Social Media Dos and Don’ts for 2020

Revered martial-arts master Bruce Lee once said, “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes like the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

There are so many bits of wisdom in this quote.  If we unpack it, one of the central themes is adaptability.

The ability to adapt well can set you apart from others in a way that gives you the upper hand, or the “slight edge,” as author Jeff Olson puts it.

When it comes to digital marketing, and especially social media marketing within the recruiting and staffing space, adaptability and agility can be what differentiates you from your competition. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you remain nimble on social media while developing a robust digital marketing strategy in 2020:

1. Original Content is the Gold Standard

Do post original content. Original content can include custom blogs written by your team or an outsourced company. If you publish these posts to your website, they can not only serve as fantastic thought-leadership tools, but as fuel for your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. Just make sure your SEO strategy is current (i.e., less than a year old).

Do vary your content forms. Custom content can be in the form of quotes, branded “Monday Motivations,” video updates and more. Whichever forms you choose, send people who click on your content back to your website, job board or a lead-capture form.

Do use video. Video is highly preferred by both humans and social platform algorithms, and data from Social Media Today backs it up:

  • Video tweets get more than 10 times the amount of engagement.
  • Members on LinkedIn spend 3 times more time watching videos ads than static ads.
  • If you’re selling on social media, video is the immediate future, especially with Facebook’s new Watch platform.

Don’t rely heavily on third-party content. Third-party content can be anything from a article to a repost of a favorite recruiting meme. While these may be relevant to your thought leadership and industry, they don’t provide any direct value to your marketing funnel, which, in our industry, usually means getting a candidate back to a job posting and a potential client to some sort of lead gen form. If you post a bunch of articles from other websites, you’re giving away all your social media traffic.

PREMIUM CONTENT: North America Temporary Worker Survey 2020: Initial Findings

2. Social Media is a Tool, Not a Fad

Do use the tools to influence – not just to sell. Leadership and business guru John Maxwell says, “Leadership is Influence. Nothing more. Nothing Less.” If you are trying to build your thought leadership with clients and candidates, consider all the places you can influence them, not just directly sell to them:

  • In fairness, posting a “hot job” notice on Facebook might not get a CFO to apply then and there. However, if you’re running affordable ads targeting those individuals on the platform, you are still influencing them.
  • And while you may not personally be a fan of Snapchat or TikTok, the next generation of professionals is using both platforms. If you establish your presence and influence on these platforms now, you will have already built up leadership currency with younger demographics by the time they enter the workforce.

Don’t forget your marketing goals. To achieve your marketing goals, you develop a strategy and then test the effectiveness of a wide range of tactics to reach those goals. Adaptability is essential in this process: You must decide if a tactic is worth pursuing, determine how much time to invest in it, and be willing to “adjust on the fly” to achieve the best results.

The “Rule of Thirds” is a concept you can apply to effectively test and adapt social media tactics, while managing your time investment. For example, if you examine your social media traffic within Google Analytics and see that Twitter traffic isn’t providing enough traffic ROI for the amount of time you spend there, try a different tactic. Invest a little more time on other social sites, and automate or streamline your Twitter presence by using scheduling tools or cost-effective ads.

A few points to remember…

Your social marketing strategy needs to remain flexible, because social platforms and tools are evolving constantly:

  • Facebook just unveiled a dating feature.
  • LinkedIn is making changes to their groups and video features.
  • Instagram recently unveiled an anti-bullying feature.
  • 52% of millennials now use Pinterest every month!
  • And brace yourself: TikTok was second only to Disney+ (when we all discovered baby Yoda) in number of downloads this past November.

In light of continual evolutions like these, how should you attack a social media strategy?

  1. Lay a solid foundation that drives traffic where you want it.
  2. Add your branding layer while being mindful that this is not the foundation.
  3. Follow up with an engagement campaign to pull in the influence and attention of your whole staffing company, contractors, and clients.

The lesson:

Like water in a bottle, your social media strategy must adapt to the “shape” of the times. If something isn’t working, be flexible. Go back down the layers to tweak, double down on, or remove something (even from your foundation) if it’s not providing ROI. Otherwise, your strategy might drip or crash. Become like water my friends!

Aaron Eastlack

Aaron Eastlack
Aaron Eastlack is director, marketing and organizational development at The Panther Group.

Aaron Eastlack

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