I LOVE being asked this question! Honest answer – the chances of finding a direct link between Facebook and your bottom line is always going to be difficult. But in today's world where many of your candidates are hanging out on this platform – can you afford to ignore it?
If you want to make the most of your investment on this social media platform, then these are the strategies I am currently sharing with the recruiters I work with.
Use Facebook jobs
Add your vacancies to Facebook jobs but be realistic about what results you may get. The benefit of adding jobs here is that Google for jobs includes Facebook jobs in their search results.
The negative is that the application process is super simple from a user perspective, so you may see a higher volume of applicants that are, well, less than ideal. You have the option of adding two free-text screening questions for each role. You can also have the applications arrive in your email inbox – or deal with the applications via Facebook messenger. While the job is active, you can change this setting, so if it is unmanageable in your inbox you can change things!
Although still a relatively new feature, Facebook is attempting to create awareness by adding into user notifications that ‘x' number of jobs have been added in their area each day. So if you see lower levels regarding how many people the job posts reach, remember it is early days for the feature.
Invest in Facebook Advertising
Making sure your posts are seen on Facebook requires daily commitment, and advertising is certainly a requirement if you want to make Facebook work. I recommend committing to a budget of £100 a month for three consecutive months. During that time it is important you have a clear Facebook advertising strategy and that you are not just hitting ‘Boost Post' a couple of times a week.
You have an option to boost your Facebook job posts. Right now, at the time of writing this, I am not suggesting you do this. In fact, I get quite cross when people do! Your vacancy, in an ideal world, will be listed on your website. This is where we should be directing traffic to in the first instance. Once on your site, if that job isn't the right fit for the candidate they can see what else you are offering and perhaps even register anyway!
So what am I recommending from a Facebook advertising perspective?
- Head to Facebook adverts manager, and create a website traffic campaign. Create this campaign with a specific vacancy in mind and tailor your audience to match the interests you believe the perfect candidate will have.
- Create a custom audience based on your website visitors. (You will need to have activated and installed your Facebook pixel to do this.) You can then target those people who have visited your website smack bang in their Facebook and Instagram feeds. A great way of reminding them that you are there ready to help them find their dream job. Create an advertising campaign with a prominent call to action for this audience to ensure potential candidates have registered with you and that those already on your books are not forgetting to check you out or update you!
- If your custom audience is working, and you are gathering enough data you can then create a lookalike audience. A lookalike audience is a way to target users who may be interested in your business or its services because they have a similar online presence or demographic to your existing customers. It's an awesome way of ensuring relevant people see your adverts.
Check out Facebook groups and keep your page maintained
If you are familiar with Green Umbrella Marketing, you will have heard us discussing ‘beans on Toast' and our use of the 80/20 rule. Essentially for Facebook to work you need to feed your page with engaging content – not just your latest blog and automated vacancy posts. With the use of Facebook stories on the rise, it is clear to see that Facebook users are more interested in the fly on the wall experience rather than your hard sell. So feed the Facebook beast! Your commodity as a recruiter is people so let's get people featuring on your pages!
Facebook groups are turning into the next trend resource-wise with Facebook piling in lots of features for admins over the last few months. If you are going to run a Facebook group, make sure you have a few people involved and share the load. Do not sell in your group and encourage as much conversation as possible. When it comes to your consultants sharing their job posts into other groups – there's a fine line.
Recently I had a client wonder why they were banned from some groups, on investigation she had shared one post 27 times into multiple groups all within a short period. The members of the 27 groups were actually from a specific pool of people regarding location, so the experience from her target audience was that she had essentially appeared 27 times within a few minutes with precisely the same message. So yep, use groups you don't own to share your posts into, but please please please ensure you have thought about your strategy!
So where is the ROI? What should I be measuring?
In reality, your Facebook activity should help increase your traffic to your website where, in a perfect world, you also have tools which allow you to convert visitors into placed candidates or active clients.
Roughly 27% of what gets you to the top of Google search results is if there is a buzz about your brand online, therefore, I would also expect to see your organic traffic increase month by month. (You should be measuring these stats via Google Analytics.)
You can also use your Facebook insights, Facebook advert results and Google Analytics together to understand how people use your website. Is there a problem with the functionality of your site perhaps that needs fixing? Is there something in the user experience that puts people off applying? Is there a specific topic or tools that when used brings a spike in website visitors? If you're not looking, you don't know, and if you don't act on your findings, you definitely won't see ROI.
Within Facebook, you can measure all sorts of stats from weekly reach to audience growth. These numbers do have importance, but be careful not to get too caught up in vanity numbers.
Social media is not something that you can use as a standalone marketing tool; I like to think of it as the cement that connects the bricks in a house. It strengthens everything else you do and ultimately means that in the end, all your marketing efforts can work together to give you the return on investment you deserve.
If you are looking for direct ROI, you are destined to fail. If you look at Facebook as a tool in your marketing arsenal, and look for an overall ROI, and truly commit to your Facebook strategy… You will be destined for success.
Contributor Christina Robinson of Green Umbrella Marketing.
Digital Services Manager for Green Umbrella Marketing Ltd.