Employer Branding in Social Media [Infographic]

Why social media employer branding? Job seekers rank social and professional networks as the most useful job search resource compared to job boards, job ads, employee referrals, recruiting agencies, and recruiting events. Companies believe that social media marketing will be the most in demand human resource skill by 2020.

An employer brand is a brand’s reputation as a place to work and its employee value proposition. It is related to, but unique from the general brand reputation and customer value proposition. Think of the difference as “great place to work” versus “great place to buy.”

Employer branding is attracting, engaging and retaining talent. This is often done by human resource managers working with marketing and/or applying brand management concepts to recruitment and employee relations. Social media can be a powerful tool for employer branding with many benefits as evidenced in the statistics below.Employer Branding and Employee Engagement in Social Media Strategy for MarketingHow do you use social media for employer branding? First, understand your employee value proposition (EVP), the set of offerings you provide an employee. EVP is an employee-centered view of the unique set of values that differentiate your company from competitors. A good EVP helps attract and retain talent that is the best fit. Kristina Martic from the recruitment marketing firm TalentLyft explains that EVP includes:

  1. Compensation (salary, bonuses)
  2. Benefits (healthcare, vacation)
  3. Career (stability, development)
  4. Work environment (positive atmosphere, work-life balance)
  5. Company culture (team support, social responsibility)

By defining your EVP you should form an idea of who your ideal job candidate would be. This is more than a standard job description of required education, skills and years of experience. TalentLyft recommends creating a candidate persona combining demographic and psychographic segmentation the way you would in defining a target audience for marketing.

Next, discover where that ideal candidate is spending their time online, where they are looking for job information, and who they want to receive that information from. The average candidate uses 18 different resources to research a company before applying for a job and 79% are using social media in their job search. The top social networks for recruitment are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. These social channels are good places for more formal posts (organic and paid) about specific positions, benefits and corporate values, but other factors are important.

A LinkedIn survey found that the number one obstacle candidates experience is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization. For more of the behind the scenes or in the trenches view other social channels like Instagram or Snapchat could be powerful. Show don’t tell with images and videos of what the company culture and work environment are like.

Another LinkedIn survey found that candidates trust employees three times more than employers. It is important to include your employees in your employer branding social media. Consider employee takeovers and Instagram and Snapchat stories from live events. Or have employees guest write about their accomplishments on the corporate blog. Pew Research indicates that 77% of workers use social media while on the job. Why not leverage that time for the good of the employer brand?

Be sure to also use social media to communicate to your employees. Remember that it isn’t just candidates that are viewing your social posts. Employees are as well, especially when you start engaging them to communicate company culture. Job Vibe reports that employee turnover can be reduced by 28% by investing in an employer brand.

Another social channel consideration for both employer branding and employee relations is employer review sites. Survey’s indicate that 50% of job seekers read employer reviews on sites like Glassdoor before applying. And 69% are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand by responding to reviews, updating their profile, and sharing updates on the culture and work environment.

With employees sharing updates on brand social channels, writing corporate blogs and leaving reviews on employer review sites employer branding and employee engagement are intricately linked. Employee engagement is actively appreciating employees and their work to motivate more productive and active employees. This is important considering 89% of employees say performance recognition impacts their drive and determination.

Driven and determined employees are excited to be recognized for their work in social media and happy to share their enthusiasm for their work and company in social. This enthusiasm is observed by job candidates who become new employees and continue the cycle. Thus, good employer branding becomes good employee engagement.

Who is doing this well? The international IT company CISCO has a great employer branding and employee engagement program based on #WeAreCisco. Explore their Life At Cisco Blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat for inspiration. They have even been enter into the Shorty awards for employee generated content for for employer branding.

If you haven’t thought about the importance of employer branding, employee engagement and social media, now may a good time. It could be a nice edition to your overall social media strategy.

A Simple Guide to Influencer Marketing in Social Media.

Influencer marketing is a growing part of social media strategy. According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) 75% of companies have influencer programs and nearly half (43%) are planning to increase their spending next year. Of companies not using it over a quarter (27%) plan to do so. Yet, there are many forms and methods to structuring an influencer program. To be successful brands must ensure they have a solid strategy rooted in business objectives, target market and best practices. Below is a guide to follow in creating or optimizing an influencer marketing program as part of a broader social media strategy.

Guide to Influencer MarketingObjectives and Target Audience: Begin your influencer marketing with business objectives. Are you trying to increase sales or build brand awareness? Do you have a reputation problem and are looking to increase positive sentiment? Are you a B2B brand that wants more leads? Look for the bigger problem or opportunity. Don’t make the mistake of starting with social media objectives that just become an end unto themselves.

