Last month, I had written about Aricent attempting some social’ness in their recruitment advertising in Times of India’s Ascent.

Yesterday, IBM went a step forward.

The IBM Daksh recruitment ad yesterday had a separate segment for IBM Alumni, complete with a LinkedIn and Facebook Group. Alumni communication is not entirely new – Indian IT biggies like Wipro and Infosys have established practices for alumni engagement. But IBM Daksh went ahead by publicizing its online alumni groups, along with contact details of a ‘homecomings’ team…excellent thought!

The LinkedIn Group has about 250+ members while the Facebook page has 900+ fans. Unfortunately, the Facebook Group seems like a silly after-thought – the last update is from June 2010 and worse, there are just 4 entries. It looks like the group was started when the ‘homecomings’ idea was first launched and someone thought it was imperative to have a Facebook Group, for the heck of it. Sad.

I couldn’t see the activity in the LinkedIn Group, however – it’s a closed user Group. Beyond merely saying that the group exists for ‘homecomings’, they sure need a content plan to engage its audiences. A content plan does not imply a post a day/week – it simply means the owners of the group have an idea for the next 12-18 months on what kind of updates they’d post and how they’d seek ex-IBMers who may want to join the group. It’s a cycle – if you need more alumni to join the group, you need to keep your content fresh. The more fresh content there is, the more the chances of existing group members referring it to newer members and they join.

In a way, it almost seems like IBM Daksh is treating these groups as an email list. When you sign up for a list, you do not know what you may be getting into – in these groups too, beyond a few archived posts, you have no idea what you may be getting from them. Is it so very difficult to add a new update in Facebook in the wake of this print ad yesterday…so, when people do land up, from the ad., they see something fresh and not a pointless post from June 2010?

But…the fact that they have added the URLs of these groups in a very-visible recruitment ad. and not just an email ID…says a lot about the IBM Daksh brand.

A small suggestion, however, besides the need for a content plan.

It is a print ad and people cannot click on that ad to go to the groups.

The LinkedIn Group URL mentioned is ‘’.

The Facebook page URL is ‘’.

I can think of a LOT of people lacking both the intent and patience to type those URLs manually to visit these groups. Plus, it looks completely bizarre in an otherwise neat ad.

Instead, why couldn’t they have simply used URLs for both? It could have been customized to something specific too, like The best part, of course, is that IBM Daksh could have tracked the number of hits to the URL – that would tell them how many people took the effort to move from print to online!

But overall, good thought. The conversations in these groups (at least on LinkedIn, which I cannot see) say a lot more than what the print ad could even dream of conveying. Think of the print ad as just a formal intro on the kind of openings available…and the visit to the groups as almost like a visit to the organization!