Do You Have Any Thoughts of Your Own?

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Mar 18, 2013

Good Will Hunting” fans will remember the bar room scene where campus know-it-all Clark is confronted about his knowledge of the evolution of the market economy in Massachusetts’s southern colonies. Though Clark speaks confidently, Will reminds him he’s quoting passages from a book.

“You got that from Vickers ‘Work in Essex County,’ page 98, right? Yeah, I read that too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter?”

That’s the rhetorical question I often ask as I read through the growing library of content related to social media marketing and measurement strategies. Mainstream media is often how we become familiar with a topic, especially those topics that intimidate us, including social media marketing and metrics. But how can we begin to convert our intimidation to incremental gains and apply it to sourcing success?

Use media as inspiration, not instruction.

On the heels of the Super Bowl, Oreo — a brand often talked about when the topic turns to social media success — found themselves the recipient of much praise when they reminded the Super Bowl audience, who for a short time was left in the dark, not to worry because they can “still dunk in the dark.”

Almost all the coverage about Oreo’s tweet mentioned the 16,000 re-tweets, 20,000 likes on Facebook, and the coveted media it earned. Those are all numbers that help validate the strategy. And the take-away could simply be: timely, witty responses humanize the brand and elicit an emotional response. But I’m sure even after looking at this through such a practical lens, this example doesn’t feel particularly relevant or realistic to sourcing professionals and their organization – unless you get at its essence.

Oreo’s success isn’t just about the timely, witty tweet. It is about the infrastructure that made it possible. Oreo’s social media strategy is rooted in the trust that comes from a true partnership between the account, creative and strategic agency teams, and the U.S. brand team. This infrastructure allowed the teams to evaluate the opportunity, and then act swiftly as opposed to evaluating the opportunity, moderating it, and clearing it with top executives or legal prior to acting. You don’t have to be Oreo – just empowered to connect topical content with candidates in real time on the social networks they are using.

Your employment brand is distinct. So should be your approach to measuring it.

While the 16,000 retweets, 20,000 Facebook comments and all the earned media coverage cemented Oreo’s success that day, it doesn’t define success moving forward. Try to avoid getting hung up on retweets and page likes and instead look for insights that are important to your business.

I ask our clients a simple question: if you were trying to hire your direct competitors’ 100 most important employees, would you expect any of them to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter?  Not once has anyone answered yes.

Now, I’m not suggesting you ignore fans and followers. Instead, reimagine their importance by looking at segments of them. For instance, you can measure how many of your current and former employees subscribe to your content. Rallying the base can stimulate engagement in your content which helps tremendously with visibility to the networks of your employees.

Create incentives for employees to subscribe to your content and then measure that by either using Facebook Graph Search or by going through the process of creating an ad that targets current employees simply to get a count you can measure over time. As Facebook Graph Search develops, a strong, connected base will help recruiters more effectively use Facebook as a networking tool, and can benefit the sales force in connecting to opportunities.

Be creative

Ask yourself what’s important – whether it’s related to your social media strategy or how you measure it – and focus on improving it. Don’t be limited by what other organizations have done. If what you believe is a key performance indicator doesn’t exist, create it. Facebook provides an almost overwhelming amount of data about how people are discovering and using your page and what content gets the greatest reach and response. Twitter is still evolving their metrics offering, but for the time being there are a number of free tools to help measure your account, followers, and the content you’re publishing.

Will Hunting is smart, persistent, and courageous – coincidentally, three characteristics of a great recruitment marketer.  But most importantly, he challenged the situation. He didn’t discount the content – in fact, he validated it.  But he challenged its authenticity.

Whether it’s developing a social media strategy or recalibrating metrics, social media success is determined by understanding your organization, who you want to reach and what you want them to do and then measuring against that criteria. Having thoughts of your own and a content strategy can get you better results and connect you to the right hires, faster. Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter?

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