Too many times a brand that is new to social media pulls the old “post and dash.” Essentially, they load up their social schedulers or organically post throughout the day and then go hands off once their posts are up.
I guess the “social” part of social media got lost on them.
Yep, believe it or not, social media is not just a place for you to shout into the void. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling pizza or, in our industry’s case, jobs—social media is a place for you to start a conversation with your followers, and posts are just the beginning.
The biggest and best social brands out there have specific roles on their social media teams for “online community management” or “social community management.” You may be scratching your head thinking, “Well that’s what I have my social media manager for…right?!”
Community managers are people whose job it is purely to engage with your social channels’ followers. When your page starts getting comments or posts made by outsiders on your page/people tagging you in tweets, you need someone there to jump in on the action and embrace what’s going on if it’s positive for your brand, or put out fires if it’s negative for your brand. To those of you who are relatively new to the employer brand biz, you may be thinking, “But I’m never going to have a fiasco on my company’s page or profile—we’re just here for recruiting!”
While it’s true that maybe you won’t have something as big as a viral controversy happen with your brand, you still need someone who is dedicated to keeping an eye on the engagement your page is getting. Not even a dedicated community manager—just someone who is socially savvy, has the bandwidth to be active on the channels, and has in-depth knowledge of your brand so they can speak in its voice to candidates in a way that engages candidates and shows them there’s someone on the other end who cares.
That’s what recruiting is all about, right?
So what are some ways that you should be engaging with candidates on your social profiles? The circle of social starts with your post, but it takes off and puts the ball back in your court whenever a follower/fan…
Likes your posts
To be fair, there isn’t a ton you can do to interact with these people. Liking something is the easiest form of social engagement, but it’s also a dead-end type of engagement. BUT! Looking at who is liking your posts or tweets can give you some valuable insight into building a follower profile, i.e. seeing what types of people are liking your content and feeding them more content along those lines. It’s a good way to drive the social content creation process.
Comments/Replies to your posts
Now you’ve got a playing field. The followers have spoken and in doing so they’ve opened a door for you to respond back. Some social media gurus would tell you every single comment should be replied upon. I’m not totally mad about that advice, particularly because I think it has good intentions. But when someone is simply tagging a friend or or making a vague comment like “Nice” you have more opportunity to slip up and sound canned or desperate than to actually engage.
However, many time in comments/replies, users are just engaging with you via questions or general comments. These are golden opportunities for you to respond with answers or comments that really show off your employer brand’s voice. Think of your reply as a new post in and of itself, targeted just to someone who has shown interest in what you originally posted. When you do reply to comments or replies on your post, you’ll want to make sure you are tagging the follower’s name in your comment to ensure they receive a notification that you are reaching back out.
Reviews & Posts/Tags
These are instances when a follower/fan has reached out to you, independent of a post you make. These are conversations started by users, making them the most important to respond to. Unlike comments that you can field for need to respond to, all reviews, posts or tagged tweets should be responded to in some shape or fashion. If a follower/fan is reaching out to you to say how they wish they could work for you, equip them with the tools they need to apply; if a follower/fan has a question about working for you or applying, answer them; if a follower/fan is reaching out with negative feedback about your employer brand, it might be time to escalate…
The message function on any social media channel is great for private conversations, making it an ideal setting for you to direct negative reviewers/commenters to in order to get more details out of them about their issue. But sometimes a follower or fan will reach out to you independently—again, whenever this happens as it might with reviews, posts or tagged tweets, it’s vital for you to respond. These are potential candidates who are reaching out to you and starting a conversation, making it folly to ignore them.
Of course there are blanket rules for every piece of community management: respond in a timely way (everything is timestamped, and Facebook actually rates you on your response time) and respond in a customer service but branded way. Many brands have started using the tactic of ending a reply with the employee’s name who is doing the commenting—not a bad idea, but also become so frequent that it’s beginning to seem canned. In the end, social media is a conversation, and as long as you’re authentic and true to your brand when engaging your community, you’re doing better than most.