TikTok for employer branding?
There are definitely opportunities for leveraging TikTok also for employer branding.
TikTok is growing massively and is definitely a social media platform useful for us talent marketers to discover and become familiar with.
I haven’t been on TikTok yet for too long, myself, but I’ve used this time productively to learn more about it, analyze what type of content gets attention and how businesses can benefit from TikTok.
I’m ready to share with you what I have learned!
In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I discuss TikTok for employer branding and share a few ideas on how you can benefit from TikTok for employer branding.
My name is Susanna Rantanen, and I teach branding, marketing and communications for HR Industry professionals for people who are driven to create the career they want and want to learn how to leverage marketing and communications for success!
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TikTok for employer branding
While I do think TikTok is better for recruitment marketing than employer branding, your TikTok account can quite easily combine these two for a great experience for your talent audience.
However, when it comes to TikTok, get your best value out of TikTok and hand the key to your company TikTok over to your employees!
Letting your team of selected employee ambassadors do the TikTok job is your best choice to succeed as an employer on TikTok. Maybe even go viral on TikTok!
Amplify your employer brand on TikTok through employee advocacy
Yes, this really is the time for you to create your employee advocacy program and get those employee ambassadors to share employee experiences, perspectives and stories about your company as a place to work.
I think the best way to use TikTok for employer branding is through employer advocacy.
What you need is a plan for how to use your TikTok and what key employer brand messages you want your advocates to share through their content.
In my experience, most employers fear letting their employees create content for social media because they should not control what the employees will say and post.
You can control it with a plan and coaching your ambassadors regularly on how to voice your key messages. But you need not control what they say and how they say it.
You control what your employees advocate on social media with a strategic employer brand communications plan and selecting, coaching and collaborating with your employee advocates. That’s why it is called a program. Employee advocate program.
Then you let your employees do their thing in line with your employer brand communications plan. It really isn’t any more difficult. Yet, I keep hearing from marketing departments how giving control to employees is a big no-no.
If you fear losing control, to be honest, that’s on you, not the other people. Stop thinking your employees are senseless and will embarrass your employer brand! Why would they do that?
Ok, said my piece about that. Let’s get back to TikTok, shall we?
Letting your employees wild and free on TikTok is the secret to employer branding success on TikTok
What’s great about TikTok and how we are expected to use TikTok for employer branding is that letting your employees free on TikTok will let your company culture and values shine through most authentically!
I’m always baffled by employers who, at the same time, want to have employee advocates but do everything possible in order NOT to want anyone to become an ambassador.
It is up to you to choose and train your ambassadors, and then you show trust and set them free.
If you fear they will mess up your company’s reputation, you need to look at yourself in the mirror and think about how well you chose, trained and supported these people. And if you have a general trust issue with human beings.
7 Ideas to find success with employer branding on TikTok
#1 Let your TikTok ambassadors express in their own ways what your business does
When they advocate your business purpose, customer value and how you operate as a business, they will likely make it more relatable to their peers on TikTok.
Check out the Washington Post’s TikTok account to get inspiration on using TikTok for employer branding. If you check out their profile, you’ll notice a small group of employees posting all the content.
At first, it might seem they talk about random stuff, but you’ll discover they are turning complex or boring news into a more entertaining form to educate the younger audience on TikTok.
Employees are a great strategy because they talk peer to peer in the language and style the younger audience can relate to. And not just this, while doing it, they build an employer image of what working at the Washington Post looks like and what types of topics people in their age group get to work with.
#2 Give your audience a bird’s eye view of your people doing their work
In Finnish, we have this saying of being the fly on the wall and witnessing what it looks like when your people are on their job duties. This is an authentic point of view to discovering what phases, routines, activities and actions occur during a regular work day.
I really like what a Cincinnati, Ohio-based mac & cheese bar, MacShack does on TikTok.
Each video showcases their work through the lens of an employer prepping a meal, cleaning a table, putting a Pizza Mac in the oven and so on.
What makes this employer branding is the unpolished vibe of showing it exactly how it looks to an employer as they do the task.
Imagine putting a camera on your forehead while you go about your work.
What will it record? Kind of like that.
And when it’s not just one person doing all the videos but multiple team members, your culture becomes showcased more authentically.
#3 Apply different hashtags, trends and sounds to your content to potentially reach new audiences every day!
You can expand your current audience into new relevant audiences who are not necessarily active on your regular employer branding platforms. Most people are not active on every single social media app. We tend to focus on one or two apps, and if you want to reach us, you need to join the app too.
TikTok is such an addictive platform that it’s likely the employer brand audience you can gain on TikTok doesn’t follow you yet at all. And the good thing is that you can target your content locally!
What TikTok excels in is its insanely accurate algorithm. When you use a variety of hashtags, you can reach a new audience every day!
