The Relevancy Of Relevancy Scores And The Lie Of UI

Your computer is lying to you. Or rather, the user interface is giving you information that you mistakenly believe is accurate because it Looks Official

Some examples:

LinkedIn Zipcodes: Why do you think they are accurate? Are they inputted and checked? Has the person moved since starting a LinkedIn account? Is the distance from the zipcode the distance from their house or from the city center of the zipcode? 

We don't know. I bet the developer never thought about it - because developers don't think about such things. 

LinkedIn employee count: LinkedIn filters people by the size of their company. While they can add Fortune 1000, how do they track the number of employees?  It's almost assuredly by the number of employees on LinkedIn, which is why Construction companies have 1000 employees on LinkedIn and 5,000 employees overall.

Facebook Search: The number of Female Developers who work for Citibank in Boston. Do that search. That should suffice as an explanation. 

It's not just the searches. It's our systems.

What's the Relevancy Score in Facebook Ads? I asked someone yesterday, but then asked them to tell me what the score meant without using the word "relevant."  It's harder than you think. Especially since none of us "really" know, including Facebook employees who are just repeating what they are told.

Relevancy Score has a meaning to Facebook, of course. It's the number of times people click on your ad.  Based on that score, Facebook determines if you're a good or bad advertiser. which affects how often your ads show up. They want the better performing ads to show up more.

Stop and think about that for a second. Relevancy Score is how often you spend money with Facebook. That's useful to Facebook. It's useful to Advertising firms, who are paid on the percentage of their spend. Is it useful to the rest of us? Is it relevant to our goals using Facebook ads? Maybe.

And yet - try this - go ask someone in social what the relevancy score is. They'll say it's a score that determines how relevant your ads are. Relevant to what? Relevant to who? They'll struggle, and then probably throw something at you.

Again, it's not their fault. It's a kind of short-circuit that occurs. Relevancy Score, 10 miles from Zipcode - these seem like they are carefully calibrated to be accurate data. They are not. They are tricks (some honest, some not) of the User Interface, much like the 36,284,312 results on a Google page.

One of the challenges we have in recruiting social people is the parrot effect, where jobseekers tell us what they've heard, without thinking it through. The best hires - don't just repeat the words. They are not fooled by a Title Field.  

 


Interview Questions To Ask A Facebook Display Ads Manager

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If you're going to hire someone to manage Facebook Ads, you need to first get a sense of what you're looking for. 

Here's what I'd ask the hiring manager: 

1) What do you want from this?  (sell more, more likes, testing Facebook, testing the candidate to see if they can do more)
2) Are you going to manage the person? 
3) Are you going to be looking over their shoulder the whole time, or do you just want reports? Do you want them weekly or monthly? 
4) What budget are you looking to spend? Do you have that in your budget/the bank? What would make you not spend that budget? 
5) Have you hired someone like this before? 
6) Do you know that creative is not the same thing as ad optimization? 

 Here's what I ask the candidate:

1) Tell me what you did last Tuesday.
2) What's the most you've spent in a month? What could you have done to make that better? 
3) Were you paid on spend, or a salary? Was it worth your while to increase the spend to get a better paycheck?
4) What's the difference between a dabbler and a professional (the word Power Editor should appear pretty quickly)
5) How do you build customized audiences from scratch? What do you need to build them quicker? 
6) Did you have a Facebook rep who would show up when you called? Did you like them? (I love the second part of that question. The answer is usually no, or "as a person, or as a rep?")
7) What kind of sweepstakes and giveaways did you do? 
8) When was the last time you started a new account? (If it's not in the six months, don't hire them for a premium)
9) What kind of training did you receive? 
10) Talk about the CRM/email software you've worked with. 

What You're Looking For
It doesn't matter what they answer in these questions. It matters that they understand why you asked the question. 

If you're looking for interview scripts, feel free to reach out with questions and I'll write one up to post on the blog. 

 

 


Good Recruiters Don't Need To Be Experts In Who They Recruit

When I first started recruiting, I worked on tech jobs. These were desktop, and hardware, and sys admin, and then some developer and designer roles. I knew next to nothing about the technology, but in 1999, neither did anyone else. Heck - we were hiring kids out of college with C++ course to be Java programmers for $45-60,000.

