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BRANDE : Social media superstar

July 26, 2013

Brandemix Bonus Reel: Amtrak Careers

Jason Ginsburg, our Director of Interactive Branding, explains how Amtrak Careers uses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest to connect with job-seekers in unique ways.

Ready to turn your organization into a superstar? Download our free Social Media Strategy Guide for Talent Acquisition or contact us.

July 22, 2013

Why Amtrak Careers is a Social Media Superstar

Forbes has named 2013 “The Year of Social HR,” and that includes social recruiting. I’m always searching for brands that are using social media to recruit in innovative ways. Joining recent honorees Taco Bell and Bridgepoint Education is a new Social Media Recruiting Superstar: Amtrak.
It may be hard to believe, but this organization based on 19th-century transportation is cleverly recruiting in 21st-century ways.
Amtrak’s employer branding statement includes some unique, differentiating phrases, like “Amtrak moves America’s workforce toward the future” and “Your success is just a train ride away.” The location listed on their Twitter profile? “Everywhere, USA.”
Here’s how Amtrak steams ahead of the social recruiting pack:
Top-Ranked Twitter
Amtrak Careers on Twitter alternates job listings with lots of interesting content, from travel tips (“the five must-see attractions in Seattle”) to photos and links that emphasize the organization’s commitment to hiring veterans. It’s a simple but effective combination: the Social Recruitment Monitor currently ranks Amtrak Careers as the #1 employer Twitter in the country, based on the account’s popularity, activity, and interaction with followers.
Plenty of Pinterest
Amtrak Careers is one of a growing number of brands that is recruiting on Pinterest, with more than 135 images. The boards range from Amtrak History (which includes great photos from the organization’s start in the 70s), to beautiful pictures of trains traveling through the countryside, to a board aimed at women job-seekers. As all recruiting superstars do, Amtrak Careers offers job-hunting tips on its social channels; there are boards called Interview Advice, Interview Fashion, and Words of Wisdom.

All About “You” on YouTube
Amtrak Careers has seven videos on a YouTube channel with more than 4,000 subscribers. The videos are shrewdly broken down into aspects of employment: Your Health and Wellness at Amtrak, Your Voluntary Benefits at Amtrak, etc., which feature plenty of employee testimonials. The main video, Your Career at Amtrak, is hosted by CEO Joe Boardman himself. He outlines the many benefits of an Amtrak career but doesn’t shy away from honest statements like, “We’ve had to make tough choices recently because of increasingly limited resources. And I understand there are concerns.” He goes on to say that “a strong team will help us expand and build a solid future at Amtrak.” New hires, in other words, will help build that future.
Fitting It Into Facebook
Amtrak Careers has a custom tab on Amtrak’s consumer Facebook Page, which has more than 300,000 likes. Within that tab are five “sub-tabs” that cover benefits, hiring events, and an FAQ that answers questions like “Will I be considered for other positions when applying for a specific position?” There’s also a video, photos, job listings, a Twitter feed, and an app that lets you see which of your Facebook friends is connected to Amtrak. All those features make this little Facebook tab more robust than some company’s entire careers sites.

From its authentic videos to its fun Pinterest boards to its commitment to veterans, Amtrak Careers is making trains cool again. It’s reaching out to a diverse audience on a number of channels. And if those metrics seem too “soft,” just look at that #1 ranking on the Social Recruitment Monitor.  

For all these reasons, I declare Amtrak Careers a Social Media Superstar!

April 29, 2013

Social Media Fun Facts 2013

I frequently give presentations on social media marketing, social recruiting, and Social Media Superstars. During my research, I come across all sorts of interesting facts and statistics. This week, as I prepare for a presentation with HR.com’s Quality of Hire event, I thought I’d share a few of the more surprising with you. 

The most popular hashtag on Instagram is #love, followed by #instagood, #me, and #cute. (ReadWrite)


San Francisco’s AT&T Park, once the most photographed location on Instagram, is now fifth. The #1 slot is now filled by
Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. #2 is in the same city – it’s Siam Paragon Shopping Mall. (Mashable)


The most retweeted tweet of all time is a photo of Barack and Michelle Obama, tweeted by the President after winning re-election. It has more than 810,000 retweets. (Twitter)


The most-followed person on Google Plus is Lady Gaga, followed by Britney Spears and Google CEO Larry Page. 69% of Google Plus users are male. (Social Statistics)

Still the champion after more than a year, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta is the most visited location on Foursquare, with more than one million check-ins. (Foursquare)

Justin Bieber’s video for his song “Baby” is no longer the most popular YouTube video of all time. Korean pop sensation Psy now has that honor; his “Gagnam Style” video has around 1.5 million views. (The Daily Beast)
25% of all employee profile views on LinkedIn are by co-workers. 14% of LinkedIn members have no college degree. (LinkedIn)

The most repinned image on Pinterest is a photo of “garlic cheesy bread,” repinned more than 102,000 times. Twelve of the top 20 most repinned images are photos of food; none of the top 20 shows a human or animal face. (Repinly)

The Facebook careers page with the most “likes” is Verizon, with 165,489. The Twitter careers profile with the most followers is Park Place, a group of luxury car dealerships in Dallas: @ParkPlaceCareer has 69,264 followers. (Social Recruitment Monitor)
Besides Facebook itself, the most popular brands on Facebook are YouTube, Coca-Cola, MTV, and Disney. (Fan Page List).

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 me.

