posting “official” videos of corporate events, some companies allow employees to post their own, since virtually every worker has a camera in their pocket at every event. Health company Klick uses video in a unique way: After an employee submits a question, an expert on the topic records an answer with an iPhone and uploads the video to intranet. This makes knowledge-sharing much more fun and interactive than a typical training video. Organizations have finally caught on and stopped making videos play automatically — a pet peeve of mine.

Adidas intranet, 2015 Adidas intranet, 2015

Then: Intranet as document dump
Now: Intranet as vault of knowledge

In the early days of intranets, companies would basically dump all their documents into their internal server. Press releases, legal documents, health insurance information, employee handbooks, old blog posts. Often it wasn’t indexed or categorized or searchable. Without a direct link, employees had to sift through a lot of blurry scans and weirdly formatted pages to find useful information.

Today, companies see an intranet as a respository of knowledge that can inform and engage employees. They take the time to scan and index documents, and tag them with descriptive keywords, so that employees can easily access them. Some organizations have taken the next step and implemented federated search, allowing one search to run through multiple databases. Others, like IBM, have made employees part of their knowledge base by connecting experts in different fields. Rather than searching a “normal” database, workers search for a colleague who can provide the answers they need.

Then: Brandemix could help you
Now: Brandemix can help you

Brandemix has been creating and enhancing company intranets since 2007. We know the latest trends and can customize your intranet’s capabilities to your exact needs. We also believe that extending your brand through internal communications is the best way to build employee engagement and commitment. Through our four-phase process, we build intranets that promote your business objectives, tell employees the forces driving it, and keep them up to date.

Ready for an intranet that will still be effective and engaging in 2023? Contact Brandemix.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.

July 13, 2015

Why Candidate Experience Matters

At all the most recent HR conferences, the hot topic is candidate experience. What exactly does it mean, why does it matter — and how you can your organization improve it?

What is candidate experience?

The candidate experience is the process job candidates go as they apply for and are considered for a job, from the first page of the application to the final interview. It includes how the candidate is treated and communicated with throughout the process, such as how long they’re kept waiting for information, how many and what kind of interviews they must pass, and how the final decision is delivered. The experience ends once they are either offered the job or rejected. In other words, the candidate experience is a future employee’s first impression of your organization. And it can be very important to your talent management.

Why is candidate experience important?

Recent studies have found that candidate experience is important to job-seekers. According to LinkedIn’s 2015 Talent Trends report, more than 80% of job-seekers say the interview experience can either positively or negatively influence their decision about joining the company. After the interview, 59% want to hear from the organization when there’s an update of any kind. A survey by the Talent Board discovered that 97% of job-seekers would recommend the company if they had a positive candidate experience, and 95% of unsuccessful candidates would re-apply for another position became available. Add word of mouth to those numbers — half of professionals go to friends and colleagues first when researching new opportunities — and it becomes clear that candidate experience is a major factor in how workers view a company, whether they’d accept an offer, and whether they’d recommend the company to others.

What makes a good candidate experience?

There are many ways to improve your candidate experience. Based on my research and my own experience, the most important ones are:

  • – In the initial stages, make the role responsibilities clear. Don’t leave out “unpleasant” duties or make the “fun” ones seem more important.
  • – Let the candidate know who they’ll be meeting with during the interview stage, and why those roles are relevant to the job or the hire.
  • – Don’t keep the candidate waiting when they arrive for their interview(s).
  • – Make sure any tests or writing samples the candidate has to provide are thorough but not overly long or complicated.
  • – Make a point of letting the candidate ask questions about the position and the company, and give candid responses.
  • – Give the candidate a clear and honest timeline of post-interview steps, including your recommended follow-up procedure.
  • – If the candidate is rejected, offer feedback via email — 94% of candidates want this, but only 41% receive it.


What organizations provide a great candidate experience?

Ever year, the Talent Board holds the CandE Awards for achievement in candidate experience. The winners offer great examples of best practices. 2014’s honorees include McGladrey LLP, which encourages candidates to engage with the company on social media; Genentech, which recommends candidates customize their résumés to the exact role for which they’re applying; and Deloitte, which outlines exactly what candidates will encounter in their three interviews.

The Talent Board’s final report on the most recent CandE Awards provides more useful advice on providing a great candidate experience. For example, 41% of candidates search for a company’s values online before applying, so providing that information on your careers site and in your job listings will make it easier for almost half of your applicants. Another interesting fact: 25% of candidates were escorted from one interview event to the next. CandE winners were more likely to include job-relevant fields in their applications and to seek feedback from candidates.

