With UK businesses spending £2.6 billion on social media advertising in 2019 – a year-on-year increase of 20% – it is clear to see that companies in the recruitment industry that are failing to harness the power of paid social media are going to fall behind those who are using it effectively to re-engage existing followers and reach new prospects.
In this article, I outline five reasons why recruitment firms of all sizes should be using paid social to support strategic goals, such as increasing brand awareness, website traffic and generating new leads.
- It amplifies your brand’s reach
Social media advertising enables your recruitment brand to cut through the noise and achieve instant visibility in front of your desired audience.
Over the past few years social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn have all been updating their algorithms to prioritise posts from friends, family and connections over those from companies. This has given rise to what has been dubbed as the ‘pay to play arena’ where brands from all industries are having to invest in paid social to ensure that they are being seen by their own followers.
While the fall in the reach of organic posts is understandably frustrating, social media ads are guaranteed to appear in users’ feeds providing you with an effective method of reaching prospective candidates and clients with targeted messaging that is relevant to them and drives website traffic and leads. For example, if your agency specialises in recruiting for several sectors but wanted to focus on re-engaging followers that work in marketing it could produce a campaign sharing bespoke content that is strictly relevant to them.
Top tip: Ensure your recruitment firm uses candidate and client personas so that you have a clear understanding of the platforms your audiences spend the majority of their time on, and focus on these to maximise your ROI.
- It suits budgets of all sizes
There is a common misconception that only recruitment agencies with big budgets can use social media advertising. And while bigger budgets are, of course, more likely to yield a greater return, paid social media campaigns are a cost-effective method to promote your business.
All platforms enable you to choose between two payment models – cost per click (CPC) and cost per thousand impressions (CPM) – depending on your campaign objectives. CPC means that you will pay only when a member of your target audience either clicks on a link in your post or clicks to submit their details. Whereas CPM means that you will pay each time your ads are seen a thousand times in the feeds of your target audience and is commonly used when your objective is to increase brand awareness.
It is advisable to draft campaigns across the platforms you have highlighted as your target audiences spending the majority of their time on and then compare which has the largest number of users that meet your set criteria and the most cost-efficient price for the desired action before choosing an appropriate platform.
Top tip: No matter what your overall budget is for social media advertising, start each campaign with a small budget so you can see what works and what doesn’t before refining this and investing in those that are generating results.
- It enhances your targeting
One of the biggest advantages of social media advertising is that it gives you control over who sees your ads.
Each platform offers a wealth of targeting criteria that you can use to really drill down on your ideal audience so that you can align it with your candidate and client personas. Targeting factors include a multitude of detailed user demographics through to device related information such as their mobile phone model and what operating system it runs.
Top tip: Whilst highly targeted campaigns can be incredibly effective in reaching your ideal candidates or clients, sometimes they can be too limiting and prevent your ad from running as the audience is too small. If this happens, start removing some of your criteria and see how that affects the overall audience size.
- It increases brand awareness
Another benefit of social media advertising is that the more your ads appear in the feeds of users, the more they will start to recognise you and become familiar with your brand. This is an incredibly effective way for new businesses to generate brand awareness among their target audiences, particularly when used in tandem with wider PR activities so that you’re appearing in both the publications they read and on their social media feeds.
Top tip: Don’t be afraid to A/B test different content formats, such as a video ad versus a static image, to see which ones resonate the most with your audience.
5. It enables you to distribute gated content to a much wider audience
Paid social media campaigns are a fantastic way to get your gated content, such as ebooks, salary benchmarking reports and webinars that require a visitor to fill out a lead capture form to access, out to a much wider audience rather than having to rely on organic social media and website traffic.
Look at some of your existing gated content to see if it is evergreen and still relevant for your audiences today and think about how you can use it to generate leads beyond those already familiar with your recruitment firm.
Top tip: When it comes to producing an ad that promotes gated content, make sure you communicate how it can solve a problem or pain point that your audience is experiencing. This will increase the likelihood of them giving you their details so that they can download it.
Don’t get left behind
As organic reach continues to fall on social media, and more recruitment firms experiment with social media advertising it is important that you don’t get left behind. Start off small and adopt a test and learn approach to see what works before scaling up your investment and the number of campaigns you run.