Know Your Objectives
Before embarking on the rollercoaster ride that is social media, be sure to know what you’re aiming for. Are you looking to get sales leads? Communicate with candidates? Increase brand awareness? Get feedback from your clients and candidates?
- Whatever your objectives may be, be sure to clarify them before launching your social media campaign.
- In the staffing industry, it is wise to utilize social media to accomplish multiple goals, some focusing on business development and others on customer service and marketing, to create an effective social media strategy that supports all corners of your business.
The look and feel of your company’s social media campaign is just as important as the colors and content of your sales brochure, and the usability of your Web site.
- Before you begin communicating with candidates and clients via mediums like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or a company blog, spend time ensuring your brand is accurately portrayed.
- Driving candidates to a generic Twitter homepage will do little to promote brand awareness. Instead, utilize your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn page to portray your company culture and services. For example, customize your Twitter background with pictures of company events, and utilize your profile to highlight services areas and drive traffic to your Web site.
- If employees outside of the marketing team are informally utilizing social media, be sure the look and feel of their communications are consistent with the company, as a whole. Provide content for employees to utilize in their profiles and pages so your formal marketing campaign isn’t belittled by a co-worker’s poorly executed communications. Social media exposes an organization to the public like never before, and before you go live, make sure you, and your colleagues, are representing your company well.
Give More Than You Take
Like any healthy relationship, a successful social media campaign requires two-way communication.
- Give to your audience as much, if not more, as you hope to receive from them.
- The key to a successful social media campaign is to interact, really interact, with visitors, while at the same time being well-versed in the conversation going on outside your four walls. For example, share links to articles on Twitter your network might find interesting, give candid feedback on company news, answer questions and post helpful presentations on LinkedIn, respond to visitor comments on your company blog, post job openings on your company’s Facebook page or refer the community to other useful Web sites or blogs.
- The more you give, the more you will receive when it comes to social media, and spending time thoughtfully adding value for your candidates and clients will create the foundation for a lasting and fruitful relationship, online and off.
Manage Your Community
Social media is an open forum that allows direct and real-time contact between companies and consumers. However, with this free-flowing communication comes vulnerability.
- Your company Facebook page or blog can be an effective vehicle for brand awareness and positive reviews, but it can also be an easy target for disgruntled job seekers or unsatisfied clients. First, expect negative feedback; you can’t please everyone.
- However, when a harmful comment arises on your blog or Facebook page, have an action plan to remedy the issue, quickly. Ask yourself questions like, “Does this warrant a response?”, “Does it speak to a serious issue within the company that should be addressed?”, “Was there a misunderstanding of our services and process?”, “Does this warrant a response? If so, privately or publicly?”, “Is this a misrepresentation of our services, and if so, should we simply delete it?”.
- The ease of interaction that an open forum allows can be a powerful communication tool, however, be prepared for all types of feedback and respond swiftly and intelligently to negativity.
Measure Your Success
After spending several months regularly utilizing social media, re-evaluate your progress.
- Which resources have been most useful? Are there areas in which we are falling short? Are our efforts moving us towards our objectives? If so, can we expand our goals? If not, on what do we need to focus to achieve them?
- Like any business plan, the social media return on investment must be measured. If you aren’t frequently evaluating your efforts and analyzing how they are contributing to the company’s ultimate goals, you are missing the purpose of a social media marketing campaign.