Leveraging Social Media for Virtual Campus Recruiting
It's no question that over the past 10 years, social media has become a bigger focus in most of our lives. Nearly every generation has some type of social media presence, but Generation Z takes the prize for the highest number of active social media users. As your organization plans for the shift to virtual recruiting this fall, consider the impact that social media will have on your university recruiting strategy. Your target candidates will likely fall within the Gen Z age range of 18-23 years old, which means the best way to get in front of these digitals natives is via social media.
So, how will you determine which social platforms to utilize, what type of content to post, and what your strategy should be?
Here's a quick overview:
- Focus on the social platforms that are most used by your target audience
- Repurpose content across these platforms, making alterations when necessary
- Ensure that the content you are posting is truthful, transparent, and helpful
- Include a call to action in each social posting
- Set aside a small budget for paid advertisements
- Engage with followers and make it easy for them to get in contact with you
Want to dive right into the details? Download our free guide to Virtual Campus Recruiting for an overview of what to expect this school year, then reference our guide to Recruiting Through Social Media for some additional insight into ramping up your social media strategy.
Begin with ensuring that your organization has accounts on the main social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. If you want to take it a step further, create Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok accounts as well.
Roughly 75% of Gen Z uses Instagram, followed closely by Snapchat and YouTube. In addition, 60% of TikTok users are Gen Z'ers. Keep this in mind as you decide which platforms to focus on. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are still valuable, but may not hold as much weight for university students. If your organization has limited resources, focus on the social platforms that your target audience uses the most. To cast the widest net, post content on all of the major social media platforms. Your team will need to determine what is best for your company's strategy.
Now that you've created your social accounts and decided which platforms to utilize, you need to start creating content. When brainstorming content ideas, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What would they be interested in? What would they want to know?
For university recruiting, consider the fact that most candidates will be looking for their first "real" job post-college. Some topics they might be interested in are:
- What entry-level positions is your organization offering? What makes a candidate a good fit for those positions?
- What learning opportunities does your organization offer to entry-level candidates?
- What is your company culture like? Why do people like working for you? Can you show me what former entry-level candidates have to say?
- What are the steps to applying for a job at your organization? What should be on my resume? Do I need a cover page?
- What does the interview process look like at your organization? Are you interviewing candidates virtually? What should I expect?
- How did your organization handle COVID-19? What does my career progression look like and what opportunities to I have to be an agent of change at the company?
Keep in mind, Gen Z also cares the most about work-life balance and personal wellbeing. You may want to highlight what benefits your company offers to employees and what the future of remote work looks like within your organization.
You will also need to consider how social media users consume content on different platforms. Instagram is focused on pictures and graphics, TikTok's claim to fame is short videos with music or voiceovers, and LinkedIn is all about professional connections and industry-related content. You will likely be able to reuse your content across multiple platforms by making minor adjustments to the graphics and captions.
Whatever content you decide to create, make sure that it is truthful and transparent. Most importantly, candidates will value content that is engaging and helpful.
Calls-to-Action and Paid Advertisements
Before you post your content on social media, make sure that each piece of content includes a call-to-action (CTA). This is typically a link or button for candidates to click in an effort to bring them to a desired place on your website. This destination could be your career site, a blog post or webpage with more information, a sign-up form for a career fair, or a job application. Wherever you are leading the candidate, make sure that it is easy for them to get there. Too many clicks can cause frustration and result in candidates leaving the page or post before they reach your desired landing page.
You may also want to consider paid advertisements as part of your social strategy. Most social platforms make it quite easy to run an inexpensive sponsored ad campaign. The benefit of paid ads is that it allows you to get your content in front of members of your target audience who may not currently follow your company or be aware of your brand. If you choose to run a paid ad, make sure that the post contains a CTA!
Now that your social platforms are up and running, you're producing content, and you're beginning to gain followers, it's time to think about engaging with you content consumers.
One of the easiest ways to engage with potential candidates is through social media features like polls, questions, and quizzes. Not only does this show that you want to engage with your followers, it also helps you gain valuable information from your target candidates (i.e. if you're getting a lot of questions about how to apply to a position, maybe you should consider creating some content around that topic). Remember that engagement is two-sided; if you ask your audience to engage with you, they expect you to engage with them in return. Be sure that questions posted in the comments and direct messages (DM's) you receive on your various social platforms are being answered!
Lastly, make it easy for people to get in contact with you. Having "contact us" or "contact a recruiter" links on your social sites and webpages give candidates an easy way to ask for more information.
These tips should help you kickstart your social media strategy for virtual recruitment of entry-level talent. Take the information with you by downloading our free guides!
Social Media Recruiting
Virtual Campus Recruiting