How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Employer Brand’s Social Campaigns

By Richard Mosley

The objective of social content marketing tends to be employer brand engagement and relationship building instead of drawing attention to immediate job opportunities. Some companies post a lot of job adverts or alerts on social channels, but people in these communities often regard such postings as feed clutter, and these adverts are more likely to damage your employer brand than enhance it. For this reason the measures used to evaluate social campaigns and individual posts tend to be different from those generally used to evaluate recruitment advertising.

Social media costs for your employer branding strategy

The costs of conducting a social media campaign are similar to those for a recruitment marketing campaign. They both cover the cost of creating the content and getting that content in front of prospects:

  • Content development cost: These costs cover sourcing, copywriting, photography, and time spent by employees generating and posting content and engaging with prospects who post comments. Content development also includes the time spent developing an editorial calendar to ensure that your company is posting relevant content regularly.

Although social media content development may be outsourced, it’s generally more effective when it’s produced internally and with the participation of current employees.

  • Media cost: Placement of content on social media channels can be free (organic), but companies are increasingly paying for sponsored posts to reach target audiences.

Audience exposure to your employer brand

On social channels, audience exposure is measured in terms of reach — the number of people who’ve had the opportunity to view a post or the number of people who’ve had one of your posts show up in their news feeds. On social channels, audience exposure can increase significantly through the number of times a post is shared (earned media reach) on the same social channel or in other channels, as when a post goes viral.

Engagement with your employer brand

Social campaigns offer numerous opportunities for the audience to engage with the content. Here are some of the engagement metrics you should consider to determine the success of a given post or campaign:

  • Likes/favorites: The number of likes is a measure not only of engagement but also your reach and the relevance and value of the content you posted.
  • Comments: Comments represent a step up in terms of content interaction, because they require more thought and effort on the part of an audience member. However, you need to consider both the number and nature of comments — how many comments are posted and whether they’re positive, negative, or neutral.
  • Shares: A form of earned media reach (as opposed to paying for sponsored content), shares extend the potential impact of your content within target peer groups and are an excellent indication that people who viewed the content like it (or hate it) enough to share it with their friends and colleagues.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): Although the primary purpose of social content isn’t always to direct traffic to your career site, one of your job microsites, or to other suggested content, sometimes that may be your objective. In such cases, CTR becomes an important metric.
  • Engagement rate: The total percentage of people who’ve had the opportunity to view your content and who’ve chosen to engage with it in at least one of the ways described in this list.
  • Applications: The objective of most social campaigns is to build employer brand awareness and create a positive impression of the employer brand on the target audience. However, you may post some content on social channels with the purpose of encouraging people to apply for a particular vacancy or submit an application for future consideration; in such cases, the number of applications is a key metric.

Source of application, source of hire, and source of influence in employer branding

Depending on your objectives, you may launch a recruitment campaign on one or more social channels to fill a vacancy or to improve employer brand reach and reputation. Choose the following metrics to measure the success of your campaign relative to your objectives:

  • SOA and SOH: Even though social campaigns tend to be delivered in a more storylike format, they can contain one or more links to job-related information. This may result in a social post becoming the first source of awareness for an employment opportunity that ultimately leads to an application or hire. If you’re using social to generate applications and fill vacancies in this way, SOA and SOH are relevant metrics.
  • Source of influence (SOI): Using cookies to track where people go on the web after reading social content you posted can help you determine whether certain posts are likely to have influenced them as they seek more information prior to making an application. This SOI data can be very useful in identifying the relationship between social engagement, applications, and hires.

Using the results of your analysis to enhance your recruitment marketing

As you gather and analyze the data to evaluate the success of individual social campaigns, use the insight to improve the overall effectiveness of your recruitment marketing:

  • Short term: Identify which social campaigns, topics, and formats generate the highest levels of reach and engagement, and use those findings to adjust and tune your communication strategy on an ongoing basis.
  • Medium term: Analyze the data to determine which attributes from your employer value proposition (EVP) resonate most strongly with your target audience, and upweight those attributes in your social campaigns. Depending on your relative return on investment in generating applications, you may also decide to increase or decrease the importance of social media in your overall marketing mix.
  • Long term: Over time, you may discover a need to adjust your EVP to align it more closely with the needs, desires, and aspirations of the talent you’re trying to attract.