7 Building Blocks of a Social Media-Backed Employer Brand Strategy
We probably don’t need to tell you just how crucial employer branding is in your talent acquisition strategy. But it’s worth repeating–your brand as an employer is a reflection of who you are in the eyes of candidates and employees. And a powerful (and accurate!) employer brand really makes you stand out from the other competition for talent.
But as with any aspect of recruiting, building and maintaining your employer brand requires resources: time, people, and often money. Luckily, social media has become a branding powerhouse, with plenty of tricks for the brand-focused recruiter. With the help of a recent report from LinkedIn, Branding to Win Clients and Candidates, we’ve compiled a list of seven tips to boost employer brand through social media, without straining your budget.
1. Get buy-in: Demonstrate to colleagues and senior leaders the importance of investing in employer brand
Buy-in means getting the support of your team and your leaders, and there’s no point investing time and effort in employer brand if these key people aren’t on board. Start by gathering the basic facts: what is the state of your organization’s current employer brand, how does that match with employee experiences, and how does it compare to competitors? Then make time to present your case to management.
2. Craft your approach: Establish your brand and define how it will be communicated
What do you want candidates and employees to think of when they consider your organization as an employer? Refine your message from a realistic standpoint, making sure to maintain consistency and authenticity. The last thing you want is for job seekers not to trust you, or to be confused by your message. This is where personal stories from employees and applicants can really make a difference, so don’t be afraid to seek honest feedback during this process.
3. Test drive your message: Share your brand with key members of your organization
This could be a simple presentation, or you could pitch tailored messaging to specific groups. Just be sure to gather feedback afterwards, and review it carefully before releasing your brand any further. Spending too much time on employer brand yourself can lead to tunnel vision, and can neglect the diverse ideas and reactions your colleagues might have. This also applies to the outlets you’ll use to release your employer brand, as employees will have a wide range of experience with different social media platforms.
4. Help your employees be thought leaders: Encourage (but don’t force) employees to engage with the company on social media
Your existing workforce is already your best source of brand ambassadors, so don’t be afraid to include them in your employer branding strategy. Odds are, many of them are already prolific users of one (if not many) social media sites. Employees can write content, share posts, join relevant groups, even interact with potential applicants. As long as it doesn’t feel like a chore, your employees will help spread your brand through every channel they use.
Plus, many recruiters make the argument that demonstrating engagement with an employer’s brand on personal social media profiles increases that person’s personal network. So your employees may find this process to be mutually beneficial.
5. Grow your followers: Use the tools social media already provides to increase your base
Followers come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have the same benefit–they’re already engaged with your brand. According to LinkedIn, your existing followers are more than twice as likely to recommend your organization to someone else. So how can you add more? Start by including free buttons to “Follow,” “Share,” or “Like” on your company website. You can also cross-promote your employer brand from one site (say, a LinkedIn Company page) in a post or profile on another social media platform.
6. Consider all social media: Provide variety in the platforms and connections you allow people to have with your brand
LinkedIn may be the social media site of choice for professionals, but the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (just to name a few) shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re already focusing on increasing your follower base, it’s also time to think about how different people interact with different platforms.
Maybe some potential applicants prefer thoughtful Facebook posts, or maybe some of your employees tweet ten times a day. If you have the time to offer followers a choice when it comes to the channel and the content, you give them more incentive to interact with your brand in a way they enjoy.
7. And don’t forget social media metrics: Most platforms will happily provide some data
Company pages and sponsored posts on social media sites can be tracked in a variety of ways, and it’s crucial to analyze this data if you want to know how engaged your followers are. Recruiters can review the overall performance of their pages, individual posts, sponsored content, even in-platform messaging. Some platforms even provide benchmark data, so you can compare the performance of your brand to your biggest competitors for talent.
How are you going to attract and convert candidates online? Check out our new eBook to learn about the principles of what makes an amazing career site experience, so you can turn more visitors into applicants.