#Fail: Why Your Facebook Recruiting Campaign Didn’t Work

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Sep 9, 2011

If you have a Facebook page for your social recruitment efforts but are getting little to no traction, fear not — you are not alone. Use this guide to repair, revive and relaunch your Facebook page. If you haven’t started a Facebook campaign then you can read this as a road map for building one from scratch while avoiding some of the most embarrassing pitfalls the platform has to offer and allowing yourself to focus on something that is built right from the start.

Did You Go Where They Are?

Did you know your prospects on Facebook have their own pages? Yeah, imagine that! So maybe you should “Like” their page, no? THAT will get their attention. AND they are probably going to return the favor, or at least stop by yours. Search with you target keywords in the Facebook search bar and then filter by Pages. Branch out, grow, hit new markets, reciprocate, ENGAGE!

Were You All Talk, No Listen?

If you get things right, people will posts on your wall. Now is your chance! Engage! Reply! If you say nothing, then you are missing an opportunity. They are not going to come back and try again, and others who see how you ignore people will be further discouraged from participating. Respond to every comment, thank them for every like, and encourage them to post their thoughts. Even if all you have to say is, “Thanks for the comment,” it shows you are paying attention and not just an auto-bot on autopilot. Don’t kill the conversation before it starts!

Did You Create Custom Landing Pages?

I bet you’ve seen those Facebook pages that have cool graphics and other custom apps right? Some are custom developed by expensive experts using FBML (Facebook Markup Language), but you probably didn’t know that there are a bunch of free Facebook Page templates that you can easily customize, did you? Just do a search for “free Facebook Page Templates” and go from there. For example, here is one to get you started. Install one so that visitors land there first (this is basically a landing page) before they go on to your page’s wall or info section. Use it as a billboard to show your Employer Value Proposition, cool videos, hot jobs, or just to teach your visitors what to do — for example, “Like Our Page,” or “Sign up for our Jobs feed.”

Did You Use Updates?

Under the edit page section there’s a place called Resources and from there you can “Send an Update” to all who Liked your page. The best part of this function is that you are able to target it by location, sex and age. It is extremely useful and a great way to stay in front of your audience.

Did You Use the Apps?

Basic stuff like pictures, discussions, events, are fine but try some of the other stuff. How about BranchOut or BeKnown? Or even better, what Facebook Apps do your candidates like to use? Find them, load them on your page, and you have a ready-built audience!

Did You Minimize the Chit Chat?

There’s too much junk out there. Quite simply, don’t bore people to death with inane chatter. Stay on topic, on message, and think about what causes engagement. Chatter is not conversation!

Did You Employ Video and Photo?

People love photos and videos. Visual goes viral more often than plain text. Look for interesting and appropriate YouTube videos and share them on your page. Infographics are fun but also quick and easy to read. Search for Infographics about your industry, your company, your product, your market, or just fun/useful/informative ones, and share them too. Take pictures at your company events, conferences, corporate volunteering, and upload them. OR — find others’ photos from those events that you can share. I bet they are out there if you look for them. It is “social” media… right?

What is Your Message Strategy Again?

So they Liked your page, now what? Have you enchanted them? Do you educate, entertain, and/or engage them? If not, then what the heck are you doing on Facebook anyway? Go back to the flat Web 1.0 already and spare yourself the grief. Don’t just post jobs, post articles about how LAND the job, how to interview, how to write a catchy video resume. Share useful content!

Did You Ask For It?

If you don’t ask then that’s exactly what you will get. Your recruitment team already has built-in fans – they are your hiring managers or clients, your colleagues, other employees with whom you interact. They all have a vested interest in your Recruitment success!

Did You Consider Your Facebook Page a Recruitment Marketing Channel?

Guess what… the word Media is in Social Media. Think about it! It is an extension of MEDIA. That means it is like other advertising and PR channels (think TV, radio, print). Have you posted your company’s last major announcements? Conference you sponsored or where your people presented? Charity events? Why not? That promotes engagement with your target candidates.

Did You Reach People Offline?

You can’t just reach people actively using Facebook. Have you told all the candidates you found on Monster and LinkedIn or from your Careers site that you have a recruiting page on Facebook? Is your Facebook Page listed on your business cards? Linked to from you Career website? Do you include it in your email signature? Do you add it to your job postings, brochures, print ads, direct mail? Successful Facebook recruitment is about reach, engagement, availability, and transparency. It is not just about finding people through in Facebook, but also driving Facebook users to your page.

Did You Forget Your Newsfeed?

From your Facebook page, click the Home button at the top right. This shows people whose pages you have “Liked” before. It looks like your personal newsfeed because it works like that, but browse the postings and see posts from your prospects pages that you “Like” and maybe even comment or share them on YOUR page. But pay attention – “Like” and comment on stuff that is on message. (Remember your message strategy?) Keep in mind this is from your PAGE so it will be tied to your recruitment brand — not your personal account!

Did you Barter and Cross-promote?

I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. Did you approach your business partners, colleagues, teammates, anyone in your influence sphere and barter with them to send an update on their behalf to your group if they would do the same for you on theirs? You can also give them content to post on their page and ask them to give you content you can re-post on yours (be sure its on message though).

Did you Blow Off Your Metrics?

Insights on your Home page are like Google Analytics. Check your progress. Does what you are doing result in increased traffic, or is it hurting you? Invest the time to learn Insights and it becomes a great litmus test for your activity. If your stats drop, change things up a bit. If your stats increase do more of what you’ve been doing until the stats stop increasing — THEN change it up a bit and try something new.

Did You Remember That Other People’s Opinions Matter?

A tab on the left of your Home page is called Questions. With it you can send a message to your page members (those who “Liked” the page) and ask them to answer a question. Like for example “Hey I’m trying to connect with more people in the _____ sector, does anyone know where they hang out online?” This is an ad-hoc poll or survey. Another thing you can ask is “Hey guys, what kind of posts do you want to see MORE of on this page?” Or you can ask the opposite — what don’t they like. Basically any question you’ve ever wanted to ask a candidate, you can ask here. “What do you think of our benefits/ career site/employee referral program/job ads/recent press release etc…. ?” This helps you identify and connect with what your network is thinking or what they care about.

Okay — so now you should be able to recover from your epic #FAIL on Facebook, or prevent one. Next we’re going to take a hard look at Twitter and what you can do with this bizarre platform that refuses to go away.

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