Did you know 79% of job applicants use social media in their job search? I remember the days when companies practically rolled their eyes at the thought of employer branding, let alone using social media to promote their jobs. At that point, social media was still figuring itself out and wasn’t the powerhouse it is today. Now, companies can show value, control their narrative, and connect with their audiences in a more impactful way, including showcasing their company culture and opportunities.
But it isn’t as simple as throwing together basic posts anymore. You’ve got a lot of competition to contend with, which means you need to be really strategic about how you’re using your platforms. Not only are you fighting against traditional marketing teams to get reach, but you’re also fighting against other employers who finally embraced the whole “employer branding” thing. In fact, 76% of companies choose social media to communicate their employer brand.
Wow. That means you gotta do a whole lot to stand out, huh?
First off, before you rush to create ALL OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS, I’d recommend starting with one. I personally like Instagram the best because of the visual element and the option to have fun with it (and, depending on your industry, your employees/candidates are probably scrolling through it more actively than something like Facebook).
The goal of using it is to create a wealth of current information that helps candidates discover you and learn more.
That said, you might wonder how you can use Instagram to promote your employer brand. Lucky for you, I have 9 ideas below.
One of the easiest and most low-budget ways to share your story is to give real-time updates. For example, is there something interesting happening at the office? Is your company hosting a recruiting event? Is there exciting news to share? In these situations, you can take photos to promote on your Stories in real-time or create a visual (like through Canva) to promote important news, such as an office expansion, going public, or winning an employer award.
Snap a photo of your employee and share a quote in the caption. This is a great way to showcase your people, get testimonials, and give a glimpse of a “day in the life.” If candidates are looking to understand what it’s like to work in a specific role, this can be a great way to give bite-sized insight into it.
These are always fun ones. Whereas the spotlight posts offer a glimpse, the employee takeovers give a fuller behind-the-scenes look. Here, we get to see what it’s like to work at the company through their eyes. There’s also the added benefit of showing off things like your office design, your awesome team, the benefits and perks, and how this person is connected with leadership. HubSpot does a great job with this. Check out their “Takeovers” story highlight for inspiration.
Take some of your longer content and break it down into shorter, engaging content for your Instagram feed. For example, if you created a video, have the editors cut them into shorter themed videos. If you have a longer video about culture, you can break it down into three 15-second videos highlighting different aspects of your culture that you can share in three posts. Or maybe pull quotes and testimonials from blogs and create visual cards to highlight that. You can even repurpose podcast or audio formats to work for Instagram through Headliner.app.
Candidates love to hear directly from your people, so why not amplify their voices by resharing their content? A simple way to know when new employee generated content is around is to get your people to use your “LifeAt” hashtag for your employer brand or ask them to tag you in their stuff.
Got a bigger thing you need to promote? Consider doing an ongoing campaign that ties all your content together. For example, if you’re doing a campaign for the next three months to attract more women to your company, consider reworking your content to align with that. You can feature more women in your employee spotlights, add visuals with stats, highlight benefits or perks that can support women in the workplace, and more. All of it can tie together with specific visual language, a call-to-action, or a hashtag.
Need a little boost for big hiring pushes or to promote key branding messages? Consider sponsoring your posts or creating new ads. This is a good way to target your ideal candidates to raise awareness, get new followers, increase engagement, or drive them to a specific role or landing page.
I love this new feature because it can make the candidate’s research journey even easier. With guides, you can create a curated collection of posts that all tie together and tell a bigger story. For example, if you want to make it easy for engineering candidates to see relevant employee spotlights, create a guide to include all engineering employee spotlights. Or if you want to highlight your journey in becoming a more inclusive employer, showcase stories about partnerships you’ve made, key hires in leadership, diversity numbers, etc.
Sometimes putting together MeetUps and Open House hiring events just aren’t feasible. Maybe there’s a huge shift in your headcount plans and you need to recruit an entirely different group of candidates ASAP. Or maybe something like the pandemic happened, forcing us to still connect with people, but virtually. Or maybe you just don’t have the time, budget, or resources to pull something together.
In any case, IGTV can be a nice alternative. Here, you can host live events to connect with candidates, such as Ask Me Anything sessions with hiring managers, Meet the Team events with individual contributors, or even sessions with your recruiters as an intro to your company as an employer. Even better, if candidates can’t attend the live session, the recording stays on your profile, giving people the option to watch it at a later time.
As you can see, Instagram is really versatile in connecting with candidates and sharing your employer branding story. Focusing on one platform like Instagram will give you the bandwidth you need to get strategic with your social media plan and test what resonates and what doesn’t. Equipped with that information, you can launch strongly on other platforms if you decide to.
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