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November 10, 2014

Recent years have seen a rapid expansion of social media, which has completely changed employer branding and recruitment. Companies now use social media to ensure their brand visibility across the web, but also to recruit their best hires.

With millions of people now using social media, it’s only logical that companies start to recognize its potential in areas other than marketing – a recent survey by Jobvite found that 94% of recruiters are already using or planning to use social media for better candidate evaluation.

If you want to add social media to your recruiting process, here are eight mistakes you should avoid at all costs:

1. Lack of defined audience

Before you start posting, you first need to define your target audience and make sure that your social media strategy will fit your future goals. Having a target will help you in growing your social presence and find candidates that represent niche professions, boasting unique skills and competencies. Establish your target audience by analysing where they spend time and researching your competition.

2. No defined social media strategy

This is a vital mistake that can cost you a lot of time and trouble. Even though social media are full of recruiting opportunities, without a strong plan and a clear vision of your recruiting goals, you’ll simply get lost. You cannot cover all social media outlets, unless you have enough staff to take care of those accounts – a badly managed social media account won’t attract anyone!

3. Not building relationships

Even if you don’t get immediate results, you should never just give up on social media. Don’t assume that online communities are out there looking for a job – social media gives you a great opportunity for establishing your brand identity and building a relationship based on trust. When the right time comes, you’ll be able to use this relationship to recruit some real talents.

4. Lack of relevant content

Even if people are interested in your company, they won’t be once they receive a series of generic messages or status updates. It simply looks like spam and everyone hates spammers. Your posts should always be created with a specific audience in mind – a job category or profession. Make your posts relevant to build online relationships.

5. Not targeting passive candidates

Connecting to passive candidates is a problem encountered by every recruiter, and social media can be really helpful. Unfortunately, some hiring managers don’t recognize its potential and never build close relationships through social media. If you target passive candidates with your content, you can be sure that when talents start looking for a job, they might already have your company in mind.

6. Posting only about job openings

Focusing exclusively on job postings, you will simply undermine the main advantage of recruiting through social media. Engage people with your brand – offer interesting news from your target industry sectors and create a dialogue with your audience. Ask for their opinion and share things you find interesting.

7. Lack of profile picture

Your account is just as important as the things you post. A common mistake is a lack of profile picture – it simply doesn’t inspire trust and shows you’re inexperienced when it comes to social media. Your picture should reflect the sector you’re targeting – if you’re hiring high-level executives avoid things like selfies.

8. Not enough information

Another important aspect of your profile is your bio. If you leave it empty, you’re sending the wrong message (especially if you combine it with a default profile picture) – no one will be interested in what you’ve got to offer. Provide some professional and personal information to help candidates make sense of who you are as a person. The language of your bio and posts should always reflect the interests and preferences of your target audience.

Keep your mind open, post interesting content, and represent your company well. You’ll be rewarded with quality talent in no time.

Kelly Smith is a dedicated tutor and writer. Currently, she develops her passion at Career FAQs, one of the leading providers of career and educational resources in Australia, where she provides career advice