While social media used to be a “nice-to-have” in the business world, it’s now a must-have.

Why? It’s simply one of the methods for connecting with current and potential customers, employees, and business partners, since these people are already spending hours on social platforms every day. There are over 3.8 billion social media users globally, and experts are predicting that more than half of the world’s population will be using social media by the middle of 2020.

Social is an especially powerful tool for HR. Social media recruitment campaigns are gaining in popularity as businesses see the ROI of finding candidates on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter and Instagram.

Why social media is so critical to building your employer brand

In addition to its rising popularity around the world, the highly visual and shareable nature of social media makes it the ideal place to build your employer brand. 

Photos, videos, and platform-specific features — think Facebook Live and Instagram Stories — cultivate an unprecedented level of intimacy between users and businesses. Future employees can see and experience your business from the inside rather than relying on word-of-mouth to learn what it’s like to work with you.

Plus, social media recruitment strategies are also more cost-effective than traditional methods like posting to job boards and attending career fairs.

One more perk to using social to build your employer brand is that it strengthens workplace culture and encourages employee retention. When your employees are empowered to represent your brand on social media, they envision themselves as crucial parts of your team and take greater pride in being a part of your company.

How to build your employer brand on social media

So, how do you actually use social media to recruit the perfect job candidates and showcase everything your company has to offer? Here are three ideas.

Determine which channels you want to be active on.

The world’s leading social platforms are Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and FacebookHowever, just because these are the big four doesn’t mean you should be active on all of them. When you’re getting started with social media, it’s best to focus on mastering only the platforms that make the most sense for you.

Start with the channel where most of your prospective hires are already spending time. Here’s a summary of each channel’s demographics:

  • Facebook
    • Age 18-49
    • 54% women, 46% men
    • Top locations: India, US, Indonesia
  • LinkedIn
    • Age: 30-49
    • Slightly more men than women
    • Top locations: US, India
  • Instagram
    • Age: 13-29
    • Slightly more women than men
    • Top locations: US, India, Brazil
  • Twitter
    • Age: 18-29
    • 62% men, 38% women
    • Top locations: US, Japan, UK

Encourage employee-generated content. 

There’s no need to put the full burden of social media management on your HR team. When so many of your employees are already using social channels in their personal lives, why not empower them to post branded content throughout the work day? Here’s how:

  • Create brand guidelines for consistency and control over the way your business is portrayed, and distribute these to your employees.
  • Use branded hashtags so users can easily find content related to your organisation.
  • Incentivise employees to post on social media by offering recognition, gifts, and other rewards for posting social content.

If you’re skeptical of putting your brand image in the hands of your employees, think of it this way. What’s more likely to convince a job candidate of the merits of working at your organisation: a post from the HR department, or words that come directly out of the mouths of real employees?

Help potential candidates visualise what it’s like to work at your business.

Don’t shy away from authenticity when it comes to posting on social. Although it may be tempting to create heavily-planned content, today’s workforce appreciates transparency above all. Here are a few ways to capture your brand identity through social content:

  • Create candid “day in the life” videos by interacting with staff on the spot during lunch breaks, meetings, or group gatherings. Encourage impromptu conversations. Unless you’re filming a live video, you can always go back and pick the best moments to share, so capture everything.
  • Showcase your company’s EVP, perks, and benefits. What makes your organisation special? Do you have a “bring your dog to work day”, a smoothie bar in the office, or flexible schedules that allow employees to work from home? Use social media content to tell a story about how these perks improve your employees’ lives.
  • Have fun with it. Create memes and gifs to communicate your brand identity. Visual content is significantly more shareable than plain text, especially when it’s inspiring or humorous.

Make it easy for employees to share your content.

Your company’s employees are busy, so do your best to remove barriers that might be keeping them from sharing social content. Tag them in posts, provide them with pre-written blurbs about company news and job vacancies, and involve them in challenges or weekly themes to spur their creativity. This helps to boost their engagement, which leads them to feel even more invested in their work (while also getting the word out about your company to prospective customers and future hires).

Examples of effective employer branding on social media

If you’re not sure where to start, it’s helpful to take a lesson from the companies that are already utilising social media for their employer branding strategy. Here are three employer branding social media examples from real businesses that we think are doing a great job.

Bespoke Hotels

This company is known for its unique array of hotels and attention to accessibility. Their social media game is strong, with an active presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

What they do right: Here’s a recent post that highlights one of their hotel’s employees, who won a hospitality award for customer service. By publicly celebrating the professional success of an employee, Bespoke is showing prospective employees that they’ll be supported and recognised when they go above and beyond expectations.

Academy Music Group

Academy Music Group owns and operates 20 live music and club venues across the UK. They have a strong presence on multiple social platforms, where they share stunning photos and video clips of musical performances that take place at their venues.

What they did right: Academy tailors their social content to each individual platform, meaning you’ll find eye-catching photography on their Instagram page and job vacancy announcements on their LinkedIn page. Here’s an example of a job post; we like how they regularly include photos in their vacancy announcements for visual interest.

Dental365

Dental365 is a US-based dental office that frequently posts candid updates to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Their content gives the impression that they’re both customer- and employee-centric, with a friendly and inclusive culture.

What they do right: Dental365 shares a variety of posts from showcasing their staff members and clients to engaging their audience with trivia, giveaways, and helpful content. Their photos depict life at the office and make it easy for prospective employees to imagine what it might be like to work there.

When building your employer brand on social media, you don’t need an elaborate plan. One of the best parts of using social media for recruiting is how easy it is to experiment and measure results. By spending a few minutes every day to capture what’s happening around your workplace, you can entice your ideal employees and strengthen your brand image — and maybe even have a little fun in the process.

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