Should brands engage with social media (Twitter) Influencers or Brand Advocates?

‘Blogger Outreach’ or ‘Influencer program’ are two common terms that are buzzing these days amongst social media agencies and brand managers. Whatever is the objective – new product launch, store inauguration or sports association, every brand manager these days expects the campaign hashtag to trend, as (yes) it has been accepted in corporate environment as one of the key performance indicators (KPI) of a social media campaign. The code has been cracked by almost every social media agency, get in touch with few 10-15 active Twitter users (read ‘influencers’), and yes they should have certain thousand followers. Many a times these so called influencers have to be fed with predefined tweets (as they are so qualified that they cant write proper English!). What do these influencers get in return? Some cool gadgets to take home, lavish lunch/dinner at some five star hotel, free booze, an opportunity to meet some personalities and yes not to forget an opportunity to network (for future events!). The worst situation is when social media agencies / brand managers get in touch with one or two such influencers and ask them to bring along with them a couple more. This has led to a cartel of such influencers in every metro city of the country. These guys could be found tweeting about chips tonight, mobile phones tomorrow and an automobile day after. A serious question that brand managers need to ask themselves is do they really think these kind of influencers would do any justice to the brand?

If you are wondering why I am sarcastic over this existing scheme of things then here are three reasons: 1) These Twiteratti with large follower base have no brand / product category loyalty, 2) They might be promoting one product everyday and in worst case you won’t be surprised to find them promoting your competitor’s products tomorrow, 3) They are flawed influencers in the market & there are high chances your end customers might get misguided by them.

So, what is the solution? Brands should look forward to identify, nurture relationship and then leverage brand advocates. No doubt, it’s a long term process, but this would be a worthwhile effort. As exhibited below, it would be lethal for brands to assume that influencers with huge follower base are super advocates of their brands. A true influencer should be expert / well-verse with the product category, have sound understanding in the field, should be conversing about it regularly on his/her Twitter, should be creating emotional connect with his/her followers and hence earn loyal followers.

Twitter Influencers

I as a brand manager would any day prefer to work on this mode, build my own group of brand advocates over the period of time and leverage them with reference to various situations. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

What we brewed in #SMDelMeetup!

Thanks to the initiative by Prateek, Harmanjit & Kalpana  #SMDelMeetup was organized on 7th June at Connaught Place. This meetup finally gave me an opportunity to meet Prateek, which was pending for last three years or so. The meetup was attended by few other social media champs – Anadi, Ankur and  Ayushi. I felt the small group led to more discussions rather than get a huge crowd and not getting a chance to meet everyone. As it happens in every meetup, it all started with introduction and ofcourse grabbing a chilled coffee to beat the summer heat. Gradually everyone started sharing their experiences of working on various brands / campaigns etc. and it was was fun.

#SMDelMeetup

I could sieve some learning out of this meetup which are listed below:

