USA Today: Hiring via Twitter is Back #ICYMI

On the front cover of this morning’s USA Today, you’ll see my contribution in a piece called “Tweets, not résumés, are trending #icymi“.  My fellow 8pm Warriors were the first sounding board for the idea back in 2011 when I wrote about my experience screening and hiring a social media manager based solely on tweets:

Since the experiment went so well, I honestly thought I would hear of someone else trying it.  Nope.  Not until years later, when Bruce from USA Today contacted me last week for an interview.

Why is that?

Twitter is very public and even though it makes sense for some positions, most hiring managers would be afraid to interview someone in public.

Not because they’re afraid for their applicants, but because they’re afraid for themselves. Afraid of everyone watching them.

Fear drives most business decisions.

Why else did it take so long for most businesses to get into social media?  Same reason why it’s taking so long for them to follow the online video wave now.

Twitter isn’t the right tool for hiring most positions.  However, we need to celebrate people that are boldly using Twitter.

We need to celebrate leaders like Vala Afshar, chief marketing officer at the tech firm Enterasys Networks, who is filling a six figure senior social media strategist job via tweets only (no resume accepted), or Kristy Webster at The Marketing Arm (part of Omnicom Group, a big advertising firm) who is filling five social media internships based on tweeted answers to five questions over the course of five days.

Cool times we live in.

What say you?  Is hiring via twitter here to stay? Or, will we be back here in 2 years talking about it again?

Have an innovative night,

Aaron @Biebert

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Idiots Hate Applebee’s (and They’ll Hate You Too)

I was super busy all week with two productions and just got to this.

Now that the dust has settled and the real facts are available, I wanted to quickly weigh in on the giant “Applebees Unjustly Fires Poor Waitress” fiasco.

I’d like to get your thoughts on it too.

Here are the facts before I get started:

 

1) An Applebee’s waitress received this stupid note from Pastor Alois Bell on the signed credit card receipt.

It says “I Give God 10% Why do you Get 18”

2) Chelsea Welch, a different waitress (not the one who served the customer), took a picture of that credit card signature receipt with her phone and posted it on Reddit.com along with the caption:

My mistake sir, I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries.

3) Customer found out about it and complained

4) Chelsea admitted to doing it and Applebee’s fired her

5) Hell broke loose on the internet.

The media ran to the server’s rescue.  Competitor’s ears perked up, fan pages popped up, and 20,000+ fans commented on Applebee’s first Facebook post about the situation:

“We wish this situation hadn’t happened. Our Guests’ personal information—including their meal check—is private, and neither Applebee’s nor its franchisees have a right to share this information publicly. We value our Guests’ trust above all else. Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy.”

6) Applebee’s social media team tried to engage upset people.

People called them names and accused Applebee’s of hypocrisy for breaching their own privacy policy by sharing a customer’s “receipt”  earlier in the year.

(looks like an informal positive comment card to me)

6) Applebee’s posts a larger update and temporarily hides the old post.

Enraged Facebook fans claim that Applebee’s deleted their comments.

7) Applebee’s unhides the original post and denies manually deleting any negative posts.

8) 20,000+ more comments go onto their Facebook page.

Thousands of people now “hate” Applebee’s

 

You know what this is?

 

We’re witnessing an old-fashioned online lynching.

What we’ve got here is a company protecting their customer’s privacy (I don’t want my signature online) and being dragged through the mud by idiots looking to lynch Applebee’s.

The idiotic pastor’s note was truly stupid.  Great servers deserve great tips.

However, it would take another true idiot to think it’s okay to post a customer’s signature (customer is the key word) online while mocking them, even if what they were mocking was indeed stupid.

No, I don’t think Applebee’s had the perfect response on Facebook.
No, I don’t think there is such a thing.
Yes, I’m calling a lot of names here.

Here’s why:

  • It’s not okay to hurt a business because you don’t understand how to run one.
  • It’s wrong to post nasty stuff about companies or people when you don’t have the facts.
  • It’s easy to play armchair quarterback when it’s not your business.
  • The local owners, people that work at Applebee’s, and their family members are real people who get affected by idiotic boycotts, 40,000+ nasty comments, and all the distractions this has caused.

But this isn’t just about Applebee’s.  It’s about you and me.

I had something like this happen on our Attention Era Media Facebook page last year when we posted this video and asked if people liked their idea:

A large feminist group began saying we supported misogyny and tying women up for commercial purposes.  It wasted a ton of time and hurt our new brand.

For what?

For entertainment.

People like to hear themselves talk on social media, especially if there’s an ignorant mob that agrees with them.

I know people that work for Applebee’s.  This is not amusing.

This is not entertainment.  Don’t kid yourself. Idiots hate Applebee’s and they’ll hate you too.

That’s why we need to stick together.

