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Are you scratching your head, wondering why you’re failing to generate more new client leads from social media? Or perhaps you’re concerned that the flow of candidates you expected from social media just isn’t materializing?

My aim in this post is to help you understand the issues that are holding you back on social media and how to address them.

Let’s start by considering the basics of social selling and social media marketing for a recruitment business owner. To achieve success that will move the needle, it is essential to connect and engage with large numbers of the right people, and then to convert these people into leads, whether they be candidate applicants or sales leads.

Essentially, then, your social media is failing for one of two reasons: either you are failing to connect and engage with large enough numbers of the right people, or you are struggling to work out the best way to convert the audience you have built up into tangible and qualified leads.

Here are the four most common mistakes I see both recruitment businesses in particular and small businesses more generally make in terms of reaching their target audiences and converting those audiences into results:

  1. The right people aren’t hearing your message.
  2. Your message sounds too sales-y.
  3. Your chosen conversion funnel isn’t working.
  4. Lack of investment.

Mistake No. 1: The Right People Aren’t Hearing Your Message

Generating results on social media is dependent on the number of people who see your updates. To ensure a wider audience is reached, it is essential to try one or more of the following methods:

- Grow a large following of the right people in your sector who are interested in what you are saying.

- Work on building solid relationships with key influencers in your field, who will share your messages with their large followings.

- Focus on working out the best way to reach the right people for a reasonable investment via paid advertising.

- Master individual social sites so that you know what types of posts on each site are given greatest priority when it comes to being featured in people’s feeds.

beachUnfortunately, most businesses fail to get results because only small numbers of the right people are seeing their messages in the first place.

Mistake No. 2: Your Message Sounds Too Sales-y

How do you like buying? For me, I hate pushy cold calls. My hackles go up, and I never buy from them. I much prefer personal recommendations, or reaching out to find out about a business myself.

Social media operates in exactly the same way: If all you do is send out sales messages, people will disengage. It is much better to focus on trying to be helpful, entertaining, fun, or valuable to your target audience. By winning over friends and brand advocates, you are much more likely to win new business. As your posts are shared more widely, people will become familiar with your brand. Try to concentrate on re-sharing and starting conversations rather than being too sales-oriented. The results will come. You just have to show a bit of patience!

Mistake No. 3: Your Conversion Funnel Isn’t Working

To succeed as a business — recruitment or otherwise — on social media, it is essential to develop a clear strategy for your conversion funnel. By continually testing and refining new conversion funnels, you can dramatically increase your success. Regardless of whether you are looking to generate leads, win over passive candidates for jobs, or do something else entirely, that will only happen if you figure out a way to engage with your audience that results in them taking the next step that you want them to take.

In my experience, 99 percent of businesses haven’t adopted this strategy of testing and refining. Instead, they are hoping that just being visible on social media will cause people to flock to their websites and prompt the phone to start ringing. The reality is that just doesn’t happen!

Mistake No. 4: Lack of Investment

Adequately resourcing your social media strategy is key. That means engaging or employing the right people, as well as giving them the time and the budget necessary to succeed. Be realistic. You need to invest sufficiently in all these elements to ensure success.

Getting someone with the right expertise is essential. Just as you wouldn’t task a rookie intern with making a headhunting call to a CEO, nor should you entrust them with your social media strategy unless you want mediocre results. You have to have someone (or an agency) on board that already knows how to get the results you want.

Expertise alone isn’t enough. You also need to allow enough time for the person whom you appoint to actually produce results and to experiment with different approaches. An hour a day is unlikely to yield good results — as is cutting short your social media experiment before it’s had enough time.

Budget is just as important. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that social media is free. A social media manager who has access to all the subscriptions and tools they need, compared to one who can only use free tools, is much more likely to succeed and is likely to do so in a far shorter timescale. Don’t make false economies by denying your social media expert the tools and subscriptions they need to get results.

I hope these ideas have helped you understand why you are not getting the results you want. If you address all four shortcomings, I’m quite convinced you’ll see a significant upturn in results. The recruiting markets where social media can’t play a significant role in raising your billings are now vanishingly small. If you continue to do what you’ve always done, then you’ll continue to get the results that you’ve always got — and for most recruiting businesses, that means immediate change is needed. Good luck.

Tony Restell is the founder of social media agency Social-Hire.com. You can find Tony on Twitter: @tonyrestell.



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