Marketing Technology: How to Modernize Your Advertising

Marketing Technology: How to Modernize Your Advertising

Online platforms have revolutionized the marketing industry and have proven to be quite the game changer for advertising products. However, marketing tools are constantly evolving, so it is important for companies to always update their strategy by keeping up with the latest gadgets and software tools.

To take the brand to the next level, a business should apply diverse marketing services that focus on different aspects. Traditional methods focused on television and radio commercials as well as newspaper ads or simply putting marketing material in a mailbox and hoping for the best do not work anymore.

Though advertising via television can still have some impact, there are numerous digital marketing strategies that can have a more direct and closer influence on the public.

Modernize Your Advertising Strategy

Marketing technology offers several ways for the business to be seen on the digital media. First of all, it is crucial to build a website that provides information about the company which can be easily found via smartphone.

Around 50% of mobile searches end with a purchase, not to mention the benefits of tablet and computer browsing, but you need to make sure that your site comes up on the first search engine results page. This is why you should hire an expert or a marketing company for search engine optimization (SEO).

To make the brand stand out from the others, create a creative and memorable business logo and use visually attractive colors. Visual aids are 43% more effective, as 90% of our knowledge is influenced by them. Alluring images and videos improves the business campaign and attracts more customers.

Another helpful way to start with online advertising is by posting ads on popular social media sites. For creating a successful social strategy, your marketing team should be familiar with each platform and focus on engaging your target audience. Following are the most popular social media websites:

  • Facebook – The biggest social platform with a billion active users. An excellent opportunity to connect with people from all over the world and make a global impact.
  • Twitter – For sharing updates, images, videos and links. It is one of the top 10 websites in the United States, with over 300,000,000 active users.
  • Instagram & Pinterest – Two excellent social media platforms for sharing photo and video content.
  • YouTube – With over a billion users, YouTube is a great way to spread your brand message via video, offer tutorials and other useful information and make money along the way.
  • Snapchat – This app is specifically designed for mobile devices, with content disappearing after 24 hours. The application gives you the chance to see how many specific users have viewed the post, while the pressure of polished content is removed as the post disappears at the end of the day.

 

Get More Involved

After completing the initial steps, now is time to engage with your audience. Using the latest marketing technology is not just about promoting the business, but also being involved with the customers.

A company should pay attention to the language it uses in its branding and the message it sends, and there are several steps for developing a better connection with social media platform users:

  1. Not every post should be about the business – The message can get lost if the network is jammed with continuous posts about your business offerings. The company needs to be involved with the community and share valuable content to keep the interest of the followers.  
  2. Share the expertise – People love eye-openers. Provide and share the knowledge and helpful facts on interesting topics. Provide a better insight on the business and its message. Encourage people to vote, leave feedback and ask questions.
  3. Online reviews and ratings – Create a profile on review sites. Based on the online reviews and overall rating, a company can thrive or sink. It gives added value to established businesses and a unique opportunity to gain insight on customer demands. In addition, if the rating is high, it is a great form of social proof that can be shared on other social media to boost your reputation.
  4. Facebook live – Streaming live special events make your loyal customers feel like they are a part of a community and that their favorite brand values their opinion.
  5. Business organizations – Organizing events covered with by both online and traditional media and news will raise the company’s presence, as well as improve the moral of the employees.

 

Helpful Tools of Marketing Technology

Although adopting the cutting-edge tools of marketing technology may seem intimidating, they are actually a precious commodity. Depending on the business model, whether it is B2B (selling products or services business to business) or B2C (business to customer), there are software products applicable for every category:

  • Marketing automation – Repetitive tasks such as social media marketing and website maintenance can be simplified by use of marketing automation.
  • Tag Management – A tag manager can enhance your online marketing performance by including numerous tags on trending websites.
  • CDN (Content Delivery Network) – Ensures a faster online respond and downloading time for customers.  
  • DMP (Data Management Platform) – An excellent software tool for storing information.
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) – A program for organizing and synchronizing marketing, sales, technical and customer support.
  • Analytics & Tracking – Track the overall business performance and all of the latest developments.
  • SEO – Search engine optimization for positioning your site near the top of the first page in SERPs.
  • Mobile Optimization – For creating an easy-to-navigate website for increasing smartphones purchases.
  • Remarketing – The same ads popping up on different websites for attracting the people who already searched for your or a similar company’s products.
  • Email Marketing – For sending periodical business offerings and valuable content directly to your customers’ email.

In this day and age, a company must use cutting-edge marketing technology to stay on top and keep up with the competition. It is crucial for a solid business plan to include the means that will improve the quality and performance of your online marketing.

