If you’re an independent recruiter struggling to make sense of social media, you’re not alone. Approaching social media efforts in a random, haphazard way won’t generate the results you want and will result in a lot of wasted time and effort. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your use of social media:
- Focus on the “Big 5” sites … LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. All of these sites have something to offer independent recruiters:
- LinkedIn is the most conservative, business-like social media channel, and the one with which independent recruiters are most familiar.
- Use Facebook to make your business more ‘likeable.’ It has a casual, conversational tone that humanizes your recruiting firm.
- Twitter is best for news and speed, especially if you have a large group of followers that you can mobilize to take a specific action.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine, and is owned by Google. Storytelling is an outstanding marketing tool, and video is the perfect storytelling medium. Plus, if you take the time to optimize your videos for searching, you’re almost guaranteed to see improved search results.
- The best thing that Google+ currently offers is the ability to boost your page ranking. Second to that is the social search feature that helps customize search results based on your circles of influence.
- Use the “Rule of Thirds,” especially on Twitter. A lot of independent recruiters mistakenly use social media to sell, sell, sell, and that’s really not how it works. Social media is more about giving, sharing and providing thought leadership. Not familiar with the Rule of Thirds? Here it is:
- 1/3 of your posts are your own content
- 1/3 of your posts are sharing others’ content
- 1/3 of your posts are comments, questions, answers, conversations relating to posts you see.
- Use a social media dashboard, such as TweetDeck or HootSuite to manage your posts. Take advantage of the calendar feature to schedule posts in advance that you can “set and forget.” A good dashboard will let you set up a series of streams for multiple social media channels so that you can see everything all at once, in one place.
- Remember to post on weekends! Job seekers, much like independent recruiters, are online at all times of the day, on all days of the week. Since you’re using a social media dashboard now, you can schedule a few posts to occur on Saturdays or Sundays.
- Tailor your content to each social media channel. It’s tempting to use one of those auto-publishing tools that automatically sends each post out to every channel, but that’s not what followers want. And, since you probably have some of the same followers in multiple places, they’ll get turned off if they see the same exact thing on 3 or 4 different social media sites. Facebook is great for photos and polls. Twitter, because of its 140-character limit and use of #hashtags, requires different content. LinkedIn is best suited to serious, professional posts. Visual content is very important, but is more effective on YouTube or Facebook than it is on Twitter.
How are you using social media? What’s the best tip you can share with other independent recruiters?