Posted On: November 5th, 2015 By Helen Main 1 Comment »
I don’t know about you, but up until recently, I never really got Instagram. Sure, it’s fun to scroll through if you’re waiting to go into an appointment, or your bus is late, but it was only recently that I began to understand the draw that Instagram held as a marketing platform.
As brands discovered more and more difficulty in using Facebook as an effective marketing and customer relations tool, Instagram slowly took over as the new platform from which to interact with their followers. While the shift from ‘a place to post holiday snaps and staged ‘candid’ selfies’ to ‘key branding tool’ was gradual at first, as user numbers grow, so too does the potential to reach both current and future followers.
A vast range of businesses and brands, both the big players (Nike, Ford) and smaller boutique businesses (Flossie Concierge, Naveya and Sloane) have recognised the power of Instagram in a marketing context. Top end consumer brands are even leaning in and committing a portion of their marketing budget into ‘Brand Ambassadors’ – individuals with hundreds or thousands of followers, who’s style or personal brand aligns with the company’s. These companies provide their ambassadors with free products and even pay checks for posting ‘candid’ shots featuring their products and providing instruction on where to purchase them. By engaging social media influencers, brands can target a receptive audience, and place their products in the ‘real’ world.
So how does this translate to recruitment marketing? Can recruiters harness the power of branded imagery with the same success?
Short answer? Maybe. But I’ll get to that.
At first glance, a newsfeed that is saturated with images might not seem like an effective place to promote a job ad, but then, again, no one could have predicted the effect Facebook would have on brands or marketing, nor that it would become so lucrative for the platform itself.
As the saying goes – a picture is worth a thousand words. While this phrase may not be totally accurate, there is no denying a image’s power to capture attention. Combine this with appealing job descriptions, and you will have applicants who are engaged with your brand, not just the employment opportunity. Result? A better fit for new hire and company alike.
Playing a supportive role to your traditional online job ad, Instagram can provide you with an opportunity to give job seekers and passive potential candidates better insight into your company and your employer brand.
At the time this post went live, there were over 400 Million Instagram users worldwide, and this number is still growing by the day. Millenials make up over a third of the world’s workforce, and over 70% of all Instagram users. Given these numbers, you can begin to see why Instagram might be considered as a new recruitment channel – but only if you’re looking for engaged, digitally savvy employers of course!
While you might be intrigued by the idea of using a social media platform that holds an edge over Facebook, it pays to know that this medium definitely isn’t for every business, at least from a recruiting aspect. Remember that you’re using Instagram as a tool to fine tune your already functioning recruitment strategy. Not every tool will be effective for every brand or even every role. And if your job ad or employment branding is lacking, no Instagram post, no matter how visually appealing, will save your campaign.
To figure out if Instagram might work for you, you need to as yourself a few questions:
If you’re company has a basic website, with a social media strategy that could be describe as reactive at best, then Instagram is possibly a bridge too far. Using Instagram as enhance your hiring process should only be considered if you are already running a social media campaign that followers actually engage with.
I probably don’t need to say this, but I will. There’s no point in attempting to recruit using Instagram if your audience isn’t there too! Consider the role you are looking to fill, and outline some options for ‘ideal candidates’. If your checklist leans towards someone who is creative, innovative, Millennial or tech savvy, then you’re more likely to achieve success by using Instagram to enhance your hiring endeavor.
Social Media’s key strength is in its name. It’s a social platform! If you have employees who are engaged in Instagram already, and they’re passionate about your company, then you have a unique avenue through which to promote your recruitment! Social circles usually contain people with similar interests, abilities or career aspirations, so you may end up targeting potential employees without spending a dime.
Instagram users want to see something unique. They learn to value brand personality and how it presents itself through the images a business shares with the world in a way that previous consumers and fans never did. If your company has no unique selling points from an employees point of view, you may struggle to drum up any interest on the platform, particularly when it comes to engaging with potential employees.
Two months ago, Burger Burger were on the hunt for a new Chief Operations Operator. If you aren’t an Auckland local, you may not be familiar with the Auckland-based company. Burger Burger pride themselves in serving fresh, fast food (but not fast food) to the discerning masses in Newmarket and Ponsonby. With an emphasis on buying local, they offer all the old fashioned style burgers, milkshakes and sides you can eat, in relaxed, vibrant venues with staff who reflect the energetic young brand.
Bearing this in mind, you can imagine that the traditional avenues for attracting job seekers risk attracting many COOs who lack the right attitude for the brand. If the position you’re offering is a little different, then you need to find a way to attract applicants with the right skills but also sit comfortably outside the box.
Sharing your latest #foodporn snaps, and checking in with your friends has almost integrated into ones dining experience, and the restaurant industry has embraced being ‘social’ and the potential for money-can’t-buy advertising. Being a trendy eatery, Burger Burger had already cultivated a strong social media presence through their close work with Motion Sickness, and Instagram presented them with an ideal solution to attracting desirable applicants.
Motion Sickness have an innate understanding of Burger Burger’s brand. Before they were charged with creating and implementing the burgery’s brand strategies, they were loyal customers. As a result, they were primed to create ads that could convert other passionate foodies into equally passionate staff. Their approach was simple – attract interest with irreverent images (like this, and this) and hold their interest with enticing copy and the chance to apply for the role with the click of a mouse. Upping the appeal of what could otherwise be a fairly run-of-the-mill role job ad, and holding the door open for those who were interested meant the only problem for burger burger had now was deciding on a candidate!
I was hoping you’d ask that! If you’re keen to look further in to how you can use Instagram to enhance your hiring process, stay tuned for our next Haystack.jobs article and gain access some helpful tips on how to launch use Instagram to your benefit as a recruiter. Even if you’re going to outsource your social media content, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of what’s going on in Social Media Land.
While you’re clicking links, I highly recommend head on over to Motion Sickness for some serious branding inspiration. And (if you’re in Auckland) why not use your lunch break to think this all through over a burger and broccoli (yes, it’s amazing!) at Burger Burger. Perhaps you’ll even spot the new COO while you’re there.