How to Use Social Media Channels for Your Employer Brand
Gone are the days when recruiting teams debated the value and return on investment (ROI) of social engagement. In today’s employer branding world, the question isn’t whether you should be on social, it’s where to show up and how to engage.
Don’t venture into any social platform without a clear strategy. Establishing a presence merely for the sake of being there is likely to do more harm than good.
Where to show up: Choosing social channels for employer branding
The first issue you need to address is where the candidates you’re trying to reach are hanging out — which social platforms they’re using. If you’ve performed persona mapping exercises, you should have a sense of the social networks your target talent is likely to use to network and to research employers and a general mapping of their motivations and interests. Sizing up your target audience enables you to develop a content strategy that cuts through the noise and allows you to begin pulling prospects into your engagement funnel.
Choose one platform (probably LinkedIn or Glassdoor) to focus on first, and use it as your pilot platform. As you gain success on one platform, you can expand your efforts to other social platforms more easily and confidently.
How to engage potential candidates for your employer brand
After you figure out where your targeted talent hang out and what they’re interested in, you can begin to focus on how to engage them. Of course, you need to tailor your approach to your audience and to the each social platform you use, but you also need to follow some general guidelines that apply to all audiences and to social media as a whole.
Play by the (unwritten) rules
Every social media platform has its own terms of service and other rules of engagement, but when you’re using any of these platforms to build an employer brand, you should also follow these four rules that will enhance your success:
- Establish a clear purpose. Whether you’re using social media to reach active or passive job seekers, promote your employer brand, or build a community of employees and targeted talent, think about exactly what you want to achieve. Your purpose will guide your choice of social media platforms to use, how you target talent, and even the content you choose to share.
- Add value. Be generous. Inform, inspire, and entertain. How you define value varies based on your goals and objectives, but assuming you’re using your social channels to attract talent, value is almost always more than just jobs. Jobs are only valuable to active job seekers who are looking for a position in your field, industry, or location. That’s a tiny slice of the overall population pie you can reach on social. When you have a diversified content stream, you’re able to appeal to a much broader audience. Many may not be in a position to consider jobs with you today, but providing value to them opens up the door for future consideration, likes, shares, +1’s, and referrals.
- Diversify your content stream. Share a diversified stream of content, including industry news and information, behind-the-scenes looks at the employee experience and culture, job search resources, recognition/awards for being a quality employer, community and sustainability initiatives, and so on. If you’re using social solely to post job openings, you won’t see much engagement.
- Embrace the real-time dynamic. Instant gratification drives engagement on social media; users demand content the instant it’s available and expect a reasonably timely response to comments they post or questions they ask. Social gives you the power to share content in real-time and gives candidates the freedom to message you in real-time. Social media success depends on two-way communication. If you’re going to launch a social channel, be prepared to monitor it and to answer and engage your audience. Fail here, and you’ll soon have a reputation as an employer who doesn’t care.
Contribute to relevant discussions. Whether someone asked a question in response to a post you shared or you’ve been notified about a conversation about the changing landscape of your industry, respond and join the discussion. Position your company as the leading expert in the industry.
Finding your social media marketing voice
Success on social media often goes hand in hand with a distinctive but consistent tone of voice. Just as in consumer branding, consistency across social channels provides a familiar framework for candidates and prospects to get to know you and engage with you.
Make your tone of voice an extension of your employer value proposition. It should reflect the core components of what you offer and strive toward offering as an employer. It typically should align with, but not necessarily mirror, your consumer brand voice. Consistency leverages the partnership with marketing as you execute your employer brand strategy.
Because the ultimate aims of consumer branding (get customers to buy your products or services) and employer branding (attract the right talent and get them to apply) differ, so may your tone of voice. Consider making your employer brand voice a little less corporate and more personal and engaging. Your goal is to display the humanity in your organization through intentional storytelling and other means. A less formal tone is more likely to connect with prospects on social platforms.
Don’t treat social media as an extension of your job board. A job board is merely a broadcast, a one-way channel. Social media is a two-way channel in which you interact with prospects to form the type of relationship that eventually enables employers and employees to find the right match.