Social media as a communication channel continues to grow, with a report by Datareportal in 2021 saying, “There are now 4.20 billion social media users around the world. This figure has grown by 490 million over the past 12 months.” This is astonishing as now the vast majority of the world is on social media, which increases your opportunities to find the perfect candidate for the role you are trying to fill.
With this growth showing no signs of slowing, it is crucial that you are able to cut through the ever-increasing noise to reach your target audiences. But how do you know if you’re doing this right?
A simple Google search on the subject of, “How to reach my target audience on social media”, will bring up hundreds of blog posts, offering tips that they guarantee will transform your business’s social media.
Whilst this advice is often well-intentioned, some of it can do more harm than good.
Here are 5 pieces of bad social media advice
1. Link your social media accounts
One of the social media tips you should ignore is often directed at SME’s to help you reduce the time that it takes creating and scheduling posts across all of your social media channels. Whilst in theory this may sound like a useful piece of advice, in practice it just doesn’t work.
This is because each social media channel is different from the other – they all have their own ways of communicating with followers, their own etiquettes and their own rules. For example, the messaging from a Facebook post that has been shared on Twitter is likely to have its messaging cut off due to the latter’s 280 character limit.
Instead, the best approach is to take the time to craft tailored content for each of your social media channels as your audience is far more likely to pay attention and engage with these posts.
Which brings me to the next piece of bad social media advice…
2. You need to be on every single social network
If you do not have the time or resources, then trying to maintain a posting schedule across all social media platforms isn’t right for your business.
Instead, you need to look at them as individual platforms, to understand which ones are right for you. You will need to look at the user demographics of the platform and ask whether they match your target audience.
Also consider that some social media will not be relevant to the content you are publishing - LinkedIn, for example, is great to promote B2B services. In fact, LinkedIn stated in their marketing blog that 80% of B2B social media marketing leads come through LinkedIn. Which is fantastic if you are using LinkedIn for communicating with potential clients but if you are looking to connect with candidates then, depending on your industry, a different network such as Instagram might work better for you.
3. Post content multiple times a day on each channel
This is another one of those social media tips you should ignore. Posting too much is just as bad as posting too little. By flooding your follower’s social media feeds with posts, they are far more likely to unfollow you or hide your posts than they are to actually engage.
Instead of taking this blanket approach to posting, you should test different posting frequencies and content types on each channel and monitor how your followers respond to them.
Each social media has a wide assortment of analytics, by using these you should be able to find out what types of content are working with your audiences and how well they are being received. Key information such as engagement, and when your audience is online can really support the creation of a refined content strategy.
All recruitment agencies will need their own schedule for each platform, for example Hootsuite suggests the following posting frequency:
- On Instagram, post between 3-7 times per week.
- On Facebook, post between 1 and 2 times a day.
- On Twitter, post between 1 and 5 Tweets a day.
- On LinkedIn, post between 1 and 5 times a day.
If you are posting every day 3 times a day and generating no engagement, then you may be cannibalising your own audience with posts competing for the news feed of your followers. This means you should lower the posts to 1 a day, check your analytics and then build from there to find your perfect mix. You may even find that certain days work better for you than others.
But remember, even with a posting schedule if you cannot commit the time and resources to post the optimal amount for each platform, then you should focus on being consistent with the amount you post per week.
4. Piggyback on the most popular hashtags
Now here’s the thing, piggybacking on trending hashtags can actually be a fantastic way of getting involved in worldwide moments and reaching new audiences. However, too often the context of how recruitment agencies should do this gets lost which can result in some reputation damaging social media fails.
So how can you do it right? When looking at a trending hashtag you should first of all understand what exactly it is about and see if it aligns with the values of your recruitment agency. If it does, you can then produce or reuse content which may be of benefit to your target audiences. For example, #WednesdayWisdom is a hashtag which trends every Wednesday on Twitter and is all about sharing knowledge with one another, so if you’re a recruitment agency why not share some of your tops tips for candidates?
Using a variety of niche and broad hashtags to promote your content can be a really effective way to reach the right audience. For example, coupling #MotivationMonday, which is a widely used hashtag with a niche hashtag, for instance, one relating to company culture such as #PetFriendly (if the post is featuring content showing this), as part of your employer branding efforts works much better than just posting out a job ad in your stream.
5. Don’t get personal
By design social media is made to be personal, it is designed for us to connect with each other digitally. This is something the most successful brands on social media understand. Social media is about more than just beautifully designed graphics and slick videos, as Fusion Media said, “People don’t fall in love with hex colours and logos – they fall in love with people.”
So, if there is no personality behind your social media then candidates won’t engage with your content. Many times newbies to social media are afraid to show their personality due to a perceived vulnerability, yet it’s often that vulnerability which causes people to engage.
Be yourself, be authentic and have something to say.
Social media channels are constantly evolving and while some of the “bad advice” mentioned in this post may have made for a successful social media strategy a few years back, when it comes to social networks, keeping up with the times is important. Algorithms change, the way people use social media changes and new social networks appear – which can change the demographics of the networks you’ve known and loved.
Originally posted August 2017, updated November 2021