jobcast_blog_storytelling
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September 9, 2013

Facebook is a brilliant tool for marketing, as many companies have already learned. This is why more and more big brands, like Coca-Cola and American Express, have been diverting significant amounts of their marketing budgets into Facebook marketing. And their results have been fantastic.

What makes Facebook the number one choice for these brands, and why does it work so well?

Facebook does what 140 character Tweets simply can’t: it allows brands to tell stories.

Stories like the ones that Dove shares on their Facebook Page. From their Real Beauty Sketches campaign, to their recent wedding-themed posts, Dove is giving their customers what they want by crafting interesting, often heartwarming, stories, that people can relate to and be inspired by.

Facebook is perfect for brand storytelling because the content that is shared has a longer shelf life, lasting for several hours, unlike Tweets (which disappear within a few minutes). Because of this relative longevity, brands are able to chain posts together, creating a narrative as they unfold. This narrative can seamlessly integrate text, links, video, and images to hold fans’ attentions and keep them coming back for more.

Brand storytelling does a lot more than just sell products; it establishes a company’s identity and builds up their loyal customer base.

The same is true for companies looking to recruit and grow talent communities.

An employer brand story is one of the best ways to illustrate to potential candidates why they should want to work for your company. Since the introduction of Facebook Timeline last year, it has become critical for employers, if they want to increase engagement, to make the shift from simply blasting out messages, to creating meaningful stories.

Facebook Timeline presents Company Pages in a much more visual way, with a focus on interactive content. This has changed how employers and recruiters must interact with potential hires and applicants to successfully engage with them on the social network. In fact, since the introduction of Timeline, successful branding on the Facebook platform has become pretty much entirely dependent on creating, and elaborating upon stories.

A focus on storytelling is effective because it creates a more meaningful relationship between employer brands and their Facebook community. Engaged talent communities participate in social sharing, which helps employers grow their reach and expand their talent communities even further.

Here are three ways you can share your employer brand story on Facebook

Talk about your past

More specifically, tell the story of your company’s history. Talk about when and why your company started. Explain what motivated its creation and whether or not that motivation remains the same. For example, Gatorade was originally made by researchers at the University of Florida to help replenish the electrolyte stores of athletes and was named for the assistance it provided to their football team: The Florida Gators. It was also, according to Gators alumni, completely disgusting. Every company has an origin story and sharing yours is a fun way to show off your employer brand’s roots.

Share your causes

If your company has a cause it supports, or a mission statement that shapes its decision making, show it to your potential hires! People want to work for businesses they can be proud of. If your company participates in fundraising, has a really progressive equal rights policy, or is making the world a better place in some other way, tell that story!

I’ll use Dove as an example again here, because they do the best job of this that I’ve ever seen. My husband actually emailed me the Youtube video of their Real Beauty Sketches campaign with the caption: “this made me cry, you have to watch it.” They also use their Facebook Page to discuss the terrible body-images issues plaguing so many women today, which tells a brand story of compassion, and support for women. Telling an employer brand story in this way is inspiring to potential candidates, because everyone wants to make a positive difference with the work that they do.

Tell your brand story through your employees

Years ago I worked for a super hip restaurant. They had their Twitter account, Instagram, and Facebook branding down pat. So, when I told them I was going to compete in the infamous Tough Mudder obstacle run, they made sure I was sporting a branded t-shirts and trucker hat, and they shared updates of my adventure through their social networks, joking that I was powered by pork (it was a BBQ Joint after all!)

When your employees do interesting things, share them! Post images, quote them, make them a part of your story. This is a great way to let potential hires get to know your team, and create original content for your Facebook Page that will appeal across the board.

Check out what Earl’s Restaurant has done with their “Earls Wants You” Facebook Recruiting Campaign for an awesome example of employer brand storytelling.