Staying in tune with your customers helps to spread your unique brand message and raise awareness about your company. In addition, it creates a good impression, which will attract potential customers. 

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5 Mistakes You May Be Making in Your Social Recruiting Process

Social Recruiting

Nowadays, social media recruitment is a well-known practice and most organizations are using it as a hiring tool during their recruitment process. Such companies use the online platform or social media to screen candidates and thus shortlist a select few to be interviewed physically. Social media allows these recruiting companies the option to advertise and market their jobs and also give the potential candidates access to such jobs 24 hours a day. However, most firms find it hard to get the right candidates using social media due to some mistakes they make in the selection process. Avoiding such mistakes gives you the opportunity to choose the right candidate easily.

Here are the 5 mistakes you may be making in your social recruiting process which you can do well to avoid:

  1. Failing to Plan and To Describe Your Scope Properly

This is a common mistake committed by most online recruiters. It is important to plan your recruitment process well and have your company description properly displayed. There are many social media sites and you need only the best candidates.

If you just post the job advert without properly describing it, most candidates may not even bother seeing it. Ensure that you plan well on social media sites to use and employ some strategies to make the advert reach as many people as possible. For instance, you can sponsor your advert and set your preferred target candidates.

  1. Not Defining Your Target Audience 

This is a mistake that most hiring firms do when posting jobs on social media. You have to describe your job and state clearly the target audience including the academic qualification, age and the required experience. This gives you a chance to eliminate unnecessary applicants and you will have a chance to choose from the candidates you want. This makes your selection process easier instead of having many applicants that are not qualified.

  1. Limiting Yourself to A Few Social Media Sites

This is another common mistake you should avoid. Researches have revealed that most of the employers only use the common sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. There are many sites where you can reach all your potential candidates easily. It is a fact that not all candidates are on one site and this explains why you should make use of as many sites as possible. This increases your chances of choosing the right candidate suitable for your job description.

  1. Use of Lengthy Application Process

Most applicants do not complete lengthy application processes. Most firms hiring online lose qualified candidates due to such processes. It is advisable that you make your online application and hiring process simple, short but thorough. This gives many qualified applicants a chance to complete their process and thus you get the best candidate.

  1. Failure to Display the Benefits of Joining Your Company

Most firms do not clearly display the benefits of joining their company. As an employer of choice, you need to convince them that they will not only grow financially but also professionally. This encourages many qualified candidates to apply and you will choose from the best candidates. These benefits can very easily be conveyed via social media though failing to do so can be a mistake.

These are some of the mistakes most recruiters commit while using social media for their hiring initiatives.

While you make sure you avoid these 5 mistakes, you can go a step further to refine your recruitment process by making use of online skill assessments to hire the absolutely right fit for your organisation.

Are there any such errors in social recruiting that you may like to share with us? Reply in the comments box and we will be happy to learn from your experience.

5 Social Media Recruiting Tactics You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

5 Social Media Recruiting Tactics You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

Written by Helen Sabell, CEO & Principal of the College for Adult Learning.

ICU

In our current digital era, it is so easy to reach a wide group of people from your fingertips. It is important for companies to have strong social media recruitment strategies so that they can fill their teams with the best candidates for each position. Social media recruiting is one of the most effective tools in attracting talented professionals to your organisation.

Read on to learn how you can improve your social media recruitment tactics and increase your chances of finding the perfect candidate for your role.

Sourcing Candidates

Sourcing potential candidates via social media is an excellent strategy, especially with people using an average of five or more social media platforms. LinkedIn is the most common social media platform recruiters turn to in order to find talent and it is an excellent place to start. However, if people are using more than five social networks, surely there’s room to branch out?

Instead of heading straight for LinkedIn, try other social media sites like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook to source new talent. Specialised search tools such as Followerwork can search through Twitter bios for job titles and keywords. Chrome browser extensions such as Intelligence Search, can easily search Facebook and Google+ and help you find potential candidates.

You can also use social media to filter out bad candidates since how someone behaves on social media can be a direct indication of their attitude. If you find that your candidate’s values do not match your company’s you can cross them off your list before you go through the lengthy recruitment process.

Monitor Your Competition

Social media is not only an excellent form of finding candidates, but you can also use it to keep an eye of your competitors. There are many tools available to recruiters to monitor the social media activity of their competition. Certain tools allow you to set up search columns which display how often certain hashtags and key terms are mentioned on sites such as Twitter. Such insights can allow you to get a leg up on competitors and improve your on social media tactics.

