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Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy, Part 8 - Be Prepared for Success, Don’t Forget to Plan

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 12:30pm Wednesday 26 August 2009    Print Article

Social media’s ability to spread your message or promote a campaign can be very powerful. Be prepared for your social media campaigns to succeed and plan for a greater response than you are used to.

While not every campaign may result in high traffic or far reach, the potential is there. Not being able to deliver on that success, could turn into a PR nightmare. Some of the problems you could face when delivering your strategy include
  • You choose the wrong media channels
  • You use the wrong people to deliver the message
  • Your content sucks
  • Your team dose not believe in the strategy
  • Poor execution
  • No one trusts you
Make sure you aren’t overselling to your potential customers through your messaging. Know what your limits are and your strengths. If you can’t deliver, don’t try to make your customers believe that you can.

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Article Tags: social media social media strategy social networking online recruitment creating a strategy conversation communication collaboration pr spokespeople vocus online marketing online communication social recruiting social recruiting strategy

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Segmenting Data using Google Analytics

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 2:00pm Tuesday 25 August 2009    Print Article

One of the most underrated website statistical tools is Google Analytics. Not only is the service free, but many people would not be familiar with the advanced tool set. Google Analytics offers excellent reporting and traffic analysis that can help you assess how well (or bad) your recruitment website is tracking.

Not many recruiters or even job boards could admit to tracking and measuring referral traffic back to their website. However, measuring specific traffic (ie from marketing campaigns, job boards or social media sites) using Google Analytics is not difficult at all.

A segment is a subset of data. In this case, it refers to a subset of visitors whose behavior you would like to see and analyze. The use of advanced segments allows you to further understand, anticipate and react to your visitors by identifying key trends and common behaviors.

Advanced Segmentation is a tool you can use within Google Analytics to slice and dice your data with great precision. If you find that you have a large amount of data but you're having a hard time filtering the information into a report, you can easily create your own segments or use the default segments and apply them to any report instead of creating different filters for each profile.

How do you do this?

In your Google Analytics reports page (or dashboard) you will notice various links titled "Advanced Segments".

By default, when you view a specific report, it defaults to “All Visits” and therefore all traffic will be reported.

If you click on the “Advanced Segments: All Visits” drop down button, it will bring up all your current Advanced Segments.

These are separated into two segments, firstly “Default Segments” and secondly “Custom Segments”, which will start off as blank. You can also click on multiple segments, and the reporting will then be segmented.

You can choose to segment by many different variables. Variables are split into two groups:
  1. Dimensions are the kinds of labels you would see as rows in your reports, such as keyword, landing page, or campaign; and
  2. Metrics are the columns, such as bounce rate, conversions, or time on site. Google Analytics allows you to browse through the list of variables by category or search for something you're looking for.
Let's step through the process of segmenting traffic from two social media sites - Twitter & LinkedIn. You can create a new advanced segment that will be saved for future reporting (see screen shot below).
  1. Under the “Dimensions” column on the left, click “Traffic Sources” and then click and drag the “Source” box into the box to the right that says “dimension or metric”.
  2. Then from the drop down menu that appears for “Condition”, select “Matches Regular Expression”.
  3. In the “Value” box, simply type in the site you wish to track. For example, if you wanted to track LinkedIn traffic, you would type this in ""
  4. Name and save the segment. You can also test the segment to see how many results it will return.
If you want to track multiple sites, or add extra conditions in one custom segment, simply follow the steps outlined above. You can track multiple domains by using the pipe symbol. eg "|"

From your dashboard panel; on the top right, click on the “Advanced Segments: All Visits” drop down button. Then tick the various segments you wish to display. The chart will update to display your segmented data in comparison to your total traffic.

Now you should have no trouble in correctly identifying and measuring the success of your online marketing campaigns.

