Once an organisation has defined their employee value proposition and launched a new employer branding initiative internally the next step is to use social media to promote the message to the wider world.

A smart social media strategy, extends the organisation’s presence online. Social media platforms enable the organisation to be more versatile and agile than traditional advertising, offering the ability to test messages, learn from consumers, repeat and reinforce messages, and innovate and respond quickly.

Moving Beyond Marketing, a 2014 research study published by MIT Sloan Management Review, reported that 63 percent of respondents agree that “social has had a positive effect on their company’s business outcomes.”

Content = Crucial

Social media wins out in terms of external communications because customers like the sense that they are interacting with and getting to know real people, rather than receiving standard messages from a corporate entity. Personalised communication is increasingly and a key element of establishing extended reach for the employer brand is the use of employee content.

Real opinions from real people really do matter, especially in the world of recruitment. This is what Phil Strazzulla, founder of NewWave Hire, told us about using employee content: “if we can leverage their voices to get at the specific pieces of information that candidates care about and get that information in the right places then that’s huge in terms of attracting and converting talent.”

Will Staney says talk to your employees to find out:

“Where do they go to get their news? What are their interests? What bands do they listen to? All these interests help you to develop the kind of content, and the persona that does well at your organisation. You can then take that data, and other data like, what kind of roles are we hiring for? What are our high priority hiring initiatives right now? You take all that and you start to build your content strategy that helps fuel those initiatives.”

Job seekers are consumers too. Talented applicants are checking out the organisation online before they apply and if they don’t like what they see or can’t find the information they need they will go elsewhere. Visibility online is essential to attract top talent to the organisation, because good people want to work for an organisation with a name they trust.

Thanks to social media, would-be applicants can find out a lot about an organisation and what it does but also about reputation and values, as well as how staff rate the organisation and what it’s like to work for there. Social media can make or break employer brand by encouraging talented applicants to apply or by sending them in the direction of the competition.

Showcase Culture

Every organisation has an employment brand and applicants want to know whether they are making a good choice in career terms. If your employment brand isn’t clear to potential employees they will think you have nothing good to say to them or that, the organisation is not smart enough to realise the need to promote a robust employment brand.

Craig Fisher, Head of Employer Brand, CA Technologies and Allegis Global Solutions: “A company must find the good in their culture by asking employees, and highlight those things, and they must be transparent about working on the things that are not so good.”

Candidate sourcing opportunities exist beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but these three are the most popular channels. Post and promote content on these channels that is designed to highlight employee advocates, reflect brand, culture and identity, and showcase organisational narratives. Sharing interesting insights and informative posts is an incredibly efficient way of catching the attention of people who may be interested in working for the organisation.

It’s important to listen to the social chatter around the employer brand in order to understand what potential applicants are saying. Analysing what people say about the organisation offers insights into how to attract potential applicants in the future. It’s like getting access to a focus group of thousands of people, sharing what they like, and dislike, about an organisation.

While we have tried to show is that employer branding is about more than just recruitment, attracting great candidates is a good reason for going down the social media route in promoting your brand. Social media allows you build a relationship with the audience, and hopefully to establish a level of affinity – the sense that an organisation is ‘right for me’.