Have a great night,

Aaron @Biebert

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The Flip Side of Muting Tweets

Jonathon Brewer is a genius social media marketer and true 8pm Warrior. I also consider him a friend and fellow Milwaukee neighbor.

However, I have to respectfully disagree with his recent post about muting tweets through the Tweetbot app or Tweetdeck filters.  He is dealing with a difficult dilemma that I’ve struggled with (mute tweets or miss them), but I think he’s muting some of the most important tweets ever made.

“Proud new father of Frederick Aaron Biebert” Would have been the muted birth announcement on Twitter and Facebook via Instagram

Here’s my thinking.

There are six networks that aspiring 8pm Warriors should use regularly:

Plus a couple more sites I highly recommend:

The world of Social Media is getting very very complex and it seems there are new networks sprouting up every month (i.e. Vine, Chirp, Chirpify, Conversations, Flayvr, Medium, Pheed, Thumb, and more).

My solution?

 

Use sites simultaneously in real-time.  If I want to announce my new baby is born, I snap a picture on Instagram and it posts to Twitter and Facebook.  If I upload my latest Attention Era Media creation to YouTube, I have it share to Twitter and Google+ at the same time.

Even though Linkedin isn’t very interactive (yet), I don’t want a stale profile.  I keep it fresh by posting discussions there and have them start discussions on Twitter at the same time.

By doing this, I can start conversations with my friends without having to go to every network I use and posting the same thing again and again and again.

This plan makes social media doable and successful for me.

The problem when you mute all tweets from Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, Tumblr and others is that you’re muting real thoughts from real people.  For me that’s a big loss.

Even if I save some time, knowing that I’m missing birth announcements or funny stuff from my friends just creates a bigger issue.

Brew is a great guy (follow him here) and I’m happy that his feed is less cluttered.  However, he’s muting some of the most exciting moments in my life and the deep conversations started around pictures, videos, and locations.

That is the flip side of muting tweets with Tweetbot or Tweetdeck filters.

Which way do you lean?  Mute some or miss some?

Have a great night!

Aaron @Biebert

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Google Loves Twitter Bio Links

Apparently Google really loved my link to 8pmWarrior.com I had on my twitter profile.

This is what happened when I changed it from 8pmWarrior.com to help support our video portfolio at AttentionEra.com.  I thought you might find this interesting:

Despite the link remaining on the dedicated 8pm Warrior Twitter account, traffic from search engines has almost completely dropped off from almost 1000 views a week (even though I wasn’t posting much) to basically nothing.

A couple lessons here:

  1. Twitter matters if you want web traffic.
  2. Community size matters too.  Apparently 2200 followers on @8pmWarrior isn’t enough.
  3. Maybe there’s something about having two twitter accounts use one link as the Twitter bio link.
  4. I probably need to post more and let sharing be the traffic driver, not SEO.

 

Let me know if you have any other ideas.  I’ve never seen anything like this before.

Have a great night,

Aaron @Biebert

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YouTube Changes to Integrate with Google+, Twitter & Facebook Videos

YouTube is more than cute animal videos, funny stuff, and stupid stunts. It grew up today.

Ignore at your own risk.

Any 8pm Warrior trying to get their message out or sell a remarkable service should be using YouTube.  Video cameras are built into nearly every smart phone and nothing captures the personality of a business like video.  Nothing.

I’m sharing from experience as a producer of several online shows and video productions that were created to build community and sell a product in a social savvy way.  Video changes the game.

Here’s why YouTube matters:

  • YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world (think SEO)
  • It is the largest video-based social network
  • Google+ is now integrated even closer with YouTube for additional community building (more on the way)
  • YouTube is simple to use and even offers a free video editing feature
  • Video is perfect for the Attention Era

YouTube made widespread changes to their channel formats today and I think it changes everything.  In the past it was millions of chaotic channels with long lists of video uploads that were hard to understand or group together.  Email subscription was the best way to keep up.  It was barely social.

That all changed today.

In what was probably the biggest upgrade since Google bought YouTube, channels can be restructured to display videos in the form of a series, much like a television network groups their shows together for DVR or On Demand.  It even tracks which episodes you’ve already watched in a series.

Each YouTube account also has a news feed feature, much like other social networks. To make it more social, the new YouTube is even more integrated with Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.  This makes it much easier for interested viewers to subscribe and interact with brands or personalities that they enjoy.  It keeps each channel fresh, even when no new videos are posted.

It’s a lot more like TV now.  It’s how it should be.

I really like it.

