How to choose social media platforms for recruiting

Choosing social media platforms

This article is based on research for our recent eGuide, Building your employer brand with social media.

Last week, we demonstrated the power of social media by looking at five employer brands that are killing it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.

When you’re ready to dive into the world of social media, the first step is choosing the right platform – or platforms – for your company. After all, each platform has a distinct audience, with content expectations to match. Choosing social media platforms, therefore, is all about understanding what goals you want to achieve, and what resources you have at your disposal.

When choosing social media platforms, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How do you want to present your brand?

…and perhaps more importantly, how does this align with your long-term recruiting goals? We’ve said it time and time again – developing a strong employer brand to attract talent is playing the long game. If you’re looking to fill a specific role and you hop on social media platforms with that single objective in mind, you’ll likely be disappointed (or, you’ll find that you’ve wasted a lot of valuable time). Looking at your long-term goals for developing an employer brand will help you answers the questions below – and make choosing social media platforms that suit your company much easier.

  1. What demographic is most important to your brand (and your hiring needs)?

Knowing who you’re trying to reach is crucial to any recruitment campaign. And, in turn, looking at the various social media platforms is more nuanced than simply looking at number of users. Yes, Facebook has more than 1.7 billion active users, but the more important question is, how many of those users come from your target demographic? And for that matter, what is your targeted demographic? Before choosing a platform, this has to be clear. Doing the research to establish personas and targets like age, region, and so on, will help you clarify your choice of platform.

  1. What are your competitors using?

Doing this kind of reconnaissance has a number of benefits. In the war for top talent, there’s an obvious use to knowing how and where your key competitors are recruiting – and what you need to do to come out on top. Following your competitors also helps you to learn what your demographic is most interested in: are they re-sharing videos? Are they commenting on specific types of content? Plus, it might help you find a platform or an innovative type of content that you weren’t aware of before.

  1. What can you post?

Each platform has an ideal type of post – in essence, a comprehensive set of formal and informal rules guiding what gets attention, and what falls flat. And to find the platform that will make your content thrive, you need to know what exactly you’ll be posting. Do you have lots of pics of the company masseuse working their magic on the team, or the beer cart that makes an appearance every Thursday? Are you looking to share events, like hack-a-thons or webinars? Are you writing blog posts about leadership and management that you want to disseminate? Are you planning a series of videos on your company’s volunteer efforts? A detailed content plan can help you to choose a platform – and vice versa.

  1. How often do you want to be posting content?

Knowing what you’re posting, and how often you’ll be posting, should go hand-in-hand. Some platforms are more suited to evergreen content, while others, like Twitter, require check-ins throughout the day to cut through the noise. Again, be realistic: your level of engagement will need to be consistent over time, so think long-term about your time investment.

  1. Do you have the right resources to support this?

This is closely related to the two above questions. Creating a strong social media presence requires time and energy. If you’re unsure about your commitment, or the available resources for developing the content that suits your demographic, consider hiring a social media manager, possibly on a part-time or contract basis. There are also a wide range of tools to help you manage social media platforms, and get the most out of your content – more on that here.

Once you have answers to these questions, you’re ready to compare the various major platforms. For a tour of your options – plus a one-page cheat sheet with ideal posting guidelines for each – download our free eGuide, Building your employer brand with social media. Here’s a sneak preview:

See also:
5 employer brands that are killing it on social media
The do’s and don’ts of digital marketing for small businesses


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