In early January as I ramped up my first real job search in 15+ years, I tried to think of ways to stand out in what was a very noisy, competitive space – job seekers. I had landed my previous job a little bit unconventionally, so I tried to think unconventionally again. Back then there was no social media except for MySpace. Now we have a lot of options. Would Social Media land me a gig somewhere? Did Facebook land me a job? Read on.
Certainly this blog has taken on a slightly different tone since I’ve been in the job market. I switched the home page to be more a personal profile which linked to my portfolio and I set the actual blog posts to be a mere left side navigation choice on desktops and a menu choice in mobile. And I blogged again. It felt good, man. I will keep trying.
A lot of job seekers use their blog as their portfolio and write about their experience, though. That’s almost the norm now. So I needed to do more – and I took to Facebook.
I wondered what would happen if I created a Facebook Business page dedicated to me – my personal brand! So I did it. I put up a profile pic of me looking all business-like and posted a couple of items about some of my experience and set off on my adventure – with all links pointing to my website.
You can’t just do that, though, you also have to get traffic there. Not wanting to promote it on my personal Facebook page (I mean, that would be almost embarrassing), I decided to buy some Facebook ads and target them specifically to companies who I’d been interviewing with or companies that I thought would be cool to work for. I also set an age target at people over 30, since it seemed most HR people I talked to were over 30 years old. Geographically, I focused on Massachusetts only.
I set my targets, set my budget, generated a few images in Photoshop, wrote a few different pieces of ad copy and BAM. Turned it on.
By the way, if you’re NOT testing different ad copy or images in your Facebook ads, shame on you. Booooo.
Immediately my ads were not delivering, so clearly I wasn’t aggressive enough with budget. I bumped it up a little and started to see some action in the form of clicks. Okay, good.
Now, I bought Facebook ads six ways to Sunday for my former employee. Did a ton of them. But I’d never done one for just myself, so I didn’t really know what to consider “success” here. And I still don’t, really.
As I watched over the first few days, one image and one set of ad copy stood out over the rest. Of course, the image I liked the least was generating the most clicks. Wouldn’t you know it?
And even though the ad COPY itself was text about my overall Digital Marketing experience, it was a rip-off of an annoying and very recognizable social meme that generated the interest from the audience.
This is another sign that personal opinions mean very little when putting together ads. Testing different creative is crucial. Data rules. I felt like I had much better ads creatively that I preferred to use, but this one won out and eventually I moved it exclusively to this image.
So what happened? Did it work? Did I get hired from a Facebook ad? Well, no I didn’t. I’m slightly bummed that I don’t have an awesome story to tell about how I got my latest gig. It was slightly unconventional how it happened, but that’s a story for another time.
I did get an unsolicited email from a large digital agency in Boston wanting me to interview with them. They were on my target list for those ads, too. I never got to ask them if they found me via the ad, because I got hired as I was trying to set this up. I may never know.
While I was pleased that I was able to generate 21 clicks to my website from companies I had actually targeted over a 3-or-so week period, I pretty much got my current gig in the way I never really thought happened anymore – I applied cold with a resume into their online employment system. The slightly unconventional part came later.
All that said, it was a very interesting experience, which in the end only cost me about $70 bucks. Not a bad experiment.