In the early days of the pandemic we ran our coronavirus helpline live recruitment marketing Q&A on Twitter. Here's what was discussed during one of these sessions:
Dan: Today I am going to be joined by Stephanie King our Associate Director, who will be sharing with us the questions you’ve been sending across throughout the week across LinkedIn, Twitter and email.
We are going to be answering all your recruitment marketing questions with a particular focus on social media this week. This is all about recruitment owners and recruitment marketers having an opportunity to ask questions on marketing, PR, social media, general topics and how to get through the current coronavirus crisis we are facing.
So, Steph did you want to start with the first question?
Steph: We’ve been busy collating all your questions over the past few days and the first one is:
Should we go quiet on social until this is over so we don’t appear insensitive? If not, what sort of content should we be posting?
Dan: Interesting question. I’ve noticed a few smaller firms have gone quiet on social along with a few businesses in other sectors but to be honest, going quiet on social right is the worst thing you can do at this moment in time. There will be a time, hopefully in a few months time when this is all over and your brand need to be visible on social and you need to in the meantime keep building your pipeline. So, I definitely wouldn’t advise going quiet on social but in regards to the topics that you are pushing out, try work on content that adds real value to candidates and clients. So, look at what’s currently going on in terms of professional development.
Over the past couple of weeks, as some of you may be aware, I’ve been doing some social media consultation calls with recruitment agencies and I’ve been getting to grips with some of their challenges and one of the key things coming up is how they can enrich the professional lives of their clients and candidates during this time. A lot of them are trying to focus on things such as how can they make some of their candidates more digitally savvy for example, whereas a lot of the content they were producing previously was about CVs and job applications. So, the sort of content they are producing now is blog posts on using LinkedIn for networking opportunities during this period, so candidates can build their connections and use those to help build up their own careers in the coming months.
Other firms have been looking at producing webinars on how to do telephone interviews, for both candidates and clients, it’s all about thinking outside the box and look at building more the digital skills and helping people step up their career ladder in the next few months.
Steph: That’s great, thanks Dan. I think the next question ties in quite nicely with what you’ve been talking about. This one came in on a DM:
How frequently should we be posting content?
Dan: Ok, so I’ll say it depends on your current frequency first of all and what platforms. Generally as a rule of thumb, I would say on Twitter for example I would spread your message out three times on week days and once or twice at the weekend because that way you’ve still got new content going out on social and by spreading it out across different days and times, you’ll be getting the eyes of your audience on your content. For LinkedIn, I would say once every one to two days because the algorithm of all these platforms are different and if you post something once every couple of days on LinkedIn the algorithms works like that whereas on Twitter we all know it’s about real time, so you need to have a bit more in terms of quantity. Facebook, I would say again once every day or two and Instagram, two to three times a week really. I wouldn’t drastically go changing it despite what’s going on at the moment. The key is to have quality content rather than quantity, because you could be pushing out a lot of content and it might be getting that reach that you need but at the end of the day if people aren’t engaging with it and clicking through them it’s going to be worthless. So make sure you are focussing on that quality content really.
Steph: Ok great. The next question is about being seen:
With so much content based around coronavirus, how can we make sure our content stands out to the people we want to be seeing it?
Dan: Whether on social or general news, wherever you turn at the moment it is about coronavirus. One of the most creative ways I’ve seen recruitment firms stand out on social media at the moment is by using curated content, so for example I’ve seen a lot of great content in the care sector at the moment, again on the news there are lots of terrible statistics going on in the care sector but the publications have found a way of balancing that out with positive content. A couple of days ago I saw a recruitment firm that focus on health and social care pushing out videos of care home residents singing and dancing. This content was really getting a lot of attention because when we go on social media we don’t just want to see more of the doom and gloom, we want to see something stand out from our feed. So, I recommend you go down the creative content avenue and look at some of the key publications in the sector you recruit for. Again for a recruitment firm specialising in marketing, there’s a publication called marketing week, who a lot of people would probably recognise, and they have a sort of humourous cartoon on there that pokes fun at some of the latest marketing trends and when recruitment firms source content and push it out, it gets a lot of of traction because people want something a bit more fun and quirky at this time. So, take a look at curated content and see what’s available in your sector because it will get a lot of engagement and it will stand out in peoples feeds.
Steph: The next question ties into conversations I know we’ve had Dan, in terms of scheduling content and people putting content out that perhaps isn’t great right now.
Should we stop scheduling all together at the moment and stop posting evergreen content given the current situation?
