Highlights from the Social Media Mashup, #NACESocial

Espie SantiagoEspie Santiago, NACE Guest Blogger, is an assistant director of career counseling at the Stanford University Career Development Center

Twitter: @espie_s
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/espiesantiago

I am happy to report that NACE’s Social Media Mashup in San Jose exceeded my expectations. Here’s my best attempt to give you a synopsis of the two-day event.

Day 1:
Eager to mash it up with colleagues familiar and new, I arrived to #NACESocial like a geek – fashionably early. I was warmly welcomed by NACE’s Marilyn Mackes and Mallory Gott-Ortiz, and key organizer Dawn Carter from NetApp. Not before long, I was surrounded by nearly 100 colleagues, all excited to learn about trends and best practices in social media – present and future.

First on the agenda was David Spector, Global Head of Mobile, TMP Worldwide, who gave the opening keynote address: The Art & Science of Social Media.
TMP

David reminded us of how far technology has evolved since the 90s – when there was dial-up internet through “classic devices” and you could not use your phone and the web at the same time. But now we can’t live without our mobile devices, and even though many have a choice of going to a laptop or desktop, a majority of us favor using our smartphones over any other device:

• 81% of searches are done via mobile because of either speed or convenience
• 77% of mobile searches are conducted at home or work
• Only 17% of searches are conducted on the go

By 2016, it is predicted that 92% of all college graduates will own smartphones.
The key takeaway for me was that if you aren’t designing your product or services for a mobile device/smartphone, then you are behind the curve.

However, despite the inundation of social media, David emphasized that human interaction still prevails. The need for people to connect is at the center of why social media was created in the first place.

After the opening keynote, I had the difficult task of deciding which concurrent session to attend. After much debate, I settled on the following:

Student Panel: Successfully Engaging Students With Social and Digital Media
Tom Devlin from UC Berkeley moderated a panel of recent grads and current students to discuss how they used social media to conduct their job and internship searches. All panelists commented that LinkedIn strongly contributed to their success in landing positions. They also said the trend is moving away from using Facebook, but more activity on LinkedIn and Twitter with YouTube and Instagram as additional popular social media platforms.

The key takeaway from this session was that students are beginning to use LinkedIn more and more to connect with employers. Employers – beef up those company pages!

Day 2:
After a great breakfast and some in-person networking, I, again, was tasked with choosing between some equally enticing presentations. Luckily, I would be conducting a presentation on “Strategies to Help Students Get the Most from their LinkedIn Experience” during the final presentation timeslot, so I had one less decision to make.

First, I attended: The Changing Face of Social Media in Career Services, presented by Manny Contomanolis from RIT and Trudy Steinfeld from NYU.

Manny and Trudy had the most hilarious slide from the entire mashup, describing social media sites, deconstructed from the toilet.
SocialMediaDecon

They had some many great takeaways from their presentation, but here my favorites:

• What’s Next in Social Media? It’s mobile, visual, greater integration (easier to share content across multi-platforms), social at the institutional scale, content affirmed as king, and the importance of brand management

• Key Principles in Social Media Strategy Development
1) Flexibility 2) Content driven 3) Appropriate investments 4) Involve the right people
5) Commitment

• Don’t be too quick as to use every social media application that comes out!
• Know your institution and what would suit it best. For example, Pinterest is dominated by female users, so it may not be most the effective use of time if your campus is male-dominated.
• If nothing else, just ask yourself the following to drive your strategy: “Is it concise, accurate, relevant and timely?”

Next, I chose to attend: Is Campus Recruiting Really a Thing of the Past?, presented by Rob Humphrey from LinkedIn.

Basically, the answer is no! Phew, I still have a job! With the creation of things like University pages, lowering the user age to 14, and “CheckIn” which gives employers easy access to candidate data for career fairs and other events, LinkedIn will continue to complement the campus recruiting experience through the use of social technology. Campus recruiting is reinventing itself with the ease of LinkedIn’s tools.

Lastly, Ryan Glick from Google gave the closing keynote address: Search & Social.
Ryan talked about lots of great ideas for using Google tools for social recruiting. He discussed the trends and changing landscape of the job industry, mobile as a social tool, and the use of video (YouTube) to grow and engage your audience. And I especially enjoyed learning how Google+ can help build communities.
Google
Again – my key takeaway from his presentation amongst a lot of great content is MOBILE, MOBILE, MOBILE! Job seekers are using their smartphones to look for jobs, not to apply for them per se, but to search for them, making mobile a huge part of the job-seeking experience. (Job seekers and employers looking to build a mobile site should look at Indeed.)

Conclusion
There was so much great information to be gained from #NACESocial that I am so happy that NACE is sharing the presentations with us online. I look forward to continuing to dialogue about trends and best practices in social media with my colleagues in career services and recruiting.

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