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 be a good time. It could be a nice edition to your overall social media strategy. If you are an employee looking for a job consider this Social Media Career Guide and developing A Social Media Plan For Your Personal Brand.

Employee Social Media Misuse Is Up. Should We Go On A Social Media Lockdown?

A new global workplace study has found that more than 70% of employers report having to take disciplinary action against employees for social media misuse – up from 35% in 2012. Wow. That is a lot. Should we just shut social media down and block it from our employees? What kinds of misuse are happening and does this mean we need to clampdown on employee social media efforts?

What kinds of employee social media misuse?

  1. Misuse of confidential information (80%)
  2. Misrepresenting the views of the business (71%)
  3. Inappropriate non-business use (67%)
  4. Disparaging remarks about the business or employees (64%)
  5. Harassment (64%)

What is interesting is that while employee social media misuse is up, overall workplace misconduct is downOnly 41% of employees observed misconduct in 2013, down from 55% in 2007. Why? Researchers found that 81% of companies are proving ethics training and it seems to be working. Yet other research has found that only 25% of companies offer social media training to their employees. 

I believe misuse is up because employee social media use is up and many have not followed suit with employee social media guideline and training. Even the courts and law are playing catchup.

For example, a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, has determined that it is legal to vent about your employer on a personal social media account if you’re speaking on behalf of a group of employees and your intent is to improve the conditions of your job. This ruling was in response to employer social media policies that were seen as too restrictive.

Research has found that 31% of companies still have no social media policy in placeDo you have a social media policy? Does it need to be updated? One place to start is to look at what others have put together. Here are over 100 Social Media Employee Policy Examples thanks to Social Media Today.

WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association also has resources to help you understand the responsibilities brand  have in complying with the FTC Guidelines in their Social Media Marketing Disclosure Guide.

When it comes to training, companies like Unisys, Sprint and HP are creating social media training programs to avoid social media crises, but also show employees how using social media can be a valuable business tool to increase performance and productivity.

At the end of day it comes down to employee trust. Jeff Bezos’ employee Pay To Quit program for Amazon.com makes a lot of sense.

6% of companies block access to social media sites in their workplaces. Should you lockdown social media? Or should we provide our employees with the proper guidance and training to use social media properly?