Dan: I wouldn’t just stop scheduling everything but I would conduct a content calendar audit. Go through your scheduling tools and carefully review the messaging and content itself, because the last thing you want to do is put something out that is tone deaf to what is going on in the situation we face at the moment. I’ve recruitment firms at the moment a lot of content which is clearly evergreen and giving advice on trying to secure a job abroad, particularly in countries that are clearly on lockdown, so obviously that’s not going to happen.
Make sure that you have a proper audit of all the content that you’ve scheduled so you can carefully tweak your messaging and remove from your pool of content the posts that aren’t going to be relevant for the new few months. If you do it that way you can still have that balanced mix of both reactive and proactive content across your social media channels.
Steph: Ok. So, the next question is quite an interesting one. I know you touched on being furloughed, this question is:
What messaging if any should we put out about our team being furloughed?
Steph: This person has given an example and said they’ve seen a couple of agencies putting out messages about members of the team being out of the business temporarily, who have been furloughed, that have been very positive and uplifting. What’s your view on that subject?
Dan: That can be a bit of a difficult one to gage the balance. On one hand you don’t want to put out messaging that suggests your recruitment form is in trouble but I have seen people do it really well, outlining that what they are faced with at the moment is really temporary and clearly outlines the operational steps going on to make sure they are servicing the needs of both their candidates and clients. The key thing there is to highlight it is only a temporary measure. But also just highlight how that situation is going to impact you in the short term, make sure you clearly outline your working from home arrangements, who will be picking up any applications and queries in the interim. As long as you make sure you are addressing the questions people are bound to have about it as to how they can get in touch and what’s going on, then I think you can navigate it successfully that way rather than the negative that people have been furloughed.
Steph: Another question has just come in. Can you see that one Dan?
Should recruitment companies invest in new technology and websites now when they have time to focus?
Steph: If I can step in there, certainly on the website site, I’ve actually had a conversation with a company in the last week who are used to working 10-12 hour days and are now working 6 hour days so as they have a website redesign on the cards they now have the time to think about content. So, it’s certainly worth looking into. Obviously weight up the investment at the current time but it’s certainly something a lot of agencies are looking into, so things that had to be put on hold due to a lack of capacity, if people have a bit more time on their hands it can be something that should certainly be considered so you have something to go out to market with when things settle down which we hope won’t be too far off. I don’t know what your thoughts are Dan?
Dan: At the end of the day some firms more than others are going to have a bit more spare time, it’s wise to use this down time to look at ways to innovate in terms of your website, any different software you could be using and of course your marketing content. Because if you have got some down time where things aren’t as busy as usual, it’s a great time to put everyone’s heads together and plot out the future months.
Steph: I hope that answers your question. Another one’s just come in on Twitter:
Should I still be getting the team to share bits on social media if they aren’t picking up many roles at the moment?
Dan: Even if you don’t have many roles at the moment, definitely utilise your team to push out and amplify your social media content – employer advocacy has a real real benefit to the reach and engagement of your content. Make sure they are actively engaging with your content because it puts more eyes on your content, so in the future when all this is over you’ll be front of mind for all your clients. So, try and incentivise them to engage with you content as the benefits speak for themselves in the long term.
Steph: I think that’s all the questions so far but for all of you listening live do still continue to post them. I just wanted to mention or ask you Dan, I know you’ve been offering these free social consultations recently which have had a great take up, is there anything in particular coming out of these worth mentioning?
Dan: Naturally in recruitment firms there seems to be a silo between recruitment and marketing and working from home has amplified this disconnect and one of the things I’ve picked up from these calls is people want another marketing person to talk to and discuss ideas. Not having that day to day physical meetings with other staff members has distanced them, so one of the things I’d recommend to all the recruitment marketers out there is to try book time in once, twice a week just to have regular team meetings in with consultants, your senior management team, all the departments that make up your firm. This will give you a great way of looking at the content going out and generating new ideas going forward as I think a few people are a bit afraid of trying to take up people’s time that way. But at the end of the day the best ideas in recruitment come from everyone getting their heads together, so I recommend people do that and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Steph: That’s all the questions so far. Thanks Dan. Next week we are on again at midday – I’ve had a few conversations this week about surveys and events, so perhaps that is something we can look at then. So, if anyone has any questions I’ll be hosting next week and Dan will be back as a guest to cover anything on social media.
Dan: Thanks for your questions today and if you do have any more you can tweet us.