A Ramble About The Word Social And Things

11 Dec

I’ve spoken about this before but I honestly think my brain may of gone dead, I used to have a million ideas and way things could change, I notice I have lost that spark, until at least someone ignites my imagination again, even if it is only for the 5 seconds of our attention spans.

I was determined to try and put something coherent down after going to SMLondon some time ago now. I’m sure most people didn’t take away from the day what I did which was touched upon by both Jeremy Waite and Rylan Holey which was around social employee’s.

Now I’ve been having a think about this term ‘social employee’ taken at face value, we what, want our employee’s to be more social, but with who and what?

I started off being highly enthused by the idea of some sort of massive business shift that was going to mean that suddenly all employee’s would take up social media channels and start tweeting like crazy.

Then I had a bit of a wakeup call on Tuesday at 4:30am with this burning idea of why on earth do we keep putting certain words in front of stuff, this idea alone does not make a great blog but then Mr Waite posted a section of this amazing book from the 1900’s and the main thing is that a lot of basic processes in business have not changed.

Cue exhausted brain dump –

Social Business; what on earth do we mean by this? (Aware there is an actual meaning and not maybe the one we think)

So In my book business is still business the absolute fundamentals of business have NOT changed from the moment humans started trading goods with each other. What has however changed in business is the speed in which we do things, the channels we use have changed, phone calls have moved to emails to text to a DM on whichever platform the person was last seen on. For me Social business is people making business as easy to do for everyone involved. It’s being connected and fluid it’s not just about social media and digital they are only a few components in that. Face time as people sometimes like to call it, is almost more important to building those relationships; it’s called ‘social’ business after all, get social with it.

Social Employees; I think there is some confusion on what is expected of employees. The idea is what, that we get employees interacting more on social media… going out with each other more, I’m a little baffled.

I don’t think it’s about employees being more social I think it’s about truly using people’s strengths to the best (we do so much testing like Myers Briggs that never gets used). Seek out the people in the business that already absolutely love you, get them to talk about you. Seek out the unhappy people to figure out what is the driver. Word of mouth is stronger than you think on both counts. For me to gain real “Social employees” you have to showcase the people in your business, to allow them to want to talk about your business, that includes the bad (internally as much as possible, obviously) no business is without faults but not business would exist without its employees and the work force IS changing that is always going to be the case but in that case lets support people through that rather than throw more buzz words at them. Find your cheerleaders; Find those who need the extra support to be your cheerleaders both are important they both cheer loudly.


Social Recruitment; I put my hands up and profess I used to think this was a thing, it was in my job title for heaven’s sakes.

What I have learned over the last 3 years however is that, there are a few ways of recruiting regardless of what type of business you are in. You have some very transactional people in recruitment, its supply and demand, it’s about commission or time to hire. Then you have the people like me who were all about the conversation, conversations take more time and more effort than the first. Here is something else I have learnt, Social recruitment is about people; oh it’s so 100% about people. It’s about the current people and it’s about future people, it’s not about bums on seats (although they are important) it’s about the right bums on seats, it’s about using the right channels to tell the right story’s.

Whatever you do have a strategy for this, please have a strategy for this if you don’t you are throwing shit at a wall and hoping it sticks. Most of it won’t stick but will smell foal and not be the message you want. I have also learnt that tweeting out 20 jobs a day does NOT enhance anyone’s experience and it’s not social recruitment.

Here is what I think; I think the world is changing and faster than most of us can keep up with it. What all of these things have in common though is that putting a word such a social or digital whatever you want to us in front of it doesn’t change the actual IT. Let’s just be honest and say; buzz words suck. There is perfect logic behind all of these things and it isn’t all tied up in just one word being put in front of it like social. A lot of the ability for companies to advance is hidden in the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses and use them accordingly and you will find a lot of both in your people as much as your data, insight or strategy.


Motorway Maddness

4 Nov

distracted-driver-makeup-phoneThe other evening coming home from the gym and waiting in traffic to join the M1 I noticed the girl in the car in front of my frantically brushing her hair, I thought that would be the end of it but 10 minutes later and still crawling towards the roundabout she was still brushing and fluffing and playing with her hair.

Got me to thinking of all the crazy things I have seen or been told that people have been doing that is not driving while supposedly concentrating on driving a car.

