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An Actual Game plan For Social Media - Part 1
Social Media Gameplan

An Actual Game Plan For Social Media—Part 2

How to Use Social Media to Drive Leads:

In Part 1 of this feature, we outlined how to effectively plan and integrate social media in your company's overall marketing plan. In Part 2, we break down the most popular social media channels and outline the steps you can take to turn these channels into recruiting and lead generation tools.

So, let's get started!

Facebook

In the first part of this article, we talked about how social media is impacting search results on Google and Bing. Facebook's release of Graph Search may have an even more sweeping impact on overall search behavior. Some have even called Graph Search a "Google Killer."

While I don't see people abandoning Google anytime soon, Facebook is poised to deliver an entirely new search experience that may provide more value to users. With Graph Search, Facebook users can search for things or companies that their friends have interacted with in the past.

For example, a candidate searching for a temp agency might use Graph Search to see which of their connections have worked with or are connected to a staffing firm. If your friends "like" a particular staffing firm and provide a first-hand endorsement, why keep searching? Hopefully this illustrates the potential impact of how social media (particularly Facebook) can alter the decision-making process.

Here are some tips to help you lay the groundwork for an effective Facebook presence:

  • Build your audience.

    Buy, borrow, steal—do whatever you need to do to build your audience on Facebook. While quality matters most (you want to build a good core audience), quantity also does play a role. Make sure you invite everyone you connect with to follow you on Facebook. Adjust your candidate intake process to encourage every candidate to "Like" you on Facebook.
  • Run ads.

    Facebook's advertising platform is still maturing, but it's growing up quick! Look at running ads to grow your Likes. Use the Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories options to promote your content and get in front of new people. Facebook also allows you to upload your contact list and cross reference emails on that list against their user database. That allows you to target key prospects with ads and reach them outside of the office when their guard might be down.
  • Post regularly.

    Sounds like common sense but you'd be surprised at how many companies fail on Facebook because of lapses in posts. Aim for at least 2-3 new posts each week.
  • Post quality content.

    Just because someone likes your page, it doesn't mean that Facebook will show your updates in their content stream. In fact, only about 10-15% of your fanbase will ever see your post. Facebook uses their own algorithm called Edge Rank. They look at how frequently people interact with your content (Share, Like, Comment, etc.) to determine your popularity. The more popular you are, the more people Facebook will share your updates with.
  • Turn off auto job feeds.

    Many staffing firms auto feed all their open jobs from their job board to their Facebook status. This used to be okay, but it's now turning people off and lowering Edge Rank. Instead, consider featuring a Top Job(s) of the Week and only post once per week.
  • Use pictures.

    Eye studies show that updates with photos or videos draw users in and get much more engagement. Simply adding a popular quote along with an image can be a good, engaging piece of content. Also look to share pictures of your staff or your top candidates. This can also drive engagement and lead to a lot of shares and likes.
  • Track engagement.

    Facebook provides some nice analytics that allow you to see how many people viewed and interacted with every piece of content you post. Use this data to continually adjust your content plan.
  • Get visitors to check in.

    One of the preset searches for graph search is "Places my friends have been to." If more visitors to your branch (i.e., anyone coming to register or interview) check in through Facebook, you'll have greater visibility, display in search results more often, and secure more referral traffic.
Twitter

You might ask yourself "How can anything business related happen in 140 characters?" But try this exercise: have your receptionist watch applicants in your waiting room and track the number of times they pull out their smartphone. They are sending texts, tweets, short emails or Facebook posts. Most of this communication is short and to the point–so believe it or not, 140 characters can actually have value!

Here's how to make the most of it:

  • Post frequently.

    While we suggest not over-posting on other outlets like Facebook and LinkedIn, we do suggest upping the frequency on Twitter. Because posts are so short and the shelf life is even shorter, you can increase the frequency to several times a day.
  • Link back.

    You only have 140 characters, so most of your tweets should link back to your website for additional information.
  • #UseHashtags.

    Hashtags are a way to organize and search for information. Use them in your Tweets to increase visibility.
  • Follow others.

    One of the best ways to build your Twitter following is to start following others. You'll find that many people will reciprocate a follow and you'll build a good audience in no time.
  • Retweet.

    Begin following influencers in your circle and retweet their posts. Oftentimes you'll build a relationship with that person and they will begin broadcasting your content to their audience. It's a great way to get in front of a new audience and position yourself as a thought leader.
  • Engage with prospects.

    Look for companies and individuals you want to do business with and follow them. Look for C-Level executives that are active on Twitter. This allows you to eliminate the gate keeper(s) and go directly to the decision maker.
  • Be active during events.

    Many events and conferences will have unique #Hashtags and full Twitter conversations dedicated to the event. Share good information and connect with others over Twitter. We've seen first hand that those 140 character conversations turn into sit-down meetings and great client relationships.
  • Retweet your clients.

