Social media is a key tool in promoting your employer brand, particularly if you’re targeting Millennials or Centennials, the digital natives. However, before you jump finger first into formulating a social strategy, consider the following:
What platforms work best with your brand?
More social channels don’t always equate to more social reach. It’s better to determine the platforms that will sit best with your brand and intended audience. Choose the channels that will work for you and commit to building audiences on those platforms. Managing communities takes time and effort so make sure you’re not wasting resources by committing half-heartedly to social. Don’t be afraid to cull old accounts and start anew!
How does each platform differ?
Social media isn’t a one size fits all undertaking. Do your research on how audiences interact on each platform and tailor your strategy accordingly. What’s the best time of day to post on Facebook vs Instagram for your audience? What’s the optimum number of posts per day on LinkedIn vs Twitter vs Snapchat? Which platforms are growing and which are declining? Twitter, for example, has dropped in popularity but remains a useful resource for breaking news (and monitoring irate presidents).
Each platform is different, therefore the content on each platform should be different too. For example, native videos and an informal tone work well on Facebook while frequent posts mixing pictures and videos work best on Snapchat.
Although Facebook has more users, Instagram can be more effective in reaching diverse audiences as users are more likely to see every post from the accounts they follow, while Facebook filters the posts it considers less relevant. Instagram users, which now total over 500 million, also tend to be more engaged than those of Facebook.
What are your brand parameters?
Now that you know how each platform differs, consider how this works with your personality as a brand. Your social presence should be an extension of your brand not a dilution of it. i.e. don’t dilute your brand values to fit better with a certain platform.
Are you performing?
Monitor the success of your social presence and be prepared to make changes. Measure how effective your posts have been on each channel. Has your audience engagement increased? With Twitter and Instagram it’s good to monitor followers, with Facebook the number of views and shares on a post can be more telling.
Ensure you are engaging with users on social to build a sense of trust among your audience. Address any reasonable complaints or queries and reward your audience for their loyalty. Host Q&As on Facebook live and use the information gleaned from comments to plan future posts. Participate in relevant industry discussions and get involved in online forums where you can add value to the conversation. This will reinforce your influence in the market and your presence as a thought leader in your area.
Create your own content
We’ve become more sophisticated in how we consume content, using multiple screens, devices and platforms and expecting a highly personalised online experience. We’ve also become more intolerant of disruptions. Last year it was reported that 200 million people use ad blocking software, allowing them to opt out of pop ups and other advertising. This makes advertorial or ‘soft sell’ content a major asset in reaching talent. Not only does it improve brand recognition but sites which regularly publish organic content containing keywords and tags also rank higher in search engine results.
You wouldn’t limit your product advertising to one medium and your employer branding promotion should be no different. Organisations like EY utilise their employees to tell their story through social engagement, blog articles, images and videos. Videos get much higher engagement and are a great way to show not tell, talent about your office space and team.
More than two thirds of people say that behind the scenes videos featuring employees would impact their perception of an employer.
Get the team involved
Your employees really are the best advocates for your company. This is particularly true when it comes to online promotion of your employer brand. There’s no one more qualified to speak with authority on your company culture, values and working environment. Potential candidates are more interested in hearing from your employees than from your CEO. Our research shows that people are more likely to trust a testimonial from an entry level or middle management employee than a C-level manager.
Referral programmes can be another useful tool in attracting relevant talent. Get your employees to engage with your company profile and share your posts in their professional and personal networks. Not only does this greatly improve your reach and engagement, it gets the whole team involved in the hiring process. This is proven to be good for team morale and cohesion.
Another great way to get your employer brand out there is to put your staff in control of your social for a day. Run Insta and Snapchat takeovers where each department takes turns of sharing their stories. You’re looking to build an engaged talent community in an authentic way through your current employees. If you’re struggling to get employees excited about social advocacy, consider incentivising the process with monthly prizes or benefits. Some companies run league tables for their most engaged brand ambassadors.