Channels Using the New YouTube Channel Upgrade

You can see screenshots of the new upgrades below:

New YouTube Channel Design

 

 

New YouTube News Feed with Google+ Integration

 

 

If you have any questions about the new YouTube upgrade, feel free to post the questions below, on the 8pm Warriors Facebook discussion forum, or on twitter @Biebert. I’ll do my best to answer or point you in the right direction.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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King Klout and Why Its Power Makes Me Nervous

This post takes a deep look at Klout.com, which aims to be a credit score type metric of online influence.  If you haven’t heard of a Klout score before (or hate Klout), first read my post about why Klout scores matter.  I do believe the topic will affect all 8pm Warriors to some degree.  It’s hard to lead without influence.

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We are giving Klout a lot of power.  A lot of time.  A lot of credibility.

Klout scores matter because we believe they matter, and the momentum is only growing stronger. They have something very powerful.

Now I’m getting nervous about it.

It all started when I noticed that my topics and endorsements (+K votes) on Klout.com disappeared last night.

I was not alone.

Glitches happen in online businesses and they usually get fixed.  Since I make mistakes too, I tried to move on.

However, this morning I had a brief conversation with Megan Berry (Marketing guru from Klout) on Twitter.  She told me it was normal that several of my topics and +K endorsements had disappeared and that I could always “get more”.

I wasn’t buying it.

I got irritated and ran my mouth a bit (sorry Megan).  Why tell us this is normal when it was clearly screwed up?  A lot of my friends had no topics or any of the +K endorsements I gave them recently.

When I give someone an endorsement on a topic, I expect it to be there.  Otherwise I am wasting time.

Believe it or not, but people are taking time out of their day to show appreciation, support, and respect to others that influence them and they’re using Klout to do it.  Instead of sending an email, letter, or phone call of appreciation, some are actually using the +K feature to send a quick note of thanks.  I do that myself sometimes.

With the disappearing topics and +K endorsements last night, I think many people felt cheated and angry that their interactions were erased without warning.  I know that’s how I felt.
Here’s what I said.

Since I wrote a complimentary section about Megan Berry and Klout in my last post, I was embarrassed that this was taking place right before my eyes.  It seemed like a cover up and others were calling/texting/tweeting with me about it because they were irritated too.

I was wrong.

Megan sent me this email explaining what happened (Disclosure:  I let her know I would be using her response in my post):

You’re right, this was something different today. We were experimenting with new ways to display +K’s.  All of the +K’s are backed up and we will be restoring them soon. Sorry for the confusion, we definitely appreciate your support. Let me know if you have any other q’s I can answer.

-Megan

Sounds like case closed right?

Apparently not.  Later in the day, I noticed that my Klout scores took a rather unprecedented dive after my negative tweets in the morning.

I’m not going to say that my Klout scores took a hit because I was saying something negative about Klout.com.  That would be crazy.

But what if it was true?

 

What’s anyone going to do about it?  Absolutely nothing.

This matters if you are focused on social media or online marketing for a career. Klout scores matter when selling yourself as a consultant.  A reduced Klout score may pose a problem, just like a reduced FICO credit score poses a problem for anyone looking to get the best rates on a new mortgage.

One of my friends (Albert Qian) who does social media consulting  is labeled a “Dabbler” by Klout, even though he has 15,000 tweets.  That’s quite the dabbler!

Who wants to hire a social media “dabbler” to help them with social media?

No one.

Who has helped Albert with this?

No one.  (Even though I’ve asked)

Who can keep them from abusing their newly acquired power to punish people who tweet or write blogs criticizing Klout?

No one.

This is why I’m nervous.

This is powerful stuff and growing by the day!  In 10 or 15 years, many some positions (sales, marketing, leadership, etc.) will be hired in some way based on scores like the ones found on Klout.com.  Sure, it might be PeerIndex, Tweetgrader, or even Empire Avenue instead, but it will be something.

Some are already screening candidates this way because the next step in the evolution of the web is taking the data from billions of tweets, posts, and updates to aggregate and evaluate them to improve the ways businesses and savvy leaders make decisions.

Let’s be proactive!

Klout should self regulate themselves, work to correct errors like incorrectly calling someone a Dabbler, and avoid making manual adjustments to someone’s score.

If that doesn’t work, then regulations may need to be put in place as more people use Klout scores to make decisions.  It’s no different than credit scores, except controlling someone’s reputation is probably more significant.

Maybe we need to start using an average of scores, similar to how banks use three credit bureaus.  Maybe we need three influence bureaus?

I don’t have all the answers but I sure would love your thoughts on this matter.

Congrats.  You made it to the end.

Have a great night!

Aaron@Biebert

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6 Takeaways from My Twintterview Crowdsource Experiment

Want to hire someone to connect with clients on social media sites?  Use social media to test candidates while getting feedback from your clients!