As I got better, and the tech did as well, the old argument that recruiters should know what they were working on led some of us to get CIS degrees (most of them got out of the industry). I thrived by asking questions, and my business really went wild once I started posting interview questions like what to ask a Java Swing candidate. In addition to traffic, hiring managers would call me and argue about what I posted (managers don't call recruiters unless they have to - in case you're wondering. 

In 2006, when I rolled out of recruiting to join my wife's marketing firm, I focused on social media. Blogging, copywriting, and SEO were my bread and butter, matched with her design prowess (just check out Brandstorming.com for a taste). As I got better, social media exploded, and I found myself consulting with firms large and small to do the work I once recruited for. That led me to work hard at learning digital, including email, PPC, and the full marketing stack from story to distribution. That made me a better recruiter, because I was recruiting for the roles I performed (and later managed). 

And what I found out was the old saw that candidates wanted recruiters to understand what they worked on was not universally true. Calling as a peer, candidates found that lying to me was more difficult than the recruiters they were used to working with. I burrowed down into details, and I joked with them about using the wrong jargon. And you know what - they hated it. I didn't realize in technology how much I was missing - in my early career blindness, I was practicing matching candidates by how well they pitched a story and how serious they were about the job. In today's world, I see massive flaws in candidates, but I also see massive flaws in the job descriptions, and had to learn that the perfect candidate was one who could survive the interview and then thrive at the job. That's not always clear on the resume. 

It's true that knowledge of an industry helps, but after a decade in digital, I'm finding the gaps in my own experience. I don't have millions of dollars running through my fingers, which means that I'm behind the curve in understanding social display for the Home Depot. I'm not testing a 5,000 page sites traffic using eyeball tracking and service virtualization (no one is doing that last one, yet). I'm not up-to-date on the size of pictures of the best phones for Facebook live, and I've never looked at my website on the Microsoft Surface Pro. 

In short - the experience I've relied on to sell and recruit as a digital expert is no longer accessible unless you're actively inside a team of people doing the work. That doesn't mean I can't still place someone with experience using Facebook Ads to drive webinar sign-ups that fit into the Hubspot funnel, but it does mean that if I were tasked to do the job - I'm no longer able to sit side by side with a candidate and compare notes. 

It's a career arc that is strange. I went from knowing nothing to knowing everything (that you needed to know to hire for social) to knowing some parts of everything. My biggest challenges now are making sure I stick to the script, listen to the candidate, don't jump ahead, and most important - that I don't mistake nostalgia for technical competence. 

I once firmly believed that a career recruiter should be able to effortlessly switch industries, as knowing how to recruit was more important to knowing who to recruit. That insight wasn't wisdom, but rather the experience of working on different technologies that moved faster than our ability to learn them. If that's still true (and it seems a constant), then no recruiter can ever be expert in their field unless their field is dying. 

That's too much thinking, and it's the nostalgia trap instead of real understanding. Do you know why managers and candidates think they need recruiters who understand them? It's because our industry hires entry level recruiters and burns them through them. The number of inexperienced or new recruiters is always several times greater than the number of experienced recruiters. A new recruiter at a tech firm in San Francisco is going to talk to hundreds of people in a week, while I talk to the top 20% in the industry. This means that most of the people talking sand emailing with recruiters are talking to inexperienced recruiters. Internally, recruiters have multiple requirements and a lot of process to manage. The niched recruiters internally tend to work themselves out of the job and move on.

It's very likely that managers and candidates are mistaking technical expertise for a recruiting model that brings them recruiting expertise. It would have been simpler to point this out in the beginning, but for those of you who've read to the end of this post, would you have believed me?


Inbound Marketing Specialist - Colony, TX

A client of mine up by Frisco is looking for someone with a HubSpot Certification to work inside with his team of marketers in the medical device industry. 

If you've been working at an agency with multiple clients, or if you've worked internally and had decent training, this might be for you. Also, if you're traveling too far, and if you live north of 121 between Frisco and Lewisville, you're going to be a happy camper. 

1) You're the button pusher. You can run the campaign and make sure it's optimized to drive leads to medical professionals

2) You may use the word strategy and campaign, but you're self-aware enough to know that a couple of years in PPC or email campaigns is not enough to understand the full marketing stack. 

