4 minute read

How recruitment firms can attract new clients using paid social media

With 31% of UK social media users reporting that they have been spending more time on social media because of the pandemic, it is the perfect time for recruitment marketers to focus on ensuring that paid social media campaigns are part of their client acquisition strategies.

→ For the full low down on using social media for recruitment - read our  comprehensive guide

The benefits of paid social media

Paid social media offers recruitment firms a number of benefits including:

  • The ability to re-engage existing followers – This is vital as the reach of organic social media posts has continued to decline for businesses which means that many of your followers across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram may not have seen your posts consistently for a long time
  • Increased brand awareness – You can use social media campaigns to reach new audiences who may never have heard of your firm before but are likely to be interested in your services
  • Suitable for budgets of all sizes – A common misconception of social media advertising is that it requires large budgets for it to be successful. However, it is perfectly possible to generate results using small budgets by utilising a test and learn approach to see what does and doesn’t work

How recruitment firms can use paid social media to target potential clients

There are two main methods that you can use to create target audiences for your social media campaigns.

Create a target audience from scratch

Each social media channel provides you with a wealth of targeting options that you can use to really hone in on your ideal clients.

Targeting options vary slightly on each platform, but include a multitude of detailed criteria including:

  • Demographics – such as age, gender, location, language
  • Employment information – including job title, company, industry
  • Interests – such as hobbies or sectors that the individual has a keen interest in
  • Devices used – including whether they are a mobile or desktop user, right down to the specific phone model and operating system they use

You should use the detailed insights you have from your client personas to make sure that your target audience for your social media advertising campaign aligns with it as closely as possible.

Lookalike audiences

Lookalike audiences can be used to reach people who are similar to your current clients and are therefore likely to be interested in your services. This works by uploading or selecting data relevant to the objectives of your campaign to your social media platform of choice, and allowing the algorithm to build up an audience of users that share similar traits.

This includes data sources such as:

  • CRM data – Such as a list of existing clients or those who have signed up to receive an e-newsletter
  • Website visitors – This requires a snippet of JavaScript code to be installed on your site and depending on what platform you will be using for your paid social media campaign will either be the Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn Insight Tag or the Twitter Website Tag
  • Engagement – Those who have engaged with specific pieces of social media content, such as videos and lead forms

You can also combine lookalike audiences with other ad targeting parameters, such as interests, behaviours and job information to further refine your targeting

The types of content you can use to attract clients

If you are to successfully acquire new clients using paid social media you need to focus on showcasing your expertise and knowledge of the sectors that you place candidates in. Here are four different types of content marketing that you can use as the centrepieces of your social media campaigns:

Gated content

Gated content, also known as a content offer, is a powerful tool for lead generation. It is where you provide prospects with highly valuable information in exchange for their contact details. It is called gated content because the materials are traditionally placed behind a contact form and are only available to access after the form has been completed.

Gated content that your recruitment firm could offer potential clients should aim to help address a potential problem or barrier that they are facing and can come in the form of:

  • E-books/guides/whitepapers
  • Webinars
  • Consultations

Because you have captured the prospect’s details using your contact form and understand the recruitment challenges they are facing you can map out where they are in your pipeline and provide them with tailored information that in time should convert them into a new client.

Visit the resources section of our website to see how we utilise ebooks and webinars to generate new leads.


Testimonials are often overlooked when it comes to social media campaigns but showcasing endorsements from happy clients is a sure fire way to build trust. This is because it helps establish social proof – which is the concept that people will follow the actions of the masses. After all there are likely to be huge numbers of recruitment firms in your sector that claim to be the best at what they do, but by targeting prospects with testimonials from existing clients helps reaffirm what you are saying.

Look at the different ways in which you can present testimonials on social media, whether that’s by producing ads featuring a branded image, a screengrab of a positive comment left by a client or videos featuring clients speaking about the excellent service they have received from your team.

Used correctly, testimonials are an extremely powerful way to grab the attention of users scrolling through their feeds and stand out among the many sales-focused ads that are out there.

Case studies

Case studies are also a fantastic method to instil social proof as not only do they feature a positive quote from a client, but they also detail the specifics of the project and feature quantitative data on the results that were achieved.

For prospects who are in the process of evaluating different recruitment firms this can have a big impact on their decision-making process.


The decline in organic reach has a detrimental effect on firms that rely on social media as a way of generating traffic to their blogs. However, a benefit of social media advertising is that you can use it to create campaigns around client-focused blogs to ensure that they are being seen by existing followers who meet your criteria of what constitutes a relevant prospect or lead.

It is likely that the channel that has the largest percentage of potential clients as followers is LinkedIn, but it is worth looking at your analytics and followers across each platform in case they are also present in large enough quantities on these as well.

Author: Dan Stobbs

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