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Article Tags: google analytics social media job boards website statistics referral sources measuring social media recruitment website job board data segmentation advanced segmentation

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Share on LinkedIn

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 3:30pm Monday 24 August 2009    Print Article

Have you ever shared content on LinkedIn? According to statistics released last month by AddToAny, LinkedIn was one of the least popular places to share content, with only 0.4% of users using the AddToAny widget. Facebook dominated the list with 24%, followed by email 11.1% and Twitter 10.8%

AddToAny is a social bookmarking widget that allows you to share web pages & content with various social bookmarking, social networking and link storage sites.

Most recruiters would be unaware of the Share on LinkedIn feature, even thou it has been around since April 2008. Adding the “Share on LinkedIn” function on your recruitment website, job board or blog allows your visitors to share your content with their LinkedIn connections, networks or groups.

If users share content to a LinkedIn group via this method, it will post the content to the news section. LinkedIn have not released the ability to choose which section it is posted to. (watch this space)

Unfortunately this is not the most ideal solution if you want to share jobs, but at least you are getting your job adverts onto LinkedIn for free!

Having a share function allows users spread your content - one user visits your site and can notify literally tens, hundreds, or thousands of others, driving relevant traffic back to your site.

Adding the Share on LinkedIn function does require a small amount of programming. But it can easily be done with a few parameters such as URL, title, summary and source.[URL]&title=[TITLE]&summary=[SUMMARY]&source=[SOURCE]
  1. User clicks on the link
  2. A pop-up browser from LinkedIn will open
  3. Sign in to your account on LinkedIn
  4. Choose where you want to share the content - connections, networks or select a group
  5. Content shared

Article URL:

Article Tags: linkedin recruitment website job advert job distribution job board facebook addtoany social bookmarking social bookmark widget twitter email

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Email Marketing Tips for Recruiters, Part 2 - Metrics

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:00pm Sunday 23 August 2009    Print Article

Are you wasting your time sending email auto-responders to candidate or marketing campaigns or clients? In my previous blog post Email Marketing Tips for Recruiters, I provided some basic tips for recruiters on creating an effective email marketing campaign.

There is no point in using email as a marketing or communication tool, if you are not tracking or measuring the effectiveness of  this medium. Don't have the mindset "these are only transactional emails, we don't need to measure". All email marketing software programs should have the ability to manage, monitor and measure email campaigns.

If you think about the types of emails sent to candidates, most of these are stock standard (bland and BORING). These can include:
  • Application acknowledgement "Thank you for applying for this role"
  • Application rejection "Unfortunately you were not successful"
  • Application status "We are still processing applications"
  • Database update "Just touching base to see what you are doing"
  • Job Alert "A new job matching your search criteria has just been posted"
All these types of emails can (and should) be measured. By measuring your emails, you can use this information to change or tweak the message contents. I don't mean asking for a "read receipt", as most email readers can bypass this function.

To track open rates, HTML emails contain a 1x1 pixel invisible image. When a recipient enables images to display when they read the message, the sending servers are able to track when the image was displayed and by whom- this is the “open rate” information you see in your reports. When images are blocked, the “open” cannot be tracked.

Let's look at some metrics you can use to learn more about your email marketing activities. Most of these you will know already and some you will learn for the first time. I also suggest you have a read of a PDF report Email Marketing Metrics June 2009 which contains benchmark response rate comparisons, tips and tricks.
  • Total number of subscribers - The number of people currently on your list who have agreed to receive email from you.

  • Unsubscribers - The number of people who have asked to be removed from your list.  (% percentage/number of list, or since last campaign)

  • New Subscribers - The number of people you have added to your mailing list since your last mailing. (% percentage/number of list, or since last campaign)

  • Churn Rate - How many subscribers leave a mailing list (or how many email addresses go bad) over a certain length of time. (% percentage of the whole list or certain length of time)

  • Number of Emails Sent - The total number of emails you sent (number or % percentage of list)

  • Delivery Rate - The % percentage of messages delivered (not bounced) versus the total number of emails sent. A highly inexact number because not all receiving ISPs report accurately on which email didn't go through and why not.

