Hiring a social strategist in Dallas

I'm "this" close to launching a search for a social strategist. Just working out the details. It's the kind of social job you dream of - strategy, but working under a great boss with real marketing experience. 

What kind of social? Glad you asked. It's important that you ask, because you're supposed to know there are different kinds by now. 

It's a mix of customer service and branding. The client has customer service needs, and wants to see what social can and should be doing for them, but they also want to extend and expand their branding and lead generation. You're not selling online - but you are generating leads and working to explain how to best respond to your customer base. 

Here's some boilerplate I made up.

Your role is a new one, designed to increase the capabilities, performance, and tracking of social data that includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and other popular channels. As a strategist, you’ll work with the marketing and customer service teams to engage with our members, enhance branding campaigns, and integrate with product and service teams. This position does not have direct reports.

Experience with regulated industries is a plus. They're innovative, but not the wild west - and you don't want to have to explain to the execs why someone on Facebook is yelling at you.



-Design a comprehensive social media strategy 

-Create and manage best practices for customer service and corporate communications.

-Work with design and content teams to create shareable content appropriate for specific networks

-Train and or manage content managers and owners on social best practices.

-Build performance and tracking systems using existing marketing technology and processes.

-Create and deliver reports on social milestones and experience.

-Serve as a champion internally for social integration.

-Listen and engage in relevant social discussions involving the brand and the industry.

-Plan and execute regular social promotions and campaigns along with performance metrics and results.

-Develop social media content strategies and editorial calendars.



You know the rest of the drill. Find me if you're interested. I mainly post these to prove I still exist, and so I have something to send you if you ask me what the job entails. 

You have to be in Dallas. You're not going to make six figures. This isn't a job posting to Facebook. And agency experience or corporate experience is important - it's not a job for freelancers or consultants. 


Job Posting: Need A Curious Social/ Digital Manager In Dallas

A social commerce company in Dallas is looking for a social media manager to step in and deliver content, data, and some life into the social media accounts of the company. This is a junior to mid-level position at the tactical level built for someone to grow, and you’ll be working with/ learning from directors and executives with big brand and digital startup experience.

What we’re looking for is a team player who understands branding, style guides, working with digital natives, PR, social strategy, the limits of technology, and the importance of mobile. We’re looking for someone who understands social is a team sport that includes working with marketing managers, merchants, the advertising agency, PR firms, executives and the customer happiness team, which is a long-winded way of saying that we’re not special snowflakes writing amazing Facebook posts, but rather a part of an integrated team.

Why You Want This Job

Social commerce is hot, and it's about time you learned from someone who actually wants to see you improve. You report directly to the CMO, who is looking for fast-movers, but needs you to learn digital marketing correctly first. 

The Actual Job Duties

Channel Manager - Social Media

That’s the role. Each channel has their own use and strengths. Email covers the database andpush marketing, Advertising handles display and SEM and. PR drives interest to the platform, Merchants curate, while Customer Happiness works with current customers to test their satisfaction, answer questions, and drive relevant information back to the marketing and product teams.

The Social Media Role is the day to day outbound marketing, as well as serving as a brand voice in retail, design, ecommerce, and digital circles. You’ll be listening and reporting too, so need to have an analytic side. You’ll work with a savvy PR firm to provide ideas and support on their publicity efforts, especially with bloggers. Your posts  and content on social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest) will  correlate to the needs of the acquisition and conversion campaigns

That means you need to be able to push the buttons to make the machine work, with a change to come up with great messaging or branding creativity that complements the core values and selling proposition. You’ll need to follow the style guide, and work to integrate the social voice into the editorial calendar, which by the way you’ll be managing.

You’ll need to understand the metrics behind what you do. You’ll have a small social promotion budget, and eventually, you might take over the social display budget, but in the beginning, that will be handled out of Advertising with strong input from you.

