How to use social media to strengthen your employer brand in 2012

Since 2009 there has been a 209% increase in the number of companies using social media to communicate their employer brand (Global Recruiting Roundtable, 2011i). But are you one of them? No? Well read on…

Today’s job seekers have the world at their fingertips (quite literally). Realistically, the types of people you are more than likely going to want to recruit have already clocked on to the fact that social media is the best place to find out the truth about your company. They might even already be talking about you online – so why aren’t you listening?

Not sure where to start? Here are a few tips from the CK Group to help you get your social media strategy kick started in 2012:

 

Listen

Well first things first, you need to establish what is being said about you online before you start engaging with potential employees on social media. Here are a number on interesting tools you can use to do just that:

  • Google Alertshttp://www.google.com/alerts/ - Set up alerts direct to your inbox to find out exactly what people are saying about you online.
  • Social Mention – http://www.socialmention.com – This software is free, and searches all real-time user generated content.
  • Glassdoorhttp://www.glassdoor.com/ - Find out exactly what former employees have been saying about your company here.

 

Plan

This leads us nicely on to the next step: planning! Now, take a step back and have a think about…

  • Your main goals and objectives: These must be clearly aligned with the goals and objectives of your organisation.
  • The main messages you want to communicate:Here are a few ideas to get your thought process started:
    • What makes your company stand out? Eg exciting and rare job opportunities, personal development schemes, team building days, dress down Fridays.
    • Your company achievements – Eg  awards, charity fundraisers, company accreditations.
    • Experiences of existing employees as they can be great brand ambassadors for your organisation.
    • Which social networks are you going to use?

Remember, it’s quality not quantity that matters here.  As a minimum, we recommend that you build your presence on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Linkedin to really step your employer branding strategy up a gear or three. So, here are a few tips from us to help you start planning your strategy for each one of these social networking sites:

 

 

Twitter

Two thirds of FTSE 100 firms use Twitter, however, research shows that it is often neglected within their employer brand strategies (People Management, 2011[i]).  This is a missed opportunity. Why?  Twitter currently has 100 million users with 50% logging in every day (Mashable, 2011). The potential for you to use this tool to attract talent to your organisation is off the scale. So why not beat your competition to it and get tweeting in 2012? Here are some pointers to help you:

Your Twitter profile - the trick here is to be as visible as possible.  Here’s how:

  • Your profile page must have a professional look which reflects the branding of your company.
  • Choose your profile picture carefully – we would recommend you use your company logo. Again, this will ensure you are easily recognisable.
  • Choose your Twitter name carefully – be sure to include your company name and possibly the words ‘jobs’ or ‘careers’ too. This will attract the most targeted and relevant followers.
  • Profile text: Here you have 160 characters to play with so you need to make it good. Here are some suggestions:
    • Write about your company and the service it provides
    • Write about how people can benefit from following you
    • Include your website URL
    • Include relevant keywords to help people find you

Tweets:

  • Mix it up a bit: Try to avoid using Twitter to only shout about job vacancies you have open. Whilst these can certainly feature, it is important to mix your tweets up a bit to keep your followers engaged. Try tweeting industry and company news, as well as careers advice. It’s all about giving your followers value-added information and creating the impression that you are a great company to work for.
  • Get everyone in the team tweeting: This gives a good perception of culture, collaboration and personality which are all attractive traits from a jobseeker’s perspective.
  • Set up a schedule for your tweets: Tweeting too regularly can be annoying, whilst not tweeting enough may mean people will start to forget about you. So try to get the balance here. We recommend once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening (if you’re ultra keen!).
  • Re-tweet others: Remember, it’s not all about you. To build credibility and trust among potential employees you must re-tweet posts from key opinion leaders in your industry.

Video

Video should be a key part of your employer branding strategy for 2012. It’s a great way of engaging potential employees by really showing them the human side of your company. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just invest in a Flip camera and get cracking!  Here are a few ideas which could work for your organisation:

  • A ‘Day in the Life of…’ videos: These videos can be helpful by strengthening the recruitment campaign for a particular role you are recruiting for.
  • A tour of your offices: We all know that people love to be nosey and this is a great way to provide an insight into what it’s really like behind the scenes at your company.
  • Employee testimonials/Meet the Team videos:  Encourage employees to talk about their backgrounds, experiences, how and why they joined the company and what they like about working there. This will help you to communicate the personality and camaraderie between colleagues within your organisation. Do be careful who you stick in front of the camera though (make sure they are engaging to watch and most importantly, like to smile!).
  • Update content regularly: Try to keep your videos looking fresh by producing new content at least once per month. Think about it, if potential employees come across dated looking videos that look like a flash back from the 80’s it’s more than likely they will steer clear of your company as a potential employer.

Some interesting employer branding videos which you could take a look at for  inspiration include:

 

Facebook

This tool must not be forgotten – if used properly it can be a fantastic medium by which to attract the best talent to your business. After all, according to TalentMinded 2011[ii], over half of job seekers will ‘Like’ a company on Facebook in the hope that they will find a job.  So, to help you start Facebooking in 2012, here are a few tips:

  • Share photos:This is the Facebook feature that we all love the most (including your next generation of employees), so start sharing photos of things like:
    • Social and team building events
    • Charity fundraisers
    • Employee birthdays
    • Pictures of your offices
    • Employee of the month photos
    • Award ceremonies
    • Communicate in a human way: If jobseekers post questions on your company’s Facebook wall, respond in a human way and with personality. After all, Facebook is a sociable site, so try to create the impression that you are a friendly and open company by responding to questions in chatty (but still professional and helpful) way.
    • Get people talking: Don’t just shout about how great you are. Post unique and useful content for your fans, you can even ask questions to help get the conversation going. Be as helpful as you can to create the best impression of your company.
    • Make it a team effort: Give your colleagues the freedom and trust to contribute to your corporate Facebook page.  After all, satisfied and happy employees are the best brand ambassadors you will ever find.

 

Linkedin

The reach of Linkedin as a professional network is growing at a rate of knots.  As of November 2011, there were 135 million Linkedin users in over 200 countries across the world (Linkedin, 2011[iii]). With such an impressive uptake among professionals, it would be a mistake to neglect this social networking tool within your employer branding strategy. Here are some helpful hints to ensure you reap the rewards in 2012:

  • Create a company Linkedin page: This will provide jobseekers access to your company that is not possible on other social networks. You can attract followers, create a careers section and update your company status (just as you would for your individual account).
  • Join relevant Linkedin groups: This is a great way promote your company as an employer of choice – you can do this passively by contributing to discussions, providing advice and sharing relevant news stories. After a while you will find that interest in your company grows organically as a result.
  • Create a company Linkedin group: Create a group that is aimed at attracting prospective employees, current employees and alumni. Get the conversation flowing by starting interesting discussions. This is a great way to help prospective employees feel a sense of belonging and identity long before the application process begins.

So that’s that. Hopefully these tips will help you boost your employer branding strategy through the use of social media in 2012. Good luck!

 

Catherine Gutsell, Group Marketing Manager, CK Group

 

http://www.ckagroup.co.uk/



[i] People Management (2011) FTSE 100 yet to capitalise on employer brand power of Twitter, URL: http://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/pm/articles/2011/06/ftse100-yet-t... [Accessed: 9th November 2011]

 

[ii] TalentMinded (2011) http://talentminded.com/4-facebook-recruiting-tips-inspired-by-sodexo/ [Accessed: 13 December 2011].

 

[iii] Linkedin (2011) http://press.linkedin.com/about [Accessed: 13th December 2011].

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