Imagine two remote islands. Your island is in direct competition with the other for resources. A ship sails by and reveals it has enough supplies for just one island. In order to ensure your island’s survival you must essentially sell yourself to the foreign Captain… How? You sell your strengths, your values and your resources. But remember, the captain doesn’t understand you. The way in which you communicate with him will either make or break your community.
Your employer brand is exactly that. The captain is your potential employee. Whether it’s on the island or for your business, it’s much the same principle – your greatest chance of survival is to communicate with them in a way they are familiar.
With the explosion of the internet at the turn of the twenty-first century, and the speedy progression of devices that allow quick and easy access to its millions of portals, consumers are finding new ways to interact with companies and their products. Given these new forms of interactions, it would be naive of you as employers to ignore the multitude of ways that you can now directly create a network – selling not only your services and products but also yourselves to your potential employees.
Companies need to evolve in correlation with the digital world around them. Take for example Instagram – one of the newest, hottest social media platforms around. For those who have been hiding under a rock, users can follow other users who upload and creatively edit their images. If you need proof of its branding power, look no further than the Instagram campaign by Red Bull. Even those who don’t like Red Bull take enjoyment in their themed, aesthetically stunning photos of dirt biking in canyons or paragliding against the sunset – activities that confirm their ‘Red Bull gives you wings!’ slogan.
Social Media consultancy Vaynermedia, uses the platform to showcase the company’s personality. Among their 171 posts are photos including smiling employees completing team-building exercises right down to their catered meals and fancy dress. The photos are fun and entertaining but most notably; natural and inviting.
Since Instagram is a mobile app, the potential audience you, as an employer, can reach is undeniable. It allows multiple employees to access the account and post images to followers – some of which are probable candidates.
Another App that is finding itself creeping into candidates’ interests is the visual social network Pinterest. Users are able to tailor their interests and pin them to their own board, creating a collection of images that cover anything from travelling the world to a chocolate bar. With the option to create boards encasing any theme, companies are able to utilise Pinterest for their gain.
Just as Vaynermedia does with Instagram, marketing software company Moz charms their audience by using images of the office and events that they have attended. Moz draws their network in giving the potential employee a chance to experience a behind the scenes look at their culture, attitude and the things that matter to them the most.
You as an employer can use Pinterest in the many ways that it permits you to. Find what your current employees enjoy and create boards for the prospective employee which will show your employer brand in its brightest light. It could be a board showing the celebrations of an employee’s birthday or even a sneaky snap of them at work – anything that captures an experience will instantly involve someone wanting to join you.
Although platforms like Instagram and Pinterest offer a much needed glimpse into the workings of the company, it hasn’t opted to include the function to communicate directly such as the established social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You already know the concept. You post a status, receive likes or retweets and then you reply. It is essentially a representation of you online – a social platform allowing continuous and direct communication between a number of people.
While Facebook and Twitter are chiefly recognised for personal use, businesses are finding it progressively beneficial for their branding to take the leap into social media. With the ‘Fruitiest Page On Facebook’ Boost Juice makes full use of Facebook by not only answering consumers questions quickly and efficiently on their timeline but by promoting themselves as a fun place to work. They regularly update their status about the latest celebrity to visit them, offer insights into the charities they support and brilliantly reveal employee incentives (one of which is Fireman Friday, where all employees dress up as firemen and the best wins free smoothies for two weeks!).
For those that are serious about amplifying your employer branding, why not follow The Marriott’s footsteps and create a simulation game based on the activities that their current employees carry out. The Marriott has developed a Facebook game which allows prospective employees to create their own hoteling business from scratch – if that doesn’t scream employee engagement then what does?
A common question that comes to mind throughout a job hunt is, “What is it like to work for this company?” It’s a question you can answer for the job seeker by bringing your employer brand into the 21st century. Whilst accepting the digital age is a daunting and perhaps unpredictable prospect, the sheer influence it has cannot be ignored. It opens up a whole world of opportunities to create and share content that allows a personalised, tailor-made familiarity that absolutely means that the Captain will choose you.
January 13, 2014 in Marketing