You already know that if you want to get a job in 2014, you’re going to need more than a resume. For today’s employers, the resume is just the starting point. From there, they move on to Google and social media and what they see there will play just as big a role (if not a bigger role) in whether or not you are hired. Why not, instead of worrying about what they might find, use it to your advantage?
Essentially, pretend that instead of one person begging to be part of a larger machine, you’re a business and you’re trying to build relationships with other businesses. How do you do that?
This type of approach is normally focused reserved for B2B marketing efforts… but as you are going to find, it’s not just for companies. You can apply the same strategies to yourself. Skeptical? Just look at the way businesses use social media—Google+ in particular—to sell to other businesses.
Social media has laid a fertile ground for B2B content marketers and job seekers. Whether it’s an Instagram image, a six second vine video or a brand blurb – there’s no doubt that the availability of social platforms has enabled companies to reach masses quickly and effectively.
LinkedIn has been the Holy Grail of B2B marketing and job hunting during the last few years, but Google+ is the emerging atomic particle in this arena.
A B2B marketing survey conducted in Q2 2013 revealed that 9% of B2B marketers considered Google+ effective for social media marketing at that time, but 29% considered it more important in the next 12 months. The researchers responsible for the survey highlighted the growing interest as a part of the shift towards content-specific platforms.
WordStream’s B2B content marketing facts published a few weeks before the start of 2014 also mentioned Google+ as the second most used social media platform by B2B marketers. More specifically, 55% were using Google+ according to the source, only behind YouTube (73%) and LinkedIn (91%).
That’s right: Google+ serves your career prospects almost as faithfully as LinkedIn. If you didn’t put a link to your profile on your resume, now’s the time to add it!
It’s not rocket science – all of these reports basically point out that Google+ will continue to grow in importance, and job hunters adapting today will enjoy a better tomorrow… or in worst cases, end up increasing the search rank of their client websites.
How To Start Cracking Google+ Today
There are several ways to be functional and productive with Google+, including some of the content marketing strategies used on other social media sites, but the following best practices outline the way forward for job seekers.
1. Google+ Hangouts
Steel City Marketing’s Carla Froggatt suggests Hangouts for customer relations, business meetings, market research and direct face to face interactions. The video chat feature where multiple users can join the same Hangout is a standout feature according to her.
Cadbury for example has hosted several different hangouts, including one where they empowered their community to engage with swimmer Rebecca Adlington. But their Tasters Circle Hangout was the most interesting: the company sampled products in real-time and individuals picked in the Cadbury Taster Group had a direct chat with the Cadbury product developer, revealing their taste preferences.
Why not host a Google+ hangout for other people in your field? You can talk about new developments and what you think of them. You can talk about a recently released product and get people’s feedback on it.
2. Google+ Communities
Communities inside Google+ hold a lot of potential and there is no limit to the number a job seeker can join. Most of these communities are niche based and comprised of an audience who actually cares about the subject. Therefore, content marketing within Google+ communities can be used to gather insights, make connections, and get ideas for future content.
Content marketing isn’t overtly about promoting products and services, and the key is to create and share content that offers value. In case of Google+ communities, the niche-focused audience will be more interested in how the shared content can solve their problems and benefit them.
You can even start your own Google+ community to remove the restrictions set by administrators in other communities (post type, number of posts etc).
3. Google+ Company Pages
Google+ business pages serve as a central hub for a company’s target audience – it is a place where they can get all updates relevant to a particular business. Moreover, the Google+ Local system is effective for marketers targeting audiences in a particular vicinity, as they can be used to list a business on Google Maps, which then appears in Google search for relevant keywords.
As for the type of content that can be shared on business pages, it can range from videos and short blurbs to infographics and influencer quotes. Marketers can also use Google+ when engaging in communities instead of their personal profiles; this is going to attract people to the Google+ company page and also increase +1s.
Do a search in your local area for companies and firms in your field. Follow their business Google+ pages and contribute to the conversations happening there. This way your name (and face!) will be familiar when you send in your resume. Heck, if your contributions are good, it might even net you a call or email before the job gets posted!
What do you think? What Google+ features do you find effective for job hunting? Feel free to leave comments.