  • Open Rate - The % percentage of users that open a email message versus the number of email messages sent or delivered depending on the criteria. An open is captured when a user downloads the 1x1 pixel. The open rate is considered a key metric for judging an email campaign's success, but it has several problems.

    The rate indicates only the number of emails opened from the total amount sent, not just those that were actually delivered. Opens also can't be calculated on text emails. Also, some email clients also users to scan message content without actually opening the message, which is falsely calculated as an open.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR) - The % percentage of users that click on a URL contained in the email message. This can be calculated using number of recipients that were scheduled, received the message, or opened the message. Some email marketing software programs define CTR differently. Ensure that the CTR is unique, meaning that each individual user is only counted once no matter how many times they click on a link. The higher the % the better!

  • Bounce - A message that doesn't get delivered promptly is said to have bounced. Emails can bounce for more than 30 reasons: the email address is incorrect or has been closed; the recipient's mailbox is full, the mail server is down, or the system detects spam or offensive content. Not all bounce messages are clear or accurate about the reason email was bounced. (% percentage of hard/soft bounce of sent emails)

Article URL:

Article Tags: email marketing email marketing metrics email metrics tips glossary email bounce soft bounce hard bounce emarketing recruitment marketing email subscribers email unsubscribers bounce rate hard bounce soft bounce delivery rate open rate ctr click-through rate

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Bing & SEO

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:09pm Thursday 20 August 2009    Print Article

A few months ago, Microsoft launched their new search engine called Bing replacing MSN Live. Actually, it’s now called a “search decision engine”. Is Bing a real threat to Google? Maybe, maybe not. It will all depend on the user uptake and search relevance. How well does your recruitment website rank in Bing?

There is a lot of confusion in the industry caused by different advice on SEO - "jobs" must be your number 1 keyword.... errrr no.

Let's face it; unless you are going to spend an enormous amount of money and resources on SEO, you are going to waste your money trying to become the number 1 search result for "jobs". 

Instead, focus on relevant keywords specific to your organisation and services. Think outside the box and remember these keywords are not set in stone. What keywords would you use to search for a job?

There is no guarantee that if your website ranks well on Google you will rank the same on Bing. But one thing is for certain - your website needs to be visible on the search engine. Try searching for “jobs” on both Google and Bing (disregard the sponsored links).

Article URL:

Article Tags: bing google seo search engine optimisation search engine search ranking search decision engine

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Don’t be a mule

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 1:00am Thursday 20 August 2009    Print Article

They say things happen in three’s. Over the past 24 hours, there has been a number of scam emails (phishing) circulating saying they have found your resume from various Australian job boards and need your help. One of these was even sent to me.

Don't be a mule! Stay smart online. You can search previous email spam at

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Article Tags: job boards phishing scam email scam bank account mule

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How secure is your Recruitment website? Part 4 - SQL Injection

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:17am Wednesday 19 August 2009    Print Article

Database security is a huge issue at the moment - imaging having your whole database stolen and distributed to your competitors or being used for identity theft? SQL Injection attacks present a serious threat to the security of a recruitment website and it is essential that adequate countermeasures are taken to prevent such an attack from being successful.

I briefly talked about a form of SQL injection in a previous article HTML Special Character #39 - The Apostrophe showing how easy it is to break a search form and how much the industry is in trouble.

SQL injection is a code injection technique that exploits a security vulnerability occurring in the database layer of an application. The vulnerability is present when user input is either incorrectly filtered for string literal escape characters embedded in SQL statements or user input is not strongly typed and thereby unexpectedly executed.

Your recruitment database contains very sensitive user information including: passwords, bank details, tax file numbers, contact details, email address, date of birth, address etc. Even if you store your confidential data securely, you don’t want anything to be accessible to anyone but yourself.

It’s somewhat shameful that there are so many successful SQL Injection attacks occurring, because it is EXTREMELY simple to avoid vulnerabilities in your code.

