1. AUDIENCE – go get them!
Among the first questions good marketers ask themselves is - who is my audience? As a recruiter, you should be clear on whether you want to talk to jobseekers or employers, or both. You’ll need to ensure you’re reaching the intended audience with information relevant to them. Remember this when you are looking to grow your following. Job seekers will be more interested to see quality vacancies and tips for landing the job, while your recruiter contacts may be more interested to see the proof that you understand their needs and industry. To make sure your presence on social media pays off, you must invest into audience research as well as various strategies for growing and keeping your audience engaged. Remember, the principle “our market is everyone” rarely pays off.
Know your audience – who are they, what do they want?
2. CHANNELS – are you barking up the right tree?
It goes without saying that professional sites like LinkedIn are a place to be for a recruiter; however, more and more people include in their job search Facebook and Twitter in particular. But don’t stop there! There’s a plethora of social platforms used by jobseekers and employers alike beyond the Big Three. Depending on your target audience, it might pay off investigating alternatives.
Each of them, however, will require different strategies and techniques. For instance, it’s doubtful that all your Facebook posts will be carefully read by the Head of HR during her office hours; however, they’ll be more likely to catch the eye of someone who is considering their next career move. On LinkedIn, showing interest and applying for jobs can be done without their boss and other contacts knowing about it, while other channels offer less privacy, so bare this in mind.
Where is your audience?
3. CONTENT – give them what they want
So, you’ve sorted out your recruitment company’s LinkedIn account, maybe you even got yourself onto Xing, since you’re trying to acquire more German speaking clients. You even got yourself a shiny new Twitter and/or Facebook account. The smart marketer that you are, you know it’s the content that will help you grow and keep your audience. Do you just post three times a day the latest vacancies you have? Of course not. Share your insights, tips and observations, and don’t shy away from reposting content from other credible sources. The same as with audience and channels – relevance is the key.
Relevant content (at the right time and place) grows and keeps the audience.
4. SHAREABILITY – make it work for you
It pays off not only to share, but also to ensure your content is shareable. This doesn’t just mean publishing enticing posts that people would want to re-share on their LinkedIn accounts to boost their professional reputation online or for a giggle on Facebook because you included Business Cat comic. It also means considering the content you publish off the social media, e.g., on your website. Include social media buttons and links, optimise the site and don’t forget about the metadata and how the shared content will look like. Often, the preview text will be very limited, so make sure it includes the most relevant and enticing info that will earn you the sough-after click-throughs. Don’t forget, it should include your name and link back to your account or website no matter how many times it gets passed on.
Help your fans spread the good word.
5. MARKETING STRATEGY – be clear on your goals
Incorporate your social media strategy with the overall marketing strategy, thus, adding credibility to your name and ensuring brand cohesion. Your online presence should reflect who you are – whether that’s a no-nonsense jobs’ broker with a finger on the pulse of the industry or a down to earth friend with advice and a joke at hand. Be clear on why you are on social media and set yourself realistic goals whether you’re after new clients in new industries, expanded CV database, or improved brand image and recognition. It helps when your left hand knows what your right hand is doing, so, for instance, when you roll out a social media campaign linking to your website, have your web analytics ready to track the visitors once they’ve clicked off the social media pages.
Incorporate social in your overall marketing strategy and set goals.
6. EVALUATION – learn and improve
As with all marketing endeavours, it’s important to keep checking back on your targets and adjusting them accordingly as you progress. The great thing about social media is that it offers a detailed feedback and stats allowing you to get to know your audience better and get a clearer picture of your returns on investment.
Analyse and learn from statistics.
7. BE READY – failing to plan…
..is planning to not sail far. Before dipping your toes into the tidal waters of the social media, you must be prepared that this is one of the most personal and fickle marketing environments. It’s alive and things can spiral out of control very fast if you don’t have a plan. You will need a few of them, starting with a content plan not missing important dates and allowing room to react to arising trends and finishing with a crisis plan for when your reputation might be at stake. Make sure all of your staff are briefed on your social media policies. While you need to be ready to tackle any reputation crisis fast, you also need to learn to recognise when to ignore certain social media users and their behaviour, saving the precious time of your social media team.
Plan and anticipate.