A lot of the chatter about social media in our industry has been about how it may displace job boards as a core recruiting tool. Less has been said about how job sites can actually use social media to promote their services. It’s time to rectify this oversight!
Job boards must connect with two core audiences: job seekers and employers. Both audiences are using social media for a variety of reasons, such as personal or professional networking, research, and entertainment. Rather than rushing willy-nilly into social media, a job site should first understand the two audiences. Where do they live? What do they do? What do they watch, listen to, read, etc.? In other words, what does the target audience look like? Until you can answer this question, you simply can’t make a decision about which social media tools or channels you should use.
Example: your job site caters to mid-career professionals in accounting. LinkedIn may be a better choice than Facebook (if an accountant is on Facebook, most likely he/she is using it for entertainment and family). But an even better choice may be an accounting-specific networking site like HubStreet. Remember: the audience determines the channel!
Once you’ve analyzed your audience and identified the best channels (and I would probably include Twitter and LinkedIn for all job sites – they have the right general career demographics and size), you need to set up a map of the messages you’ll use and their frequency. No, I’m not talking about just setting your job listings to auto-Tweet (although that is useful and should be done). Instead, think about your audience (again): what do they want? what are they interested in?…and what can you offer them?
Example: Going back to our fictional accounting folks, they no doubt would love to know which metro areas pay the most for accountants. So gather up some data and get it out there! For example, you could Tweet about different cities and pay – and link back to the relevant part of your site. Then go to LinkedIn and start a Question about the same thing. Then run over to HubStreet and start a discussion. Notice what’s happening here? You are thinking like your audience, giving them information they want – and engaging them.
Last – but absolutely not least – measure what you are doing. There are numerous free and paid tools out there, such as SocialMention, Radian6, and SproutSocial. You can even use Google Analytics – just create a profile exclusively for social media. The bottom line, however, is that you must measure or you won’t know which social media channels are working – and which aren’t.
The bottom line? You’ll see more job seekers AND employers on your site – and that’s a good thing![Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.].