Targeted Facebook Ads

Targeted Facebook ads can be a great opportunity to connect with the best candidates. Many companies are investing a large portion of the advertising budget towards Facebook ads. Targeted Facebook ads allow you to choose certain demographics so that your ad is seen by the groups you are looking for. For example, if you are searching for an entry-level candidate, you may target a younger crowd (e.g. early 20s). It is an excellent way to narrow down your search and make sure you are reaching the right people.

“Occupational targeting” is also an excellent strategy to make sure your Facebook ads reach users who are experienced and working in your desired industry. You can alter your settings so that you are targeting users from particular companies, job titles or adult education courses.

Engage With Candidates

Social media platforms are a great way for you to communicate with new and current candidates throughout the recruitment process. Your Facebook page is a great tool for communicating your company’s image to potential candidates. Be sure to include useful information about the work culture, locations, employee testimonials and other relevant information.

Encourage your candidates to visit your page and ask any questions they may be pondering. Be sure to present an accurate image of your company as most people can usually tell if you are being ingenuine. You will pull in more talent if you provide an authentic persona of your company. 

Participate In Online Discussions

Social media can give you the opportunity to make sure you are present in the right conversations. Through the social media sphere, you can sort through your pool of candidates and find the right people. Being present in LinkedIn groups and using hashtags is a great strategy for making sure your job ads are seen by your target group. Make sure your job hashtags are unique and carry some relevance to the role.

Adult learning forums are constantly active, with many students seeking job advice and eager to gain experience. Online forums like these are an excellent place for recruiters to source talent and find the right people for their positions. Make sure you are getting your brand out there so that you have a well-known presence online.

Recruiting through social media strategies opens up a world of opportunities for HR professionals. It is a vital channel for sourcing new candidates and reaching the best people for the job. Start getting to most out of your social media recruitment strategy today.

About the Author:

Helen Sabell

Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult and lifelong learning. She has designed, developed and authored many workplace leadership and training programs.

Website | Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+


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Developing A Proactive Crisis Management Plan

Developing A Proactive Crisis Management Plan

Reputation

Since the arrival of platforms like blogs and social media, brands have been granted many more opportunities to be transparent, authentic, and accessible to their audience. The capacity for instantaneous communication, however, have also created spaces in which negative narratives can spin out of control faster than ever before.

While no brand ever intends for something to negatively impact the online reputation of its business, it’s still crucial to have a contingency plan in place. 59% of businesses will encounter a crisis at some point in their lifespan, and the after-effects can continue to plague their search results long after they navigate through it.

How To Manage a Reputation Crisis for Your Business

Preparation is key in mitigating future problems, so it’s worth taking the time to develop an actionable crisis management plan with your brand’s key stakeholders and communication experts before a crisis strikes. Forming a crisis management plan drastically reduces the probability that an erroneous or negative article will rank in your top search results long-term.

Engage With Your Customers

According to a study conducted by global advertising agency Havas, consumers are more likely to support companies that take the time to engage with their audiences. Make sure you know where people are talking about you, and keep track of what’s being said. It’s easy to focus on one platform or a single negative article and lose sight of the big picture as it relates to your brand.

Engaging with your audience through social media has many benefits, but it’s important to go about it the right way. It’s impossible to foresee every scenario, but there are a few things to keep in mind when attempting to strike the right balance.

  • Always be mindful of tone and context when posting.
  • Respectfully acknowledge and reply to complaints and criticisms of your business online, don’t avoid them.
  • Promote your brand, but don’t overdo it.

A recent study found that 85% of respondents needed to see a product or service more than once before deciding to purchase it, but that 58% were annoyed by too many promotional messages on social media.

For more tips on how to prepare for a crisis – and weather the storm if you find yourself in the midst of one – check out the following guide:

The 4 Pillars of Crisis Management by Reputation Management | The HR Tech Weekly®


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Future of Work Trends, Part 3: Social Media, Decisions & Jobs

Cute Wall-E Wallpaper

Human Beings are social animals and we love to socialise, that was never a surprise! Social networking is making use of Internet-based social media platforms to connect with friends, family and other people. Social Networking is done mainly for the sole purpose of socialising or for business. Various social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. are popular these days among people. It’s become our alternative lives, and as scary it sounds it is as much real too. Apart from socialising, these social networking sites are rapidly growing for various other purposes like commerce, knowledge sharing, marketing, relationship building, employment, etc.

Social Networking is playing an important role nowadays in the recruitment process. Both employers and employees are making use of the social networking sites to achieve their job goals.

