Employer Branding in 2019 – How to Leverage Social Media [With Examples]
Employer branding is a hot topic in the recruitment world these days.
There are so many ways to promote your employer brand in 2019 that it’s impossible to use each one effectively.
There is, however, one safe bet – social media.
Regardless of your specific industry, the social media space has become so enormous that you can safely assume your ideal employee is using it.
Hootsuite’s Global State of Digital Report in 2019 shows that from 4.3 billion internet users worldwide, 3.4 billion are active on social media.
So if you’re interested in promoting your employer brand in a space that hosts nearly half of the world’s population (hint: you should be), social media is the way to go.
In this article, we’ll look at four brands on four different social media platforms to see how they handle employer branding on social media.
But first things first – you must get familiar with the fundamental principles of promoting your employer brand on social media.
Principles of Employer Branding on Social Media
1.Do Your Research
There are literally hundreds of social media channels. Trying to promote your brand on all of them isn’t a smart decision.
That’s why you need to start with in-depth research of where your ideal employees hang out online and why.
Of course, the big four – Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter – are a solid starting point for most, but not everyone. Also, as these channels grow more popular, their effectiveness goes down since everyone is using them to promote their brand or product.
Even so, a Facebook page is a must for pretty much every business.
The easiest way to start researching is by asking your current employees which social media channel they use and why. If you don’t have a large enough team to conduct comprehensive research, you must read survey results or create your own survey forms and ask people to fill them out.
This might look a slow and tedious process but don’t skip it.
Building your employer brand without proper research cannot be successful since most people use the big four platforms, but you can also miss out on lots of value if your ideal employees are using a lesser-known platform.
2. Focus on People And Their Stories
It’s impossible to find a great employer branding example that doesn’t spotlight employees and their stories.
Some strategies only focus on employee stories and testimonials.
Leveraging your current employees is your safest bet in terms of the content you produce. When created the right way, this can be the most valuable content for your employer brand.
So, why is this method so effective?
Because it’s based on tried and tested psychology principles. More precisely – on the principles of liking and social proof. Job candidates are always more inclined to like and trust people similar to them. Bombarding them with messages from the CEO or HR (unless you’re hiring for your HR department) isn’t nearly as effective.
This approach also allows potential job candidates to visualize themselves as a part of your company through someone similar to them.
3. Be Consistent and Authentic
Consistency and authenticity are crucial components of all successful communication strategies.
You want your brand to be recognizable as soon as people see a specific image or read a piece of copy. That’s difficult to achieve, but not impossible.
Start by finding what sets your company apart and use that to create specific messages. You might want to be the fun employer – lots of parties, long lunch breaks, casual Fridays and so on. On the other hand, your messaging might be centered around career growth opportunities or a creative work environment.
Whatever the case may be, find your edge, create your brand voice, and stick to it.
4. Post Regularly
What do you do if you’re trying to decide if a business is legit or not?
Most likely, you check their Facebook page and other social media accounts. Imagine finding a page with two reviews that hasn’t posted anything in four months. Not the best look.
According to TalentWorks International, 59% of job candidates use social media to research companies they’re interested in. Imagine if they find a “dead” page.
You want to post content on social media regularly.
That doesn’t mean posting multiple times per day, but you do need to have a publishing schedule. The specifics depend entirely on you but posting less than once a week is generally not enough.
Posting regularly doesn’t mean creating multiple blog posts, images, or videos. You can reshare content that your target audience finds interesting, funny, or educational.
Also, don’t post only job ads or sales messages. That’s the easiest way to lose your followers.
5. Answer Questions and Start Conversations
If you’ve done everything else correctly, you should be getting some engagement from your audience.
From here, your job is to keep that engagement and nurture it.
Leaving questions unanswered, especially regarding job openings, will cripple your employer brand. Try to answer questions as quickly and as comprehensively as possible.
Also, thank people for their compliments and address criticism.
By engaging with your audience, you create a feeling of humanity and reliability that’s often missing in social media interactions.
Employer Branding Examples
Now that you’re familiar with the principles, it’s time to learn from the best.
Marriott Careers on Facebook
Here we’ll get into why it’s one of the best examples of employer branding on social media.
This page focuses more than anything on people, their stories, and unique talents.