You might be surprised by what you find…

It’s official. The first half of my crowdsourced “Twintterview” (Twitter Interview) experiment is completed and here’s a brief summary of how it went:

  • 1100 position page visits
  • 15  pre-screened candidates
  • 7 days of twinnterviews
  • 3 final candidates
  • 1 easy choice

I offered the social media manager position to Nathan Nommensen, a recent graduate of one of the best business schools in the Midwest, and he accepted it.

Along the way, I developed some principles I wanted to share with job seekers who may face a similar twintterview process:

  1. Respond quickly, don’t make the process difficult
  2. Don’t be afraid to show initiative and enthusiasm
  3. Don’t reschedule your live interview (if you need the position, act like it)
  4. Check your public social media profiles for crude, distasteful pictures
  5. Be different, catch my attention
  6. Be personal

In my mind, the perfect candidate would already understand what was needed, quickly answer the question “How can I help you”, stand out in the crowd, and use real life skills to move the discussion to the next level with a coffee, lunch, or even a beer. Most of all, they would be intelligent, likable, and personal while answering my tough questions.

Many leaders prefer to hire “people people” with real life skills, but don’t always know how to test for it.  Through this process, I was able to find someone in one week, with limited impact on my busy schedule, and a guarantee they are qualified.  I highly recommend you try this.  (Comment below if you have questions on how to set it up)

How did the crowdsource part of it turn out?

Almost 100 people were eager to offer feedback in private, but there were a handful that offered public observations and helped steer the discussions.  Here are some examples:

 

“I’m digging Nathan. He seems the most natural & engaging. Everyone else was trying too hard, tweeting at you; he’s tweeting w/ u.”

Tiffany Kummer

 

“I’m very intrigued. Count me in. I like Nathan. But would like to see more from Jacki. Still reading abt the others”

Celinda Appleby

 

“Great! A fascinating process to observe @Biebert. After gauging enthusiasm, online personality, drive for greatness, I chose @NathanNommensen

Andrew Syiek

 

Now on to the second stage.  How will this turn out when it counts?  Will this be the right addition to help increase viewership of these two startup productions.

Stay tuned!

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Crowdsourcing a Hiring Decision? This Has Gone Too Far!

Right?

The problem is that I don’t know and I’m not going to let fear hold me back. I’m not sure anyone has ever used twitter to hold public interviews before, so I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. (No hate speech please)

Let’s start with why I’m doing it and then see if you’d like to help me:

1) I could really use help

For a full-time entry-level position in Social Media with no education or experience requirements, I anticipated 1000 to 2000 resumes within a week.  With my current time constraints there was no way I was going to make the right decision out of that pile.

Great people would be missed.  A mistake would happen.

Since I’m wrong 90% of the time, I take all the help I can get.  By doing this publicly, fellow 8pm Warriors have stepped in to make sure I’m not missing something.  Andrew kicked off the informal crowdsourcing session today by offering some commentary and advice. Tiffany then offered analysis and helped me pick up on something I missed.

This could work.

2) I am passionate about picking the right person

My latest venture led me to serve as Executive Producer of two new shows.  We’ve got big plans for taking them national and we’re passionately building two of the largest free real estate resources to help heal the real estate industry, build communities, and open the doors to future opportunities for everyone involved.

Momentum is key and I feel like now’s the time to strike while the iron is hot.  I just need the right help.

To reach my life’s goal and enjoy my work, we’ll need to assemble the right team. This includes entry-level team members too.

No one is ever dispensable in my leadership philosophy.  I hire for the long term and it is a devastating failure to me when people must be laid off or fired.  I take full responsibility.  I either hired the wrong person (my mistake) or made a decision (or lack of one) that hurt our ability to continue operating at our current staffing level.

Hopefully with your help I’ll make the right decision.

3)  I want to do this quickly

No waiting.  This allows everyone to participate in the interview when they can fit in a tweet or two.  It also avoids wasting anyone’s time. If you don’t like my style it’s an easy exit.

4)  It weeds out poor candidates

There is more to a person than a resume.  I only want the candidates who are brave, tech savvy, and not afraid of the public.  If we’re going big with these projects, then I need someone who is not afraid to be in videos, tweets, emails and other forms of public communication.  

I need to find a Mini Megan Berry!

5)  I want you to hire the people I don’t hire.

This is key.

I know some of my fellow 8pm Warriors would like to hire a solid entry level marketing associate for $25,000/year but are scared of wasting time in the process.  Once I’m done, I’ll end up with enough great candidates to share with other business leaders in the area.

I’ve been able to conduct 8 initial interviews, with more on the way.  Here’s the cast so far (in order of appearance):

If you’d like to help me out, feel free to follow them on Twitter and share your thoughts with me here.  I’d love to hear your two cents and/or have you vote for your favorite candidate either on Twitter or in the comment section.

If you feel sorry for them and just want to help them out.  Don’t just complain about my method, help them get a job.  They all seem like excellent candidates and I’d like everyone to win.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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