In the staffing industry social media has rapidly evolved from novelty to essential communication tool.

But with all the new platforms, changes to social media algorithms and advertising opportunities, what should you be doing? Today, I continue my series of posts that will walk you through the biggest trends in social…and show you what you need to be doing to maximize your time and investment in social marketing and social recruiting.

In cased you missed it, here’s the first post in this series:

Social Media Lessons from 2016

So, where are we headed in 2017? Here are our predictions and recommendations:

Great content will NEED to be paired with great visuals.

While written content is awesome for education and conveying complex ideas, it’s not so awesome for getting people to pay attention. To be a true media mogul, you have to find ways to attract job seekers and employers using the media that they prefer — video, pictures and audio.

When planning your media budget, ensure sufficient resources are dedicated to creating visually engaging content — and your written content is complemented with compelling pictures, videos, charts and infographics.

Speaking of video, you need to hit the record button.

Facebook LOVES video. So do Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. In 2016, we saw video gain preferential treatment on most social platforms, and most recently, Facebook has made a huge push for live video.

When you share video content, it is far more likely to appear high up in your followers’ news feeds than pictures or written content. And video is also more engaging. Facebook found that people spend 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live.” (source)

While video was not a new trend in 2016, it took off, and over the next two to three years, we expect to see video content dominate social media (which is why you need that media budget!).

The good news? Video is getting cheaper!

Just a few years ago, video was hard, and expensive, to produce. You needed a professional production company and a budget of $1,000+ per minute of finished video.

Thanks to the evolution of technology and mobile devices, staffing firms no longer need to outsource video to high-priced production companies. Instead, recruiters and business owners can place an iPhone on a tripod and put together a video with more than enough quality for social media. And tools like Promo and Animoto make it easy to create polished videos in minutes.

Use your voice, too.

Ever thought about creating a podcast? From 2015 to 2016 podcast listening grew by 23 percent (source). To put it into perspective, the same number of Americans listen to podcasts and use Twitter (source).

Your clients and candidates are constantly on the move, and audio offers an ideal way to allow people to “take you with them” anywhere they go. You could be up and running as a podcaster in less than 30 days.

But what would a staffing firm talk about?

The same topics you write about! Great content (regardless of the format) is developed around the needs and interests of the audience for whom the content is intended. What do your clients want to know about hiring, talent management, retention or other HR issues? What do your candidates want to know about managing their career and life challenges?

The key to podcasting (or video) is to select interesting topics, and then convey ideas in an engaging way. So what could you do?

  • Host a weekly radio show (podcast) about hot jobs in your market.
  • Do a talk show where you interview local HR leaders about their best practices.
  • Have a Q&A style “call-in” show where you answer job-seeker questions.
  • Create a program where you profile local employers and what it’s like to work at these firms (this could be a great way to break into new accounts!).

Then spend smart to promote your content.

In 2012, about 16 percent of a company’s followers would see content the company posted on Facebook. By 2014, that number had fallen to 6 percent, and in 2016 it was less than 2 percent.

While social media use continues to grow year over year, organic reach for companies continues to plummet. So if you want employers and job seekers to see your content, you have to promote it.

At Haley Marketing, we test promoted content all the time. When a staffing company is trying to build followers, a paid “like” campaign on Facebook will yield at least double the results of an organic campaign (i.e., one without paid promotion).

Related Content: Do You Need a “Like” Campaign on Facebook? The Data Says You Do

Organic content sharing (on Facebook) will typically yield no more than a few likes, comments or shares. But, with a very small investment in targeted promotion, you can massively increase your reach.

In September 2016, we tested paid promotion with one of our staffing clients that was receiving almost no Facebook engagement. For a very minor investment ($100) they were able to garner 73 likes and saw website traffic from Facebook increase by 781 percent!

In another test case, investing $100 into a “like” campaign in December 2016 resulted in 151 page likes for a light industrial and general labor staffing agency. More important than the number of likes is the strategy that drove this success. By setting up a custom audience in Facebook’s ad manager, we were able to target specific Facebook users in this client’s specific geographical market and grow their audience based on specific criteria.

Up next: How can your staffing firm leverage social media in 2017?

Find out in my next installment, or download the full eBook, A Social Media Strategy to Help You Crush 2017, here.

Need help with your social media and content marketing initiatives this year?

Stay ahead of social media and content marketing trends with Digital Dominance by Haley Marketing Group. This complete bundle gives you everything you need to have an amazing online presence.

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