This morning was a man sat in the middle lane shaking his power made protein shake ….. Don’t ask me when he did the adding of milk and powder but he was shaking and drinking it while drive along (in the middle lane I might add but that’s a whole other post)

Candy Crush, yes you heard correctly, there she was bold as brass playing that little addictive game of matching candy to 4 in a row while driving along through central London.

Same person brushing teeth and then applying foundation while driving next to me on north circular.

Confession of a friend to eating noodles while driving through country lanes and then a few weeks later eating porridge, also while driving through country lanes, oddly they got done for speeding not eating ……

People tipping a crisp packet into mouth whilst the car apparently drives itself at 80 miles an hour

The people who still haven’t understood that you can get hands free for the car and insist on cradling/hold the phone while driving with one hand while the other hand is also usually busy doing something else like entreating the child in the car seat next to them (its ok Halfords can securely fit a child seat so no need for actual safety)

People who read the paper/magazine/notes for a meeting while driving, I understand it’s important to be well read but I’m sure it can wait until you are no in a moving object.

This is my favourite though told to me by a friend – from a school bus, spotted a man masturbating while stuck in slow moving traffic in a residential area……..

Now I could carry on but I won’t, it would however be nice to know what strangest things you have seen people do while driving a car.

Motorway Ramble

28 Oct

M1 motorway sign

Driving up the M1 this morning it got me to thinking about my series of Underground rambles and how happy I was when I first took this new contract that I would be driving.

Let me make it very clear; I LOVE DRIVING no really I love it that I am usually the driver to most places and opt to be, so you can imagine the fact my poor old car that hasn’t seen much use over the last 2 years was suddenly out and about again and not always loving it (didn’t start after topping up the oil)

The best bit is that it’s going to costs me less and takes me the same amount of time in the mornings to get to work; it also means music blasting and singing your heart out in the morning without looking like an odd ball.

Instead what its actually meant is; I read less (not a good thing) I don’t keep up with current affairs (although the metro is a dubious source) I no longer get stylist (this does make me sad) I also have to plan my life better which for those of you who know me well will understand that’s a concept I sometimes struggle with. What is has meant is no more passing out in the winter or battling with Shoppers and tube strikes, don’t have those anymore.

Instead in the mornings I now battle with the van men who park so close to the entrance of my road I can’t see what is coming towards me, the people who don’t understand that lights in the dark mornings and nights are helpful, that sunglasses are essential to winter driving and that driving in the middle lane doing 60 miles an hour is DANGROUS not to mention the drivers who put their make up on and play candy crush whilst driving their car.

So over the next month I will bring you the joys of all these things on the 3 junctions I drive of the M1, might as well take the commuter stress out someplace other than the horn on my car.


A Ramble On Time

26 Oct


People say that time is the greatest healer. Time, it’s a funny thing, we really do live by it. How long does something take to cook, what time does something leave etc

It will be 23 years in November that I lost my sister and I choose to not talk about her or bring her up because I have friends that have lost and I have lost people more recently but time does not stop emotions. Not strong emotions.

Last week my mum asked me to come and celebrate my birthday with the family on her birthday which is tomorrow. Mum thought that having our birthdays 4 days apart would be great and it was when she was alive.

It pains me to say I have spent 23 years trying to have a birthday that isn’t in some way about her. I love my sister more than I love anything but this year I realised that I couldn’t keep competing and shying away from my own birthday because she wasn’t here anymore. It took me time to realise that she would not of wanted this for me.

However time for me simply helps you forget the vivid memories and moments. The smells, the sounds the tone of someone’s voice, I would no longer be able to tell you what her favourite song was (I’m guessing beach boys) I can’t remember what she used to say to me when I had nightmares and she would let me get into her bed.

You can apply time to all sorts, but people seem to find that the length of time attributed to the lose of something/someone has a set period. This is not just in death but the break down in relationships, those missed opportunities etc.

I think most people allow time to help them forget the most painful parts, no one truly wants to forget but a little letting go if you are willing to do so could been seen as time allowing you to heal.

