Both the Millennial and Gen Z workforce are spoiled for choice nowadays. Even though it’s a competitive job market out there, there’s no denying that there are more job opportunities on the global market as well. What’s more, business leaders are facing an increasingly worrying trend of employer-hopping.
Millennials and Gen Z-ers are not afraid to change jobs until they find the right fit – financially, culturally, and workload-wise. So, not only is it difficult to attract and acquire top talent, it’s even more difficult to retain the best employees over the long term.
The solution may lie in employer branding on social media. Specifically, building a powerful employer brand and weaving it into your social media strategy to boost your brand’s reputation and trust in the eyes of potential and existing employees.
Today, we’re giving you the only guide you need on building an employer brand on social media so that you can bring the best of the best to your business. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Employer Branding Exactly?
Employer branding is the process of creating and marketing a brand experience intended to attract and retain employees. That said, building an employer brand can help a business achieve many other goals indirectly, such as boosting its online reputation and building added visibility and authority.
An employer brand envelops the entire experience of working in your company and being a part of your collective. It encompasses the values, personality, voice, visuals, and other elements that you need to communicate to your social media audience. More on those elements in a moment.
The process of employer branding and dissemination is a complex one that requires meticulous market and audience research, gathering employee feedback, and it’s a process that you can never really finish. A brand is a living, breathing entity that evolves over time, or it disappears.
That’s why you need to use this guide to continuously improve and optimize your employer brand on social media, not to set it and forget it. Social media is the right venue for employer branding because it’s where people find positive benefits for their lives.
Before we start looking into some social media best practices, let’s identify the key brand elements you need to become a powerful employer in the eyes of your social media audience.
Defining Your Key Employer Brand Elements
Your brand’s identity is the collation of all its elements, embodied in your brand style guide. A brand style guide specifies exactly how your employees and social media managers need to portray and communicate your brand internally and externally, to ensure consistency across the board.
The key elements of your employer brand and your brand style guide include:
- Clear purpose and positioning
- Tone of voice
- On-brand typography
- Visuals like your logo and color selection
- Values and causes you stand for
- Mission and vision
Before you start posting on social media platforms as an employer, you first need to bring all these elements together. After all, one of the roles of social media in our lives today is to create a complete and immersive experience, and your followers want and need to see a complete brand image. One that’s consistent across all channels to boot.
With that in mind, you need to work with your brand strategists, marketers, social media experts, and analysts to build up and refine each of these elements. It’s important to observe your brand identity as a whole, and how these elements interact.
When it comes to your values, mission, and vision, it’s important to optimize them to the needs of potential employees, not your general social media audience. Crafting the right employer values means sharing the right values with your ideal employees in order to create a deeper connection.
What are Some Social Media Best Practices?
Before we move on to more employer branding tips and how you can weave all these elements into your social strategy, let’s stop for a moment to remind ourselves of the best tips for proper social media management.
Choose the Relevant Platforms
One of the first and most essential social media tips for employers is to know which platforms are relevant and which are irrelevant in the given context. The context is employer branding, so your preferred SM platforms should be LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, but you could go on Twitter and perhaps TikTok as well.
Know Your Audience
You need to know who you’re talking to, and in this case, you’re talking to potential employees primarily, and your general social media audience second. If you are a non-profit looking to recruit volunteers on social media, on the other hand, you’ll need to adapt your tone of voice and posting to resonate with the hearts and minds of your audience.
In any case, your goal is to inspire action, trust, and brand loyalty. Make sure to conduct meticulous audience research by identifying your ideal employees and building their avatars, noting down their goals and aspirations, as well as key professional drivers.
Create a Content Strategy
Good social media management relies on quality content. You need to choose the right content types for all social channels and diversify your content offering to keep things fresh. Regardless of the kind of content you’re posting, make sure your branding is consistent.
Know What Makes You Different
You need to stand out in a sea of similar brands in your market. Know what makes you unique, define your unique value proposition (as an employer), and highlight it in your posts.
Schedule Your Posts
Never miss an opportunity to engage potential job seekers or your audience as a whole. Make sure to schedule your posts to drive engagement and teach your audience when to expect updates from your accounts. And use good social media time management practices to save time in the process.
Use Interactive Elements
Engage your audience with interactive elements like questionnaires, quizzes, comments, and contests. Use this to attract job seekers with more engaging content and then follow up with them once they have interacted with your brand.
Empower Your Employees
Your employees should be boosting your word-of-mouth marketing on social media, especially when it comes to elevating your employer brand. Have your employees share occasional stories, updates, experiences, and new job openings with their social community.
Align Your Employer Brand to Your Industry and Niche
While the steps you need to take and the brand elements you need to define are similar, ultimately the process of employer branding is different in every industry. Every industry and niche has different brand style preferences and social media audiences in different sectors interact with brands differently.
