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Our lives are incredibly different to what they were just over a decade ago. Sure, social media was around - but as a species, we were still able to separate us from the online version of us.
For businesses, particularly in the recruitment industry, social media has followed the same pattern. Gone are the days where social media was just another outlet to flog an endless stream of jobs into the abyss (believe me - I’ve done it).
Nowadays, recruiters are much more social media savvy, utilising their connections on all platforms to really engage with their audience on both a personal and professional level. Marketers in the recruitment industry and beyond are rightly focusing more on the two P’s of social branding - protection & promotion.
If you don’t protect, you’ll become extinct
Well...your social media presence will at least. Protection in social media as a business strategy boils down to keeping your audience engaged without a constant flood of ‘look at how great we are’, ‘look at this job you can apply for’, ‘BUY OUR PRODUCT NOW!’.
That’s not to say don’t post that kind of content, but it’s about finding the right balance between that and some of the more engaging material. Monitoring your posts and engaging with your audience is key to preserving your social presence. Replying to comments gives your followers the knowledge that you are active online. Listening to your audience will enable you to provide valuable insights into both your business and the recruitment industry.
In this day and age, the lack of a social media presence in a business can sometimes even deter potential customers from pursuing you. Think about it, you land on the Facebook page of ‘I Want A Job Please Recruitment Agency’ and the last post is from October 2016 - you’ll probably just move on to the next one.
So here are a few tips:
Position yourself as a thought leader, ride the waves of different recruitment trends and addressing concerns of candidates and clients alike; protecting your brand is just as important as promoting.
Give a personality to your agency by posting fun, light-hearted content whether that be through posting an amusing gif, recognising and praising a client’s accomplishment or starting a discussion/debate.
On the other side of the coin, you could be faced with a difficult and outspoken former client/candidate who may want to voice their opinions to the world on your post about some new staff member, or something equally as irrelevant. The worst thing you can do is ignore them. Carefully weigh up how to approach any negative comments and alert senior members of staff if necessary for assistance, but never, ever, ignore it. Leaving the comment to fester shows one of two things. You’re not actually monitoring your social presence, or you just don’t care. Neither would put your business in a positive light to potential clients.
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Don’t be ashamed of showing how great you are
Now comes the hard part. Having a healthy balance of protecting and promoting your brand can seem difficult at first glance, but depending on your approach, it can really pay off.
If you only focused on the protection part of your brand, it’d be like sitting with a fishing rod attached with bait but ignoring the nibbles from any fish. You need to convert the audience you’ve gathered with content that is relevant and informative to them.
Having collateral to present, such as videos, webinars and ebooks are a great way to gather data and start your clients/candidates on a journey towards either becoming a client or candidate. Showcasing these can elevate you as a thought leader within the niche you recruit for. Likewise, promoting your brand through recognising the success of your staff members, or posting about some of the causes you may have in your corporate social responsibilities. It’s important not to shy away from doing this, as it is a great way to highlight a positive outlook on your brand.
One of the most obvious methods of promotion on social media cannot be ignored for recruiters. You DO need to post about your jobs, especially on LinkedIn. They can be as formal or informal as you need them to be, as long as they aren’t the only kind of content that you post. Having them sandwiched in between dozens of other job listings will do you no favours and will come across quite ‘spammy’. So show that you’re human and maintain the ratio of protection and promotion.
Not everything we have tried has worked. Not everything you try will work. There is no right or wrong in a social media strategy, just as there isn’t a one size fits all solution. Trial and error for keeping the scales of protection and promotion aligned can take time. However, when you find what works, you will see the results.