You need to be able to write. To learn. To speak up, when you’ve done the research to contribute. Exposure to the marketing planning process is greatly desired, but if you don’t have it, we’ll teach you. That’s one of the great benefits. In a startup, you’re going to learn very fast, so if you’re currently stuck doing just one thing, without a view of what it’s important, this may be for you

Here are some bullet points:

  1. -Digital Native

  2. - 2-4 years of experience, or maybe more, but not one year four times.
    - Social Media experience outside of personal accounts or small business.

  3. - You have to be able to define AB Testing the first time I call you after you read this. Just google it if you don’t know.

  4. -Experience with Facebook Ads is good, especially data, Power Editor and audiences.

  5. SEM/SEO experience is nice, as is mobile design. Everyone digital needs a little of this these days.

  6. A BA or BS degree is a minimum requirement

Are you interesting? Are you interested? What are your passions? Do you learn quickly? What makes you say that? Are you interested in marketing? And social media? Why would you say that? Can you tell me what that means? Give an example?

We look for people who have a curiosity in life, and will take that spark anyday over someone who does one thing well.


End Of Year Social Media Positions and Spring Cleaning

It's going to be a rush at the end of the year, as three clients are asking for retained searches, and two old clients are asking for some contingency work. 

I'm hyperfocused on the client who signed the contract and sent the check (that's how it works), but in doing so, I'm making hundreds of calls all across the social media and digital worlds. 

Before I post a fragment of my job posting, let me remind you that Spring is the big hiring time for most digital and ecommerce jobs. If you're in the 100-180k range, in digital marketing, and you're at that two-three year sweet spot, get ahold of me in December. Send a connection, call (I work till 10 CST most nights), or follow me on Twitter and laugh at a joke. 

It's the busy time. Time to get busy. 

Here's my number one focus over the next week. I post it so you can get a taste, a bit of flavor, on the way I recruit:

Social Commerce Director:

Everyone one wants to know the ROI of social, which usually breaks down into asking how much revenue you can generate from Facebook Display Ads and Promoted Twitter Ads. This company wants more. They want to know if social media will be its own revenue channel in the 8 figure range, or if it will simply be a magnifier for other marketing divisions. The company manages a 7 figure spend in social right now, but understands that social ads work closely with social content, customer service, Brand, and PR in a way that traditional PPC does not.

Is that you? Do you understand social media as it’s own creature? Do you parrot that content is King, the same way that engagement and transparency used to be the buzzwords? Because that’s not the job. It’s not a consultant excited about social. It’s someone who has run a team and the gauntlet, and is ready for their next challenge. You want a company to truly commit.  That’s the job.

Look, we get it. Companies say they have a commitment to social, but the dollars and more important the authority is never there. You get mentioned on the quarterly investor calls, but you never get to do anything. Your CMO wants viral video, but then wants it to convert 200,000 visitors into paying customers. Don’t we all, right? Well, here’s a company who is currently doing it, and doing it well. But they need leadership and credibility to move it further. 

Continue reading "End Of Year Social Media Positions and Spring Cleaning" »

Facebook Is Crazy Useful For Recruiting

Last year, I added Facebook recruiting to my training webinars through Experts-Connection (over 6,000 trained!). The introduction of Facebook Graph Search was exciting, as it allowed you to search through Facebook ti find candidates that weren't on LinkedIn. 

I've done four of those webinars, and each time, the improvements to Graph Search have amazed me. 

If you've attended one of my trainings, you'll know my whole pitch is the power of the human brain. How we think and what we do is very important when it comes to sourcing, as your unique experience creates different search strings than your competitors. 

The steady march of algorithms, from LinkedIn's Galene Update to Google's One Account SERPS to Graph Search itself, alter what you see and try to homogenize your results. It is only your brain that is going to find new candidates that haven't already received a dozen inmails. 

That was Facebook's initial value. It gave you additional candidate pools, and a different starting point then job boards or LinkedIn. And now that has changed. 