3) When interviewing, you don't repeat the words A/B Testing or Success Factors because you think they're a magic totem.

What you'll learn.

1) B2B Marketing

2) How to navigate internal marketing structures in a rapidly growing company

3) The joy of not having an hour commute.

If you're interested, send a note to socialmediaheadhunter@gmail.com with some indication that you've read this blogpost, and I'll get you in touch with the hiring manager.  



Interview Answers I Don't Like To Hear From Email Marketers

Over at Digital Marketing Headhunter, I critiqued a couple of job descriptions for email marketers, and then offered up a list of interview questions for email marketers that I would ask. 

But all questions need answers. That part of the script I haven't published, but I will show the answers I don't like to hear:

Answers I don't like to hear from candidates. 

1) We sent out 10 million emails a month (and no explanation of what they were). 
2) We did extensive A/B Testing of the emails. (what does extensive mean? what did you test? Was that a test each week before the send?
3) I've worked with all of the email software programs and know them well
4) We were CAN-SPAM compliant. 
5) Our data team would pull the lists each week, and we'd work with the graphics department to get the right images, and then the IT department to code the email. I would test and send the email (nothing wrong with that, but it suggests someone who is only good in a large operation, and will need each one of those components to work. But at least they know it takes more than one person. Those who don't know this and assume they can do it all, are often lacking in experience). 

 

If you have your own job description, or questions you'd like to add, leave a comment or email me and I'll publish them. If you want it confidential, please mention it in the email.


List Of Director Of Social Media Interview Questions In a B2C Market

This is a list of interview questions you can use to interview director of social media. It's not comprehensive, but if you had all these answers, you should have a very good idea of that they do and if they're a fit for your position. If you find this useful, and need to hire - consider reaching out. If you use it, please leave the brand Social Media Headhunter and my name in your social sharing. 

Skillset: 

What kind of social media do you do? What I mean is that everyone thinks they do social. So I need to know if you use it for inbound marketing, customer response, branding and advertising or research? 

Do you utilize social display ads? Do you work with a Facebook/Twitter client partner? Can you call them on your cell if you needed to? Would they answer? 

How much content creation do you do personally? 

How do you feel about deleting comments on Facebook that include curse words? 

Is it worth it to invest in Twitter? Why? What businesses work best? 

Give me an example of a good viral social media plan that isn't Fiberglass pools.

Give me an example of a good national social media plan that isn't mentioned at every single conference? 

Do you speak at conferences? Do you enjoy it? Why? 

Tell me what you did yesterday. 

What kind of software do you work with? Anything you're expert in? Anything you need to function?

How versed are you in mobile? Tell me why. 

What does it mean when I say social and digital should be integrated? What does that actually mean?

 

Management:

Who do you report to? What title would you like to report to?

Do you hire people in your department? How do you know if they're good?

How many people report to you? What's the most number of people you've had report to you? 

Did you have to fight for your budget bit by bit, or did you have it set in stone? 

How do you stop PPC/Digital from stealing your budget mid-year? 

Have you selected vendors before? How do you decide who to work with? 

What is your career path? 

Wow Factor:

IBM says they care more about Klout factor than SAT scores. Defend and then attack that position. 

Who is someone in social media you know that you're impressed with? Why?

How did Digg work? What is today's Digg? 

Talk to me about sponsored posts.

How good are your private profiles? How much, I guess we'll call it Dark Hat work do you do? 

Tell me how blogs impacted SEO in 2008. What's the change today? 

Pitch me shareability like you're talking to the CEO and trying to get $1MM in budget. 


Manager Of Digital Marketing: National Consumer Brand Launch In New Jersey

I'm cross-posting this because this site is the bomb - but I have a hot job to find a digital manager to launch a spirits brand in New Jersey. You need to be less than an hour's drive from Parsippany, and I'll be doing all the vetting, as I've hired 3 of the four current employees. 

This is a well-funded small business about to go national and then international. They've spent tens of millions so far, and it's not like a digital startup.  

Details are here at Digital Marketing Headhunter, but that's not really the exciting part. This is branding, site development, creative team and vendor management, and an excellent eye for visual and copy. You need strategic experience, experience building a team for a national rollout, and you need to be okay with small teams and rapid growth. 

But this will be the big win of your career. If you fit in. Apply by emailing me or contacting me on a social channel. Here's the product. It's just the tip of the iceberg. 