Apart from job search engines & company career portals, social networking sites are helping employers find the right candidate for the positions. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn help in establishing connections between the employer and employee where they get to know each other.

Depending upon the job requirement, a selected group of people are filtered through the interview process and although mainly for perm jobs this has been one of the most successful platforms, until recently. Other social networking sites like Facebook & Twitter help in evaluating the social lives of candidates. The social life reflects candidate’s extracurricular activities which is increasingly becoming an important deciding factor in the selection process. Now although I do not support this mechanism of shortlisting or decision making there are organisations that heavily advocate and implement this.

Social networking helps employees in building connections with people in their online & real-life circle. This helps them in finding a job at a company they want to work with. People now built their resumes including all the keywords which best describe their skill sets, which in turn helps employers to find them on the job portals or networking sites like LinkedIn. This way it has become easier for both employers to search candidates and job-seeker to find the right job.

Social media hiring is also greatly increasing in temporary and contract or project based workforce as it mainly works on referral and recommendations, which is another great aspect and so in order to reflect the change in attitudes even these forms of job providers and holders need to improvise on how they can create their brand fan following on relevant platforms, like ours to start moving towards a more real-time candidate and data flow, getting rid of the old systems and processes that are both manual and complex for no real reason.

But like we know, with good comes the bad too. Social networking at times can be disadvantageous too for a company as due to networking, hiring committee does favouritism towards people they know, or like based on their personal biases. This kills the overall objective of the company to be culturally more diverse & of giving equal opportunities for all irrespective of background, culture, religion, age or gender. Hence many companies are coming up with new laws to counter favouritism, gender biases and racism but these are so qualitative that it needs serious thinking and implementing.

Social Media Influence

One quick advice to all organisations is that regardless of how much social media influence you may think you have or not, ensure you have a policy in place that protects your business but also allows an individual to have an opinion on a certain culture and/or process etc. It is fair to promote freedom of speech internally and externally, without really naming and shaming brand as it can be a great part of feedback learning and loop.

Finally, with every employee recruited, it’s important to train them as per the company policies and business demands. This involves a lot of on-job training and assessments at regular intervals in order to achieve company’s organisational objective, perm as well as interim colleagues. As per the recent trend, employee training & assessment is increasingly becoming online, facilitating affectivity saving time & efforts. In the next part, we will try to elaborate more about the increasing trend of online employee training & workshops.

To read more on similar topics explore our blogs; to speak with us about employer’s hubs and how we can help transform your contractor talent management by bringing efficiencies through our simple cloud platform, get in touch.


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How to Build a Strong Employer Brand Image

Employer Brand

There are many benefits to having a strong employer brand. It can decrease the cost per hire by 43%, and even decrease the likelihood that new hires will leave their new company within the first six months by 40%.

75% of job seekers say that an employer’s brand is a deciding factor when applying for a job. That’s 3 out of 4 qualified candidates that you could be missing out on because of a poor employer brand.

You could even be affecting your stock prices by up to 36%.

We looked at the impact of a negative employer brand in a recent post, but if you’re just starting out – or are changing direction – how do you build a strong employer brand?

Create a positive candidate experience

Creating a positive experience for candidates, whether they’re successful or not, improves your brand image and makes people more likely to reapply for future roles.

Creating a negative experience for candidates makes your company seem less welcoming to work for and could put off prospective candidates.

The easier and more open you make the application process, the happier candidates are likely to be. They may even advocate for you even if they’re unsuccessful!

If you create a negative experience, you may lose customers, as Virgin Media did in 2014. Thanks to a poor hiring process, they lost 7,500 customers.

More and more candidates and employees are leaving reviews on sites such as Glassdoor. Like it or not, these reviews have a significant impact on your employer brand.

As many as 52% of job applicants research a company on Glassdoor before applying for a role. If they don’t like what they see, that’s 52% of potential candidates you could miss out on.

Positive Candidate Experience

Give your employees more reasons to stay

Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” He went on to say: “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers.”

When employees feel welcome and appreciated, they’re more productive and more likely to stick around.

One of the best ways to foster employee loyalty is to keep employees engaged. Allowing them control over their schedules, automating dull tasks and offering staff training are just some of the ways this can be done.

Offering employees perks such as flexitime, being able to work from home, or even discounted gym memberships all help to make employees feel valued. They will, in turn, be more likely to promote the company’s culture to their social circles.

This organic promotion of the company can yield great dividends. Discovering how well a company looks after their employees may make friends and family members more likely to consume their products but also more interested in working there.

