If there was ever a time for staffing firms to be flocking to social media to manage their brand voice, reassure candidates and prospects that they have everything under control and, most importantly, be a part of the community…this is it.
For 7 years, I’ve seen the staffing industry slowly shift to understand the real value of social media in the recruitment marketing mix. To truly see how social media is more than posting what you ate for dinner, or where you drank with your friends on a Saturday night.
I remember vividly starting at Haley Marketing over 7 years ago and being told Facebook was “child’s play” from an owner of a leading organization.
What’s assuring to see is the industry is catching on. But, as I stand on my soapbox in our little corner of the internet, I’m here to say we need to move faster, more deliberately, and more strategically. No longer can we accept a social media “strategy” of posting job after job after job. No longer can we accept a social media “strategy” of fluff content, built around third-party articles and funny memes and junk.
Given the current state of the country…no…Given the current state of the world, we need to be incredibly mindful of everything that we post on social media. Incredibly deliberate with every single post to make sure that we are adding value to the social media ecosystem.
As a host of InSights, I’ve led the charge that every post has a purpose on social media. Now, more than ever, I plead to follow this mantra. We don’t need more clutter right now. We need more compassion. More empathy. More understanding.
Related Podcast Episode: [InSights] Every Post Has Purpose
Managing a Social Media Strategy During a Pandemic
For two years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the country and share a presentation titled “The Foundation: 7 Ways Digitial Marketing Can Fix Your Broken Candidate Experience” with hundreds of staffing professionals.
One of my favorite slides comes from a quote shared by Mark Schaefer in his book Marketing Rebellion.
As we look at navigating the next 60-90 days on social media, I can not understate the importance of humanizing your brand voice. The world doesn’t need more sales pitches. More direct “BUY NOW” links with forced emojis.
The world is scared, nervous, and unsure of what’s to come. As social media users are scrolling on Facebook or Twitter, the LAST thing we want to share right now is a forced sales pitch.
Now that’s not to say that you can’t thrive given these circumstances. At Haley Marketing, we’ve decided not to participate in the recession. To not participate in what’s going on around us. But, to do that requires incredible attention to detail and mindfulness of what others are feeling and experiencing.
How to Manage Social Media Company Pages During a Pandemic
Listen First. Talk Second.
Spending 5 minutes on any social platform right now will show you one obvious thing; the world is collectively talking about COVID-19. Uncertainty, optimism, skepticism, whatever it might be, as you look at social media as a user and not a marketer is evident that this pandemic has everyone chatting.
Listen first. Talk second.
No one likes to go to a party and hang out with that friend or family member who is so “Me” focused it drives you crazy.
Don’t be that guy. Instead, be the person that listens. As candidates are reaching out with messages, understand that they are concerned and take the time to respond to them with empathy and optimism.
When scrolling through the newsfeed on Twitter, join the conversation in the local community. If your county executive is posting updates, share your thoughts on the matter and show your community that you’re in this with the.
Reach Inbox 0
Facebook messenger…the graveyard of leads.
“I’m too busy to answer those” has to be a thing of the past. Given the uncertainty of the situations we’re all in, we NEED to be active and listening when individuals are reaching out through Facebook messenger.
Answer questions as they come in and elevate them to the right individual on your internal team should they need to go to someone else. Ignoring them simply is not an option.
Be Mindful of the Reader
With millions getting their news and information about COVID-19 from social platforms like Twitter, we need to be overly critical of WHY social media exists before we try to share our WHAT.
It’s Simon Sinek’s Start with WHY but for social media.
Bonus Podcast Episode: [InSights] A lesson on setting SMART Goals…and Starting with WHY
Every post has a purpose, and before we share our WHAT (the “stuff” we post on social media), we need to fundamentally understand our WHY.
By being mindful of the reader and understanding their WHY (why they are on social media at all hours of the day), we can be sure to align our message to meet them.
Share Local News and Information
Hypothetically let’s say your staffing firm is a start-up. With less that one year of business, you’re the new kid in town. Some people think you’re cool and want to hang out, some people think you’re different and want to stay away, and many more already have their pocket of friends and don’t even know you exist.
Now is the perfect time to double down on platforms like Twitter and Facebook to show the community that you are one of them.
Post or share local news updates to show the community that you are just as committed to the regional footprint as they are.
…Now let’s say you’re not the new kid in town.
With 20 years in business, most people know who you are and, because of that, they have an opinion of you. Maybe it’s positive. You’re the friendly company that helped someone’s aunt get a job when they were down on their luck. Or, worse, you’re the staffing firm who couldn’t find someone’s uncle a job even though he’s super qualified for everything.
