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How Siemens uses Tumblr for branding, recruitment

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When engineering and electronics conglomerate Siemens wanted to spread the word about its Siemens Graduate Program—a two-year training and development program for tomorrow's top engineers and tech managers—the company launched a social media campaign to engage potential recruits in an online debate about a number of global issues. Dubbed The Managers Call, the program uses social blogging site Tumblr as well as other channels to spark a conversation about issues that impact Siemens markets and clients. It's a subtle way to engage recruits while positioning Siemens as a positive place to work, said Julia Jank, head-global Siemens Graduate Program. “The Siemens Graduate Program is a strategic instrument for our talent pipeline,” Jank said. “We want to improve Siemens' attractiveness for high-potential employees, winning diverse, intercultural, sensitive and mobile management talent,” she said. The program also complements Siemens branding and loyalty objectives, Jank said. The campaign, running through September, uses Tumblr to create global debates on topics such as the future of work, the workforce, business and career insights. Participants from around the world upload blog posts and discuss topics. The campaign includes a gamification element, with participants accumulating points for commenting and the number of “likes” received on its Facebook page. In addition to the Tumblr element and Facebook page, the campaign includes display ads and a direct outreach to universities. The budget is small, running just into four figures, said Thomas Hirschmann, account director at We Are Social Deutschland, Munich, which developed and manages the program. “We already had a kind of community built up on Facebook, and thought about what the next logical thing would be,” Hirschmann said. “We analysed social Web behavior of our target groups and found that the younger target group is moving away from Facebook. If you look at Tumblr, the numbers are interesting, growing over the past year. And that's especially true for the younger generation.” “Our logical link was to create a challenge around discussing Siemens subjects and stream the Tumblr-based discussions into Facebook,” he said. “Once you log into Facebook, you can participate in the challenge by discussing the topics raised on Tumblr.” Participants' Tumblr posts so far have included such topics as New Values in Arab Culture, Collaboration of Generations in Europe and Work/Life Balance in the Americas. Medals are awarded each Sunday to the previous week's top participants. At the end of the campaign, those with the most points and medals will have a chance to win a place at an exclusive Q&A session with a Siemens manager and a personal career-coaching session. “There is a strong recruiting aspect of the program, but it's done in a unique say,” Hirschmann said. “It doesn't say, "Look at us. we're the best; work for us.' It's a more subtle way of presenting elements you'd be working in if you're interested in Siemens.” Although the program has two months remaining, it has achieved significant awareness with a total of 200 participants, prompting its rollout to 12 countries, the company said. Jank said the program has more than 9,000 Facebook fans, and is helping potential candidates as well as Siemens employees relate better to the company.
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