I had an opportunity recently to listen to a webinar by Tony Restell with Social Hire, called How to Acquire Candidates & Clients with the Right Social Media Strategy. If you aren’t familiar with Tony and the team at Social Hire, it’s worth following them on social media. We hear from our members regularly that they aren’t sure that using social media to recruit candidates can be effective. Here are some of the tips I picked up from the webinar.
Using social media to recruit candidates and develop clients will contribute directly to business results. An effective social media strategy will build up a regular stream of inquiries and interactions from potential clients, increase the inbound flow of candidates, help build brand awareness, and improve SEO results. Social media can also be a major source of web traffic.
Recruiters often underestimate the resources required to build an effective social media presence. You will need to invest some significant up-front time, and it can take six months or more to begin seeing results. Consider investing in a half-time or full-time resource devoted to ramping up your social media activity.
Define your audience and objectives very carefully. You’ll need to create social media profiles that are designed to attract your target audience(s). Not only will clients and candidates be interested in different things, you may find that you need to segment it even further by industry or occupation. Once you’ve created your profiles, you’ll need to spend time getting those profiles in front of your targets, then engage with your followers and your social network.
Successfully using social media to recruit candidates or develop clients will require that you spend time building goodwill. That means you must spend more time giving/providing information than you do asking for leads or sales. The rule of thirds is still valid for social media: one-third of your posts should be information, one-third thought leadership or answering questions, and one-third promotional.
Everyone wants to know what the best practices are for frequency. To get started, plan on 6-8 updates PER DAY on Twitter, and 2-3 updates per day on the other major platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+). Twitter can get especially crowded – I’ve heard that the average half-life of a Tweet is two hours. That means that if your audience doesn’t see your Tweet in the first two hours after you post it, the likelihood that they will EVER see it dwindles quickly. If you are trying to reach a GLOBAL audience, you’ll need to post even more to account for time zone differences. To really make this work, it is IMPERATIVE that your staff participates and shares your content.
A good scheduling tool can be the difference between success and failure with social media. I’m partial to HootSuite, but there are other options including Buffer and MavSocial. If you’re struggling with finding quality, relevant content to share, take a look at some curation tools. I was reminded of Feedly, an online news aggregator that helps you collect news and other information by topic and then easily share it. Another tool I like is Mention, which tells users who is “mentioning” them on various social platforms.
Finally, consider how active the user base of each channel is. For example, LinkedIn has a large user base, but a relatively low percentage of them log in regularly. Compare this to Facebook, where the overwhelming majority of users spend time on the platform DAILY. Even though you may think Facebook is just for “personal” sharing, it is absolutely possible to reach job seekers effectively.
Are you using social media to recruit candidates? How is it working for you? Share your experiences in the comments below!