Building your recruitment brand on Google+
Did you know that Google+ now has more users than Twitter and LinkedIn? That it’s second only to Facebook in terms of its user base? Those facts alone should make you pause for thought if you’ve not yet taken any steps towards building a recruiting presence on Google+!
But there’s a much bigger reason for you to pay attention to Google+.
Numerous studies have shown that Google+ activity is increasingly impacting regular Google search results. A web page attracting a Google +1 (similar to a Facebook ‘like’) is being indexed by Google within a matter of minutes. People who are influential on Google+ are seeing their posts appearing higher in Google search engine results. Just think of the long term implications for your search engine traffic if your competitors build a strong Google+ presence and you do not!
Think of Google+ in terms of LinkedIn
I’m not sure either company would thank me for saying this, but the easiest way to think about Google+ is in terms of its similarities to LinkedIn. Individuals can have a profile and a presence on the site, just as on LinkedIn. Companies can have a profile and a presence, just as on LinkedIn. Plus there are Communities you can join and contribute to, which are not dissimilar to LinkedIn Groups (though less spammy in our experience).
One huge advantage that you have on Google+ as compared to LinkedIn though is the ability to have your Company Pages behave like individuals and follow other accounts (both pages and individuals), as well as comment on and re-share their posts. Given my observations that following, commenting and re-sharing are very effective ways of building a following on social media, the upshot of this is that a company can grow a following far more quickly on Google+ than on LinkedIn (unless you throw lots of money at the problem on LinkedIn).
Combine company and individual recruiter presence
In my post The Building Blocks for Social Media Success, I detailed how you can use a tool called Buffer to schedule the sharing of great content onto your social media profiles. The great news is that this also works with Google+ company pages. So the exact same time-saving approach we explored for finding and sharing great content can be used to power your company’s Google+ presence too.
Alongside this corporate presence, you may want to also have individual recruiters build up a Google+ presence. From a recruitment branding perspective, the advantage of doing this is that your content can reach a wider audience if it’s being shared on multiple accounts that have a varied follower base. The downside is that Google doesn’t currently allow external scheduling tools to power individuals’ Google+ accounts, so you can’t use Buffer (or Hootsuite) to set up content shares days or weeks in advance. There’s a Google Chrome extension called DoShare that does allow you to schedule posts to your individual profile (and the communities you’re a member of), but each share has to be set up manually. Hence it helps to spread out your posting over the course of the day, but does require a greater investment of your time than the company page alone.
Circle active and engaged users
On Twitter you follow other people. On Google+, you create “Circles” of people – and when you add someone to one of your circles, they are notified that you have done so. This allows you to group the people you’re following into potential clients or candidates, or to segment people by the sector they work in or their level of seniority. People know you’ve circled them, but they don’t know the name of the circle you’ve put them into – so you’re segmentation is hidden from public view.
Just as with following people on Twitter, circling people on Google+ is a very effective way of getting your profile in front of them – as is mentioning them in one of your posts, or commenting on one of their posts. The biggest pitfall – just as with Twitter – is ensuring that the people you are circling are actually active users of Google+.
Just as on twitter, I suggest searching Google+ for the web domains of the content you share and related hashtags. For example, a search for the URL social-hire.com on Google+ brings up shares of content from that website – plus all the people who’ve +1’d the content, reshared it or commented on it. We know the types of content these people are interested in, we know they are active on Google+ and we know that they are disposed to engage with other people’s content. Great!
Apply the same approach to hunt for people who are active in the niche sectors you serve. You’ll soon be circling people who have a high propensity to circle you back, be interested in what you’re sharing and inclined to re-share your posts.
Mentioning people and re-sharing their content
Another great way of getting your profile noticed is to mention people you know are active on Google+ or to re-share their content. Go the extra mile to add a complimentary comment or insightful remark about their posts and they’ll want to circle you and maybe reciprocate with a share of your content.
Lastly, be smart
Lastly, keep tabs on what is working well for you and what is not. Our own experiences have shown that content with high visual appeal (ie. that include eye-catching photos or an infographic) tends to perform particularly strongly on Google+. Similarly we’re seeing that some Google+ Communities are particularly vibrant, while others are subdued. It’s only by monitoring reactions to what you are posting – and where you are posting it – that you’ll be in a position to adjust your strategy accordingly. Don’t assume that exactly what’s working well on LinkedIn will work well on Google+; and don’t assume that what works well now will work well a year from now.