December 10, 2012

The Most Popular Blog Posts of 2012

As the year comes to a close, I’m looking back at this year’s most popular blog posts. The topics range from examples of the best social media to some of the worst, and from internal branding to external. In case you missed them, here are the BrandeBlog’s five most-read posts of 2012.
Employer Branding Numbers Everyone Should Know
2012 brought us a number of recruiting studies that turned conventional wisdom upside-down. How many employers said they had an employer branding strategy? How many employees leave a company for reasons other than money? How many companies plan to increase their investment in employer branding? The answers may surprise you.
Social Media PR Disasters: #McDStories
Sometimes you can learn more from a failure than a success. That was certainly true of our story on McDonald’s Twitter debacle, in which an innocent hashtag was taken over by critics and pranksters in a matter of hours. See how McDonald’s reacted and learn what to do (and not to do) when your brand encounters a similar social media crisis.
What’s Foursquare Really For?
The best social sites have stated goals: Facebook is for friends, LinkedIn is for business, Instagram is for photos. But what about Foursquare? Is it for sharing local finds with your friends? Posting reviews for strangers? Competing for discounts with other customers? Discover Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley’s answers to these and other tough questions in this post.
Social Media Marketing Simplified
Ever come out of a social media planning session with your head spinning? New forms of marketing have created new buzzwords like optimize, reciprocity, and engagement. But you don’t have to learn all the jargon to have a successful social media campaign; you only need to answer three basic questions.
Why State Farm is a Social Media Superstar
The most popular post of the year was an exploration of State Farm’s social media recruiting. The insurance company has a dedicated Facebook Page and answers questions and comments within 24 hours. The State Farm careers site features videos testimonials from interns, a rarely seen part of a company’s workforce. Finally, State Farm’s interactive website takes online recruiting to a whole other level. See how your brand can attain “Superstar” status here.
What do these posts’ popularity tell us? That there a lot of people with an interest in  and a need for  social media trends, marketing, and branding. As it so happens, they are also specialties of ours! 
Put Brandemix on your to-do list for 2013; we want to be popular, too. 

November 13, 2012

Why Taco Bell Careers is a Social Media Superstar

As Jobvite’s recent survey has shown us, social recruiting is here to stay, so we at Brandemix are constantly looking for the brands that are doing it innovative ways. This year, we’ve honored Zappos and State Farm, and now it’s time to recognize another Social Media Superstar: Taco Bell.

Here’s the restaurant’s employer branding statement: “At Taco Bell, we know what it’s like to blaze some trails, kick up some dirt, and take tacos to where they have never been before. We are a brand of firsts and we invite you to join our team. Inspire. Lead. Learn. Grow. Work here and Live Más.”

Lots of unique, differentiating phrases in there. And it includes the new consumer brand at the end.

Photos and Conversations on Facebook

The Facebook Page for Taco Bell Careers has 127,200 likes. The Page features 12 photo albums, with pictures ranging from clever employee events (the Peeps model contest is not to be missed) to celebrities who have stopped by the restaurant (most recently, Lance Bass). One image of Taco Bell products actually addresses the employees, asking, “What’s your favorite item to make?” That’s a bold move that could easily lead to embarrassing answers. But the pic has 34 comments and more than 200 likes. My favorite response: “I like making customers happy!”

Taco Bell’s Careers Facebook Page also features four videos and the BeKnown app with job listings, showing once again that some brands are fully recruiting on social channels. My only quibble with their Facebook effort is the underused Notes section, which has only one entry – for the chain’s college scholarship program.



Active Engagement on Twitter
Taco Bell Careers isn’t quite as popular on Twitter, with 1,339 followers. But what sets them apart is that they don’t wait for @mentions; when someone mentions interviewing at the company, Taco Bell wishes them luck. When someone announces they’ve been hired, Taco Bell welcomes them. When someone says they’re leaving, Taco Bell tells them goodbye. This shows attention to both employees and job-seekers, and that Taco Bell is rooting for its workers to succeed.

Authentic Employee Profiles on YouTube
As for YouTube – which, don’t forget, is the second-largest search engine in the world – Taco Bell has its own careers channel, with seven videos and more than 44,000 views. Four of the videos each focus on a single employee, from a 17-year-old team member to a franchise owner with 20 years of experience.

This may sound silly, but I also like that the videos clearly show the employees preparing and serving food. You’d be surprised how some brands seem to ignore what their workers actually do. Or maybe a career at McDonald’s involves sitting on steps?

Pioneering Pinterest

Taco Bell is one of a growing number of brands that’s recruiting on Pinterest. Taco Bell Careers has more than 300 images on 24 boards on the site. Five boards are devoted to individual recruiters and include pictures of the their pets and hobbies, a great way to relate to candidates. A board of inspirational quotes is cleverly called “Food For Thought,” while another is devoted to “Leadership Development.”

A few of Taco Bell Careers’ boards on Pinterest


You can see that Taco Bell reaches out to both current and future employees on four social channels. The chain’s fun attitude can be seen in its fast-paced videos, its whimsical employee event photos, and its active dialogue on Twitter. Taco Bell has also recognized the power of Pinterest and posts images that are both cool and useful. 


For all these reasons, I declare Taco Bell Careers a Social Media Superstar!


Learn about more employer branding superstars at our free webinar, “Employer Brands Undercover: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Authentic Employer Brand in the Digital World.” Tuesday, November 27, at 11 am, 2 pm, and 5 pm Eastern. Register here.