Of Snowball Attacks and Social Recruiting, it's All in the Timing
This is true in all aspects of life. From planning a surprise snowball attack, to knowing when to apologize for said snowball attack, it's all in the timing. If you want to be effective with your social recruiting campaign, or social media in general, you'll need to master a few scheduling basics. Luckily, with social media, unlike snowball attacks, it's very easy to orchestrate proper timing — there are even apps for that! And don't worry, I'm working on one for more effective snowball attack campaigns as well. Winter SnowBlitz 2014 is going to be awesome!
But back to recruiting... Here's a pretty easy 4-step plan to timing for your social recruiting attack campaign. (This plan would work just as well for social media marketing, branding and straight-up world-domination).
Step number 1:
Know your target
Like a kid hidden behind a tree, snowball in hand, you must know what kind of talent you are looking to target with your job posts. I know, I know, this is really basic, but it matters so much that it stands repeating. The audience you are trying to reach will dictate not only the content of what you post, but also the timing of those posts.
Different generations are online at different times.
Also, different careers can dictate at what time potential employees will be checking the net. Nurses do a lot of shift work, so their schedules will differ from a 9-5 accountant's.
Your audience will also determine which social network you choose to post with. I always recommend using Facebook to post jobs on your Branded Career Page, but you need to consider Twitter, LinkedIn, Job Boards, Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest as well. Effective timing will be different depending on the network.
Pick a time (NOT) any time!
Never throw a snowball at your sister when your mom is watching! Also, don't post jobs for office work between 10 pm and 6 am. Never! There are a ton of statistics about timing effectiveness for different social networks.
These stats are super useful when you're beginning your social recruiting endeavor, but as you start to gain momentum with your posting, you'll need to start customizing things a little bit. These stats are mostly based on averages, not necessarily on your ideal candidates. Nor are they based on your followers.
Take some time to assess when your posts are reaching people. Jobcast offers easy-to-track metrics for monitoring how effective your job posts are. Play around with different timing and see what works for you... Who knows, maybe your ideal time to post a job on Facebook is Sunday afternoon. If so, then who cares what the stats say. ATTACK!
Find your frequency
Blitz attacks do not work for social media recruiting! Especially when it comes to Twitter and Instagram.
If you post ten Tweets in half an hour, you are spamming. Even worse, if you post ten Tweets in half an hour, and then disappear for a couple days, you are an inconsistent spammer. Even if the first five posts are mind-blowingly awesome, by the sixth you will have lost followers (unless you're posting between 10pm and 6am, when no one is paying attention!) Please, please, please don't spam. It's the worst.
Please do post consistently. For most employers, it's ideal to post once every 1 - 2 hours for recruiting, marketing, and branding. You can post more, or less frequently, depending on what works for you. Remember, it's vital to track the metrics of your job posts. This is the best way to determine how often you can post to the social networks you use.
Vary your content
You can get away with posting more often if you keep your content varied. Post cool links, tips, and pics. Also respond to other Tweeters (do NOT refer to them as twits, as much as you may want to) and re-Tweet.
Grand Finale Step 4:
There's an app for that
I love apps. Mobile, desktop, Android, Apple... I love them. Apps make life better. Anyone who disagrees with me is wrong and should fear a snowball attack when they least expect it (I told you that my app is in the works!).
Jobcast is, in my not so humble opinion, the best Facebook recruiting app — hands down. But unfortunately, you can't do everything with our app. Our developers are wizards, not gods!
Thankfully there are awesome apps like Buffer to help you time your content. There are other apps out there, like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, but Buffer is by far my favorite. It's easy to use, well-designed and syncs up with other great apps like Feedly, Google Currents and Pocket (please, please, please check out Pocket. You will thank me, promise!) and they have killer customer service. What more could you ask for?
These apps are amazing for scheduling things like job posts, blog articles and links. Just make sure you also maintain a live presence to answer questions and stay engaged with your audience.
Oh, and warning: Turn off your scheduled posts in the event of a horrible world-changing tragedy. You could end up with major egg on your face, or simply appear callous by posting about your favorite new Starbucks treat in the wake of a tsunami!
There you go, four steps, plus one hot tip, to get you well on your way to perfectly-timed social sharing! I'm going to go check my Twitter and try very hard to resist my urge to spam pictures of dogs catching snowballs.