What if we used this time to double down on being human, sharing local news and information to show the community that you continue to be an advocate for them. That you continue to support and worry about the well-being of job seekers throughout the area. What if we use this as an opportunity to reposition your brand as THE staffing firm in the local market that listens. That shows after 20 years of redeveloped process and automation and tools…that most importantly, you’re still in business to put great people to work in great opportunities.
There’s telling people how great you are…and then there’s using organic testimonials and reviews to let the individuals and companies you’ve assisted over the years tell that narrative for you.
Deploy a #TestimonialTuesday campaign to showcase the kind words left by others.
We love feedback like this! As we continue to navigate our changing economy, lean on our expertise as you navigate any compliance-related challenges.
Learn More: https://t.co/27Qm0NksZl pic.twitter.com/rXAzw0N39e
— Metrodata Services (@MetrodataInc) March 19, 2020
Double Down on Job Advertisements
I’ve said it dozens of times on InSights the podcast, the last thing we want to do on social media is flood the newsfeed with job after job after job…especially when social users are focused on the current state of the world.
That said, strategically posting your job advertisements is a leading way to increase applications and drive candidates back to our website where they can take action.
With companies across the country reducing their workforce due to government restriction, consider doubling down on the areas of staffing you facilitate in the essential workforce space. If you don’t offer roles in this space, still actively recruit for the open orders you have available.
With the economy in challenging times, we, as an industry, need to be certain we are filling job orders as quickly as possible. Putting great people to work in those available roles. And ultimately showing the clients we work with that we are capable of satisfying their demand when it arises.
Share a Letter from Your CEO
This idea came out of a Team Haley brainstorm and might be one of the best on the list.
Take this time to have your CEO or Leadership Team type a well-developed and well-crafted letter to the community.
Speak from the heart with emotion and, most importantly, with empathy.
We are all in this together.
Let your social community know where you stand in your day-to-day operations.
Are you adjusting hours to meet a different staffing demand? Is your team fully-remote yet and fully operational? How should applicants get ahold of you if they can no longer come through your front door? Might there be a Zoom link or number someone can call to have a face-to-face conversation?
Develop the messaging of the letter, place it on professional letterhead and save it as as a PDF for readers to easily consume on all devices, mobile or desktop:
Update Followers of Company News
As your company shifts and pivots during the upcoming days or weeks, post a running update on your company blog.
Add a deliberate homepage flyin with copy like “An Important Announcement from [COMPANY] Regarding COVID-19 that drives web visitors to a running list of daily or weekly updates.
This might start with the letter from your CEO or Leadership Team and follow a consistent update schedule to let the local community know how you’re pivoting as a company to stay agile during this evolving situation.
Share Resources from Your Website
If you’ve been consistently blogging on your website, use this time to share content on your social channels that educates and informs the reader.
Be mindful of the tone and context of each article!
While an article on the importance of a well-developed workspace works well, now is the wrong time to share an article about the keys to a professional handshake during an interview.
Go-Live for an AMA (Ask Me Anything)
Live video is exploding on social media right now. Everywhere you look, another band or singer/songwriter is sharing a live acoustic session from a studio or a couch. Local news is cross-posting their live feeds from TV over to social platforms for maximum visibility and reach.
How can the staffing industry get involved in this tactic?
Set a weekly Ask Me Anything (AMA for you Redditors out there) where you go live from your home office on Facebook or Twitter and let candidates ask you questions.
Be the expert your community is looking for and answer their questions as they arise.
Become a Trusted Individual in a Facebook Group
Joining a local Facebook Group, like WNY Jobs Postings, for example, is an excellent way to share your insights and ideas with a local community of job seekers looking for their next opportunity or a trusted advisor.
Before you hop into a group and immediately share a dozen jobs, remember groups are all about the community, and page moderators pay special attention to spam in groups.
Listen to what individuals are saying and answer questions. If individuals are looking for work and posting about it, certainly share links back to opportunities that fit their demand, but do so strategically and respectfully.
Putting it all Together
I’m not here to say this is the perfect social media management plan during this pandemic, but I hope, if anything, it gives you just one idea to implement this week.
Need a hand with your social media strategy?
Whether you’d like to hop on a Zoom call and chat for 15-30 minutes or just want to drop me an email, I encourage you to first connect with me on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bradbialy/)
I genuinely appreciate your attention and time reading this article. If there is anything I or Haley Marketing can do to help you navigate your social media, marketing, or recruitment marketing strategy during this challenging situation, please do not hesitate to connect and reach out.
We’re all in this together.
Be good to each other.