  1. Wide gap in the retainers charged by various social media agencies: It was discussed that how could some agencies charge so exorbitantly just in the name of being from a large international group. The question was how can small businesses afford so much? My two cents on this was that be it any industry, products/services are available across a wide price range. The target audience differs with reference to the quality of services provided, overhead costs, positioning etc. Instead of considering that big agencies are squeezing cash out of brands, it should be seen that how this industry has provided an entrepreneurial opportunity to many professionals who could serve brands at lower rung with smaller budgets and still make a difference to the industry / society.
  2. Funny blunders that brand managers ask agencies to commit on social media platforms: This was funniest topic and left each one of us giggling for minutes. Blunders ranged from client asking agencies to delete a post (though it attracted good engagement) just because the image ‘doesn’t look’, crazy revisions that clients ask agencies to do on copy and images, complaints of offline goofups not addressed on social media, organizing social media contests without any logic etc. No matter how much social media agencies push back the client and suggest them the ideal method, there are always some ‘smart brand managers’ who think they know everything in social media.
  3. Unethical practices by some social media agencies: This was a shocker for me. I heard that some agencies edit the CSV file of Facebook ad reports and bill clients more though the actual spend on ad campaigns was far less. Some agencies charged few thousand rupees for changing the Facebook cover page and icing on cake is, the image was provided by client (beat that!)! Agencies provide some affiliate services to clients and charge exorbitant markup on the actual cost. The agencies could be doing these with a business reason, but the link of ethics should not be crossed!
  4. Increasing focus on blogger outreach campaigns: ‘Blogger Outreach’ is the latest jazz on social media circuits for brand managers. Every brand wants to do a blogger outreach campaign, irrespective of whether it is relevant or not. On the other hand, social media agencies too include this campaign as part of pitch or deliverables to mint some more money. I have a strong opinion here that most agencies and brand managers are missing the point that just having thousands of followers doesn’t make a person influencer of a product category. Just organizing some offline event, inviting people who have thousands of followers, asking them to tweet continuously and gifting (Read ‘bribing’) them with expensive gifts, doesn’t mean you have earned ‘influencers’. Park this thought for a while till I pen down my follow-up blogpost with more details on this.
  5. B2B relationship building through social media channels: Ayushi, the young champ raised this question of how could B2B brands build relationship. My take was that businesses are done by human beings, doesn’t matter if its B2B or B2C. What matters is if vendor’s people are active on social media channels and building relationship with the prospective client side people. It does take months to strike the chord, but there is no shortcut! This reminded us the concept of ‘Social Selling’.
  6. More brands trying to build in-house social media team: This trend was observed by many meetup attendees. The reasons for this trend could be multifold – a) brands want to save retainer cost and have a better financial equation if its done in-house, b) brands think that this is something they can manage on their own (though the risks aren’t accounted for), c) agencies have fooled brands enough with all unethical practices etc.

I rarely attend meetups, however this was a great learning experience. As Prateek said, we should do this regularly may be once in 2/3 months to share our experiences and learn from each other. No matter, how strongly we guys are connected on social media, its always a different experience to meet those people behind the fancy Twitter handles, in real life and spend some time with them. I look forward to the next edition of #SMDelMeetup.

Key Takeaways from ‘State of Community Management’2014’ report

Community Management continues to be the buzzword in the Digital era. Every brand, irrespective of their domain are geared towards one common objective of building a community around their brand. Social media has empowered brands to a great extent to attain this objective. In the race to build the largest community some brands take the vanilla paid approach and hence boost the topline of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. While others, put sincere efforts and formalize a strategy that will help them build a valuable community.

CMM

Image Credit: The Community Roundtable

The Community Roundtable has been publishing reports since 2010 on ‘State of Community Management’, which is prepared after surveying a large number of community managers across the World. This year’s survey included 164 communities across industries. The Community Roundtable developed a Community Maturity Model (CMM) that could help organizations understand, plan and assess the performance of their social community and relevant social business initiatives.

Some of the key takeaways from the report, that could be of interest to business owners, CMOs and digital marketers are as follows:

  • 85% of respondents from the top 20% who managed mature communities, could measure the value of their communities and 48% of respondents from average communities could do so. So, gone are days when community building exercise was just looked upon as a branding activity. Now, its absolutely possible to measure value.
  • 58% of communities that are able to measure value include CMO / CIO / CEO participation. This clearly indicates that participation of top management is required in the community management activities.
  • 75% of community managers were empowered to promote, encourage and reward productive behaviors. Let’s accept that community managers are the first touchpoint of an organization and who else can be a better person to judge the efforts of community members. His/her empowerment can ensure quick decision making and better engagement.
  • Best-in-class communities are managed by twice the number of community managers of an average community. So, as an organization don’t put all pressure on one community manager. But, hire a couple more so that they effectiveness could be reached.
  • The most common activities of a community manager include – a) creating content, b) curating and sharing content, c) welcoming new members, d) new member recruitment, e) facilitating introductions and/or connections.
  • 91% of best-in-class communities have well-crafted community policies to promote ideal behavior, while 67% of average communities have the same. A policy in place provides a transparency of expectations from the community manager and the community members. It also leaves less scope for crisis situations.
  • Communities with CXO level participation have seen 74% usage of microblogging, 71% mobile usage, 74% video sharing and 79% image sharing. While for average communities, the numbers were 59%, 62%, 62% & 69% respectively. This clearly indicates that participation of CXO level executives leads to rich content sharing and hence better engagement between the community members.
  • The key metrics of community measurement are – volume of new content, volume of comments, questions answered, new member activity, resolution time, behavior flows and conversation.

