In this ‘always on’ digital age, social media has become incredibly important for recruitment agencies. However, one of the biggest challenges facing marketers is securing buy-in from senior management who sometimes fail to recognise the value that social media has to offer. This may be due to the leaders not being active on social, or simply because they are of the (wrong) opinion that it shouldn’t be a business priority.
So how can you produce a successful business case to put forward to your firm’s executives to secure social media buy-in? Here are four top tips.
1. Be Clear
Before approaching senior management, you need to have a clear idea in mind of what exactly it is that you are seeking buy-in for and the reasons why. For example:
- Are you looking to address a problem you have been experiencing, such as attracting new candidates or promoting an upcoming event?
- Have you spotted a social media-related opportunity? And how much time or resources will be required to make it a success?
- Or are you looking to implement an employee advocacy programme to drive engagement and leads beyond your existing followers?
Whilst this may seem fairly obvious, asking yourself questions such as these will provide you with the answers needed to communicate your case clearly and succinctly.
2. Relate it back to the business plan
As with a successful social media strategy, you need to ensure that what you are outlining supports your recruitment firm’s overall objectives – as this is likely to be one of the most influential factors in their decision-making. Look at key areas such as:
- Your business’s revenue goals for the next 12-36 months
- Divisions that are growing in demand
- New product/service offerings that may be in the pipeline
- Any plans for increasing headcount
- Top priorities for the rest of the financial year
This will enable you to develop a deeper understanding of how social media can contribute to their success, and if you do not know what the plans are then speak directly to those that do – they will appreciate you taking the time to find out more about the organisation’s plans.
With the insights you have acquired, try and put hard data against them to clearly demonstrate how social media can support these needs and enhance their success.
Your company’s Google Analytics is likely to provide a wealth of data such as the sources of website traffic and the user journey. You can look and see if social media is currently driving a large percentage of website traffic – and should be invested in further – or is low because of a lack of buy-in and outline the potential it has to spearhead a large increase in website visitors.
If you are seeking buy-in for a larger paid social media budget then you should provide a brief overview of previous campaigns and the top level KPIs that they contributed to, along with attainable estimates of what it could enable you to achieve in future campaigns.
3. Demonstrate the value
It is important to gather third-party information by researching how other agencies in the recruitment industry are using social media marketing. Whether your competitors are generating large numbers of visible engagement or not, you can use both of these scenarios to your advantage – if their social media appears to be a success then this gives you an idea of what activities you could replicate and tweak for your firm, and if they are failing to use their channels effectively this highlights how you can extend your advantage with the buy-in you are seeking.
With many industry awards now featuring marketing or social media specific categories, looking at shortlists of the last couple of years can be a great way of seeing how social media has contributed to the success of recruitment agencies.
You should also collate relevant statistics to highlight how social media can benefit your recruitment business – and there is a wealth of them out there. For example, did you know that more than 1 in 10 recent hires found their current role through social media? With that number increasing to 73% of millennials? Providing relevant statistics, such as these, are a great way to back up with your business case.
4. Speak their language
As a recruitment marketer you’ll no doubt understand the importance of tailoring content to meet the needs of different audiences – and the same principles apply to your business case. Think about your executives’ personality traits, the metrics that matter most to their roles and how they like to receive communications.
- Are they the type who likes to receive pitches or proposals via email, or do they like them to be presented in a meeting?
- Do they appreciate one page summaries or do they prefer lengthier documents so that they have all of the information to hand?
- Do they focus exclusively on the ‘bottom line’, or do they have a 360 degree vision of how each business function contributes? This is crucial if you are to successfully highlight the reasons why they should invest in your proposal. For example, if their focus is on the former and you are seeking an increased budget for paid social media then using historical data from previous campaigns to project the expected ROI in terms of cost per hire is likely to meet their needs. Whilst if it’s the latter, they are more likely to want to see this alongside other supporting metrics, such as reach and website traffic, to gauge its wider impact on the business.
These insights will enable you to package up and present your case in a way that they will both value and understand – therefore increasing the likelihood of securing that all important buy-in for your social media.
Author: Dan Stobbs