Social media should have you salivating! If you’re doing it right, then every day it should be bringing candidate leads and client prospects into your business. It’s one of those things that once you “get it”, you just want to experiment with it and learn more and more for the thrill of the results you see flowing from it. Unsurprisingly, it can become quite addictive once it’s become a major contributor to your team’s success.
Yet 95% of people who read this column are frustrated right now because social media just isn’t working for them. And everyone I’m sure would love to pick up some ideas to improve their social media results considerably. So addressing these frustrations and desires is what this post is going to be all about.
When we’re first talking to recruitment businesses (and indeed recruitment teams and recruitment tech companies), there are lots of common threads that explain why they’re not getting mouth-watering results from social media. Five of the biggest mistakes are what I’ll focus on here, although this list is by no means exhaustive.
In no particular order, here are 5 mistakes that are robbing you of ROI from your social media efforts:
Obsessing About LinkedIn
Under Investing in Social Media
Having The Wrong Focus
Failing To Experiment
Let’s help you unravel what you’re doing wrong in each of these 5 areas.
Obsessing About LinkedIn
Firstly let’s deal with the elephant in the room. In your business people are obsessed with LinkedIn aren’t they? I understand that it’s a great candidate sourcing tool and I’m not necessarily saying you should abandon it. But let’s be clear about two things:
LinkedIn is the worst social site for building a recruiting brand that gets seen and sparks conversations. The data is absolutely conclusive on this (see Pew Research chart below). If you want to reach people day in day out then you need to be active on the platforms where people spend their time. That’s places like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. LinkedIn, by contrast, is rarely used by the majority of its members. Focusing your efforts here is like putting billboards up in the middle of the desert and expecting them to be seen more than if you’d advertised in an airport. Come on people – enough with the LinkedIn obsession!
LinkedIn is also the most expensive social site for building a recruiting brand and generating results. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, companies on LinkedIn can do almost nothing to build their profile without a sizeable advertising budget. Want your recruiting business to engage in conversations across the site? You can’t do that. Want to invite people in your industry to connect with your page? You can’t do that. Want to be active in Groups to raise your profile? You guessed it, you can’t do that either. There are a few ideas you can implement in your business to build LinkedIn followers, but for a small business the impact of these will be minimal. Essentially all roads lead to you needing to spend significantly on LinkedIn if you want a sizeable presence there.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the cost of advertising your recruiting business on LinkedIn is also far far higher than on other social sites. Try setting up a targeted advertising campaign and you’re likely to find the minimum bid price is ~$6 per click. Holy cow! You can get 8-10 targeted clicks for that same spend on Twitter – and more still on Facebook. Wake up recruiters – LinkedIn doesn’t have nearly as many advertising impressions to sell and so the price is bid up. And businesses are all mesmerised by LinkedIn and want to advertise there, bidding the price up further still. Smart recruitment marketers look to spread their budgets across a wider spectrum of social media where more results can be generated for any given spend.
As a concluding remark to give some balance to what I’ve said here, it may still be worthwhile you having a strong presence on LinkedIn. If you can acquire candidates or clients at a cost per acquisition that is still profitable for your team, then by all means invest in your LinkedIn presence. But please don’t do it at the blind expense of building your presence elsewhere. That’s simply ignoring the data about where people spend their time and where you can generate significant interest for a far more modest spend.
Under Investing in Social Media
There are three ways that recruitment businesses are chronically under investing in social media. Firstly, many agency owners are deluded about the time needed to get results on social media. One of your team being tasked to spend a few hours a week on social just doesn’t cut it. The single biggest reason for this is that results on social media have a tipping point. If you spend only half the time that’s needed to do everything you should be doing on social media, you’ll be lucky to get even 10% of the business results. So invest the necessary time to do this properly – or don’t invest in it at all!
This brings me onto the second under-investment, namely the necessary investment in skills. If you hire a skilled social media team member, you’ll need them dedicated for at least 50% of the week to getting you results on social media. Far too many recruiting businesses leave this to an intern or an admin person to manage – and someone like this who’s lacking the necessary expertise will need to work full-time on your social media to produce results. Even then they’ll probably not get anything like the same results as if you’d worked with a social media expert.
[bctt tweet=”An intern may not get you as much traction on social media as an expert will says @tonyrestell”]
So significant time and money is needed to get results from social media. And that brings me to the last type of under-investment we see, namely not having a budget allocated to advertising on social media and to subscribing for the various tools that will allow you to accelerate your effectiveness on social media. Both are essential if you really want social media to start contributing considerably to your recruiting business.
Tony Restell is the Founder of Social-Hire.com and helps candidates and recruiters leverage social media. You can find Tony on Twitter (@tonyrestell); or join him on one of his forthcoming webinars where he’ll walk you step by step through the processes he uses to get results for recruiting teams on social media.