As a community manager what efforts do you put in to ensure the engagement on community keeps flourishing?

My Parting Words for the Awesome ZenithOptimedia-Resultrix Gang!

The short journey that commenced with ZenithOptimedia on 1st August’2013 will end today (6th May’2014). Every organization we work with makes us a better human being and a better professional. Without any doubt, I would agree that ZenithOptimedia has made a substantial value addition to my career and to me as a person. The ecosystem of the organization was truly professional. Any work environment becomes more enjoyable if your colleagues around are good at heart and make the environment lively. I was blessed to be in one such environment and soon I would miss every moment invested here. While I am bidding adieu to this organization and the amazing people whom I shared time, here is a token of love for each one of them:

Mahauli alias NehaNeha Gupta

This ever smiling lady is always in search of a ‘masala story’ that she can amplify and create a ‘mahaul’ on the floor and hence she is called as ‘mahauli’. Most unforgettable part about her was when she chooses a cabin to make a client call and talks in such low pitch that we all sitting outside could clearly hear the entire conversation! Will miss all your favourite dialogues –  ‘yeyyy’, ‘anyone, anyone, noone’, ‘paapa’, ‘Sammetle’ and ‘Aanandan Sir’!

 

Bhola alias NikitaNikita Bansal

What to say about this splendid lady. Though being youngest of the lot, she truly has a charming personality and garners all attention with her witty (& naughty) comments during conversations. In initial days of my joining, I thought this girl to be very innocent, however was exposed to her true colours once I started interacting. A true show-stopper be it lunch/tea breaks or on the dance floor. My only wish for her would be to keep smiling and entertaining people around you. May you be blessed with best of the professional and personal life.

 

Bua alias Ashish20140223_083416

The charming guy with chubby cheeks is famous on the floor as ‘Bua’ and don’t ask why so! Few things are better unsaid! He is the one guy who is responsible for all the chaos and noise on the floor. Also, he is known for his tour planning skills. Every alternate day he would come up with a plan to visit Manali / Shimla / Goa / Bangkok. The famous duel over all tea and lunch breaks was his PJs in Hindi and the naughty conversations he engages everyone with! Hey dude, be cheerful and keep spreading smiles around. You have got a rare gift from God!

 

Manager alias PraveenPraveen Sammetla

Ever busy guy who remains engrossed in work was called as ‘manager’ to me. Truly appreciate the commitment he showed in every task and the manner in which he took ownership of situation. I would call him as a silent bomber, who would make a silent but high impact comment during our breaks. The soon to-be bridegroom is all excited these days either shopping or booking accommodation for his honeymoon. Hey dude, you have been a superb colleague to work with and I definitely look forward to work with you  again in future. Wish you a splendid married life :)

 

Mote alias NakulNakul Khanna

We shared the same alma-mater, i.e. MDI, Gurgaon however hardly interacted with each other about the institute! Isn’t it strange? All I have seen this guy doing is either gulping down some favourite food from the snack boxes his mom prepared or attending phone calls to convince / thrash a publisher about the campaign. Though he is a gem of a person by heart, I always wondered why his hands were ever ready to break a pen, tear a sheet of paper or stamp the desk with a rubber stamp around! The one irritating thing about him was his loud ringtone, irrespective of what it was, it sucked specially because of the frequency at which it used to ring. But, that should tell you how busy and responsibly this guy worked. Would definitely miss the ‘logical PJs’ he threw at us.

 

Preggy alias SaurabhSaurabh Srivastava

He earned this nickname thanks to the bulging tummy he owns! A die-hard  fan of atta maggi, chicken and ‘neat whiskey’. We got closer towards the end, but his daily tantrums of checking my lunch box would be missed. Hey champ, I understand ‘neat’ has a connotation of cleanliness, but dude, many a times, a ‘mixed’ one is less harmful. Do care of your health, it’s the precious property you own!