One of the most effective methods of preventing SQL injection from being used is to thoroughly validate EVERY SINGLE input from the user, by identifying all possible meta-characters which could be utilised by the database system and filtering them out.

Be proactive in computer security. A combination of security measures such as; validation, neutralizing meta-characters, restricting error messages and limiting access rights to the web server can be used to comprehensively protect your website. 

Don't think it will never happen to you.

Article URL:

Article Tags: hacking security job board recruitment websites malicious code sql injection insecure job search form testing apostrophe hack database security identity theft

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Creating an iphone enabled job site

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 1:00am Monday 17 August 2009    Print Article

Last week, we released our white label iphone job search applications and since then, we have had a number of queries as to how you can create an iphone enabled job site without creating an application.

It's possible. But as I previously talked about, there are numerous problems with mobile recruiting and mobile enabled job sites. Unless you have programming experience, I would suggest you let us create the iphone application or iphone enabled job site for you.

The goal is to simply turn an ordinary standards-based HTML into a polished, usable interface that meets the high standards set by Apple's own native iphone apps.

This is a very basic example. All we are going to do is list the latest jobs, and then open the full job advert.

I have created an example for you to play with. Try it on both your iphone and computer browser.

Many websites and services offer great mobile versions without being packaged in an App Store application.

As you can see, it looks and feels like an iphone app but is really an iphone themed web site.

If you want to be able to quickly access these sites from your home screen, follow these steps
  1. Launch Safari on your iphone

  2. Enter the URL and browse to the desired mobile site (most sites will automatically redirect you to the mobile version once they determine that you're using an iphone)

  3. Click the Favorites (+) button at the bottom of the screen

  4. Click "Add to Home Screen"

  5. Type a name for the icon that will appear on your home screen

  6. Click the "Add" button

Article URL:

Article Tags: iphone application job search application mobile recruiting mobile recruitment mobile job search mobile enabled job site product development apple iphone iphone enabled job site iphone job search

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Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy, Part 7 - Find Quality Followers to Engage, Don’t Worry About Numbers

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 3:07pm Sunday 16 August 2009    Print Article

We all want thousands of followers on Twitter, but the number is not as important as the quality of your network. If half of your Twitter followers are there simply to boost your numbers, you will not be reaching the right people with your message. Providing quality content and engaging in discussion is more beneficial.

Promotion is key to building your social media network. Make sure you share your Twitter handle, Facebook page or LinkedIn profile with your business contacts to help build your network. Add it to company promotions, include it in your email signature, list it on your website to let the audience you want to attract know where to find you.

Many social media platforms have created their own methods to promote valuable contributors. Twitter’s #followfriday, a designated day to recommend influential or interesting people to follow on Twitter, is a great way to get quality followers and establish your network.

Don't be fooled by the "get hundreds of followers" scams - they do not work. You actually act as a mule to recruit others to these scams.

Once you begin using Twitter, Facebook and other platforms regularly you will build a network that will help you meet your goals. As people recognize the value you are providing, they will want to listen to you.

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Article Tags: social media social media strategy social networking online recruitment creating a strategy conversation communication collaboration pr spokespeople vocus online marketing online communication social recruiting social recruiting strategy measuring social media twitter facebook scam followfriday

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Email your interviewer and tell them they suck!

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 1:50pm Thursday 13 August 2009    Print Article

So you think you have the upper hand when in the recruitment process? Think again. A new service called Anonymously email your interviewer and tell them they suck! Allows candidates to send you a anonymous email telling you that you suck. We tried the service and have attached the email below.

Important: Don't be a jerk. Send a letter only if all the following conditions are met:
  • It's been four or more weeks since your interview, or at least two weeks longer than the time frame in which you were told they'd get back to you.
  • You have followed up and not heard anything back for at least two weeks.
  • You have read and followed this article on how to follow up properly.
If you're still being ignored? It's letter time.

Article URL:

Article Tags: candidate interview email rejection recruitment process etiquette feedback

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