Building your recruitment brand on Facebook
So far in this social recruiting series, I’ve helped you figure out how to find and share valuable content on your social networks to engage target candidates and employer brand advocates. I’ve then shown you how to apply this approach both on Google+ and on Twitter (see here for those articles). Both are tremendously important for your recruiting brand – they each have a massive user base, can reach candidates you can’t reach on LinkedIn and can be tapped into largely for free.
Here we turn our attention to Facebook – the largest social site with more than a billion potential candidates, many of whom are passive candidates…
Facebook recruiting comes at a cost
Asides from modest expenditure on social media management tools, the approaches I described for Twitter and Google+ require no financial investment asides from the actual time investment of rolling out these ideas. Facebook is quite different.
You’ll be aware that employers can attract candidates to their Facebook pages and can amass “Likes” from people who want to hear more of what the employer has to say. You’re probably also aware that on these employer pages it’s easy to host a “jobs” tab where candidates can discover your latest openings. As a recruiter, you can share valuable candidate insights and content in just the same way you have learnt to do on Twitter and Google+.
Unfortunately there is a “but…”
Some time ago, Facebook decided that to make its feed as valuable as possible for users, it needed to start influencing which posts Facebook fans and friends would and would not see. In essence, the more someone’s posts are engaged with (liked, shared or commented on) the more likely they are to show up in people’s feeds. Correspondingly, the less this happens the less likely your posts are to appear in fans’ feeds at all.
This is quite unlike Twitter and Google+. On those channels, once you’ve won a follower they can potentially see everything you share (unless they decide to mute or unfollow you). I’ve read numerous studies suggesting that company pages are now doing well if their updates appear in the feeds of even 10% of the people who’ve liked their page. Certainly our experiences on both our own Facebook page and our recruiting clients’ pages would suggest this is the case. It stands to reason too – are people really likely to engage with your posts as much as they do with their friends’ updates or with the updates of their favourite football team or TV show?
Why pay for Facebook exposure?
However, before we consign ourselves to having missed the boat with a recruiting Facebook presence, let’s consider the following. Facebook has more active users than any other social network. Facebook is accessed by those users more often than they would use say LinkedIn. Plus the likelihood of reaching passive candidates who haven’t yet been saturated by recruiter approaches and recruiting messages is greater. So whilst it’s not free in the same way as Google+ and Twitter, it is a channel that can still produce a high recruiting ROI for those with budget to spend.
It’s the reach of Facebook – and how active its users are – that makes it potentially valuable to recruiters. But of even greater value is the targeting of candidates that’s now been made possible. Facebook collects a wealth of demographic information about its users. More recently it’s added the collection of professional information about users as a key data set. So now you can pay to target people who work in certain locations, have certain academic backgrounds, have certain interests and who work at particular target companies!!
You have a number of options here. You can pay to market your Facebook page and grow the number of likes it has amassed, in the expectation that your future posts will be seen by more people and that the rising fan count will produce a snowball effect in terms of likes. You can also pay to promote specific posts that you’d like to see reach a larger audience, guaranteeing these posts greater prominence in users’ feeds. Or you can pay to run adverts (not dissimilar to Google Adwords) targeted to be shown on Facebook to your chosen demographic.
Our advice would always be to test out these approaches and see for yourself which produces the best return for your recruiting brand. There’s no one recommendation that suits all as each brand’s appeal is different.
Other tips to be noticed on Facebook
There are of course other things you can do to try and raise the awareness of your Page posts without resorting to paying for exposure. Facebook recently added the ability to tag other pages in your posts – with the benefit that your post stands to be shown to some of the followers of that page. So if you’re sharing news about a certain company in your industry, for example, tagging them in the post could give your Facebook page exposure to a new audience.
As is common across many social platforms, images often perform better than pure text updates. So experiment with this and see if sharing images can be a way to drive up engagement on your posts – and thus result in all your posts being shown to a higher proportion of your fans. Similarly competitions can be a good way to boost engagement on your posts with the knock-on beneficial effects on the reach of all your other posts. As should be the case with all your social activities, the right approach is to test-learn-test and refine what’s going to produce the best results for your recruiting brand.