Editor’s Note: Employer branding firm Universum recently released its Inside Social Media report, which surveys the “current state of the social media landscape for employer brands and the trends shaping how and where you engage talent today.” This is the second in a series of articles based on the report. Read the first installment here.

Some projects are so immense that you don’t know where to begin. A six-continent, multi-platform social media strategy is one such undertaking. For multinational businesses, employer branding is especially difficult. It can be quite the challenge to maintain a consistent identity while still speaking to the specific cultural needs of each potential employee.

Unilever had this challenge with its employer branding on social media, so the company called us at Universum for help. We walked the company through a series of carefully considered steps, and Unilever was able to double its incoming applications over a 60-day period for its graduate intake program, The Quest, which is a local variation of the company’s Future Leaders’ League.

Here is a brief overview of the process we used to help Unilever, which you can use to inform your own social media plan.

Step 1: Plan

The first thing Unilever and Universum did was evaluate Unilever’s recruiting environment. We quickly understood that the company’s strategy needed to meet the following criteria in order to succeed:

- Be presented in multiple languages

- Cater to different cultures

- Target potential applicants with different jobs and skill sets

- Develop a community to be managed organically

Step 2: Design

Once we identified the critical components the social media strategy, we determined the steps we needed to take to hit all the right notes. The plan was designed to focus on Facebook, and Instagram was chosen as a key secondary medium because out data found that it was an important emerging platform in the countries where Unilever wanted to have a stronger presence.

We wanted the campaign to be responsive to the conditions in each country and to adjust according to the reactions our efforts received using Universum’s agile “micro-moment” technique. As a result, we decided on a series of micro-campaigns, as opposed to one big launch.

Step 3: Launch

HandThe campaign was called The Quest and targeted graduate school candidates. The Quest was a series of case study competitions that led to valuable prizes for the winning team. Each of the micro-campaigns authored by Unilever and Universum was launched on both Facebook and Instagram. These paid social media micro-campaigns aided organic outreach because participants interacted with posts and consequently contributed to greater organic reach. This helped to build deeper content awareness and turn an audience from passive views to active participants.

Step 4: Measure

Each action was scrutinized and measured daily to ensure that Unilever was getting the results it wanted. Universum held weekly sprint planning sessions were held internally, in addition to the biweekly strategy stand-ups in which both companies participated. Measurement cues were developed to answer the following questions for each social recruiting effort:

- Was the campaign aligned with the project’s goals?

- Was the campaign attractive to potential candidates?

- Was the campaign consistent?

- What did we learn?

Step 5: Adjust

After reviewing the data from step four, Universum made adjustments so that each of the five micro-campaigns were unique and updated based on the conditions of and response to the competitions.

These efforts resulted in a 122 percent growth rate in applications across the board and gave Unilever unprecedented access to high-level talent.

A version of this article originally appeared on Universum.

David Brudenell is the chief digital officer at Universum.

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