According to StackOverflow 2017 Developer Survey, 27.8% of employed software developers found their current position through a friend, family member or former colleague. Given how expensive and time-consuming it can be to find developers this is a key growth factor.

Dog Loyalty

Be engaged and engaging on social media

Social media is a ubiquitous part of twenty first century life whether we like it or not.

I don’t know about you, but the first time I hear about a company, I search for them on Facebook and Twitter, before even visiting their website. And that’s just to find information about their services not because I want to work there.

According to CareerArc, job applicants use the same tools when researching a prospective employer – 62% of candidates research a company on social media ‘to evaluate an employer’s brand‘.

Not having a social media presence takes away an opportunity to display your business’ culture and identity. For example, you could use your company Twitter account to share your teams’ accomplishments and deal with customer queries.

Being active on social media helps promote a positive company image to both consumers and potential hires. Be friendly, inclusive and helpful – somewhere a twenty-first century candidate will want to work at.

Social Media Employer Brand

Building up your employer brand with Calendar Sync

Creating an engaged and informed candidate experience benefits your company in both the long and short term. It helps to attract and keep the best talent, as well as improving the likelihood that unsuccessful candidates will reapply in the future.

When employees are engaged, they feel valued and are more likely to speak positively about your brand. Whether positive comments are shared online or offline, they help to improve your employer brand and in turn attract the best talent that will help your company grow.


Source: How to build a strong employer brand | The Cronofy Blog

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.

4 Tips on Using Social Media for Recruiting

4 Tips on Using Social Media for Recruiting

Social Network

Trying to find the right new individuals to add to your team can be challenging and time-consuming, but it is nonetheless critical for the success of your company. After all, skilled, experienced and motivated individuals can be a truly beneficial addition to your company and can help you to reach new heights in growth and profits, customer satisfaction and more.

One idea to improve your efforts in this area is to consider using social media sites to bolster your recruiting efforts. In some cases, you may be able to connect with great candidates through these outlets who you would never have been able to reach otherwise. Your efforts can also be used to make candidates more interested in and excited about a job opening you have or about the possibility for working for your company.

Many successful companies of all sizes are already using social media to recruit candidates, but some are not enjoying the level of success they could be through their efforts. If you’re not sure how to do it, the following tips can help you to maximize the benefits of social media sources for recruiting activities.

Create a Social Media Recruiting Strategy

Some companies use social media for recruiting efforts haphazardly, but the best results are generated when you make strategic use of these platforms. Your social media recruiting strategy should fit in with your company’s general recruiting system and it should be well-suited for the types of positions you are hiring for.

Ideally, social media outlets will be used in conjunction with your current recruiting efforts rather than in place of them. Remember that each social media platform is unique, and this means that they offer different benefits to your company.

For example, through LinkedIn, you may be able to connect with professionals in your field. Through Facebook, however, you may be able to reach out to a much broader audience. In different situations, both of these options can be uniquely beneficial. For example, the use of LinkedIn may make better sense when advertising a managerial or executive position, but Facebook and other options may be better used when you are actively recruiting for administrative-level job openings.

Use Recruiting Hashtags

The use of hashtags is more than just trendy. Hashtag serve the important purpose of making your content more easily viewed through relevant searches. By using hashtags with your recruiting efforts through social media, you can make your content more easily located by those who may be searching for a job on social networks.

To make full use of hashtags, they should be relevant to the company, the position or something else. Think about hashtags that others may be using when looking for an opening that is similar to use. For example, some may use a generic search for #jobopenings, and others may use something more specific, such as #researchassistant.

With the right hashtags attached to your online recruitment posts and tweets, you can potentially reach a much larger audience that extends beyond those who actively follow your social media accounts.

Promote Your Company Culture

Part of a successful recruitment strategy involves selling your company and the position to a potential candidate. This means that you need to use social media effectively to showcase how amazing your corporate culture is rather than to simply post a link to the job description.

Social media recruiting efforts that simply announce an opening are often less effective than they could be because even when potential candidates see the listing, they may not be enticed to act on it without motivation to do so.

Remember that social media is not only text-based, and you can use images and video to promote your company culture online. Instead of just stating that your company is a great place to work, use photos or even videos of regular events at your office. For example, you can show your employees working as a team tackling a project, being dressed up for Halloween in the office or participating in a monthly pot luck lunch.

Involve Your Employees

Another important step to take if you want to maximize your social media recruiting efforts is to involve your employees in the effort. Ideally, all of your employees will share content about your company to their own contacts on social media, and they may even make use of branded hashtags as well.

This effort can help you to expand your reach to a much larger audience than you otherwise would have been able to reach. Asking your employees to retweet or share a post is great, but you can also ask them to promote the company culture. For example, they can be an advocate for you by talking about their work experiences.

However, you should have established rules in the office regarding the use of social media. Furthermore, you should attempt to control the message that your employees are sending out about your office by offering structured comments and guidelines to them.

Final Thoughts

The first hurdle to jump over in your recruitment efforts is to find a great pool of qualified and interested candidates to interview. Social media is a great option for extending your reach and to let a greater number of qualified candidates know about your job opening. When you are using social media networks for recruiting purposes, follow these helpful tips to more strategically and comprehensively make use of these platforms.

About the Author:

Lisa Michaels

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter.


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6 Social Media Behaviors to Avoid in 2017

As of January 2017, Social Media has garnered over 2.8 billion active users worldwide, making it one of the largest congregations of the world’s population. This has made social media become a premier platform for businesses and marketers to extensively conduct their marketing plans. In fact, ignoring the impact that social media has on today’s marketing trends and strategies is a surefire way to see your business lose a good chunk of the audience that it could’ve had.

As an avenue that promotes the freedom of expression, it can be quite easy for brands to be the voice of the population given that they have the courage to project a relatable personality – like how Wendy’s has been known for in recent months – but it’s also just as easy to turn away audiences and make them skip to the next competitor. A big factor that should be taken into consideration for an account’s obscurity lies in the mistakes that they may have committed with their online presence.

Social Sprout’s survey of more than a thousand Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users found that there are six major social media mistakes that anyone – businesses especially – that can be prone to committing at any given point when you become complacent or careless with social media. They can result to you losing followers quickly.

Of course, this does not mean that committing any one of them is a signed deal into the land of obscurity for your business’ social media, but it’s still important to realize that they may, given the right amount of persuasion over repeated mistakes, decrease in time due to these mistakes.

Here are the key takeaways from this infographic by CJG Digital Marketing on the six mistakes to avoid for social media this year:

  1. Having too many promotional messages
  2. Posting irrelevant information
  3. Tweeting too much
  4. Using slang/jargon awkwardly
  5. Being too quiet
  6. Not replying to messages

Learn more by checking out this infographic by CJG Digital Marketing:

6 Social Media Behaviors to Avoid in 2017 | Infographics from CJG Digital Marketing


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15 Points to Consider When Designing for WordPress Themes

Written by Cuneyt Erkol, Artbees.

15 Points to Consider When Designing for WordPress

As a senior template designer at Artbees Themes and also just from the years of freelancing and dabbling with different methods of design, I’ve picked up a checklist, if you will, of points I sure wish I knew beforehand. Now having learned the ins and outs of designing for WordPress, I’ve been able to combine my knowledge of design principles with the unique aspects of our themes.

So in this post I want to share with you ways you can design templates without having to do a lot of extra coding. My goal is to give you some pointers before starting your project to save you time having to tweak and redesign your project. Hopefully this post can help also those who are not using Artbees Themes as most of these points apply to all major WordPress themes.

So let’s get started. Starting from a bird’s eye view of WordPress Themes, I’d say that there are three main ways people prefer to use a WordPress Theme:

  1. WordPress as a readymade solution: in this case the user needs a quick result and will simply import and edit one of its numerous templates based on their immediate needs and taste.
  2. Customizing WordPress templates: for those of us who want to go deeper into customisation, one can make structural changes to the layout and elements used, modify other visual factors or add extra functionality by using plugins or custom-coding.
  3. WordPress from scratch: for people who are up for the challenge to design their template from nothing and then convert it to a WordPress theme.

Now at this point in my career, I’ve definitely had more than a few bad experiences when I’ve put a lot of time and effort into a project only to find out that some or most parts of my design are not convertible to the chosen WordPress theme. This ends up usually being because it doesn’t comply with the theme’s features and functionalities. Then I’d have to spend another chunk of time trying to figure out which changes needed to be made in order to convert those parts via a WordPress theme; sometimes this was a quick fix, but more often than not it took a lot of time and energy. As a last resort there were dire situations where I ended up having to completely redesign to add the functionalities my design required (those were not pleasant days).

I know this also happens far too often in agencies that design templates in house. In some cases they may outsource the conversion part to a custom WP service such as Artbees Care though then what can happen is that their partner company can ask them to tweak or redesign the template leading to more hours redoing the work you did in the first place. The point is, we all don’t want to waste hours redoing work or paying an extra fee to change the theme codebase that, in reality, you could design with your target theme specifications and capabilities in mind. You want to be able to design a page with the layout, elements and functionality that fully complements your chosen theme.