Who are you trying to reach? Identify the target market for your product and service. Then turn that market into a target audience or audiences that you want the influencers to reach. You may have one audience active on specific social media platforms. Knowing this will focus your effort on finding influencers popular on those social channels. If multiple target audiences are involved identify every target by objective. Each audience may need to be reached with different platforms, influencers and content. An example is colleges with an annual enrollment objective targeting high school students, parents and alumni. They may also have a second objective of raising funds for a building project targeting alumni, business leaders and state legislators.

Method and Compensation: Influencer marketing can be structured in several ways. Small organizations with a minimal number of influencers or big companies with larger internal resources may want to create and manage their own influencer program. For more help brands can work with influencer platforms or networks that streamline processes and payments and make it easier to find influencers. Fees are charged for the convenience and you may be limited only to influencers in their network. A third option is hiring an Influencer Agency. These agencies provide the most options, customization and access to influencers, but will also cost the most in fees.

Another increasingly popular option for influencer marketing is affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing has been around for many years, but in the past it focused on building websites to draw an audience and send traffic to product links for sales. The retailer rewards the affiliate for each visitor or customer. Today more affiliates are using social media to attract audiences and insert links in social media posts. Instead of paying per post or sending free product, brands pay a commission per sale which could motivate affiliates to send traffic for a longer periods. Options include building and managing a brand affiliate program, working with an affiliate platform and network, or hiring an affiliate agency.

Social Channels: Select the social platforms that make the most sense for brand objectives and target audience. Where is the target audience spending time? What social media networks are they on and where do they look for content in the brand’s industry? Consider options in multiple categories such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, and podcasts. Also look at niche social platforms such as forums, Medium, Reddit, Quora, or SlideShare. The idea is to match social channel users and social channel content type with target audience and objective.

Type of Influencer: Are you looking for a celebrity (famous in traditional media), a social media star (known for or because of social media ), or a thought leader (known for industry knowledge)? Celebrities can have a lot of advantages including their mass reach and appeal. Yet film, music or sports celebrities can be expensive and people may question the authenticity of their product endorsements. Social media stars may have less followers, but those followers could be more engaged and endorsements could be seen as more believable. Thought leaders are a good choice for certain product or service categories in B2B. A mention or recommendation by an industry leader can carry a lot of weight.

Influencers can also be categorize in terms of follower size. Macro-influencers have 100,000 or more followers. Mid-level-influencers have between 25,000 and 100,000 followers. Micro-influencers can have as little as 50 to 25,000 followers. It may be tempting to only go for the macro-influencers because of their massive reach, but micro-influencers are often more effective. Adweek reports micro-influencer engagement rates can be 60% higher, their buys are 6.7 times more efficient, and they can drive 22 times more conversions. According to the ANA more than half of brands use mid-level (66%) or micro-influencers (59%) while less than half are using macro-influencers (44%). No matter what type of influencer you use a growing concern is influencer fraud. Influencer marketing software companies are working on ways to detect fraud and create industry standards.

Type of Content: Once you have your influencers decide how content will be created and spread. You may think it is best to have the most control, but content created by the brand and merely shared could come across as not genuine. Certain influencers or influencer networks may also have their own standards for what they will or will not do. Consider the pros and cons for each option such as influencer shared brand content, influencer created brand content, or product and service reviews and mentions. Or get creative with options such as influencer brand account takeovers, brand guest content contributions, or collaboration on a contest or giveaway. Another consideration is to repurpose influencer content in other channels and in other forms.

Monitoring and Metrics: Ensure you follow the FTC Endorsement Guidelines. Recently the FTC cracked down by sending out letters to influencers and brands not following the standards and creating deceptive advertising. Brands are responsible for training influencers on these standards and for monitoring their influencers to ensure compliance. Influencers, agencies and brands are all held accountable. Also make sure you have an up-to-date social media, user generated content, and privacy policy. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the new European data-protection law (GDPR) many companies are updating their privacy policies to meet new expectations and standards.

Finally, monitor key metrics per influencer and social channel to measure success. Be sure to identify KPIs that connect back to each business objective. This not only helps prove success but also allows you to optimize the program over time by social channel, influencer and type of content. Setting up key metrics and monitoring in the beginning will simplify social media metrics and help prove ROI .

As other forms of traditional, digital and social media marketing become more challenging many marketers are adding influencer marketing to their IMC mix. Consider these guidelines when structuring or restructuring your influencer efforts. For the bigger picture in social media strategy, more tools, templates and guides, plus a framework for creating and executing a complete social media plan consider the 2nd Edition of Social Media Strategy: Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations in the Consumer Revolution. bit.ly/QSocialBook