Building an Employer Brand Social Media Strategy in 4 Simple Steps

At its heart, employer branding is all about connection. As an employer brand professional, you are in the business of connecting and building relationships with candidates, prospects, and employees. The best way to connect with them is to reach out to where they are on the channels they already consume, and in today’s market, that means social media. In fact, 57% of job seekers overall use social media in their job search, and a whopping 73% of job seekers aged 18-34 found their last job through social media. Social media is a critical channel for building awareness of your company as an employer and turning that awareness into applications and hires.

It’s not enough just to have social channels, though. To succeed in your social strategy, you need to powerfully connect with your social audiences, and that can be tricky because your followers use different social channels for different purposes. Visitors to your Twitter channel may not be interested in the same social content that performs well on Facebook, and vice versa. To make the most of your social channels, you need to match the right content with the right audience on every channel. 

Sound tough? Don’t worry; we’re here to help with four simple steps you can take to fine-tune your social strategy. This is a long-term process, and you won’t see immediate results, but if you follow these steps and apply what you learned, you can keep your channels headed in the right direction.

Part One: Making a Good Start

On social media, you don’t want to be flying blind. When building your social media strategy, it’s important to learn as much as possible about your target audience's preferences and interests. Start with three or four key social media channels. You’ll use these to experiment with different types of content to find the ones that best resonate with each channel's audience.

If you’re starting from scratch and wondering what to post to your channels, a good place to start is your employer brand pillars. You can build an initial strategy around highlighting your company's distinctive culture, values, and mission. This approach will set your company apart from your competition, detail its unique attributes as an employer, and help attract the right candidates.

#exaqueoExpertise: LinkedIn has a staggering 52 million people using their platform to search for jobs each week. It's an excellent channel to reach potential candidates and showcase your employer brand.

Part Two: Analyzing Your Results

Once you’re actively publishing to your channels, you can download statistics directly from Twitter, LinkedIn, and your other platforms. Once a week, gather your stats and plug them into a spreadsheet–Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets are two good options. You can have a worksheet for every channel you publish to, and every post you make should be saved to the appropriate sheet.

Remember when we were talking about your employer brand pillars? Those come into play now because you want to assign a content category to every post that goes live. If you want to highlight your company’s benefits with stories about employees who took advantage of them, you might have a content category called “benefits.” If you’re highlighting your company’s commitment to DE&I, you might have a category called “diversity.” Assign one (and only one) category to every post within your worksheets. 

Now comes the calculation.

You’ll use functions to calculate two very important numbers: 

  1. The average engagement rate for every channel (captured with the AVERAGE function)
  2. The average engagement rate for every category within a channel (captured with the AVERAGEIF function, where the function “condition” is defined as every post falling within a certain category). 

The first number is your channel baseline—it describes how you are doing (from an engagement perspective) on that channel overall. The second number tells you how well each content category is doing on that channel.

#exaqueoExpertise: Many factors can influence the success of a social post–the image you attached, the words you used, or even the day and time it was published. The advantage of focusing on aggregate category performance instead of individual post performance is you’re not investing too much importance in (and possibly being led astray by) the specifics of a single post; for that reason, you’ll want to have 3-5 posts within a category before you start drawing conclusions.

Part Three: Applying Lessons Learned

Now is the time to look at how the categories compare to one another. Categories with average engagement above the channel baseline are performing well. Double down on your success stories and publish similar posts to see if the success can be duplicated. If video content is doing well, and workplace culture content is doing well, try some culture videos to see if that does even better. Look at the best-performing posts within each category to see if they have something in common; if so, do more of that!

Categories below the baseline need more work. At this point, you can’t be sure that the category is a bad match for a given channel–all you know is the material you’ve published so far is not connecting with your followers. Try different approaches to that category. Brainstorm different ways to communicate the same messages. Compare the best- and worst-performing posts within the category and see if you can draw some lessons. Be creative, and don't be afraid to try new things. 

#exaqueoExpertise: Schedule a weekly team meeting to review each channel's top and bottom-performing posts and discuss insights to keep learning and improving.

Part Four: Refining Your Approach

Congratulations, you're at step four and should be feeling more confident about your social media strategy. You've tried various types of content/channel combinations and have more insight into what connects with the needs and interests of your distinct channel audiences. This is not the end of our story, though—your social strategy is an ongoing process that requires constant refinement.

Now that your data is more mature, and now that you’ve tried different ways of communicating different aspects of your employer brand, it’s time to start pruning the tree. Some content categories will never do well on certain channels; you may find that career tips are a poor match for Instagram, or that culture is a topic that does not play well on LinkedIn. That’s OK—you have more than one channel, and you don’t need to communicate every part of your message to every audience. The important thing is to match that portion of your message with the interests of the audience consuming it. If certain types of content aren't receiving the engagement you'd hoped for on one or more channels, it's time to retire those efforts (at least for now). By doing so, you can redirect your resources toward the content that is driving results.

#exaqueoExpertise: As your audience evolves and their preferences change, your social media strategy will need to adapt and evolve with them. By treating each of your social channels as a distinct audience, you'll stay ahead of the game by keeping your numbers strong and candidates engaged.

Conclusion: It’s All About the Relationship

Developing a winning social media strategy is not difficult–all it takes is two ingredients, persistence and commitment to the relationship. Every one of your social followers has entered into a relationship with your brand. They’ve gifted you with their time and attention, and you can honor that gift—and cement that relationship—by publishing material that aligns with their interests and needs. Every time you post something to your channels, it’s an opportunity to learn more about those followers and serve them better. Follow the four steps outlined above, and you’ll be on your way to more followers, higher engagement, and closer connections with potential candidates poised to apply to your open roles.

Good luck!

Looking for more employer brand tips? exaqueo is happy to share our expertise, we specialize in helping organizations find solutions to create impactful candidate and employee experiences. Contact us to learn more!

Related Posts