LinkedIn has been around for a while now and has proven to be an excellent networking tool for professionals. Some people are total experts with LinkedIn and utilize all the tricks and tools for growing and establishing an online network. Some people, like myself, feel pretty comfortable with it but aren't caught up on all the awesome features. Even though my profile has reached "All Star" status, I'm not quite sure I would call myself an all-star with LinkedIn....yet.
Ms. Marianne Brigola, the Assistant Director of Career Services for the Elon School of Communications, stopped by my Senior Capstone class today. She provided us with great tools for maximizing the job search and becoming a stand-out candidate, or as she put it, a job "ninja." Most of all, today I learned so much more about networking on LinkedIn. Here are some tools:
1. The "Kathryn, Meet Potential Employer" tool. There is a function on LinkedIn that allows your previous connections to introduce you to a third party connection over LinkedIn. Say, for example, you held an internship with a film production company in Los Angeles. Your supervisor from LA is a mutual connection with the hiring manager at the PR firm you are currently pursuing! Amazing. So next you can ask your LA supervisor to "introduce" you virtually to this hiring manager. Boom! You've made a connection, grown your network, and you've probably got a better chance of scoring an interview at the PR firm if you're qualified.
2. "Students and Alumni" tab at Elon University. Find your university's official page on LinkedIn. Click on the "Students and Alumni" tab. From here, you can narrow your search and view alumni who are out in the workforce. You can preference geographic location, industry and company name to see if there are any potential alumni connections in the places you are looking for jobs!
In my experience, reaching out to alumni on LinkedIn has been effective and has introduced me to many new opportunities. I made a connection with the "Kathryn, Meet Employer" tool just today! Give these tools a try and I promise you won't be disappointed.
"Buzz" in the marketing world is defined as the interactions between consumers of a product or service which creates an enthusiasm around the marketing message.
So why is Buzzfeed so wildly successful with Millennials and Plurals?
As one of Buzzfeed's two million monthly readers, I'll tell you why.
1. Buzzfeed creates content that is especially sharable on all social media platforms. Not only are their sharing mechanisms seamless, they create content worthy of sharing. People don't normally go Googling "grandmothers smoke marijuana for the first time" or "man has seizure while skydiving," so Buzzfeed does the dirty work for us. They bring excellent content to our fingertips. And they don't just provide entertainment, they provide investigative and emotional storytelling too. There's a little something for everyone.
2. They value the trivial things. Buzzfeed capitalizes on content that includes aspects of personal identity. I can't resist reading "20 Things Only '90s Girls Will Understand," or taking quizzes like "Which '90s Beauty Trend Did You Rock?" These things may seem trivial to an outsider, but they really strike a cord with a specific reader. This type of content makes me feel recognized, understood and nostalgic all at the same time. Buzzfeed executive video producer, Andrew Gauthier, said that Buzzfeed wants readers and viewers to see content and think, "That is so me." Lots of content on Buzzfeed adds a certain value of truth and validation to people's lives that they want to share with friends and family.
3. Tone, Tone, Tone. The tone of Buzzfeed reminds me of late-night host, Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy is so successful because he is an amazing listener to guests but he also has his own unique comic wit. Millennials want to be valued, understood and recognized as individuals. We prefer (and actually expect) a tone that is colloquial, approachable and encouraging. Buzzfeed utilizes visuals and short, strategic text. They know their audience because heck, they hire their audiences.
To read about Buzzfeed's viral video success, read: http://digiday.com/publishers/inside-buzzfeed-video/
Kathryn Jeffords majored in Strategic Communications at Elon University. She reads Flipboard, enjoys live music and frequenting coffee shops and perfecting the art of macaroni and cheese.