As of March this year, the number of users on Instagram tipped the 300 million mark. To put that into context, that’s just over Twitter’s 288 million. To put that into further context, that’s an extra 100 million more than Instagram had in March 2014. In under a year it’s grown by 100 million users – it’s the sort of growth that means you really should be sitting up and taking note. But what’s more important that the speed of uptake is the demographic driving it.
In 2014, 90% of Instagram’s audience (at the time only 150 million), were younger than 35. Instagram is fast becoming – no, is – one of the most important channels in speaking to a youth audience.
This of course will mean a lot to many people, but it should mean more to those in recruitment marketing. Recruitment, where the market is booming and competition for the right candidates is fierce, these days relies on strong brand positioning, an excellent EVP, and a coherent amplification strategy. And when it comes to securing the talent of tomorrow, in steps Instagram, a credible, highly used social media channel.
And why should you be focusing on getting their attention? The Graduate Recruitment Market in 2015 annual report by High Fliers, found that in the UK, an increase in graduate positions will take the number of grad vacancies up to above the pre-recession peak. In short, there will be a lot more companies vying for the best grads. If you want to get the best talent, you better up your game.
Be swift, but don’t rush
But using Instagram for your recruitment marketing purposes isn’t as simple as blurting out your message. One of the reasons Instagram has a good reputation and is used by young people is that isn’t full of users posting every single inane thought which manifests in their head. It’s considered – and this is the case for brands, too. If a brand is just posting the same old tired company line corporate content, they’re guaranteed to fail.
In under a year it’s grown by 100 million users – it’s the sort of growth that means you really should be sitting up and taking note.
Using Instagram to promote your brand is a very different beast to using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. A crucial difference is that you can only include one link on your entire profile page. You need to think long and hard about the message you want to get across, and you have to make sure that that is going to come across in one image. There’s room for creativity and leftfield thinking.
So how do you go about creating that image?
What makes a good image?
The things that users are looking for are: inspiration, authenticity and transportation. Make it simple and with a single point of focus, make it excellent quality, and make sure that there is a connection to the brand. You need to have some sort of authority on this subject in order to post about it – part of the authenticity brief.
Think about where your target audience are getting their content. According to a 2013 Ofcom study, 77% of 16-24-year-olds have a smartphone, 50% higher than the rest of the population. Users are going to be seeing your content on a small screen, so don’t make it overly complex or large scale. It’s good to be simple.
Make note: posting generic images on Instagram for the sake of it will get you nowhere. Part of the benefit of the channel is the fact that users take time to craft posts that mean something to them and that will stand out. Brands that respond in the same way – creating authentic, new images – are the ones that get the best engagement results. Use real pictures that you take of your business and brand. If you can include real people that work for you even better.
Make sure that there is a connection to the brand
Anything you can post that might somehow instil inspiration in those viewing it will immediately resonate. The millennial generation is one that wants to make an impact on the world and see it change – if you can show that in your content, or inspire them to do it themselves, you’ll be tapping into that key interest. If your company is doing something inspiring, show it.
Take your user away
In a 2014 study of millennial by Bloom Worldwide, 47% of respondents said they wanted to work abroad. Travel and the big world are both constantly on our minds, so try and bring that out in your content. Do you have jobs or offices in interesting locations around the world? Show it. Take you audience on a journey.
The important thing to note on these three points is that you shouldn’t just post for the sake of it. Ensure that you’re linking these back to your EVP and – even better – are part of your overall recruitment strategy.
But is it measurable?
You have to be realistic and long-term when thinking about tracking results on Instagram. You won’t be able to track referrals from specific posts (no links, remember), however, over a long time you can track brand sentiment. But to get accurate results, you’ll have to kick this off early in your campaign. Run a survey of users – on social media, preferably – when you begin using Instagram. You can then track progress with subsequent surveys against your initial results.
Instagram is not a new channel by any means, but its capabilities in marketing brands – specifically recruitment marketing – is still in the early stages of development. So, while there is room to experiment and forge out a path, it’s our suggestion that you get involved. That means now.