Alright, so to make the most out of your time and manpower, here are 15 tips to consider before starting your project with Jupiter or The Ken:

15 Rules for Designing for WordPress

1) Review the themes’ shortcode base before starting the design process

This may seem obvious but is usually overlooked (particularly for those of us who aren’t direction readers). Every WordPress theme has a library of standard elements that can be used across your website which are regularly called shortcodes. Jupiter and The Ken also have a large collection of shortcodes with specific styles and options to customise. Make sure to review your themes’ shortcode for what features and customisation options they offer.

2) Set an accent color for your website

This is not just aesthetically important and a basic branding practice but can also save you a lot of time in the final phases trying to retouch the final design to make it look more seamless and part of a unique brand.

3) Don’t go with any more than a two font-family—ever

Artbees Themes are compatible with two font families which means in order to use more fonts in your design you’ll need to use TypeKit integration. Some agencies may not pay extra and use TypeKit integration. Keep in mind, though, that using more than two fonts is usually considered a bad branding practice and should be done only when you have a specific reason for it.

4) Use compatible plugins with the theme

If you’re planning to use custom plugins as part of your design to add some additional functionality (e.g. ContactForm7 for your contact forms) make sure that they’re compatible with the themes you’re using first! Incompatible plugins may break your layout or particular shortcodes.

5) Check for the copyright status of the photos you use

I once designed a template for a client with great-looking images I had copied from different resources. The client was really happy with the look of template, but when I started to convert my template to WordPress I noticed that many of the images were protected under copyright which meant I had to change the images. My client ended up not liking the template with the new images and wanted the original template images. I had to redesign the template from scratch!

6) Avoid page-level customisations as much as you can

Expert WordPress designers always know that the best way to customise the look of a theme is to use global theme settings that apply to all pages or a group of pages (like a particular post type). Try to design in a way that will not require a lot of customisation in page options or the conversion process can end up being very tedious.

7) Use pre-loader for complicated layouts

If your template has a complicated layout with a long list of elements on one page, make sure to activate pre-loader for that page or your page may look ugly while browser is downloading and sorting its content. Most of the major WordPress themes offer page preloader functionality.

8) Be aware of image size limits

Every theme may have particular image size limits. The best practice for many WordPress themes including Artbees Themes is 300 kb in size and 2000 px in width.

9) Use Javascript-dependent elements in your design wisely

Many regular shortcodes require Javascript to properly function (e.g. Sliders, Carousels, Hover animations, Google Maps, Flipbox, etc.). Though keep in mind that Javascript can cause a page to load more slowly and you may need code modifications to improve your loading time.

10) Design must be done on Photoshop or Sketch

Adobe Illustrator can be your web template design software of choice but the company that’s converting your outsourced templates can end up hating it! The standard and most popular formats to design web page templates are Adobe Photoshop and Sketch. Using another software to design your pages can increase the amount of time it takes to convert them as not many are using it.

11) Avoid completely different layouts in your page templates

There is no merit with having completely different layouts for every page of your website. The beauty and professionalism comes from unity and intentional use of visual elements in your page. Converting templates with a totally different structures can be very time-consuming and will need a lot of page-level customisation.

12) Beware of your theme’s supported grid system

You should be aware of the breaking points in your layout and design accordingly.

Most of the standard WP themes including Artbees Themes use the standard 12-column grid system (1920px) but it can also be other systems such as the 16, 18 or 24 column.

14) Use Headings based on their importance

This may sound like obvious, but still many designers do the bad practice of using big fonts in the middle of their design. The Headings in your page should follow a descending hierarchical order from the most important to least important. This is the only way your page will be properly indexed by search engine crawlers.

15) Prepare your images for exporting before sending to developer

The images you use in your PSD file will be exported by the developer during the conversion process. Make sure to put your images in properly named and ordered layer-folders (in Photoshop and Sketch) so your developer can easily export them. Beware that the developer will optimise the image for the web and there will be a loss of quality to your overall imagery. If you are using smart objects, make sure the image included in the smart object file is the same size as the one appeared in your design.

Oh and one last little tidbit! Provide logos in retina size or your developer will for sure call you to send one!

Following these tips can save both you and your developers time and resources. Trust me, your partner agency will be so grateful to you for providing WordPress-ready designs for conversion! Let me know in the comments what other things you think your fellow designers should keep in mind when designing for WordPress or a particular Artbees Theme!


