Social media is a powerful tool to engage, perhaps now more than ever. Think of it as a captive audience of young people, who defy the rules around geography and time and allow you to inspire them - all with the click of a button. Sound a bit cheesy? (we agree!) - But for us here at Uptree, social media is becoming more and more important to the work we do.
We want to share a few of our experiences about how we’re engaging with a diverse talent pool online and why it’s increasingly important as the world responds to Covid-19.
But first, the stats
To truly understand why you should be tackling social media as a remote engagement tool, it’s time to look at the hard stats.
Every day, the average UK user spends 1 hour 50 mins scrolling through social media sites.
On Facebook alone, 71% of UK adults (13 years+) can be reached with adverts on the platform.
According to Instagram, 80% of users follow a business or a brand so are looking for inspiration, and there’s no reason why this can’t apply to your recruitment marketing.
Engaging young people online
Different groups navigate through social platforms in lots of ways. Young people, for example, will spend hours watching Netflix and YouTube (on average over 15 hours a week, in fact…), but you might still struggle to get them to read a blog post or newsletter. It could therefore be assumed that today’s ‘Generation Z’ are lazy, disconnected or just simply uninterested in reading anything longer than a meme.
But then again, it might be because they don’t trust your brand. In a world saturated with online content, the latest generation of young people have simply chosen to ignore what they don’t want to see.
Whilst traditional adverts and testimonials can work really well to get your employer brand into the digital space, to truly connect with younger generations you need to develop brand affinity (think along the lines of that Ted Talk with Simon Sinek…).
So, where to start with brand affinity?
The best campaigns interact with students through several different platforms, projecting positive, long-term messages and content that will slowly build personal connections.
A recent example from Uptree is our ‘student takeover’ – where each month, we select a student from our network to prepare an Instagram story session with content that speaks directly to a younger audience. We’ve already seen a huge leap in our interactions from this kind of activity and it shows the power that authentic, individual influencers can have.
Mary-Grace also used her platforms to promote the takeover
If the goal is to have a warm, engaged community of candidates before your roles even open, then we recommend starting early online. By creating a communications strategy on light-touch topics to run throughout the year, you will embed your company’s narrative well before a young person’s job search starts.
Think about simple and interesting themes that young people will both relate too and want to learn more about. Also focus on human experience, as it’s unlikely that your future candidates will engage on a personal level with USP’s and internal jargon. A good example of this in practice is using current apprentices or graduates in marketing materials, as they can relay first-hand what it’s like to be a young person at your business.
Students will be much more likely to apply for your roles if they already trust and understand your company before recruitment season begins.
Videos are probably the most powerful channel for delivering a recruitment message. But did you know over 80% of viewers will watch videos with the sound turned off? Always add subtitles, and whilst it might be tempting to skimp on tech, a good quality video will ensure a professional edge.
Uptree top tip - check dimensions before uploading to different platforms, as great content and your message can be lost if it’s half visible.
Social Media in the world of Covid-19
With assessment centres on hold and many recruitment drives frozen, it’s safe to say that the next wave of ‘Gen Z’ will be facing a time of unprecedented uncertainty. What should be an exciting step to embark on their first career move will be tainted with lots of worry and anxiety over what happens next. With this in mind, there is no better time to give young people the benefits of great online engagement and to feel a part of your community.
Whether you’re in law, media, the public sector or anywhere else, if you want to retain your company’s future talent, it’s time to start thinking about your approach to online engagement.
If you or your company would like to learn more about what we do, and how we can help you engage more with your target audience, please do get in contact with us via firstname.lastname@example.org