The part about people’s talents is what makes this page so amazing. Take a look at this video, for example. It’s only 90 seconds long, but it manages to highlight an employee’s unique background and talent as an ice carver.
You can find tons of similar videos about chefs, managers, bartenders, and other Marriott employees on this page.
As an employer, this type of content demonstrates to your audience that you care about your employee’s craft and contribution to the team.
Besides that, the Marriott Careers page is a dynamic page that’s constantly updated and monitored.
From the moment you enter the page, the first thing you see is the cover photo that says “24/7”, “Any Time, Any Day,” “Message Me,” and “Your Personal Career Concierge.” A chatbox also opens automatically with Facebook indicating that this page “Typically replies instantly.” They also post content daily.
That’s what job candidates what to see. From the moment they land on the page they know they can ask questions and get answers quickly.
The result of this approach is astonishing – the page has almost 1.4 million followers.
Starbucks Jobs on Twitter
Starbucks is a giant brand that’s known all around the world.
In fact, Forbes ranks Starbucks as the 35th most valuable brand in the world ahead of names like Netflix, IKEA, Ford, and Zara. Because of its size, Starbucks has to “stick to the protocol” more strictly on social media.
The Starbucks Jobs Twitter account is a prime example of how a huge company takes advantage of social media for employer branding.
Of course, they share pictures and quotes from employees. They talk about their new locations or products. That’s not anything unusual or unique. Besides, Twitter isn’t the only place you can do that.
What Twitter provides is a platform for sharing time-sensitive messages to your audience. Starbucks does just that. They share interesting Martin Luther King stories on MLK day. The post quotes from their female employees on International Women’s Day. You get the point.
Taking an active stance on current events, even controversial ones, is how you leverage Twitter.
While big brand used to stay away from controversial topics, they’ve realized that to connect with younger audiences, they must take a stance on all highly-publicized issues.
Starbucks has had its share of failed attempts in this regard (mainly their 2015 Race Together Campaign), but its Twitter account is still a great example of how you can mix current events, employee stories, and product messages.
Salesforcejobs on Instagram
Salesforce is one of the few big companies experimenting with employer branding on Instagram.
Their Instagram jobs page – salesforcejobs – takes full advantage of the power of the visual-heavy social media platform.
First, if you go on their Instagram page, you almost won’t find any professionally shot and edited photos and videos. They’re all taken with a phone in a casual environment like a selfie you’d take with your friends. This creates relatability.
They also sprinkle in photos of employee’s babies and pets from time to time. Besides being cute, pictures of babies and animals drive the most engagement overall in all social media platforms, so that’s a smart strategic move.
In their description, Salesforce calls their team “Ohana” which is Hawaiian for family. That’s the whole vibe you get from watching this page – not of a large corporate entity, but of a family of people working and enjoying life together.
Salesforce’s employer branding embodies the family approach as a fundamental component of their company culture.
Zappos on LinkedIn
Zappos is an online retailer of clothes and shoes owned by Amazon.
Obviously not the most exciting employment opportunity out there.
However, Zappos’ LinkedIn page is a prime example of how you can use your unique voice to shake up an otherwise dull page.
As you enter the page, the first thing you see is a colorful photo of a couple of employees having fun. Secondly, you read their description: “Zappos.com is a service company that just so happens to sell shoes.” By now you get that this isn’t a typical LinkedIn page.
For most people and business, LinkedIn is the serious, professional space that’s the total opposite of other social media channels that are used for procrastination and…well, fun.
The people at Zappos don’t seem to care about that at all.
Their whole page gives off a laid back vibe with content obviously aimed at the younger generation. While other businesses keep their social media accounts and especially LinkedIn page sharp and professional Zappos post a picture of a hotdog and ask their followers if they think hotdogs are sandwiches.
This strategy might seem silly, but it’s actually well thought out.
Not only is Zappos’ brand voice different than most businesses on LinkedIn, but it’s also authentic, consistent, and instantly recognizable.
Employer branding is a broad and developing topic.
You can learn a lot by watching other businesses, reading materials, and attending seminars, but at some point, you just have to start.
Starting on social media is a great way to reach a vast audience and build your brand voice while still keeping your expenses low.
As you find your voice, your employer brand will become more recognizable and trustworthy.
So, do your research, focus on people and their stories, be consistent and authentic, post regularly, and keep the conversation going.
Results will come soon enough.