How a promoted tweet landed me on Finnish national news
This isn't something I'd usually write about as I like to reserve my career updates and whatnot for friends, family and occasionally LinkedIn. Then again, it's not every day I end up featured in the news of a foreign country through my use of social media!
After hearing I was being made redundant at the end of last week, I needed to fathom a way of simply and quickly putting myself in front of as many potential employers as I could with the least amount of hassle.
Writing a CV and keeping profile information up to date on job sites is probably one of the most time consuming and mundane tasks of finding a new job. Naturally the more sites you keep updated, the more chance you have of being found by the right recruiter or hiring manager and so it's a pretty tedious task to stay on top of.
Yet staying on top of it is even more important when considering recruiters may be active on some sites but not others; even if they are active, they're likely only looking for particular keywords when searching for candidates and the chances of being found aren't always favourable.
Logging on to the tens and tens of job sites (once I'd reset forgotten passwords to many of them, no doubt) and painstakingly updating my profile on each one to indicate I was looking for work, followed by spending hours searching high and low for suitable positions to apply for and.. waiting.. is not something I really wanted to do on a Friday evening.
As I perused my Twitter feed, scrolling past promoted tweet after promoted tweet, it hit me - Twitter is the perfect platform to promote myself; millions of people use it from all walks of life and although many would be in normal, non-managerial roles like mine, plenty of people are higher up and have the power to make hiring decisions. Even those in non-managerial positions can bring it to the attention of management, as was the case in one instance this week.
Combined with the fact I've spent hours upon hours working on my LinkedIn profile, it seemed the perfect fit in combination with a Twitter ad and is much more versatile than a job site profile. With more time I could have created a purpose-built mini-site but for this exercise I didn't feel that was a necessary or efficient use of time.
With that, I got to work on two ad campaigns, one for Finland and one for the UK.
I like the country and have family there. It would be just a lucrative for me to find employment in Finland as it would here in the UK and I'd never turn down the opportunity to live in abroad again. Additionally, two separate countries with differing economies and skill requirements can only increase my chances of landing a role.
The ads were relatively simple, they were set up to:
- Run continuously from the point of creation
- Spend no more than £5 per day, with a maximum budget of £30
- Display on both Twitter and Twitter's Audience Platform (the latter under a Job search category)
- Target all ages and genders
- Target users interested in the entire technology category
- Target users in the whole of Finland/UK
- Target all devices, carriers and so on
- Show up on both users’ timelines and profiles & tweet detail pages
What I ended up with however were two completely different audience sizes:
[gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="3315,3314"]
That's a dramatic difference at first glance, but when considering the population of each country, and then acknowledging only roughly 5% of the Finnish population use Twitter vs closer to 35% for Brits (stats based on figures for 2015, estimated), it makes more sense.
Here's where things get interesting however. Having let both campaigns run for 6 days, the results are as follows.
As it happens, the UK campaign included three different promoted tweets vs. Finland's one. I did this in order to test different wording and #hashtags, though the tweet shown above was by far the most popular, with the other two combined contributing ~2,000 more impressions and about 40 additional link clicks. One of those poor-performers used almost identical wording to the Finnish tweet.
In all, the promoted-only actions for the British campaign beat out the Finnish campaign - as you might expect given the vast difference in audience size (though not by much, really) - as seen here:
Something amazing happened with the Finnish campaign however, people took notice of it, liked what they saw and retweeted it to their followers. Some of them happened to be influential, such as the co-founder of Jolla:
Stefano's (amazing!) comments went out to his 8,000 followers, and he wasn't alone:
At one point I got an invitation to provide more information:
Ultimately that didn't work out as I'd just missed a recruitment drive, but we had a good conversation either way and I'm truly grateful for the time he devoted to looking into it for me.
That's just the tip of the iceberg, from these likes and retweets the organic interactions - those being of much higher quality - continued to climb until it drastically overshadowed the British campaign as can be seen in the screenshot of the tweet activity for Finland above.
Finally, as the campaigns drew to a close I received an email:
More than happy to oblige, I answered a few questions and later found an article on the front page of YLE - Finland's equivalent to the BBC in the UK:
That in itself drove even more traffic my way with new discussions spawning on Facebook as well as Twitter.
Throughout all of this my LinkedIn profile was constantly littered with views and connection requests ranging from managers to CIOs, CTOs and CEOs from all over. It's still happening as of publishing this post, though has dropped off significantly now the ad campaigns are over. I've gained a small addition to my following on Twitter too which is nice.
Did any of this lead to employment, or at the very least, interview offers? No. It's too bad as that would have made for a fantastic end to this post, but I suspect I'd have had to run the campaigns a bit longer and potentially across Facebook or Adwords to make a huge impact.
As it happens I interviewed for another role internally earlier this week, before payroll cut me from the company entirely, and was able to get transferred over to a new team where I'll be starting next week. Due to that I won't be reactivating the campaigns.
This was probably one of the more exciting social experiments I've ever performed, even if it did cost me hefty £60 for the experience.