For example, branding a law firm on social media is different from marketing SaaS companies as their brands, as their voices, personalities, and other elements are quite different. Always keep in mind that what works for companies in different niches may not work for you, so it’s important to align and optimize your brand for your unique audience.
This means you need to:
- Apply market research your audience
- Study how they engage and interact with brands
- Note the positive and negative interactions
- Research your competition to see what works
- Develop your unique angle while adhering to your findings
Understand Communication on Social Channels
Social media represents an opportunity to communicate with your audience and engage with people directly or indirectly. It’s important to know how and when to engage with people using social media and electronic communication to achieve your goals. If your goal is to attract talented employees, you can do that directly or indirectly, for example.
To put things into perspective, sourcing talent directly means engaging with potential candidates via direct messaging. Sourcing talent indirectly, on the other hand, can mean engaging people in online comments, starting interesting topics in groups, or asking relevant questions in your posts.
Both can lead to you reaching a top-talented candidate for an open position. More importantly for the long term, however, is that combining direct and indirect social media communication allows you to build brand visibility and reach.
Engaging with people across all these touchpoints will inspire shares, likes, and interactions in general, exposing your brand to a wider talent pool.
Improve Brand Reputation with Social Listening
Social listening means gauging the perception of your brand in the social media space. This is done by analyzing interactions and conversations, brand mentions and tags, and any relevant content across different platforms.
Just like you would conduct continuous website monitoring to improve performance and results of your company website over time, social listening is the ongoing process of optimizing your social presence as an employer. In other words, this is not a set-it-and-forget-it solution.
You can use dedicated social listening tools to set alerts for brand mentions and key phrases across the social media space, or you can do it manually by:
- Knowing when your audience is online
- Being familiar with your key social platforms
- Knowing your key hashtags and phrases
- Crawling community pages and groups
- Monitoring competitor mentions
- Following industry trends and authority pages
Use Audio Branding to Your Advantage
Another great way to stand out as an engaging employer on social media is to invest in audio branding, otherwise known as sonic branding. Audio branding is a process in which you create the unique sounds associated with your brand.
These can include a particular genre of music, a unique jingle, a short sound cue, a particular voice, or a sound logo. These sounds can have a big impact on your audience and how they perceive, remember, and think of your brand.
This approach will help engrave your brand into the minds of your followers, and you can easily disseminate it across your social channels. Investing in audio branding can add that extra layer to your employer brand that will make it that much more unique in a competitive industry.
Have a Dedicated SM Team to Lead Your Employer Brand
To ensure brand consistency on social media and to engage your audience on all platforms, you need to have a dedicated SM management team. You can outsource this to an agency or expert freelancers nowadays, as many marketers and social media experts around the world do. (Or, looking at this from another direction, your company can become an attractive client for those who do freelance work by effectively keeping your employer brand present and appealing in social media.)
Whether you choose to outsource or bring someone in full-time, it’s important that your social media manager is following your brand style guidelines and cultivating a brand voice. If you are managing numerous social networks with high engagement rates, then consider creating a team to effectively manage all communication touchpoints, posting, optimization, and monitoring.
These experts can also reach out to prospective candidates in the DMs or via email to continue the conversation and inspire them to fill out an application.
Keep all Analytics Data on Hand
It should go without saying that building and nurturing a powerful employer brand on social media requires continuous research and optimization. You need to make data-driven decisions if you want to steer your employer brand in the right direction.
Collecting and analyzing your marketing data from social media and other platforms will allow you to better understand and predict your customers, on the one hand, but also to better understand and predict the behavior of your ideal candidates. You need to know how, when, and why they’re using their favorite social channels.
You need to know what their goals and aspirations are, and what truly matters to the best in your industry. Collate all your data in a unified dashboard to create actionable reports, and then use your findings to better position your brand on social media.
Use the Right Tools for Efficient Employer Branding
Finally, social media tools help you automate repetitive tasks, boost efficiency, and minimize financial waste. In fact, using the right social media marketing tools can help you achieve many business objectives, including attracting more talented candidates to your brand.
From content planning and scheduling tools to workflow and project management, and all the way to conversational AI, there are many tools out there to help you streamline the social media management process.
For example, you can use Bulkly to upload content in bulk, recycle posts, schedule your drip campaigns on social media, and automate many other processes. This will make managing your employer brand on social media more-cost effective in the long run.
Final Thoughts about Employer Branding on Social Media
In the competitive business world where the top talent won’t settle for anything less than the perfect fit, employer branding becomes a necessity. Building a compelling employer brand will allow you to rise above the competition and the noise on social media, and inspire the right people to reach out, apply, and join your thriving collective.
Likewise, your employer brand will be a powerful employee retention tool, portraying all the values and benefits of working in your company. With these tips and best practices in mind, you can start building a better employer brand on social media to bring in and retain the best employees.