A Recruiter’s Guide to Social Targeting

Your best hire is out there looking for compelling reasons to further investigate his or her next career move, and you can find that person. Rather than leaving it up to the chance of organic posting or sponsored jobs, find them right where they spend their time: on Facebook and Twitter.

Paid promotion provides recruiters with the ability to target very specific audiences and, therefore, an opportunity to put content directly where it can be most effective. Top talent won’t be swayed as easily by just any sponsored jobs or company updates, so recruiters must take the opportunity to be part of that talent’s daily social media routine to push their brand message where they live.

Let’s begin with your targeting parameters.

Targeting Parameters

Facebook Targeting

Facebook allows you to target users by location, age, gender, interests, behaviors, and language. Interests allow you to target users by keyword as well as pages, groups, and conversation topics they participate in. Here you can hone in on job positions, job duty descriptions, companies, skills, and more. The more you know about your target audience, the better.

Twitter Targeting

Twitter targeting provides more rigid options when it comes to its Interest category. The platform allows you to target specific people such as new moms, musicians, and medical professionals. This level of targeting can be coupled with an option to target followers of a specific account as well.

How Recruiters Can Take Advantage of Targeting Options

Recruiters can hone in easily on specific audiences, and get immediate results on whether or not they successfully targeted the right group. Unlike traditional advertising or sponsored jobs, social media advertising is dynamic and gives you instant feedback.

An ad’s engagement rate will determine success or failure of your content. According to the latest research, an engagement rate between 1-3 percent is considered successful on social media. Although the quality of those engagements are harder to pin down, this number will provide insight into whether or not the content was compelling enough to inspire action upon seeing it.

Campaign Types

Recruiters can tailor campaigns on social media to a specific need or desired result. Campaign types across social platforms follow the same three categories: visibility, engagement, and lead generation. Each of these campaign types are optimized to achieve your desired result. Choose yours based on what you need to accomplish.

Choosing a Campaign Type

Twitter CampaignsTwitter’s Follower Campaigns and Facebook’s Page Like Ads are your first option to increase your page’s (and your content’s) visibility. It simply aims to create awareness about your page and encourage viewers to click Like or Follow to stay tuned for more of your content. Choose this option if you are launching a page for the first time or if you’re “re-launching” a page after a refresh or strategy shift.

Engagement Campaigns on both platforms are optimized to get users to interact with the content they see directly in from of them or on an external website.

Facebook CampaignsThese aim to garner clicks, shares, and conversations about your content. Choose this option if you are promoting an event, new content, or are soliciting users to visit a site other than Facebook.

Lead Generation campaigns can provide you with specific contact information for individuals, which is of great advantage to recruiters. Though this is typically geared toward sales professionals, recruiters can find very specific people who might be amenable to considering their company as a career path. Choose this option if you’re looking to proactively reach out or cold call potential applicants.

Determining a Budget

Note: These dollar amounts are meant to provide a framework based on one quarter’s worth of paid campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. Your budget can only be determined by you. Use the table below as a guide to see what worked for other recruitment accounts and what they were used to accomplish.

Price Classification

The campaign goals and options above can work with varying success if they’re used correctly. Notice that each price classification closely connects with the campaign types listed above. Visibility campaigns don’t require nearly as much money as engagement campaigns, which don’t require as hefty of a budget as lead generation campaigns.

Of course, you can only see improvement with large budget. These price classifications should be used as a minimum guide, so scale up when possible.

What You Should Promote

The beauty of easily accessible social promotion is that you can promote anything you want. Promote your hiring events or career fairs whenever possible. This type of promotion can be either a visibility or an engagement campaign, depending on the type of event you’re promoting. Sometimes, creating awareness is sufficient while other events require solid RSVPs in advance (in which case, you’d need an engagement campaign).

You should promote content that provides insight into your companies, its divisions and its teams. Your content is what differentiates you from the competition. Promote stories that detail what it’s like to work for your company so prospects can gain more insight into their eventual decision.

Promote your website — but only if it’s useful and relevant to the audience you’re targeting. Unless you’ve launched a refreshed website, nobody wants to see your homepage (sorry, it’s true). What those people want to see is something that will help them make a decision to move (or not move) to the next step in the sales funnel. Always provide value to the end user in your promotion.

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What You Shouldn’t Promote

Let’s talk about specific position promotions and why you shouldn’t throw them out there with reckless abandon. There are ways to sponsor jobs online so they receive visibility, but Facebook and Twitter are not the avenues for that. Stick to Glassdoor, LinkedIn, or Google AdWords for sponsored jobs — those are connected to keyword searches.

Facebook and Twitter will put a job promotion in front of someone who might just be looking to submit any application anywhere. Don’t serve your ads to an audience just to gain visibility unless you’re hiring lots of people for that position (e.g. retail hiring initiatives). Single positions — unless there is an extreme need to fill that one position — are not valuable to users on Facebook and Twitter in this way.

What is valuable to them? Content providing more insight into that position. You’ll never convince someone to apply for a position with 140 characters — not true top talent, anyway.

Never — and I mean absolutely never — promote self-righteous or pat-ourselves-on-the-back content. That includes holiday recognitions that have no correlation to your sales objectives (promoting a “Happy Labor Day” image is unacceptable, and users will sniff that out instantly). It also includes self-congratulatory content with no call-to-action.

That would be like winning an Olympic medal and wearing it around just so people can see it. There’s no reasoning behind that aside from showing off. But wearing that Olympic medal to a training course you’re instructing demonstrates that you know what you’re doing, and invites conversation that leads to true value. Be that company — be the organization that has credible and recognized experience in your specialty area. Promotions like this should only be used to bolster your case for a different purpose, never a showy gesture (press releases are sufficient for that).

The Bottom Line

Your top talent is out there and they’re using Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. Place your content in front of their daily or even hourly routine to stick out as a different organization. Job seekers are looking in more places for more information than ever before. Continue sponsoring jobs on LinkedIn or Glassdoor and don’t stop using job boards — just start adding more value when job seekers aren’t actively seeking positions and stand out from the competition.

As a content marketing manager at TMP Worldwide, Mike Bragg helps major clients meet their most crucial recruitment needs through content creation and amplification. He’s especially motivated by new technology and its ability to reach clients’ target audiences. Find him on Twitter @Bragg_Mike or on Meshworking, where he is a regular contributor.

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