 


Dallas Needs A B2B Content Manager For Medical Devices

I posted it first over at Digital Marketing Headhunter, which is the new site, but here's a taste of the job.

Backed by a seasoned management team in the dental industry, my client needs someone who understands what motivate medical professionals, with experience in the dental mindset a huge plus. The company fields a great product and their sales and marketing strategy is set.

They need someone to execute and drive the content for webinars, lead generation, and conversion. Primary needs are digital marketing savvy, experience with email and webinars, and the ability to manage remote teams. Our customers are dental practice owners, and we need to determine how to get them to sell our product within their practice.

This is a job for a fast growing company that has the results baked in. There's a playbook from a similar product for orthodontists that make this a compelling sale. So take a look, and send me a note. 

One note - this is a management role - but it's pretty hands on. You spend a lot of your time in meetings, but you're also working mostly alone and have direct access to the CEO. If you've sold a ton of product or services or knocked out leads from webinars, you're the person I'm looking for, but this isn't a director level position for cutting edge digital. It also isn't a role for first time managers or people who are used to a big structure holding them up or holding them back. 

 


Social Media Editor/Community Manager

 

Smh_logoA client of mine in the NYC suburbs (north and west of Manhattan/accessible by train) is a 16-year old online community focused on patient information and health care advocacy.  The community grew from blogs and forums into a broader social model that provides original content to patients and their families. 

The community manager would be responsible for content management and digital strategy for member recruitment and retention. You’re working with our volunteers and allies on getting the widest possible audience for good content. You’re managing and guiding our social/digital agency towards content and SEO strategies that hit our key metrics. 

Our current platforms include:

  • Monthly newsletter
  • Patient/advocate blogs
  • Facebook page
  • Twitter account
  • YouTube channel

What are we missing? What makes sense with our resources? What are our patients currently using and where do they want to find us? How do we leverage the tens of thousands of members and allies to stay relevant and fresh in the minds of our patients? What is the right digital strategy for us, and what resources and regular habits do we need to execute that strategy? 

This position isn’t managing comments or sending emails to bloggers. It takes someone with experience in creating and nurturing a community. You're really functioning as an editor/a conference reporter, and a strategist.  It requires a digital native that understands the fundamental nature of our community, but it's both a digital and social role. You’ll be expected to manage ongoing improvements to site functionality, feature customization, and user-experience. As mentioned, you’ll work with the social agency to help them understand what we need. 


Responsibilities 

  • Manage recruitment and retention of new membership leveraging content, SEO and new site features
  • Manage relationships with patient members and oversee content from patient bloggers.
  • Communicate organization mission and community benefits to new and existing membership
  • Oversee web posting, writing, managing, editorial direction, design, editorial calendar
  • Schedule and execute social media strategy with site content. 
  • Supervise related work conducted by consultants and agencies (web developer /administrator, graphic designer, publicist, digital agency, UI/UX designer), contract writers, patient bloggers, poets, artists, photographers, videographers
  • Integration and cross-posting between member sites

 

Background and Competencies:

  • Bachelors degree (minimum)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
  • Experience cultivating and managing online communities 
  • Social media expertise
  • Understand SEO and SEM in relation to branding and conversion
  • Digital native
  • Interest in healthcare policy, politics, patients
  • Able to present to funders and board
  • Willingness to travel

 

The travel is conferences and other meetings roughly half a dozen times a year. The editing piece means you have know enough about writing to have different voices, and also coach others into how to write. Professional advocacy means you might need to comb through that old Strunk & White copy that's hidden behind the bookcase. 

So - writing, editing, digital strategy, and social planning (there's another community manager who handles the day to day posting on Facebook and Twitter). Where we basically stand is the community is good, the presence is adequate, and we need more. Someone who gets what we're trying to do. Some one who cares about healthcare and understands what we're trying to do. 

Did I mention you can work from home? Mostly.  There's an office, and you'll go in at least once a week (all five days if you want), but as this is an all hours kind of job, you're not required to be in the office all the time. You do need to be within driving distance, and this is a full-time, good-paying job that requires real experience in managing a community and significant talent as a writer/editor. And you have to know social/digital well enough to make me think you get it. 

Drop me a line at jim at social media talent.