Depending on which sound you use or which trend you copy, which hashtag you apply or the content you post, your videos reach audiences most likely to interact with them. You don’t need to know who is on TikTok. The algorithm will find your audience for you.
#4 Create educational content to attract audiences who want a career or to develop professionally in your field
Just make it with a twinkle in your eye! Remember, TikTok is a mass entertainment platform!
I bet your company employs people who are good at what they do for a living as professionals. Let’s say you have good salespeople working for you whom, week after week, bring in results.
Have some of them start sharing their tips and tricks on the trade to attract more people who want a successful career in sales.
Keep your videos short. Just one key message in one video.
Account @bradleyhustles offers content for salespeople who want to start a side hustle selling mattresses.
He shares simple but effective sales tips for his audiences. His videos are great examples of the types of content you could create for your sales talent audience.
When you go to TikTok, type hashtag #recruitingtips on the search bar to find several other examples of what type of content you could create from an employer branding angle if you were, for example, a recruitment agency employer.
Regardless of your industry, these types of TikTok videos are great examples of the types of educational content that work on TikTok.
What makes it employer branding is you sharing value-add content regularly for your target audiences on how they can grow professionally in their field of expertise.
The more you provide them with educational content, the more they come back to you, and if they really like the vibe of your company through your other content, too, they are many times more likely to become your applicant one day.
Or recommend you to their peers.
#5 Broadcasting from behind the job scenes makes excellent employer branding content for TikTok
The difference between your recruitment marketing and employer branding content is that when your employer branding content does not promote a vacancy currently open and asks job seekers to send an application.
Instead, your EB content allows your target audience to learn about your company at their own pace, even if they are not looking to change jobs right now.
Getting top of mind with your audience on TikTok requires posting a few times a week, and broadcasting behind the scenes is the easiest way to manage it.
Examples from TikTok account @Fidelity
Give your new employees access to your TikTok and let them broadcast about their first days at work.
Another video on their account showcases two employees, Lubna and Denise, being introduced in a very TikTok -manner.
#6 Why letting your employees on TikTok as your official ambassadors might be an excellent idea
Check out the account of Cameron from Walmart: @cameronfromwalmart1_. He is a Walmart employee with 5,1 million followers.
Walmart’s corporate marketing team are not stopping him from giving his best on TikTok! And good for them because Cameron’s Walmart videos have been liked for about 104 million times!
That’s free publicity for Walmart that has definitely helped the company to build its employer brand and land great candidates for their vacancies.
By the way, he also has an account on Instagram doing the same thing. But with ONLY 101 000 followers as opposed to the 5,1 Million on TikTok! Need I say more to you – or myself about TikTok?
What a great example of letting your social media savvy employees go for it without limits and bringing in potentially millions of views and followers to your employer brand.
You want to work with Cameron, and you want to be just like Cameron, which makes people with whom Cameron’s vibe resonates probably consider Walmart a pretty cool place to work!
After all, Walmart is letting Cameron be Cameron and isn’t that what we all want from our employers?
What about “Googler Kim”?
Another great example is Googler Kim, whom you can find here.
She has almost 114 000 followers, and her profile states her as “a Googler by day and a TikToker by night”.
Her videos advocate Google through her lenses and perspectives and resonate with people like Kim who want to work with her and the likes of her at Google.
Should you want to set your employees free on TikTok, Kim’s profile is a great source of content inspiration if your employee advocates are not dancers like Cameron from Walmart!
#7 Do not let the corporate weed on TikTok!
In no circumstances do anything corporate for TikTok! Corporate kills TikTok, and you’ll never succeed on TikTok that way. Remember, TikTok is used for mass entertainment purposes. So I’m asking you: Is corporate ever entertaining?
No. That’s right. So, keep the corporate stuff out of TikTok.
Your brand management will probably fight you because their biggest fear is ruining your corporate image and tarnishing your company’s brand.
Here’s what you need to discuss and agree with:
- You will have a content strategy for TikTok.
- Your TikTok ambassadors follow the strategy when ideating and posting content.
- Your TikTok ambassadors collaborate with you, helping you to understand how to get the most out of TikTok while getting your employer brand messages on TikTok.
- Educate, share your worries with your TikTok ambassadors and then choose to trust you to make a good team with them. That’s how everything good in life works. Also, employer branding on TikTok with your employees.
I’m bringing this up because you don’t know how often corporate marketing and branding have killed their company’s chances of building the employer brand their BUSINESS needs because they don’t seem to understand the difference between employer branding and consumer marketing.
Ok, that’s all for this week my friends!
Come back next week for more modern employer branding juice to keep you going!
Happy New Year! Let’s make 2023 a wonderful year for us wanting to succeed professionally and learn how to use branding, marketing and communication!
My name is Susanna Rantanen, and I teach branding, marketing and communications for HR Industry professionals who want to build a successful career in employer branding, talent acquisition or career coaching!