Social media and employer branding go together extremely well.
Want to know why?
Because social media was built for social connections, networking and pursuing mutually beneficial relationships.
If you have been following me for a while you know how I talk about employer branding being all about building emotional connections. Those are equivalent to building mutually beneficial relationships.
Just like relationships offline are impacted by what goes on in our lives, building emotional connections with our target audiences are affected by what happens on social media.
And, based on my observations, the tectonic social media plates have been moving again.
Social media update for employer branding
I’ve said this a thousand times but success with social media marketing calls for staying updated on what goes on with social media in general. Otherwise you’ll end up sticking with tactics that may have outdated your efforts a long time ago.
Social media platforms are just that: platforms.
It is us users who make up how we use and apply each social media platform to our social needs.
When users start spending more and more time with another social media, it is most often more about how the platforms are being used than on actual technical development on any platform.
Only seldom we see newbies such as Clubhouse turning out to be a really great innovation and maintaining our bandwidth for more than just a week or so.
However, it is too early to say whether that keeps. Especially since the access is still limited.
Let’s remind ourselves recruitment marketing is a different practice than employer branding.
Many practitioners work with all talent marketing making it easy to pinpoint the differences between practices.
All marketing looks the same on the surface. But when you take a closer look at the specifics of the target audience and the goals for your marketing, you start to notice the differences.
None of the social media are very good for recruitment marketing because of it’s similar nature to sales. Apart from a couple of very limited exceptions, in general social media is not a great platform for sales at all.
Accounts that tend to be only promotional suffer on social media. If your social media marketing is only about promoting vacancies your company is unlikely to get much results and value out of social media.
Not all social media are equally good for employer branding
But all social media are not equally good for employer branding either.
Facebook used to be the greatest.
Facebook used to be the greatest gift for all talent marketing. Due to their major algorithm changes a few years ago, this is no longer the case unless:
- your company has a huge group with active members representing your target talent audience(s).
- you are actively building your Facebook community to help your company meet your talent marketing goals.
Twitter was really good for building new audiences.
Twitter used to be a really good platform for the speed dating type of employer branding.
You could for example create your own regular Twitter chat events if you had a big following. And if you did not have a big following, attaching your employer brand account for example on an event your target audience was actively following via Twitter gave pretty good opportunities to get involved with your audience.
Unfortunately, since the US election in 2016 Twitter started to suffer greatly from bots and troll accounts sharing misinformation. I also think the nature of how people use Twitter has changed. It is not necessary a pleasant environment anymore.
LinkedIn turned out to be the lucky winner but remains useless for actual employer branding.
LinkedIn was so lucky to win a lot of active daily users from Facebook and Twitter just a couple of years ago. And when Youtube went ahead and made it even harder to get started and succeed on their platform, LinkedIn didn’t even have to do anything to win in this.
Only recently has LinkedIn started to develop (or copy successful) features to make it feel more like other platforms.
But regardless of LinkedIn likes to think, the platform is useless for actual employer branding.
It is very good for talent acquisition though. I think this is because LinkedIn was originally developed for sales people and selling. They had the sales culture engraved in their DNA making it fairly straightforward to adapt the site for talent acquisition as well.
Instagram continues to be the best social media for employer branding
There is no way around it. Instagram continues to be the best social media for employer branding.
- Us human beings prefer visual to text. It is easier on our brains to digest.
- Creating visual content meeting the audience expectations is much easier on Instagram than on Youtube.
- There are multiple ways to connect and engage with your audience on Instagram, so it’s not just about posting images and Stories.
- Instagram is the only social media where you can still achieve relevant business results organically, without having to advertise your content.
- This social media is really the best for building brands. You cannot avoid seeing that as an Instagram user. The features support branding (in it’s real sense).
- It is also simple to use as a brand because business profiles and private profiles are equal in the eyes of the algorithm. Which is no longer the case with Facebook and definitely not with LinkedIn.
While LinkedIn is definitely a great social media platform for employee advocacy and talent acquisition, nothing so far is able to beat Instagram when it comes to actual branding.
Listen to episode #68 of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast
In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast, I share my observations on recent social media changes in connection with employer branding.
What is different to the “official changes” that took place a few years ago, these are more like consequences to the movements of the tectonic plates.
- Changes to the former power positions.
- A Newcomer consuming our bandwidth.
- One remaining the best social media for employer branding specifically.
Episode-length: 27:05 min
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