    If your clients are active on Twitter, retweet their content. It will help get their names in front of a new audience and strengthen your relationship.
LInkedIn

We've saved perhaps the most powerful social network for staffing and recruiting firms for last. While Twitter and Facebook may have more reach with the candidate side of your business, LinkedIn has real lead-generation opportunities.

Here's how to leverage LinkedIn to its fullest:

  • Build your network.

    This is a recurring theme across all platforms, but with LinkedIn, more 1st-level connections means more access to information. This will help with both recruiting efforts and prospecting efforts.

    Here are tips:

    • Import your contact database into LinkedIn. You can then send mass invitations to connect.
    • Send a personal invite to connect after every call, email, and appointment.
    • Collect names and business cards at every event you attend and send invitations to connect as soon as you can.
    • Use LinkedIn's "People you may know" feature and send invites.
    • Send invitations to fellow LinkedIn Group members.
    • Connect with old classmates, alumni and former co-workers.
  • Refine your personal profile.

    Make sure that your profile is to up-to-date and includes any awards or honors, certifications or accreditations, and other relevant information.
  • Optimize your title.

    LinkedIn is the world's largest collection of professional data and millions of people searches are conducted each year. Look at updating your title to include relevant keywords. For example, your actual title might be "Recruiter" but consider updating your title to include industry and geography keywords such as: Finance Recruiter in Boston.
  • Post updates regularly.

    Use LinkedIn's status update to share information a few times a week. If you have a company blog, you can automate this through the use of an RSS feed.
  • Don't autopost jobs.

    Just like Facebook, we suggest NOT autoposting jobs on your LinkedIn status update. It becomes redundant and can be annoying. Instead, highlight only top positions you are recruiting for and periodically share success stories about candidate's you've placed.
  • Link back.

    In your status updates, provide links back to your website for additional information. Look at your website's analytics to determine what types of content provide the most traffic back to your site and adjust your content plan accordingly.
  • Join Groups.

    There is a LinkedIn Group for just about every industry, specialty, geographic region, etc. Your exact target audience is most likely already built for you in the form of a LinkedIn Group. Once you're a member, here's how to drive leads:

    • Post value-added content. Start discussions and post links to interesting blogs or articles you've published on your site.
    • Like and comment on other discussions to form a more personal relationship with the poster.
    • Answer questions posted by other group members; this is a great way to showcase your expertise and add value.
    • Don't sell! The worst thing you can do is try to use the Group as a forum to sell. Post good content that adds value and the sales will naturally follow.

Other sites to consider:

Google Plus

Google+ is a late entry into the social media space but is still a relatively important one. As we pointed out in Part 1 of this article, Google is looking at social queues as part of their search algorithm. So, it's important to build your presence there and start building your "circles." For your content strategy here, I would suggest reviewing the tips and suggestions highlighted under Facebook above. This will give you a great starting point with Google+ and help streamline some of your efforts.

Google Places for Business

This technically isn't a social site but is very important. Google Places for Business is how you can get your website and location listed on the map that appears when you search for "Temp Agencies in [city]."

  • - Visit www.google.com/placesforbusiness/ and create a new account for your business. Don't let your administrative assistant use their personal account and password, you'll regret it when they move on! Keep the account and password access in a safe spot!
  • - Add your business following the steps that Google provides. You will need to confirm your listing with a PIN number that Google will provide via phone or postcard (choose phone option if possible).
  • - Upload photos, enter a company description and add categories (terms like: Staffing, Employment, Temporary, etc.).
  • - Encourage your clients and candidates to leave positive reviews on this page.
Pinterest

This content-sharing service allows members to "pin" images, videos and other objects to pinboards they create to organize and share information they found interesting.

Here are some ideas for how to use it for your firm:

  • - Post examples of proper business and interview attire.
  • - Share photos from events you've attended.
  • - Highlight photos from local charities or non-profit activities.
  • - Share charts and graphs from local employment trends.
  • - Pin interesting infographics you've come across (or better yet, made).
Yelp

This is a user review and recommendation site that is used to solely highlight top restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and entertainment. In many larger cities, Yelp is now a source of reviews on information on all types of local businesses and service providers.

Here's what to do on Yelp:

  • - Find your listing on Yelp and edit your business details.
  • - Ensure your contact information is correct and choose "categories" your listing should belong in (terms like: Staffing, Employment, Temporary, etc.).
  • - Submit photos or videos for your page.
  • - Encourage your candidates and clients to leave positive reviews.

The Next New Site

Social media is continually changing. New sites are created, existing sites change features, new best practices emerge. So continually seek out what's new and changing. Get in the habit of visiting sites like Mashable to stay current, and of course, visit our staffing marketing and sales blog to see how new technology and marketing tools can be applied to the staffing and recruiting industry.