Tag Archives: Facebook

The power of the image and Big-on (NAO graduate recruitment campaign)

Have you heard of Big-on, the campaign name of the NAO graduate recruitment program?

For some time we have been using social media to help spread the word about Big-on.

One of the key parts of the process has been having a presence at a number of the graduate recruitment fairs. On the stand is a ‘Big-on box’ which is used to engage with students.

The box is meant to be a bit of fun so that students can have their photos taken in ‘amusing and entertaining’ poses while crouching in the deliberately small box. Students being students, they usually come up with some funny approaches. Quelle surprise.

The point of the process is for NAO recruitment colleagues to talk with students and in particular have them leave their contact details for follow up. At the same time students give their permission for their photos to be used by the NAO.

Sceptics that we are, we keep being surprised how popular these photos are. They are used mainly on our Flickr site which is extremely popular and has racked up 10,000s of views. We also use them on the related Facebook page.

In addition we have seen some students use the photo we took of them as their personal image on Facebook. Which is nice as the Big-on brand is usually in these images.

More surprising over the last two weeks one student posted a link to their photo on Twitter and circulated it around with a nice comment. Another even contacted us to say that they could not see their image on Flickr yet.

So what does this show? Well students like fun, of course. They like photos and they like sharing them.

Let’s not forget the power/popularity of images and the desire to share – being social.

What is your online brand?

I have been talking to a few people recently who have made me think about personal online brands.

This might sound a bit odd. Why should I be interested in my online brand? I did not know I had an online brand. I thought that was just for ‘brands’ such as Nike or Coke?

In fact if any of us that use the internet we have an online brand. It is made up of all the things we say and do, the name that we use for ourselves and perhaps most importantly what others think of us.

For example have you ever thought about what name you use on different digital channels whether it is Facebook, a discussion forum, Twitter, Instagram, or a blog?

Do you always use the same name? What happens if someone has the same name as you? Do you want to look the same to all your ‘audiences’? Do you even want to be recognised?

How often have you done a search on your own name to see what it throws up – is it what you expected? What do you think of your ‘brand’ now? What would someone think if they were a recruiter or were checking you out prior to a meeting?

Why not also try some free software called Topsy. Type in the name for yourself that you use on social media channels. You should be able to see what others see. Did you really mean to use those swear words when talking about that episode of the Apprentice? Probably not.

So is your brand ‘on message’ with who you think you are, or for what you want others to think you are?

If not, it might be time to do your own personal brand audit. If you need any help just let me know. My usual charge-out rates apply.

(I wrote this originally for work colleagues)

Tracking social media sharing with Google event tracking

I mentioned a while ago some great training we had with Andrew Hood on Google Analytics.

The one big thing that we have followed up is setting up some event tracking. These are actions that involve some kind of interaction with a site usually involving clicking on something.

Helpfully the new version of Google Analytics has, under Content, an Events option.

So what have we done?

Recently, and much later than we should, we have put some share buttons on our website. We did not what to use Sharethis and similar tools as they are not as accessible as we would have liked.

So now we have buttons for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+ with Delicious and Stumbleupon to follow shortly.

We also have sign-ups on each page to our email alerting system which we imaginatively called NAOdirect; plus a collated RSS feed.

We then added event tracking to each of these buttons, the email sign up and the RSS feed.

Now the amazing bit. If you go into event tracking there is an overview of how often each of these tools have been used. Which is nice.

There is another view by page so you can see how much and by which tool the content on a page has been shared.

So what are the scores on the doors?

Click here to view full size

The good news is that the email sign-up is extremely popular followed by Twitter with lesser amounts of Facebook and RSS.

So what does this tell us?

Well it helps indicate which channels are more popular with our users. Also it gives a bit of a feel as to the relative level of popularity of content.

Click here to view full size

So how useful is that! Very I would say.

What is the value of our content – part 2

This is a variation of my previous musing about what would we do differently if we, or our authors, got a pound for everytime their report was downloaded.

I was telling a new colleague about this idea recently which then made me follow this line of thinking a bit further.

I once went on a site visit to Sainsbury’s HQ in London. They said that every senior manager was an advocate for a particular brand. This meant that they had to push it internally, encourage their friends to buy Jaffa cakes, or whatever their particular line was.

