When it comes to promoting your employer brand, if you’re not already in the social media game, you’re falling behind. Social media not only will bolster your brand, it also attracts talent and enhances the candidate experience – but only if it’s used the right way. A faulty social media brand strategy will be at best ineffective and could even hurt your brand.
Here are some tips and possible pitfalls to keep in mind when creating content for your social media channels.
Don’t: Use social media like a job board
It’s hard out there for Facebook business profiles these days. Not only has organic reach gone down, so has paid reach. Even your huge budget can’t save you. Facebook is running out of places to put ads, so they are becoming more expensive. On top of that, consider the life of an average post: Facebook posts will be visible for a couple of hours and tweets for just a few minutes.
The odds that your ideal candidate happens to catch the post describing the perfect position for them is slim, unless they are actively following you. But, that means you’re not reaching passive candidates. The takeaway is that you have to be giving your audience some sort of value at all times or they won’t pay attention.
Do: Tell your story
Rather than just a selling tool, think of social media as a reputation management tool and a way to engage with a community. It presents an opportunity to celebrate your employees, showcase the amazing things your brand is doing, discuss industry trends, and, yes, occasionally slide a job in there.
This short quote (below) from Keysight Technologies reflects their concern for diversity in the workplace while showcasing an employee perspective. Simple graphics are eye-catching and easier to digest.
A short and sweet story, like the one below, highlights the outstanding work of nursing leadership at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.
Don’t: Try to fool your audience
Facebook issued a report that sought to determine if television ads still had any effect on us. What it revealed was that while watching a television show, a person’s Facebook activity increases significantly during the commercials. Who cares, right? Well, Facebook claims that this says something about our consummation of advertisements – which is that we avoid them at all costs by switching from one platform to the next. This means brands must work harder than ever to persuade people to view their content regardless of the medium.
Facebook even changed its algorithm to present promotional content less often because it interfered with the user experience. To maneuver around this, more and more brands are investing in influencers and employee advocacy programs. Participants are prompted but ultimately have control over how they promote the brand. These representations are often perceived as more authentic than traditional advertisements and in turn gain significant attention. In the case of employee advocacy, potential candidates are able to see what real employees think about their company and how the culture merges with their daily lives, rather than a brand’s carefully crafted pitch or a vague job description.
Do: Be authentic
Most people know how to use Google, so it doesn’t benefit to regurgitate sentences from the careers site when potential candidates are using social media to interact with your brand. Dismissing social media-generated inquiries means losing a chance to help candidates feel heard, valued and appreciated. Always remember to speak like a real person, not a well-scripted robot. The more personalized the response, the better.
When it comes to content, the more sales-y, polished posts are out and candid, real content is in. There’s no time to be afraid of a cellphone photo or impromptu live video. We see heavy competition in the social world to gain likes and engagement, and while there are plenty of brands that resort to shocking or over-the-top photos, relatable content also goes a long way.
Don’t: Wait until something exciting happens to post
You can’t copy and paste job descriptions and expect to receive engagement. But you can give the candidate some inside scoop on your company culture by just sharing what you know. Maybe this means resume, interview or apparel tips straight from your recruiters. Insider information about the job that you wouldn’t find from just looking at the job description is also helpful.
Even the smallest details can make the candidate feel more connected to your brand. Is the office decorated for Pride month? Is the on-site café the coolest thing about the building? Does someone have a great view from their remote work desk? If you are interested in something, chances are others will be, too.
Sometimes it can be as simple as asking the question, "What do you like most about working here?"
Do: Jump on trends and experiment
This is the best way to show you are a fun and forward-thinking company. Host a live Q&A session, use popular new hashtags, let employees take over your Instagram stories for the day or reference a trending meme. Join the conversation! Social media is always changing, and we must embrace it to keep up.
A good example of this was when T-Mobile recently hosted a three-part Facebook Live takeover with MetroPCS with the hashtag #WorkForUsWednesday. It featured a panel of employees described their positions, experiences at the company and general career advice.
Don’t: Forget about free tools
Got a problem? There’s probably a free tool out there to solve it. I love using Tweet Reach to find the most popular hashtags for my posts. Tools like Moz help generate keywords for targeting advertisements. They make writing job descriptions easier, too.
Free social media management dashboards like Hootsuite are perfect for recruiters with personal profiles. We all know recruiters are short on time, and these tools make it easy for them to sit down for an hour or two a week and craft a few posts.
In closing, using social media effectively doesn’t mean being on every single platform that’s out there. Some brands might be better suited for LinkedIn than, say, Instagram. Perhaps the brevity of Twitter works best for you. Whatever platforms allow you to consistently push out quality content are the ones where you will see the best results.