The filter system in place in Graph Search, used correctly, give you clean lists that you can start calling immediately. The data isn't fully entered, because candidates on Facebook don't yet see themselves as candidates, but as public awareness of people getting jobs through Facebook continues to grow, expect to see the skills section grow, and the results magnify. 

Facebook is facing a lot of public backlash about privacy issues, and recruitment just isn't as big a market as advertising. If you could pick Google's market cap or Monster's, which would you pick? But it's usefulness is increasing. As LinkedIn pivots to B2B marketing and increases their aggressive selling to recruiters, I fully expect the staffing world to begin focusing on free options. Facebook is currently the biggest free option. 

Facebook Recruiting Webinar: The Basics

We're introducing a new title in our webinar series for recruiters.  This one is going to focus on Facebook, something I haven't done since 2008.

Facebook historically has been a terrible place to recruit unless you have a full social media marketing team pumping out content.  Now, I can see it rivaling LinkedIn in terms of efficiency, if you know how to use it correctly. 

The details:

Registration Link: Cost is $100.  This is a 90 minute webinar live inside the Facebook site. 

Guest Speaker: Jim Durbin, the Social Media Headhunter
Date: Thursday, June 27, 2013
Time: 2:00-3:30PM Eastern; 11:00AM-12:30PM Pacific

For an overview of the program, check out the first video. For a comparison of LinkedIn and Facebook Graph Search, check out the second. 

1st Video:


2nd Video:



If you have any questions, reach out to me through the email link or on twitter at @smheadhunter. 

Adding Large Numbers Of Facebook Fans Is Still Cool, No Matter What The #H8ers Say

I'm a big fan of social media as a tool to measure and alter customer behavior.  While numbers can be gamed (You'd be surprised how much $50 would buy you in fake traffic), there is a value in building a fan base in social media because of what it tells you.  Sometimes, adding numbers is useful because of what you learn. 

It starts with this:  What makes someone click Like

Let's say I have an email list of 10,000 customers. I send out an email asking them to like my new Facebook page.  My fan base goes from 115 to 2200 in a week.  Is that a good thing?  What can I learn from it?

Many people would say that the number of fans doesn't matter because 98% of those people liking the page will never go back to it.  But I'm not counting the increase in fans.  I'm counting a response rate in my email list.  Boosting your fan base from 115 to 2200 based solely on an email is phenomenal, because it tells you huge numbers of your email list are responsive and are on Facebook.  It also tells you they like you enough to do what you say and click "Like."

Experiencing a jump in Facebook fans from email, or from putting a sticker on the door of your restaurant, or in having your managers go around tables and asking people to do so, is a very valuable data point.  It's not cheating, it's understanding what you're capable of doing with the resources at your disposal.  In these cases, the traffic, while it may be of little consequence, gives you clues about your information networks that are very valuable. 

That example was a little too easy.  How about we go after one that gets laughed at?

It's not supposed to be kosher to run contests giving away things to get Facebook fans.  Asking someone to Like a page for a contest doesn't measure value.  But what happens after the contest is over? If you go from 1000 likes to 1,000,000 likes because of a contest, that's a PR win, but the agency doing so didn't really help you, right? We can all agree to that (while secretly being jealous that the agency is going to use that as a case study). 

So what happens, when that 1,000,000 turns to 2,500,000 likes in the next year, without a contest?  If it's all nonsense, what is happening that you can see a result like that?  Clearly, having a large number of likes led other people to click like - simply out of the peer pressure of wanting to be like others.  Can we learn something from this?  

I'll leave that for you to ponder (and if you still say no, you can get off my damn page right now), but numbers mean things, and any time you can create activity online, you can learn something about your audience. 

In the argument about social media expertise, maybe we ought to be asking ourselves what social media teaches us, rather than about what we can do with it.  





Social Recruiting Interview: Impact Of Social Media On Human Resources

I just wrote out an interview with a German reporter about the use of social media in hiring.  Normally, I don't post my notes in reporting interviews, but as this interview will be translated into German, and edited to fit the report, I'll make an exception and post my thoughts here.