 

Guru Sir alias GurpreetGurpreet Singh

The loud greeting Sardar when walks on the floor would sound to be a rigid and tough nut to crack but when starts to speak, turns out to be an equally soft from heart. A true taskmaster who knows his business in and out, impressed me a lot right from the first day. His kiddish facial expressions, mischief of snatching money (but returning it later) from anyone’s hand and immaculate sense of humor are tough to forget. Sir, somehow we both share the same style of managing the team, which I have rarely encountered. Definitely have learnt few soft skills from you and would implement in future.

Sanky alias Sankalp

Wohoo! Meet the most eligible Sankalp Kaushik bachelor on the floor and the topic of fun for us for almost every other day. He was the first person whom I met and interacted after joining ZO and was flattered by his skills. He is a damn good ‘convincer’ with good sense of business and not to ignore his impeccable Hindi poetry skills. Every moment spent with him in office, at his home or on cricket ground will be ever cherished for all the fun we had. We have had many beautiful and nasty moments, but in short I would say, I have found another better human being in my life, whom I can talk to in any time of need. The one thing I learnt from him was the extent of patience one could develop in oneself, inspite of being crucified daily (almost every hour) by any and everyone on the floor!

I couldn’t share much time with the newbies of the gang – Ashish Singh, Taranjeet, Arpana & Disha. I am sure you guys would have best memories being part of this b*****d team ;)

Here’s the roadies salute to each and everyone of you. Every moment with you would be cherished forever!

You all have asked innumerable times whether I would miss you all or not. I suppose this blogpost answers it and loud enough!

10 mistakes of Rajnikanth’s Twitter launch for the movie Kochadaiiyaan

There would be hardly anyone on this Earth, or may be in this universe who hasn’t heard about the superstar Rajnikanth. He has been amongst us with this exemplary movies, email / facebook / Twitter / whatsapp jokes. He once again made it to the news though for negative reasons, thanks to the digital / social media agency that launched him on Twitter for his upcoming movie Kochaidaiyan. No wonder, the news spread like wildfire and caught attention of not only Twitter users but also mainstream media. However, the agency mis-handled this campaign, sadly Twitter India also joined the spoilsport and more importantly Rajnikanth made a huge mistake. Here, are the ten mistakes of this campaign that became famous for all wrong reasons:

1. Using the same account that was created an year ago

The account @superstarrajini was created a year ago and the agency conveniently thought to reuse the same account. Little did they think about the history of the handle.

 Rajnikanth Twitter handle2. Non-personalized first tweet

If you are a true Rajnikanth fan, you would know the manner in which he addresses the audience from his heart. The first tweet looks so crafted and has no personal touch, that Rajnikanth offers to his fans in real world.

Rajnikanth on Twitter

 3. Automated replies

There couldn’t have been a bigger crime than this. Agency simply started automated replies. This completely defeated the underlying principle of social media. How could the agency afford to even think of automating replies from a celebrity’s Twitter handle specially of the stature Rajnikanth! Have you ever seen Amitabh Bachchan’s Twitter handle doing that?

 4. No personal interaction by the superstar

The replies were standard and with no personal involvement and clearly looked to be automated. It would have helped if the superstar was asked to be personally involved at least for few initial tweets.

 5. Deletion of tweets

By the time the negative force gained strength on Twitter, the agency seems to have realized its mistake and instead of learning from the mistake, they made another unpardonable blunder of signing up with @Tweet_Delete and started deleting the tweets. Little did they knew that all numbers were already captured by tools and deleting tweets was only going to further damage them. As of this morning all the tweets have been deleted and now it shows just the one introductory tweet from Rajnikanth. Truly, this would have been the last blunder I would have committed had I been at their position.

 6. No personalized movie poster

The objective in the replies was to share the poster of the upcoming movie. If at least the poster was customized with the receiver’s name or Twitter handle, it would have more sense, than just tweeting the same poster to everyone. A classic example of personalization was BCCI’s campaign on Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement.