Ideas Ramble – Part 1

9 Oct

Taking a spin on this image posted by Jeremy Waite I am going to attempt to blog a bit more (yes I keep saying it), No I sadly wont be telling a story even though this is a great template to do that with, but I thought it would use it as a way to assess the weeks as they go by (just for a month, don’t worry) keep the brain ticking

IdeasSo from the head

  • Education – Maybe not so much education but enlightenment into the way to get the best out of where I currently work and after 4 months finally knowing who to go to, to push projects forward.
  • Information – I could have done with more of this earlier on, I am a strong believer that knowledge is power, I like to act like a sponge.
  • Problem Solving – After the first 2 this has got to be resolution of having a monthly meeting with all the social media/digital channel owners in the business (big high five for accidental meeting of people in the office)

From the heart

  • Entertainment – Not had much of that this week, but having read Gone Girl when it came out I might pop down to the cinema and watch it (even if the ending is different)
  • Inspiration – Has to be my Granny, she just keeps coming back stronger and just always has all the time in the world for me regardless. I’ve also been working with some more creative minds the last week and that has given me the inspiration to go off and start creating the things we need to deliver the employer brand project I look after.
  • Challenge – My own mind and emotions have been a challenge this week as well as observing others who you know are hurting you. Sometimes walking away is the only option even if it’s the most painful thing to do. There is often a stark realisation that people don’t always care in the way you do and for them it’s easier than it is for you.

Conversation, Content or Both?

12 Sep


I was a round table event today where the topic was talent pipeline/pool/community whatever you want to call them. 2 things stuck me and it brought me back to a blog I wrote about the art of conversation back in 2012.

First however let me just say that for me, recruitment has become very transactional for both sides, if you aren’t head hunting people without their awareness then they are hunting you without your awareness, its fast, it’s get me a job now, and then they leave because it’s not what they thought it was going to be or they are not who you thought they were. Which raises a big question about why are we even pipelining people?

The 2 things that struck me where as follows;

The use of Klout scoring as a recruitment tool to understand your company reach ect. It made me laugh to myself, I was surprised that someone was even talking about it still; I don’t think I have heard anyone talk about it in the last 2 years but that might be because there are other tools that are better to use when tracking recruitment activity and reach. Maybe I’m wrong?

Someone brought up the idea of a content strategy to engage these people. The idea of a content strategy to engage people is something I have been tasked with driving forward in a few businesses and after the round table this morning I am wondering if I am approaching it in completely the wrong way. I am looking at our candidates as customers and I guess they are to some extent; I am looking at them through my agency lens which again might be invertible as I started my recruitment jobs within agencies doing the same for their clients.

Recruitment for me was always about having those meaningful conversations with candidates married up with your knowledge of the business, the jobs and the culture. Everything now is about content and I wonder if from a candidate perspective any of this means anything to them in the real world? Will the content have the same impact as a conversation to sell the company?

Maybe or maybe not I am not professing that either is right or wrong, every business is different and the drivers of what they want, what their activity looks like, what that brings to the business is different, but I am a firm believer that the combining the art of conversation and content is the right approach. I simply wonder in a world where most of us have more connections than you can throw a stick at, how many of those are meaningful and bring anything to your life? Maybe a handful and what does that mean for those battling to incorporate social media into their talent attraction/employer brand strategy?

Social Media Dyslexic

13 Aug

Why I’m not sure I’ll ever in social media, is not because I don’t want to, it’s always been something that has interested me, I’m always looking at what is going on and what will happen next.

The truth of the matter is that being dyslexic makes working in the space harder, why? A big part of social media jobs require a level of content/copywriting and that’s not always the easiest thing for a dyslexic person.

It has nothing to do with the fact that we don’t have opinions, that aren’t passionate or do not wish to express what we think, it’s also nothing to do with allowing it to stop us achieving it’s the practically of having to get someone else to check all content before it goes out in the public domain.

I read a lot of job specs for all sorts of roles and most of the ones in the social media/digital space specify that the person applying must have impeccable written English and grammar.

I started writing this blog with the encouragement of a few of the first people I met on twitter, I know people read it and you are forgiving of the fact as much as I want to be able to understand, to be able to see the grammatical errors, I can’t.

My last role was mainly community management and I left it feeling I was unable to write another word, I would beg one of my close friends to check all the copy I wrote for me because no matter how many times I explained to my boss that while I had checked it, there was always a high chance of grammatical errors.

I felt stupid, I still feel stupid when people look at you as if you are stupid when you aren’t, we are able, more than able but from an employer point of view, then yes you’d be more likely to pick someone who wasn’t dyslexic so you don’t have to hire a copy writer and a community manager.

As much as it shouldn’t matter, as much as you shouldn’t feel forced to tell someone in an interview that you are dyslexic more and more I feel that I do have to tell them this. People can be very unforgiving if something goes out with a mistake and even more so if it’s for a paying client and they are right it is unacceptable but so is being made to feel that you would not be able to produce something of value or deliver outstanding work because of it.