Could you please describe what you do – how do you help companies as a “social media headhunter”?

The title Social Media Headhunter has two meanings. First, I’m a retained search recruiter, working with companies to find employees with social media skills and experience. Most companies know they need to invest in social media (or social business), but the field isn’t mature enough to allow executives to write an accurate job description, or filter the appropriate candidates. That’s where I come in, helping define the position, locating candidates, and then managing the hiring process.

The second definition comes from training recruiters on the use of social media in hiring. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs provide a rich pool of possible employees, but figuring out how to find and recruit them takes a new mindset. That’s what I teach.

What do you think are the most important changes for human resources managers which have been caused by the new “social media” technologies/virtualized business environments (“cloud economy”)?

Social media breaks down hierarchies of knowledge and provides new tools for information sharing. We first saw and continue to see this in politics, but the impact on all business is apparent. From shopping and coupon sites to sales strategies and product review, the power is switching from the company to the consumer. This is true both for B2C and B2B. The cloud economy allows instant information transfer for those connected to it. This has an impact on the way we hire, and what expect from new (and current) employees, but it also changes the way that we look at hiring. Job-seekers have more information than before about salary, working conditions, and the health of the company, and so do our current employees. Hiring, retention, and training are now more complicated, because we all know more. At the same time, it’s an unprecedented opportunity to harness that knowledge to improve our companies and hiring processes as well. From a legal standpoint, the ease of video recording and data transfer on mobile phones is probably the more granular threat. A greater threat than corporate espionage is the unwitting leaks of confidential information that threaten a companies strategic decisions. Add in the embarrassment of top executives getting caught, and you have a strange new Orwellian world that can’t be ignored. We are all watched now. How does one adjust their behavior in that kind of environment? From having drinks with friends to inter-office flings, privacy is off the table. And for younger people, many who lack a filter on what is appropriate, the internet’s long memory is going to cause changes in how we react to behavior outside the office.

How can companies use social media to recruit new talents? Which are the advantages of facebook and other social networking sites for recruiters? Are there typical mistakes Human Resources Managers make when they are trying to recruit via facebook/linkedin/twitter….? Any dos and don’t´s?

Companies should first understand that social media is a two-way street. It’s a personal channel that has to be nurtured, which takes not only time but focus. The good news is more and more people are on these networks, which means a larger talent pool. The bad news is they want something in return for their attention, which means companies are no longer solely in charge. The advantages of Facebook are primarily contact. Candidates spend so much time on Facebook, and if you’re their connection, they will respond to you. The younger generation prefers Facebook messages to email contact. That’s an essential piece of knowledge when recruiting college and high-school age employees.

The Biggest Do’s.

  1. Have a social media policy in place for both recruiters and the general employee population. You have a dress code. Have a social media code.
  2. Do connect with candidates on a personal level. Treat social media messages like phone messages or email. Don’t lose your professionalism.
  3. Do understand the expectations of the platform you are using. Some sites are great for blind messages to candidates. Some prefer a little warm-up before you ask them to interview. Some don’t ever want you to ask that question.

The Biggest Don’ts

  1. Don’t broadcast messages like they are advertisements
  2. Don’t build social media profiles and then abandon them. That’s like not answering your phone
  3. Don’t get into arguments online if you’re going to use your account for business. In fight between a fellow and a fool, onlookers don’t know who is the fool, and who is the fellow.

Have Social Media tools made the headhunter´s job easier? A lot of employees list their employment situation on social media networking sites. How can companies avoid to lose their employees to social media headhunters?

 In the short run, they’ve made the headhunter’s job much easier. It’s free knowledge about a person’s working situation. In the long run, as companies adapt and candidates get smarter, headhunters will need to turn into recruiting process experts and not just resume sourcers. If you don’t want to lose your employees to a headhunter, treat them better, and make sure they are informed and engaged in their current jobs. That’s all they ever wanted anyway. And don’t worry about blocking or stopping them from posting information. The speed of information is faster than any policy you could create.