7. No daily / hourly limit ?

Twitter didn’t remain silent but played an equal role in the spoilsport. To the best of my knowledge there is an hourly limit of 200 tweets and a daily limit of 2,000 tweets for an individual on Twitter. How was Rajnikanth’s Twitter handle allowed to exceed this number and yet not blocked?

 Rajnikanth on Twitter

8. How could verified sign be given so early?

The account that was inactive until hours ago, immediately received a verified sign to assure that new people who became aware of the handle, definitely followed the account. Wonder how did Twitter allow that? Was Twitter all excited about Rajnikanth and least bothered about the malpratices the agency was doing?

9. How can Twitter India promote it?

I just couldn’t digest the fact that Twitter India ran a Promoted Tweet campaign to amplify the reach of the tweet from Rajnikanth’s account, inspite of all the bot type of activities were done from that account. I would like to question Twitter, how was this campaign approved?

 Twitter promotion for Rajnikanth

Not only that, the more irritating part was Twitter’s India lead retweeting the above tweet on his personal account. Guys, you definitely lost the respect of millions of social media users in this country.

Rishi Jaitly on Twitter

10. Rajnikanth blindly trusted the agency

This I think was the biggest mistake of the campaign that the beneficiary (Rajnikanth in this case) blindly trusted the agency. This clearly shows that in a country like India not only an agency but a platform of the repute Twitter can be manipulated for personal benefit, as long as the other party is paid.

This instance should be a strong learning for all clients (be it individual celebrities or organizations) that its high time you all educate yourself before landing at the doorstep of an agency. At least have some basic knowledge of the media channel you think to leverage.

This campaign is an exemplar of how an agency can s***w your brand to the core.

7 Interesting Earth Day Facebook content

As catches win matches in cricket, images win hearts and drive engagement on social media platforms. Especially these days when all social platforms have increased their focus on mobile and other hand-held devices, the brands have no way but to strengthen their content in terms of eye-grabbing images. The task becomes an uphill during special days when brands want to capture mind space and drive engagement by relating one’s product / service with the occasion. One such day was World Earth Day on 22nd April. Here are few images that some brands created for this day.

National Geographic Channel

National Geographic

PlanetRadioCity.com

PlanetRadioCity

The G Talks

The G Talks

Yahoo India

Yahoo India

NDTV GoodTimes

NDTV GoodTimes

Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand

HCL Technologies

HCL Technologies

Did you come across any other interesting creative? Share the same in the comment box below and I will update the blogpost with them.

Why winning HCL Technologies’ #CoolestInterviewEver was a Successful Moment for Me?

Now, it’s the third consecutive post on my blog about and around #CoolestInterviewEver, the social recruitment campaign by HCL Technologies that I aced this month. In my previous post, I had set the stage for this blogpost by questioning what success means to each one of us. Here I claim that winning this campaign was the most successful moment of my life and here are few reasons why I believe so:

1) The sheer scale of the event

When the campaign was launched by HCL on its Twitter handle it had around 1.75 lakhs followers and by the time the campaign ended, the figures touched 2.05 lakhs. It simply speaks about the scale of the campaign and; according to this article over 88,000 candidates participated in this process.

2)  Innovative method of interview where openness ruled!

Unlike other job interviews that are held with closed doors, this interview was in open. Anyone could read your answers and yet you had to better them. This challenge of performing better in the open environment was truly satisfactory.

3)  Consistency that was required across one month

If you thought this interview was held/conducted  for/over just one or two days, hold your breath! This entire campaign lasted for over one month on Twitter and concluded with a day long exhaustive interaction with top leaders at three different campuses of HCL in Noida.

#CoolestInterviewEver

4)  Evaluation  by top most leaders of HCL

It’s always a pleasure to be evaluated by the top honchos of the industry. The interaction with top leaders of HCL was very encouraging and it gave me a hint of where they are headed towards.

5)  Kick of winning the first ever edition of the innovative campaign

Of course, it’s always a different feeling to win the very first edition of an innovative campaign.

