Picture Books and Employer Branding

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Business collage of many business images I’ve spent my fair share of time in the talent management software  industry. A large part of this business is focused on building the employer brand. Quick and efficient hiring processes are the foundation of a positive employer brand and with good reason.

People cherish their time, and it is all too often wasted by inefficient processes and software that isn’t suited for the company or the fast-paced job seeking world we’ve morphed into over the past decade. While good software is part of the equation, social is the frosting on the cake when it comes to employer branding. While you have to live and breathe your brand, social allows you to let loose and communicate it to the outside world (essentially when all the tough stuff is finished).

Recruiters, hiring managers and companies are jumping on the social bandwagon to crowd source and communicate their employer brand. As social media and online branding are booming, companies are expanding their reach, but they aren’t all keeping up. Having an online presence is mandatory; having a stellar and engaging presence on multiple channels makes you a standout.

Niche sites  and popular social networks are popping up everywhere. The networks, sites and communities where you decide to play should be based, in part, on your industry strengths and differentiators.

Remember when you were a kid, books with pictures were the only ones that would capture your attention? If it didn’t have a picture, you weren’t interested. If there were more than about 10 words on a page, you were moving on to Legos, Tinker Toys or Cabbage Patch Kids. With the rise of social networks we have gone back to our roots in a way—picture-book style. Not only does this feed into learning styles, it helps us communicate faster. We want an image, and we want communications short and sweet.

This is why we have seen a rise in the use of sites like Vine, Instagram, Pinterest and Foursquare to promote employer brands.

What is it? Vine  is a social media video app owned by Twitter. Vine allows users to create 6-second videos that play on a loop. You are able to follow, be followed, hashtag and comment.

With over 13 million users, Vine is one of the fastest growing social apps. It is incredibly easy to use and share via other social media outlets. Micro video has become an appealing way to socialize the employer brand because people love video.

Video is 53 times more likely to pop up on the first page of results in search, and over 1/3 of web traffic comes from online videos. Video is how most of your audience prefers to get their information, entertainment and interaction.

Buzzfeed recently brought us into their office with Vine on a very interesting day: “A pig, a mini-horse and a goat came by the office today.” Although the idea of having farm animals in the office might not appeal to everyone, the idea is to use these fast, easy and free tools to introduce your employer brand to your audience.

What is it?  Instagram is a social media photography site. Instagram became popular because of its free photography filters, its ease of use and the ability to share quickly across several different social media outlets.

Instagram creates visually appealing, artsy pictures from even the most mundane material (not that your employees are mundane!) The point is that Instagram takes the guesswork out of creating images that people want to look at and they make it even easier for you to get these images to your audience.

Marriott Careers has fully embraced the use of Instagram to relay their culture and attitude through their own employees. Check out their employer branding campaign and get ideas for your own.

What is it? Foursquare is a social media site that started off as a sort of GPS for your body. It’s how you let people know where you hang out, how often and what you think of those places through check-ins and comments. You can also share pictures, earn badges and even get free stuff by checking-in and earning status.

Foursquare was one of the first apps to bring gamification into the workplace. Employees can actually take the mayorship at their company by checking in more than their co-workers. In addition, employers can create events and tailor their check-ins to be interactive and chalked full of information and details. Employees and customers can leave messages, tips and share photos.

Here are some great tips on how to use Foursquare to strengthen your employer brand.

Before you can deliver a message, you have to know how to reach your audience. These smaller sites are a great way to spread the reach of your company culture and employer brand. As information gets more and more condensed, employers need to know how to use social media tools as well as traditional means of marketing. The average candidate or customer has become accustomed to small, visually appealing chunks of information—adapting is the key.

By Sean Pomeroy