Do employees and managers need new skills in the “social media world”? Which skills should employers look for in potential hires? Do personal networks/digital social capital get more important as staffing criteria?

Yes. They’re going to have to be smarter about everything. Lucky for us, social media provides those tools. When hiring, you have to ask yourself, “do they understand how social media is affecting their division, city, company, or region?” Do they understand how to build personal networks and share information, without putting the company at risk?

On the second question, I’m a bit of a dissenter. I think hiring based on personal networks/ digital social capital is lazy and unproductive. I don’t want someone good at promoting their name online. I want someone who can accomplish the business goals using social tools and principles. Show me productivity gains, not Facebook friends.

Some companies even offer bonuses to their employees if they help to fill open positions – the employees use special software (matchin engines like appirio/jobvite….) to search the profile information of Facebook friends and LinkedIn-contacts. Is this a good way to mine employees´ social networking contacts for potential hires? What about privacy concerns? Could that be bad in terms of “employer branding” as potential hires might be annoyed by the idea that software from an unknown company infiltrates their (private) social networks?

It works. The quality of the hire depends on the people using it, as do the privacy concerns. My biggest concern is that you’re creating selection bias in your recruiting, and outsourcing it to people not trained in recruiting processes. The biggest advantage is it really seems to work. I think these tools can be an important addition. They’ll work very well for some companies, and not for others. I don’t see much of a backlash.

Final Thoughts?

A final note would be the increasing focus on social business. Social media is cool, and it’s changing the way we look at the world because it improves the speed of information transfer. Social Business isn’t yet mature, but when knowledge transfer inside a company reaches the speed that it currently achieves outside the company, you’re going to see massive increases in our productivity. I see social media as the human version of Moore’s Law. Computers keep getting faster, but humans haven’t really evolved to match them. We are the brakes in the process. Effective social business principles are going to alter the way “we” work in the same way that computers changed the way companies did business.

Facebook For Recruiters: Updated Live Webinar

Kennedy Information is having me host a live Facebook recruiting webinar this Thursday at 12:00 CST.  Those who know me and have been through my training before know this is something to add to your schedule - we cover strategy, sourcing, marketing, branding and integration unlike any other trainer out there.

My background in social media and the fact that I run a desk makes a difference in my training.  I'm you.

So check it out, sign up, and join us for the new, new Facebook training

Facebook is the hottest social network out there, with user demographics spanning generations and regions. It’s a gold mine for recruiters; but for different reasons than you might think.
For recruiters, the real value of Facebook is in its messaging and referral capabilities. This time-saving interactive seminar will highlight the different ways to use Facebook to communicate with and hire top candidates.
Join us on June 25th and find out about:
  • Real-world strategies for setting realistic expectations with candidates
  • Tactics that leverage your current talent pool to help you find, and connect with, new prospects
  • Effective communication approaches that yield higher response rates to initial contact
  • Powerful marketing and branding techniques to attract top candidates and support your employment brand
  • An overview for managers as to when using Facebook is appropriate for employees
Can’t make June 25th? Register now to receive access to the full recorded event following its conclusion and listen to it at your leisure from anywhere with web access!
A Great Value Set up the interactive seminar in a conference room and pay one low fee for as many attendees as you wish.
Registration includes the link to the online event; a PowerPoint presentation a 15-minute Q&A session; and email access to the speaker before, during and after the event.

Twitter Is A Great Employment Tool, For Other People

RecruitingBlogs.com has a bunch of information up on Twitter for Recruiting - and it's for free.  I love those guys, but you get what you pay for.  Between people complaining that it's worthless, and others giving you technical details about hashtags and twitter search, the elemental issue of human contact is completely ignored.

And like all bad systems, recruiters who don't understand this will find the community routing around them.

Twitter for recruiting is best used in three ways.