Just imagine if our authors did get a pound for every report downloaded. What if they were the author of the report about Neurological services?

They go to a party and introduce themselves.

‘Hi, I am Fred I work at the NAO I wrote the report on Neurological services. You might have heard about it on the news? Do any of your family have any neurological conditions?

‘Oh they do – it might be worth you having a look at our report and see what we found out?’

Occasionally Fred picks his boy up after school, he is a busy auditor after all. If he is not too late he has a chat with the other parents. As new people turn up all the time he starts introducing himself and talking about the report he worked on. Ker chink. That’s another pound.

Fred decides to have a look at his profile on Linkedin and realise that though he says he works at the NAO he does not really say what they does. That is soon fixed – ‘I work in the area that audit health issues’. ‘ I was part of the team that worked on the Neurological services report’ – of course he includes a link to the report because he will get a pound for each download.

Ahem, Fred suddenely remembers his Twitter account. What about adjusting his profile?  It’s quickly done and another link is created.

It takes a while but it suddenly clicks with Fred that if he used his Linkedin account to join some networks that deal with health issues he could push the Neurological services report. Ha, money in the bank he thinks.

Nearer home Fred remembers his overused Facebook account. Time for another link. Of course now that he is getting a pound for each download the next time a friend starts talking about health issues he’s pushing his report.

You get the idea.



What I learnt about Google Analytics – or the bits I remember

I arranged this week for some colleagues to have a day’s training on Google Analytics. The course was delivered by Andrew Hood from Lynchpin on behalf of Econsultancy.

Very pleased to report that this was a great investment of money.

We had spit the day in two so that in the morning we concentrated more on the key principles and practical tools. This was to the benefit of colleagues with a more strategic role. In the afternoon once they had left we concentrated on the more technical elements for our colleagues who do the real work.

I had suspected before I organised the course that we were skimming the surface of what we could do and it proved to be an eye opener.

So they key things I learnt were:

As much as possible use the URL creation tool – tag these URLs with the name of your campaigns and use this link in any marketing activity such as emails, or links in tweets. It will help collect and measure related activities.

When in the dashboard view, click on the date box and use the compare option. Want to track what happened during the same period last year? This is the way to do it.

We found that we were not capturing in GA all the the link between users searching and the rest of their site journey being used via on-site search. A simple adjustment has now fixed this.

We also learnt that GA can be used for ABCe website metrics audits – you need to make a slight tweak to allow the data to be recorded on a server. It is then very easy to filter to meet the audit requirement.

If we add GA to links on our site to Facebook, Twitter icons and we will then know how many people actually click on them.

Event tracking in GA can be added to RSS buttons and various areas where a click takes place so you can start see who clicked for example on a filter on a publications database.

Create profiles for user types and track what they really do. For example set up a journalist profile.

Or create a content segment/advanced segment and see what users do with specific areas of your site.

Use funnels to view how users progress through your site.

A by-product for me was to think about the split between internal users of our site and external users. If we track this what will it show? If we have lots of internal users is that a good or bad thing?


The list is long.

Once again if you get in a expert trainer, and Andrew is one, the amount you learn really makes it worthwhile. His explaination of how cookies work by using imaginary post-its is worth hearing in itself.

Also I have a group of colleagues who know even more about measurement and have already started using some of the tools which help them in their day-to-day jobs.






Nine small moral dilemmas

How often does this happen?

1) Your manager asks to become a friend on Facebook

2) Your manager sends you a work related question via Facebook

3) A friend on Facebook becomes a supplier

4) You know of a contract manager who is a Facebook friend of a supplier for the same contract

5) A current supplier asks to connect with you via Linkedin

6) A contact on Linkedin becomes a supplier

7) You recommend a contact on Linkedin who later becomes a supplier

8) A contact asks for a recommendation on Linkedin but you have never worked with them.

9) You have a ‘semi-private’ conversation with someone on Twitter who then copies and uses your Tweets out of context

So where does the line get drawn between relationships and is there any difference between these situations online and offline?

Does it make a difference that online these interactions and connections become visible?

Should they be included in declarations of interest? Is there anything that either HR or propriety teams need to get involved in?