Saturday, March 06, 2010

Steppin' Out

I just wrote a very long e-mail to my managers at my previous company trying to get them to create a new position and hire me to fill that role. I'm not used to putting myself out there by throwing out ideas and new ways of doing things, so it was good practice. Whatever comes out of it, it was the most engaging fun I'd had in a long time composing an e-mail.

Hi xxx and xxx,

How's it going? I'm doing pretty well, just figuring out what my next career moves are going to be. With that said, I have a business proposal for [Company]. I wanted to run it by you guys via email first. So, I'm sure you've noticed that most successful smaller and upcoming companies these days have a large presence in social media. It's all about live updates and relevant/ interesting news. And it looks like [Company] has caught wind of this, as evidence by the Facebook page and Twitter account. However, the majority of the 22 "fans" on Facebook already work for the company or are related to an employee. And the Twitter account is hardly active and more importantly, has a whopping zero followers. To me, it seems like this online promotion is more of an afterthought delegated to people who are up to their necks doing their actual jobs (i.e. xxxx, xxxx). Perhaps the sales team is already doing a good job bringing in new customers. But when asked about my previous job there, absolutely nobody had heard of [Company]. Besides word of mouth, the next best way to promote a company is via social media marketing. [Company] has earned some very prestigious honors from Oracle, and that is something that needs to be promoted more heavily, ie not preaching to the choir. Chances are competitors aren't doing much in this realm, and if they are, it's all the more urgent to catch up.

One company that is a great model of this is Bazaarvoice. They are a small to medium-sized startup, and yet they were named Austin's Best Company to Work for in 2009. They manage reviews for online companies, such as Overstock.com and Walmart, and they are extremely good at what they do. They have a very active Twitter account, 3675 followers, and tweet constantly when their company is mentioned in the media. I hear from friends who work there that people are just clamoring to apply, because of all the great buzz. If [Company] is so awesome at what they do (unique business model) and also wants to attract top talent, it needs to get the word out.

A few recommendations:
1. Amp up the Facebook page. Interact with client pages on Facebook and look for cross-promotion opportunities.
2. Tweet daily. Good subject matter includes company news, industry news, Oracle tips, @replies or retweets of relevant client tweets.
3. Start a company blog. Develop a focus, such as Oracle EBS implementation issues, SME's or whatever. From what I saw, all this dialogue and communication goes on over the phone and work emails between consultants, PMs and clients, so this useful knowledge publicly displayed would act as evidence that [Company] knows what it's doing. Consultants spend all their time doing their jobs well, and it would be helpful to have someone else get insights on their experience and also opinions on industry trends. Also, find related blogs and comment on them frequently.
4. Build the LinkedIn Profile. Get happy clients to exchange recommendations. Provide a blog update box for recent blog posts. Add a news box as well.
5. Start a Flickr and post company photos on it. One of my main hobbies is photography, and I would be willing to snap photos at events and gatherings. People like browsing photos to see that employees are enjoying themselves, and thus, the company is great to work for. Examples: Twitter's flickr, Bazaarvoice's flickr. Tied to this would be a strong push for the HR department to develop more team building and quality of life events, which stands out all the more during a recession.

Those are just a few suggestions, and I have plenty more ideas. If this is something [Company] is interested in pursuing, please consider me as the person most qualified for this job. To be blunt, during downtime in my previous role at [Company], I spent most of it blogging, reading blogs, checking Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, other review sites, etc., so this is second nature to me. Most companies successful in this endeavor have at least one full-time employee dedicated to this. I look forward to hearing your reply.

Thanks for your time and consideration,
Me

5 comments:

Kronicred said...

Sweet!

SuzyFormager said...

way to boldly go where no [Company] employee has gone before!!!

Fern said...

Heh!

Rachel B said...

I love this!

Fern said...

Rachel, I got the idea from you when we met up weeks ago. Thank you!