1) Sourcing - using advanced Boolean searches, you can identify candidates and their current positions in their profiles.

2) Referrals:  Once you've built a network focused on your industry, you'll become a known quantity for the people you engage.  If you tweet correctly, you'll get referrals (most people do it wrong - they're just spamming the site and wondering why that doesn't work).

3) Industry research - Twitter works great as an informal Q-and-A for information.  From real time intelligence on your clients, promotions, hires, layoffs, and projects, to asking your network how to answer questions on buzzwords, lingo, and technical matters, Twitter works to give you information quicker, making you more interesting on the phone.  Think of it as a giant phone-a-friend from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Of course, the reason most people don't get this is they only want to post jobs and magically have candidates appear.  That doesn't work. In fact, the posted jobs have the same problem they do on job boards - it's so easy, that most posts are worthless.  Twitter is not a job posting service.  If that works for you, count those days as numbered.  Anything that easy is going to get overused to the point of being irrelevant. 

What is the difference between posting on a job board and posting on Twitter?  Very little.  It's just garbage in and garbage out.  Do you really want to post a job on Twitter and have everyone follow up with you?  Didn't we learn our lessons from posting to job boards and getting hundreds of resumes from unqualified candidates?  Learn this - identifying a candidate is not the same as recruiting them.  If you put little value into your tweets, you're not going to get much value out of it.  And the community will route around you.

Social Networking is an easy target these days, and one of the complaints is it's growing so fast you can't keep up. It's a valid argument, and let me explain why.  Let's say you follow 500 people on Twitter.  There are 7,000,000 people and growing on Twitter.  No matter what you think of Twitter, you're getting only a tiny, non-representative portion of the community.  Like blogs before it, Twitter is already to big to really understand.  Your perspective is going to be shaped by who you spend time with.  Thus your statements will be true only for you and some of your followers.  You cannot understand the entire matter.

Thus we are left with one simple choice when it comes to Twitter (and all things social media).  Does it work for you, or does it not?  Does your time online yield a useful result, or does it not?  Yes, this means there is no one right way to use Twitter.  But there are hundreds of wrongs to use Twitter.

Twitter for business can be boiled down to one simple question. 

Are you making money from your actions, and are you making money for other people?

If you can't figure out how to do that, the problem is between the seat and the keyboard.

SalesForce.com Integrates Social Media Into Their Platform

I'm not sure what to think about Salesforce adding Twitter and Facebook into their dashboard. It seems like a good idea, and if I used a CRM instead of an ATS, I'd want fields to add social media id's and handles, but not everyone is so excited about it.  Mike Troiano of Scalabe Intimacy (who writes a great blog, btw) chats with me on Twitter.

Salesforce.com integrating social media as a CS channel. But it won't work, IMHO.

I agree with Mike that social media has the potential to get really ugly in the sales world, but it's going to happen, and I think those who are responsible actors will do a lot better than those who segregate social media from their sales efforts.  Now I have a vested interest in this - my new social media for small business store teaches salespeople how to make money using social media.  One of the first titles is Using LinkedIn To Generate Sales Leads. If all we were going to do was treat LinkedIn like a database, that would be a short training, consisting of a few Boolean searches and a note about vanity url's.

But that's not how business is done.  Spammers may use sites like LinkedIn to beg for business, but competent salespeople use it to make the very connections that bring new business.

It's the same for Twitter.  My view on Twitter is that if you're not making money for someone else, you're not doing it right. Whether that's a recommendation to a restaurant or a dry cleaners or a SaaS project, Twitter is the ultimate referral tool. Does that mean that anyone can jump on Twitter and be successful?  Of course not.  But the community can clean up bad actors on its own, and that's much different than calling or email lists.

So I welcome the Salesforce integration.  There might be a period of rough time as new users come on, but that's already happening.  I see the integration as just another proof that the impact of social media has gone past newspapers and government, and is moving strongly into the business sector.