6)  Win was a perfect reply to some industry pros who have so far failed to appreciate my skills

Last but not the least, it indeed was a perfect reply to some industry pros who have always doubted me, considered me as someone with insufficient understanding of the digital media field. No, I am not showing my attitude here. But yes, it  was indeed a satisfactory moment for me!

This blogpost wasn’t about bragging about myself. Here is the critic angle to it. I am sure many of the industry pros would argue that the population of candidates who participated in the campaign might not have been an  exhaustive one. Many of them weren’t aware of this campaign or many aren’t active on Twitter and the rest  are yet to create their Twitter account! Now, it’s not an organization’s problem that you aren’t aware, active or present on a prominent channel. Besides, if the hunt is for a digital media person, they would probably not want someone who is not on twitter! Being a digital industry pro, when a campaign of this scale was organized for over a month, my only question to these critics is ‘How did you miss that man?’.

What Does Success Mean To You And Me?

We all are aware of the word ‘Success’. Yet each one of us derives a unique meaning from it.

Image Courtesy: DigitalBloggers

Image Courtesy: DigitalBloggers

I have two questions for you:

1) What does success mean to you?

2) How many success instances would you wish to have in your life?

Let me start discussing about the first question: Have you ever asked your family members or colleagues what does success mean to them? Oh wait! have you asked yourself what does that word mean to you? You will get endless answers from each of them which may include – wealth, happiness, societal status, owning a property, entrepreneurship, societal service etc.

The second question which we all need to ponder upon is – how many success instances do we wish to achieve in our life? I am sure many of you feel that being alive at the end of every day is a success. Alternatively, for some, success could be achieving certain milestones of life, for e.g. graduation, post-graduation, marriage, job, buying a house etc.

At the age of 32, I too have gone through some  major stages of life, be it acquiring education, finding a job, venturing into entrepreneurship etc.. However, I never felt that I have achieved something. I completed my graduation in engineering and post-graduation in business administration (most common educational degree combo you would find in post-liberalized India). Then I went on to seek admission in a full time doctoral degree. Were these milestones a success? I had a memorable tenure with IIM-A, had good learning experience when I tested entrepreneurship waters and then went on to become a Social Media Strategist in  a leading agency. If educational degrees weren’t success, were these professional pit-stops a success?

Many of my friends have tried to convince me in the past that each of these above instances could be considered as successful. However, for some reason I never felt a sense of achievement when any of these happened. If everyone is traveling comfortably on a four lane highway and reaching destination, how am I different from others? By mid-30s, I feel it isn’t really an outstanding achievement to boast about if you end up having a seven digit salary (don’t ask me on which extreme I am – at lower end or high end of seven digit!!!), a car, a house (ofcourse on EMI, unless your father-in-law gifted it) etc. Turn around and almost every 2nd person would have all these. In that case, how can you claim yourself to be successful?

So, can we say that materialistic things fail to sensitize or instigate us with the feeling of success? I have been fortunate to come across some good souls, who even in this highly competitive materialistic world have opted to consider what their heart says.

I would not praise myself but yes I would say with pride that winning the HCL’s #CoolestInterviewEver was the most cherished successful moment of my life. I really felt  like I have achieved something on cracking it. Want to know why I felt so? A follow-up blogpost coming soon!

Till then do ask yourself what success means to you!

A memorable interaction with leaders and digital team of HCL Technologies: #CoolestInterviewEver

It has been a month since I last blogged. Quite a long break!  My last blogpost was on a unique campaign, #CoolestInterviewEver by HCL Technologies which ran for almost a month on Twitter with the objective of social recruitment. After the two highly competitive & interactive rounds, top 5 candidates were announced and no wonder, I experienced goosebumps to see my name in that list.