Source: 15 Points to Consider When Designing for WordPress Themes

10 Most Popular Articles of 2016 About HR, HR Tech, Recruitment and Beyond

Human Touch in Digital

The HR Tech Weekly® is happy to present you the list of 10 most popular articles in our blog in 2016. The entire rank is made based on the number of views and social shares. The competition was severe but fair. Some of our favorite article got behind. But there were only ten slots available.

We did not include in the list our own listicles and third parties ranks like Top 10 HR Tech Influencers on Twitter and some others despite of they were quite popular among the audience.

Some great articles from the beginning of the year did not compete well with those from the second half. We treat it as a technical error as the blog itself was less popular that time.

Nevertheless, after careful consideration and precise calculation we’ve got the following list of readers choices, and here we go:

  1. Recruiting Secrets LinkedIn Doesn’t Want You To Know, by Ninh Tran

Today, only pockets of the tech industry still enjoy significant growth and hiring volumes, for example, autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and deep learning. To satisfy hiring teams, talent acquisition professionals must find better and more creative ways to reach premier talent and generate their interest for the right opportunity. Can LinkedIn be an excellent recruiting channel to connect the right people with the right roles?

  1. What you need to know about Agile Performance Management, by Yatin Pawar

Agile performance management is a collaborative, continuous feedback and development practice that is steadily replacing traditional performance management.

Traditional performance management has proven to be insufficient to assess and enhance an employee’s contribution. Its primary focus is setting up a series of processes to measure the employee’s performance over the whole year. These processes end up having an unanticipated effect of managers focusing on employee’s weaknesses.

  1. The Future of Recruiting and Hiring with AI, by Noel Webb

The buzz around artificial intelligence this year is being shrugged off by many as just a new word HR got ahold of, but what would happen if AI was actually embraced by the recruiting and hiring world? What could it do to further practices and solve problems?

  1. HR Tech Is So Dynamic and Still Has Very Much a Work in Progress, Q & A with Bill Kutik

As for being on the other side of the table… being a good interviewer means taking second chair to the person being interviewed. Teasing out and highlighting what they know. Since much of what I do are interviews and panels (except for my columns), I don’t get to do much of the talking. So I love whenever the roles are reversed!

  1. The HR function is in the middle of a process which will change it forever, by Marco Pastore

The New Way of Working (NWoW) is rising and the reasons behind this are in the latest trends in HR: Autonomy, Accountability, Flexibility and ICT.

Most companies are following or are planning to follow this trend, and for good reasons! But before speaking about the benefits, it is better to understand what this trends mean with some examples.

  1. What LinkedIn’s Buyout with Microsoft means for the Talent Acquisition Technology Ecosystem, by Brian Delle Donne

While critics point to Microsoft acquisition failures like Nokia and Yammer, neither one of those companies open up the ability for increased ad revenue, user interaction data or video conferencing abilities.

  1. Building a Culture of Confidence, by Lisa Feigen Dugal

Confidence and competence: Two invaluable characteristics to possess in today’s professional environment. While these traits have different meanings, they are inextricably linked. Consistent research findings show men tend to overestimate their competence while women underestimate it, yet research has also shown that women tend to be more effective, and more competent, leaders.

  1. 5 Reasons Why Big Data Analytics Degrees Are Worth It, by Lauren Willison

Due in large part to the rapid growth of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, big data analytics is approaching new heights. Students who pursue a degree in big data analytics learn how to effectively analyze large sets of data and identify patterns, connections and other pertinent details revealed by data. Companies are increasingly turning to data analytics to harness customer insights, and ultimately, produce better business decisions. As a result, big data analysts are in high demand and the data analytics field is showing no signs of slowing down.

  1. Great Companies Are Built Around Great People, by Annie Jordan

There is a lot of truth in the saying that great companies are built upon great people. However, the reality is, of course, more complicated than that. The world’s leading companies are a powerful blend of people, vision, capability and culture. These things work together like the mechanics of a rocket, generating and maintaining irresistible momentum.

  1. How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics, by Ronald van Loon

In today’s constantly connected world, customers expect more than ever before from the companies they do business with. With the emergence of big data, businesses have been able to better meet and exceed customer expectations thanks to analytics and data science. However, the role of data in your business’ success doesn’t end with big data – now you can take your data mining and analytics to the next level to improve customer service and your business’ overall customer experience faster than you ever thought possible.

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The new exciting year is ahead and we are looking forward to serve you with the best content. We wish you useful and productive reading with us! Stay tuned and we’ll be back…


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