The world of social media is a dynamic one – as soon as a new platform emerges, it seems another one falls off the radar. While social media brings many new opportunities and challenges to the process of recruiting, the goal is still the same: to find the most qualified and best-suited candidate for the organization. And for the bottom line of the company, we want to do this quickly, efficiently and with the least cost. Social media tools can help accomplish all this, but it will take some time and preparation to be successful. Consider the following steps to develop a social media recruiting strategy for your organization:
1. Determine a goal. This includes not only identifying a goal to reach, but also selecting the tools — websites and online platforms — you will use to accomplish this goal.
- Select the site(s) you will drive traffic to.
Many of the posts you share on social media will include a link to another website. The primary goal for sharing this information should be to drive traffic back to websites that are directly linked to your organization. That is why it is important when starting to select just one or two websites where you would like to direct the majority of your followers. Perhaps you have a company website that is robust with recent industry-related articles, blog postings and information about your organization. Another good place to drive traffic is your organization’s LinkedIn page where you post general information and job openings. These are good places to start. Ensure that the majority of your social media posts link back to the one or two websites you select.
What are two existing websites you can access to share information with your network?
- Select the platforms you will use to share information.
While there are many social media platforms to choose from, you do not need to have a presence on each one. Take some time to learn about the purpose, available tools and demographics of each platform. Use that information, paired with your organizational priorities, to determine which platforms will be the best fit. Check out GAMA International’s post “Why Social Media?” for some introductory information about LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What are two social media platforms you are already using or that you feel will be a good fit for achieving your recruiting goals?
2. Implement. You have selected the platforms you will use; now it is time to create accounts, develop a content schedule, curate and create information to share and start connecting with followers.
- Create profiles for social media accounts.
Most social media platforms have an option to create a page or a profile for your organization. It is important to create a robust profile that helps people truly understand the work, the culture and the values of your organization. You want your followers to get a true sense of what it means to work with you by viewing your profile and the content you share there.
What information is most important for followers to know about your organization? Consider reviewing your vision, mission and values to be sure that information is communicated through your profile.
- Develop a schedule.
It is not enough to simply share information as it comes up or as you have time. Most social media platforms have sophisticated algorithms that determine which content receives the most exposure. Regardless of the platform you are using, one of the most important factors in these algorithms is consistency. This does not mean you need to be posting something every hour, but you should have a clear schedule that works for you. One to two posts a day is a good place to start if you are just diving into the social media world. Also ensure that you are sharing a variety of content that will help catch and maintain your followers’ attention. Check out GAMA International’s post “Creating a Brand” for more tips on the type of content to share.
Consider the time and resources you have available to determine a weekly schedule for sharing content, and then stick to it. Block off time in your calendar, if necessary.
Draft a schedule for one week of posting content. Consider how frequently you would like to post and the type of information you would like to share.
- Curate and create.
If you are planning to share information on a daily basis, you will need a large bank of content to draw from. As you find articles that are relevant to your industry or that may be of interest to your followers, be sure to save the information in a central location so you can easily access it later.
You will also want original content that you own to share on a regular basis. If your organization does not already have one, consider starting a blog that can be hosted on your company’s website. You can recruit individuals throughout the organization to write short posts that will provide valuable information for your audience.
Your home office may also create original content you can access, or they may subscribe to a service that provides original content for a fee. Check these sources first before you spend valuable time creating new content.
Whether you create your own original content or share curated content that is valuable for your audience, always consider hosting that content on your company website. This ensures that your social media posts will constantly be driving individuals back to your homepage where they can learn more about your organization and get to know you better.
Brainstorm topics with another colleague for several blog posts that may be of interest to prospective candidates. Once you have a list of three to four topics, think of people in your organization who might be qualified to write a short post about that topic. Consider reaching out to these people, and before you know it, you will have the beginnings of your own blog filled with meaningful, fresh content for your audience.
3. Evaluate. In the beginning, it will be important to focus on one or two simple metrics to help you evaluate your success in the social media arena. This is a world that is still developing, so solid, industry-wide metrics are yet to be established. Decide what is most important to your company, and use those benchmarks to measure your individual success.
- Monitor metrics.
Some possible metrics to consider are traffic to your company website, number of likes, comments and shares on your social media posts, number of followers on social media profiles and number of applicants who stem from social media posts. Again, evaluating success on social media takes a bit of trial and error. However, if you have some simple metrics set up that reflect your priorities, you will be able to identify successes and opportunities for improvement more easily.
Go back to the goal you set for your social media recruiting. Use that goal and your organizational priorities to select one or two metrics that you can use to evaluate your success in social media recruiting. Consider scheduling a meeting after one to two months to review your data against these metrics and evaluate your plan.
4. Refine. After evaluating your initial efforts, look for places where you can improve and enhance your process. If one of your metrics is the number of visits to your company website and you are not meeting your goals, consider adding a blog to your website that will allow you to share more original content with your followers.
Remember, the social media world is a fast-paced, dynamic forum that is evolving quickly. Even with a strong strategic plan in place, it is still important to stay on top of your research. New trends are emerging each day, and you want to be sure you are keeping pace with those who are leading the way!