As marketing publications everywhere share their predictions about the future of digital and social media, we have recommendations on how to incorporate some of what they are saying into the recruiting and employer branding space.

Here are six popular social media trends for 2018, along with suggestions on how to best apply them to our industry:

1) Think video.

As social algorithms continue to change and grow, video will become increasingly valuable for generating engagement and adding followers. Videos have been shown to elicit higher engagement, including more likes, retweets and shares – especially on Facebook. The ability to regularly create video content – and then integrate it with other content – will be critical in 2018 and the years ahead.

OK, but how? Have recruiters record themselves talking about a job opportunity and then share the video on social media – or better yet, Facebook Live. Seeing a person discuss a position is much more engaging than reading a bulleted list of details and requirements – and the recordings can then be incorporated into other content like blog posts, emails, etc.

2) Leverage user-generated content.

According to Nielsen, 8 in 10 consumers (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family, and two-thirds (66%) trust other consumer opinions posted online. It is no longer enough for brands to simply re-share someone else’s Instagram photo – this type of user-generated content should be integrated into campaigns in a way that is natural, but still professional.

OK, but how? For employer branding purposes, we are less concerned with user-generated content and more focused on employee-generated content. By following hashtags that employees use to share their experiences on the job (or by developing and deploying your own), you can find great content that aligns with the messages you are trying to communicate – and re-share those posts with your audiences.

3) Use analytics to create more personalization.

Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated when content (e.g., offers, ads, promotions) has nothing to do with their interests. As social platforms continue to evolve, so do their analytics. By providing more details and value, marketers will have additional insights to craft better, more personalized content for their audiences.

OK, but how? Developing user personas based on the most common people you need to reach will help you create content that engages on a more personal level. Keep these personas in mind, along with location, department, etc., as you craft posts and ask yourself if they will find value in what you’re sharing.

4) Tap into influencer marketing.

Influencers are set to take over social media in 2018. Companies are realizing the importance of this strategy of marketing to influential people, who then in turn market to a wider audience, as a less invasive form of promotion. And when 71% of consumers say they’re more likely to make a purchase based on a reference from social media, it’s clear that influencer marketing should be a priority!

OK, but how? In our work, influencers aren’t Instagram stars or YouTube celebrities, but rather current employees who have a compelling story to tell. By highlighting people who love working for the organization, they can do the “selling” for you.

5) Test out short-lived content.

Updates that disappear immediately or within 24 hours are popular – especially with Millennials and Generation Z. Short-lived content is considered to be more authentic, compared to sponsored ads or brand-focused posts that last longer. Additionally, since this type of content disappears within hours, it increases FOMO (fear of missing out). As a result, faster action is taken.

OK, but how? Have a hiring event coming up? Why not feature real-time highlights of the action? Another option to consider is hosting a “takeover” in which employees are given access to Instagram/Snapchat accounts to show a “day in the life.” Of course if you go this route, it’s important to have someone from marketing/HR keeping tabs on what is shared, but as long as there’s some governance it can be a fun and more “human” way to provide an inside view into the company.

6) Let chatbots assist with candidate experience.

Using chatbots to provide customer service and special offers took off in 2017 and will only become more important in 2018. Chatbots help create one-to-one interactions with each follower and respond immediately to the common questions. There are already at least 100,000 monthly active bots on Facebook Messenger, and more than 2 billion messages are exchanged between brands and their audiences each month.

OK, but how? “What is the status of my application?” “Where can I view all of your current openings?” These and other frequently asked questions can easily be answered by setting up a chatbot. If an answer isn’t available through automation, be sure to provide contact information like an email address or phone number where people can go to get more information.

The social media world is always changing, with new platforms and technologies to take advantage of. It’s important to say updated on the latest happenings and consider how they might be able to help you to achieve your business goals.

What’s something you’re looking forward to seeing in 2018? Leave a comment below!


Post contributed by Chelsey Orlikowski, Manager, Social Media Strategy. Connect with her on LinkedIn or find her on Twitter.