Researching Your Candidates for Social Media & More

Social media is an important and useful way to market to candidates and attract job seekers to your job board. But how do we use social media recruiting to its best advantage? How do we figure out which social media platforms are right for reaching your particular job seekers?

The challenge is two-fold: the first step being research, and the second being experimentation. Today we’ll mostly focus on researching and how to use what you learn.

Let’s say we have an imaginary job board and it’s focused on targeting social workers as job candidates. The first step is to learn more about social workers!

There are great online resources out there for researching demographics, such as the US Bureau of Labourand Stats Canada. (And if your Google-fu isn’t strong and you need a little help – your local library will always be able to point you in the right direction.)

Having used the Bureau of Labour site above, I’ve found out that most social workers in the US are between the ages of 24 and 44, and most of them are women. That means by targeting social workers, we’re mainly aiming at women aged 24-44 (rather than, say, men aged 35-55).

For the broader goal of learning more about your target market, dig into more detail with things like:

  • Levels of education for different role types
  • Salary ranges
  • Typical career paths

That level of detail will help you create more successful email campaigns, landing pages, and other content for your board. That knowledge will also be helpful when marketing to your customers, especially if you can demonstrate your unique value and expertise in delivering the candidates they need.

Now that we know a little bit about our candidates, we want to ask ourselves, “Where can we reach them?”

Pew Research, SmartInsights, and all have statistics on social media platforms and their usage by demographic. From their numbers, I’ve learned that there are more women than men who are active users on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and those platforms are also heavily used by people in our targeted age range.

Armed with this knowledge, we can now start to plan how to use these channels to promote jobs and other content or services we offer to job seekers.

Last week I outlined four ways to take advantage of social media to promote your jobs, including using scheduling tools and social media auto-posters. But no matter what tools you use, you’ll want to consider how best to tailor different types of content to different social media platforms. Here are a few ideas with our hypothetical job board in mind:

  • Facebook is a great spot for sharing both jobs and other content. You can do a lot to customize your job board’s Facebook Page, and you can even install a job search app directly on it using an API like Careerleaf’s.
  • Instagram makes it tricky to share links on individual posts, so you must include a link to your site in your profile bio, and content shared there should have a square-shaped image (it’ll crop it for you if you don’t). You might find it best to reserve sharing jobs on Instagram as an added service for featured jobs or employers, but you can always use it to promote your brand and content with your audience. Hashtags are used on Instagram to help find things, so be sure to make use of them.
  • Pinterest is another image-focused platform, and it’s heavy on advice, tips, and tutorials, but it’s easy to link out to your jobs, content, and your main site. Pinterest also let’s you create custom boards, organizing your content by topic. Pictures and descriptions are helpful in getting your pins found and shared.
  • Twitter is great for link sharing of all kinds, but be sure to take advantage of Twitter Cards to make sure any links to your website are showcased with images and text excerpts. Buffer has a nice guide to Twitter Cards here. Use of relevant hashtags helps people find your tweets more easily – check out AgileC’s list of 50 twitter hashtags used by job seekers.
  • LinkedIn will likely be useful for most industries, especially given that many people use it for job search. You can share links and post longer original content easily on LinkedIn. But again, be mindful of your audience and do your research. If you need to recruit high school-aged interns or volunteers, for example, they may not be on there!

While learning more about your target market’s demographics can help you make more intelligent decisions on where to find them and how to reach them, try to approach your use of social media like a scientist. Perform experiments! Attempt a few different methods or campaigns, track how successful they are, and use what you learn to improve upon your tactics.

Read more posts on how job boards can use social media to their advantage: