I don’t know about you, but I still get squeamish every time I see someone in their early twenties sporting a neck tattoo.
Don’t even get me started about face tattoos.
This isn’t because I don’t like body art. I’ve been sporting some (IMHO) pretty lovely tattoos on my right arm for the last 8 years. I think tattoos are gorgeous… well, maybe not all tattoos, but I certainly enjoy the art-form in general.
The thing is: my tattoos are easily covered. I think that my grandparents aren’t even aware of their existence (thankfully they do not own a computer, so my secret is safe!) A face tattoo is not. And I am simply not hip enough to accept that having a giant ice-cream cone tattooed on your cheek isn’t going to get in the way of the more conventional career aspirations that you might develop in the future.
This is probably because I am getting old.
The twenty-one year-olds who hang out at my local cafe think I am ridiculous. According to them, by the time they’ll be looking for a “grown-up” job, everyone and their grandma will be sporting tattoos, piercings, and Google Glass.
Some how I doubt it. Google Glass totally confuses old people.
But, they have a point. Staying relevant matters. Especially when it comes to social media.
We’ve dedicated entire posts about how to stay up to date with Facebook updates, there’s a new social network emerging every five minutes (I’m looking at you Snapchat!), and there are HR gurus who specialize entirely in recruiting generation #, or whatever letter of the alphabet we’re onto now…
So how do you stay relevant as an employer? How do you make your Facebook content appeal to younger generations with tastes that you (and I) don’t even begin understand? And should you even bother?
Well that last question is pretty easy to answer. Of course you should bother. Especially if you are interesting in recruiting younger workers, but not exclusively. Trends that appeal mainly to the young and hip today, will be the same trends that appeal to the general public in the future. I remember when “skinny jeans” were worn exclusively by skinny hipsters with horn-rimmed glasses, but now they’re pretty much the only option available for purchase at H&M (much to the chagrin of those of us with athletic quads).
Staying on top of emerging social media and recruiting trends helps keep you relevant, prepared, and engaging. It’s also not particularly difficult, so I’ll walk you through a few ideas.
Know what’s out there
You don’t have to watch Bob’s Burgers nor find PSY’s dancing particularly entertaining, but it’s important to be in the know about current pop culture. Memes, TV, music, and design shapes people’s worldview, and dictates the kind of content they want to engage with.
- Use a content aggregator to compile popular content from the web for you, so that you don’t have to spend hours surfing the net and randomly googling “what are the kids into these days?”. Alltop is awesome!
- Organize, and keep tabs on your favorite sites with online “Reader” apps like Feedly. Apps like this help prevent you from missing important content and updates.
- Diversify the sites you follow. If you only check out content related to HR, company branding, and business, you’re not being exposed to anything all that new. Yes, you’ll get important tips on running your business / hiring (like these ones!), but you’re not going to find out about the next big social network, or hilarious new memes. A few sites I highly recommend are: Know Your Meme, Co.Design, LifeHacker, and TheNextWeb. But there are so many more… your can discover them with your new-found content aggregator!
No, I’m not telling you to track down Zooey Deschanel and smother her with hugs. You would be promptly arrested if you did. Trust me. Not fun.
What I am suggesting is heading off the beaten path a little bit. It has worked wonders for companies like Arena Flowers, whose completely ridiculous, non-flower-related Tweets have garnered them a huge cult-following and majorly increased their sales.
It’s also the reason that so many Facebook marketers are turning to Someecards to engage their customers. Companies like Ford, Bravo, and ABC are using branded e-cards to make their advertising pitches more engaging with humor. Someecards work, because they push the boundaries of acceptable professional interaction, they are hilarious, and they are totally different from the type of ads people have grown used (and immune) to.
These same points are all totally relevant to recruiters. Using witty, boundary-pushing Facebook content to reach out to potential candidates is more engaging than business-related content. It also shows that your company culture is experimental, interesting, and fun (important traits to younger and older candidates alike).
So, as previously alluded to, skinny jeans don’t really work for me, but I gave them a shot. Converse high-tops, on the other hand — totally perfect. They are comfortable and cheap, and even more importantly they make me look edgy and help to offset my less-than-cool mom-jeans. Basically, they are everything I’ve ever wanted in a shoe.
In order to find your social media version of high-tops, you’ll need to try things out. Maybe Pinterest doesn’t fit your strategy quite right, but Twitter is perfect. Tumblr leaves you feeling less than confident, but Facebook makes your employer brand shine! You’ll never know unless you try.
Trying out new strategies is pretty easy and you can even try using some of these tips to help you navigate most social networks successfully. Just make sure to track your social recruiting metrics, so you can make informed decisions about what works for you and what doesn’t.
Happy Facebook recruiting!