By now, you are most likely using social media in some form for your company, and ideally, as part of your recruitment marketing strategy. Understanding how each platform works, and how you should be using them is essential for success and achieving your social media goals. While each platform has a slightly different set of rules and algorithms for engagement, there are some universal best practices that everyone who is managing or posting to social media should abide by:

1. Post regularly

One of the worst things you can do is set up social pages but then go silent. Your customers or potential candidates may wonder if you’re no longer in business, or worse, that you simply don’t pay attention to your followers and fans on your social platforms, which can do major damage to your employer brand.

Make sure you are posting regularly (we will dive into optimal posting schedules for each platform below), to keep your social presence up to date and relevant.

2. Pay attention to your visuals

In addition to making sure your visuals and creative assets are on brand, professional, and free of spelling and grammatical errors, it is essential to make sure your photos are sized correctly (each platform has different specs for images) and work effectively for the given platform. For example, Facebook and Instagram both have the 20% text rule for any ad creatives (including boosted posts).

Avoid using visuals and images that could damage the integrity of your brand, such as photos with poor resolution, lighting, and even some GIFs that may make your company appear unprofessional. Having a clear strategy for what content you post is key to avoiding a haphazard look and feel on your social platforms.

3. Engage and respond in a timely manner

Social media was built for engagement, which means you’ll need to spend time doing just that. Posting and then never reengaging is a faux paux, and will leave your audience feeling neglected. People have gotten accustomed to using social media platforms much like a help desk, and expect to be responded to quickly. Make sure to stay on top of your messages, mentions, comments and reviews to provide information and customer service. Even if you can’t get to a full reply right away, just letting them know you have received your message and will be back in touch goes a long way.

4. Set goals

Before starting to use social media on a regular basis for your business or as part of your recruitment efforts, make sure you have a clear idea as to what you’re looking to achieve. Knowing what your goals are will help to create a strategy and manage expectations.

We have outlined basic information and specific practices for each social media platform:

Average age of user: 40.5 years old
53% female, 47% male

Use for:
● Links to articles and blogs
● Showcasing awards
● Highlighting employees
● Posting open job positions
● Letting followers know events or conferences you’re attending

Best practices:
● Ensure all visuals are sized correctly.
● Be sure to tag people or companies you mention in your post. This allows for further recognition and the chance for your posts to be seen by more people.
● Don’t overload your posts with hashtags; one or two is fine if it pertains to a specific topic or if you’re joining a discussion.
● Don’t kill your post. If you post something then post something else a couple hours later, it could kill the first post. Facebook will stop serving up the original post to your audience and instead display the latest post. Let your posts breathe to ensure you’re getting as many eyes on it as possible.

Average age of user: 18 – 29
44% female, 56% male

Use for:
● Customer service. 85% of small and medium-sized businesses use Twitter to provide customer service.
● Connecting directly and engaging with your target audience. Search hashtags to find users who may be interested in what you’re selling or promoting. This also helps you join the conversation in key industry topics.
● Leveraging connections with like-minded companies. Twitter is about creating a community, so share the love by retweeting content you like and that resonates with your mission and values.

Best practices:
● Character limit is 140, so keep Tweets short and sweet.
● Display a pinned Tweet on your feed. This should be a piece of content you want front and center for your brand.
● Use hashtags to increase your reach. Hashtag analytics tools will help you decide which ones are trending or right for your particular post. Don’t go overboard with hashtags; we recommend no more than two per tweet.

Average age of user: 25 – 34 years old
50.3% female, 49.7% male

Use for:
● Selling product by connecting with your ecommerce website.
● Visually showcasing your corporate culture and brand.
● Showcase portfolio or visual design work.

Best practices:
● Instagram is visual, so avoid text-based posts. If you need to include text-based posts, they should still be visually engaging and on brand.
● Make sure you photos are sized appropriately, otherwise images can get cut off.
● Use high-quality photos and visuals.
● If reposting another user’s content, it is essential to give them credit by tagging them in the photo or mentioning them in the caption.

Average age of user: 30 – 61 years old
43% female, 57% male

Use for:
● B2B networking among professionals and colleagues.
● Engaging with active and passive job seekers.
● Posting company information such as awards, employee highlights and showcasing services.

Best practices:
● Since LinkedIn is used as a professional platform, you should post content specific to your industry or area of expertise. Post articles and blogs that are helpful and thought provoking.
● When featuring job openings, do more than post a link to the application. Showcase what it would be like to work for you with visuals and authentic stories.
● Celebrate wins of others. Make sure to engage, like and comment on professionals and companies you follow. Remember, it’s all about being an active part of your online community.