HCL #CoolestInterviewEver

Then came the most exciting round of the campaign where all top 5 candidates were supposed to meet and interact with the top leaders of HCL Technologies. The three candidates from India had this golden opportunity on 12th March. In this social media era, we all interact with one or another brand on the social platforms. Sometimes, we receive a very empathetic response from the other end, while sometimes we receive rude responses. Who replies to us? It’s not the brand, right? There are people behind the brand who are working day in and day out giving their best to build ‘The Brand’. Haven’t we often felt that if there were an opportunity to meet these people, we would give a hug and thank them for the help they provided during our need or even thrash them for the misbehaviour they did with us? We do! We human beings prefer to interact with a person whom we can see and understand.

This blogpost is all about the Round 3 of #CoolestInterviewEver which gave us an opportunity to meet the energetic team and the top HCL leaders who put their heart & soul for this campaign to become so successful. After a month long interaction with the team on Twitter, we had an opportunity to meet them in real life. The format of interaction was interesting, though slightly tiring. The day started with all three of us (the other two candidates are based out of US and will be interviewed on 14th March by the local HCL office) assembling at Sector 125 office. We were quickly rushed for our first interaction with one of the leaders. We all then moved on to the sprawling SEZ campus of HCL at Sector 126 where we met the second leader and finally the day ended at HCL’s global HQ at Sector 3 with the third interaction.

The interaction with me revolved around questions like -

1) My motivation to choose social media as a career

2) How #CoolestInterviewEver campaign could have been made better?

3) Digital Divide in the country

4) Future of digital, social & mobile

5) Convergence/divergence of traditional and online media

6) Team management skills etc.

So, in short they re-confirmed on our domain knowledge (though we were tested on this in Round  2 of the campaign) and assessed our behavioral skills that would match the HCL culture.

What was the best part of this interaction? How did it benefit the candidates and the top leaders who were on the judging panel? Here it is:

1) The format of exposing candidates to three different campuses gave us an opportunity to get a glimpse of the infrastructure where we would be working (ofcourse, the lucky one who gets selected!).

2) The interaction also helped us have an understanding about the leaders with whom we might be working ahead. It was equally beneficial for leaders as they could interact with us, know us better and enrich their understanding about us, over and above what their perception about us from the previous Twitter oriented rounds.

3) The interaction with the various volunteers throughout the day helped us understand the work culture about HCL.

4) Last but not the least, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and interact with the brightest leaders of HCL. These experiences will be cherished in our memories for a very long time.

After all interactions were over with the leaders, a surprise was awaiting for us, wherein a video was to be shot on each of us. We expressed our views about the campaign, the most exciting phase of the campaign and so on. I look forward to the video :)

I am sure along with me the other two candidates – Prashant Singh & Sweta Bhatt would be thankful to the entire #CoolestInterviewEver team for this amazing experience.

PS: Adhering to the security norms of the HCL campus, we couldn’t click images of the campus :(

 

Participate in #CoolestInterviewEver contest by HCL Technologies & Win a Dream Role Worth $75,000

We have heard a lot about social recruiting, a recruitment process driven through social platforms. HCL Technologies has come up with an interesting social recruitment process where they plan to organize a Twitter contest to identify their Ideapreneurship Evangelist, Big Data Guru, Hacker-in-Chief, Digital Trotter and Womenspiration. 

The campaign is well executed with a dedicate microsite. The contest is promoted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in a very well planned manner to attract registrations and spread word of mouth about the social recruitment campaign.

Microsite: The colour schema of microsite matches that of Twitter, as the primary focus of the campaign is on Twitter. Attractive set of copy is used to build interest in the visitor and to encourage them to register for the contest.

Coolest Interview Ever

Coolest Interview Ever

Coolest Interview Ever

Contest Process: The campaign is divided into two phases – First phase, involves short listing process where a marathon of questions will be posed to the registrants. Second phase, will involve interaction with their vertical heads.

Coolest Interview Ever

Promotion on Social Media Platforms: The campaign is very well promoted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The first campaign video was uploaded on January 10, 2014, followed by couple of other videos.

Gratification: Apart from an opportunity to work with one of the leading technology companies in the country the candidates earns a 12 month assignment worth $75,000.

The campaign is an innovative way usage of social media for an exercise that involves tremendous amount of effort and time.

What are you waiting for? Register now here, #CoolestInterviewEver