Let Brandemix help you create a fantastic candidate experience

Brandemix combines recruitment advertising, employer branding, and employee engagement to produce an efficient, effective experience for your job candidates. We use best practices from a range of organizations while customizing the process to your company’s specific needs, culture, and business goals — whether you’re a non-profit, a regional brand, or a national chain. If you’d like to create an experience that encourages candidates to re-apply and recommend your organization to their friends, contact us for more information.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.

July 6, 2015

The Most Buzzed-About Social Recruiting Posts of the Week

More than 90% of organizations now recruit with social media. I’ve looked at the most recent data to find the most popular and effective recruiting content on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Here’s how top brands are engaging job-seekers on social platforms and how you can do the same.

H-E-B enlists employees to go viral

H-E-B supermarkets came up with a brilliant strategy to enhance its Facebook post about its intern program. Along with five group photos of interns from each of the store’s regions, the copy reads “Let’s see which region gets the most likes and comments!” H-E-B also tagged a number of the interns in each photo. This call to action challenged the most active social users — Millennials — to interact with and share the content in a friendly competition. So not only was this a great post that highlights an often forgotten segment of the workforce, it also encouraged interactions that make content go viral.

The result is amazing. The post itself got 199 likes, 45 shares, and 10 comments — including one from H-E-B itself encouraging the commenters to share. Each photo also generated huge interactions. The photo from the “Border” region, for example, received 416 likes, two shares, and five comments. The post thus appeared in many people’s Facebook newsfeeds. Interns felt valued. And H-E-B showed that it loves its workforce and knows how to use social media — remember, this was all on the H-E-B Careers Facebook page, not its consumer-facing page.

H-E-B interns photo

How you can be like H-E-B: Make your employees stars! Facebook’s main purpose is for users to show off, so people will often share content that celebrates them, even from their employer. Don’t wait for a company event to take photos (and videos!) of your workers; get candid shots of them having fun at any time of year. H-E-B’s other smart tactic was to make the post competitive, an idea you can easily borrow for any content like multiple photos. H-E-B also monitored the comments and jumped in when workers weren’t quite getting it “right,” a good reminder to keep an eye on your Facebook posts so you can respond to questions, suggestions, and complaints.

IBM has a happy birthday on Twitter

Some posts are elegant in their simplicity. On June 16, IBM celebrated its 104th birthday; hardly a major milestone like 100. The company’s recruiting account, @IBMUjobs, marked the occasion on Twitter with a confetti image and the brief statement, “Happy 104th Birthday, #IBM! Here’s to another 104 years of building a smarter planet!”

This basic tweet was retweeted 31 times and favorited another 13. Many of the retweets were from employees who became brand ambassadors by sharing their employer’s content. The use of the hashtag #IBM meant the tweet would be found in searches for the company on its birthday, adding it to the Twitter conversation. The tweet itself packed fun, employer branding (“building a smarter planet”), company info (We’re a legacy brand, unlike, say, Google), and a cool image into just 140 characters.

IBM birthday tweet
How you can be like IBM: Celebrate your company! Milestones, conferences, employee events, and peer awards provide great recruiting content to post on social media. They provide a break from your regular posts and offer differentiators that are relevant to your talent pool. Google’s birthday post, for example, could argue that its youth is an advantage over IBM’s century of existence, just as IBM implied the opposite. National holidays provide a similar opportunity: if your organization is particularly green, you could highlight Earth Day, while if diversity is one of your strengths, you could post special content during Black History Month or LGBT Pride Month. Whichever strategy you choose, milestones and events provide variety to your social recruiting calendar.

Fidelity speaks to women on YouTube

Fidelity Jobs’ YouTube channel saw almost a 9% increase in views this week, led by its brief but compelling video “Women in Financial Services.” The piece, which runs just under two minutes, features women of different ages and from different divisions talking about the company’s opportunities for women and its commitment to work-life balance. One branch service manager says that women are natural nurturers, helping them form close relationships with clients.

The women are in their office and speak to an off-camera interviewer. There are brief graphics for their names and titles, and music playing underneath. The video presumably cost almost nothing, but its impact as a differentiator, as a form of outreach, and as an indicator of diversity, is huge.

How you can be like Fidelity: Videos are increasingly easy to shoot, edit, and distribute. Add to that statistics like the one found by Forbes, that 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text. Video is an important part of a social recruiting strategy, so what should you produce? You can make a video similar to Fidelity, with a segment of your workforce (women, veterans, seniors) talking about the opportunities you offer. You could could interview recent hires or interns and convey their enthusiasm to job-seekers. You could also show off your office space, your neighborhood, even your city — as Brandemix did for Williams, Williams & McKissick. As Fidelity shows, a good, interesting, brief video doesn’t cost much.

Need help with your social recruiting strategy? Brandemix is standing by.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.