We’ve discussed in recent blog entries the importance of and necessary steps to creating a social media editorial or content calendar to ensure your followers remain engaged and your social footprint grows alongside your customer base. But what if you’re an employer? What if your ultimate goal with social media is to create or cement your employer brand as opposed to generating new customer leads?
It may seem like a slight tweak in the overall objective, yet this small deviation does amount to different tactics and approaches to both the creation and publication of social media content. Remember: if employer branding is your goal, your social media content and editorial calendar is not simply an amplification of your Inbound or overall content strategy. While your social media content can certainly (and should to some extent) leverage existing web or digital content, building an employer brand via social requires dynamic content that taps into relevant online/real-world discussion, is easily shareable, and reveals why your company would be a good fit for individuals following you.
Here’s a quick, 40,000-foot guide on how to create a social media content calendar to enhance your employer branding and position your company as an advantageous career move for potential candidates.
Much like how each appliance or tool in your kitchen does different tasks best, so goes for today’s major social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn each have different features, kinds of followers, and opportunities for interaction. In addition, each platform has its own tone or voice that you must adapt to for your employer branding to resonate on that platform. You must also remember that you may very well have the same followers across several different platforms, so simply posting the same content to each platform will not only become redundant but will also be viewed as lazy or uninspired, which is not an idea you want associated with your employer brand.
Along the same lines, it’s important to review performance and analytics of content across all platforms on a regular basis to identify if certain social platforms work more effectively for your industry or brand. For example, some industries or companies that are more visual in nature may have an extremely robust following and engagement on Instagram and less so on Twitter. Knowing how and where your employer branding content resonates best will help you more effectively allocate resources and manpower.
Be mindful of mobile
A social media post (content that is created specifically for use in the social sphere) is not a blog post, an article, or a statement of purpose or mission. According to leading career resource Indeed, more than 60 percent of employees engage with employer branding content via their phone or mobile device – that means less than 4 in 10 individuals are in front of a screen large enough to scroll through a lengthy blog post or article. This means the ability to create compressed, concise copy that conveys who you are as an employer is the name of the game. Using infographics, charts, graphs, or other pieces of visual content in place of or as a compliment to traditional written copy is not only more mobile friendly and more apt to be shared throughout a user’s personal network (which is its own residual benefit), but it also demonstrates a forward-thinking mindset and worldview that will resonate with passive job seekers when they’re ready to make their career move.
Highlight employee stories and successes
Clichés are clichés for a reason – they’re true. A company is truly a reflection of its employees and building in positive employee experiences and success stories as a regular part of your social media content calendar is a powerful tool to leverage in enhancing your employer branding or advancing your employer narrative. This may sound easy, but there’s more to this than taking a nice photo of an employee, collecting a brief testimonial or blurb about the experience of working there, and throwing that on your social platforms. Every company under the sun is doing some variation on this and you need to go deeper to stand out amongst the competition.
As a social media manager, when looking to highlight employees or discover a human interest element, ask yourself these questions:
- What makes this employee unique?
- Who is this employee as a person outside of the work environment?
- What did this employee do prior to joining our company?
- Does this employee have a unique perspective on their role?
These are what social media managers should take into account when looking to create employer branding content that is employee-centric in order to gain the most traction and response with published content. In a sense, highlighting employee stories and successes demand lines of questioning more akin to a reporter or magazine writer than a media marketer, and this train of thought will not only yield more interesting and innovative content, but will also help social media marketers look at the work they do with a fresh, outside-the-box perspective.
Build in content for holidays and special events
Simple as though it may seem, aligning your employer branding social media content calendar with already established holidays or celebrations is an easy way to join in a bigger discussion across social media. National Administrative Assistant Day. National Bosses Day. National Employee Appreciation Day. These celebrations and events not only give you a built-in window to create employer branded social content, but they also give you license or an occasion to experiment or get creative with your employer branded content.
Every company with an established employer brand in the digital or social media sphere will publish a picture of their Administrative Assistant team on the day these employees are being celebrated, so this is where your creativity as a marketing professional can rear its long-dormant head. What about a 30 second video or montage of your AAs? Or, what about an infographic depicting the ways in your which AAs add value to the company and in return are valued by management?
Simply jumping on the bandwagon with holidays or special events doesn’t quite get you into the end zone in terms of employer branding. Making sure your content is adventurous (or at least adventurous for your industry or company) should be part of your goal.
Peek over the fence
Just because you manage social media employer branding and engagement for a health care organization doesn’t mean you’re limited to observing what’s going on in the health care space. Too often social media managers get pigeonholed in their lane and lose sight of the bigger picture in terms of what other companies, organizations, and entities are doing to invigorate the social sphere with quality, innovative content.
For those looking to jump-start their employer branding social media strategy, make sure you’re peeking over the fence from time to time to get a bird’s eye view of what other industries are doing with their social content. For example, imagine a media company you admire has launched a series of short videos on their social platforms to engage their audience in comment discussion about X or Y topic. Your first thought might be: “I wish my industry allowed for this kind of fun, engaging content.”
Instead, your first thought should be: “How can I adopt this blueprint and make it relevant to the needs of my industry?”
This brand of thinking at-large is exactly what today’s social media managers need when it comes to projecting the employer branding that will not only create positive buzz around their company, but also potentially position them as a leader among their competitors.