How to find and engage with influencers in your recruiting niche

Whenever I’m helping a client who’s new to social media, I’m always careful to ensure that expectations are properly managed. The truth is it takes time to build up a sizeable and engaged following on social media.

Having said this, finding and engaging with influencers in your recruiting niche is one of the most proven methods of accelerating the results you achieve. So let’s look at what’s involved in practice.

Multiplying your social presence by reaching out to influencers

For anyone embarking on building a social presence for their recruiting brand, a key issue is often how quickly tangible results are likely to be seen.

The reality is that organic candidate or client follower growth takes time. By approaching each social platform in a smart way and leveraging knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, you can reduce the timescales needed for follower count and activity threshold.

That said, once accounts are being grown the right way there is a limit to the speed at which they can be grown. The various forms of sponsored posts can certainly accelerate growth, but the budget needed for this isn’t something that all recruiters can stretch to. So if you’re constrained to building up an organic candidate or client following, what can you do to try and achieve results more quickly?

In my experience, teaming up with influencers is the most proven way of punching above your weight.

Who are the influencers in your recruiting niche?

First we need to clarify who an influencer is.

You’ll read variations on this, but in my view an influencer is someone who causes others in an industry to take action. On social media specifically, we’re looking for people who have a sizeable following and whose social media shares are frequently acted upon. So on Google+ this means people who are in lots of people’s circles (1,000+ ideally) and whose content shares are producing lots of +1s, reshares and comments. Take a look at my Google+ profile for an example of these levels of engagement.

But that’s not enough to make an influencer be someone who can help our social presence to be quickly multiplied. For that, we’re looking for influencers who have a high propensity to reshare other people’s content or to recommend other people’s profiles.

There are lots of influencers on each social platform who have built a strong presence and are now using this to market their own business, services or to further their own career. If an influencer isn’t going to engage with our updates then they’re not someone who can help to further our presence (beyond what we might learn from them).

Approaching the right influencers – an example

When we’re coaching recruiters on how to be more effective on social media, we always like to work step-by-step through how to do things. So let’s briefly do that here, so you have an approach you can replicate yourself.

As an example, we’ll look at how to find great influencers on Twitter. Firstly head over to BuzzSumo. Once you’re there you’ll want to either search by industry keywords or better still search for the domain of a website that is an important read amongst the influencer demographic that you’d like to reach. You’ll then want to click on “view sharers” alongside an article that looks like content that’s relevant for your audience.

This will bring up a screen like the one below (click here to access these results in full), showing you who’s actively shared this content.

recruiter image

I’ve sorted the results by the “Average Retweets” column. What we’re looking for here are people who generate lots of retweets on their content. Any score over 1 is great, though if you don’t have many followers yourself then maybe target people with a score of over 0.5. This means that every tweet these people share on average gets retweeted once by someone else.

Now pick out people who also have a good follower number themselves and whose “Retweet Ratio” is 5%+. A good follower number is important, because it means if they share something of yours, it’s going to be seen by lots of people even if it’s not retweeted by anyone else. The “Retweet Ratio” is important because you want to see that this influencer is someone who does actually retweet other people’s content. If they rarely retweet then your chances of them retweeting you are going to be pretty low.

These are the influencers you want to target on Twitter. Once you’ve followed them, you’ll want to retweet some of their content, reply and comment on some of it and maybe favourite some of their most valuable posts. These things all draw attention to your profile and spark conversation, which can quickly progress to them actually retweeting your content in turn. Believe me, it’s really that simple and it works!

Concluding remarks

“Who you know” can be as important as the number of people who know and follow you. Particularly when you’re building up your followings, any external boost to your visibility can be extremely valuable in producing quicker results. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to identify the influencers who are most likely to be helpful to you and how to reach out to them on each platform.

Good luck!

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