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Enhancing your brand via social media

28 Sep 13:00 by Serena Rogers

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Recruiters have long counselled candidates about being aware of their digital footprint and how it can influence prospective employers’ decisions around their suitability for a role. There are plentiful industry surveys which indicate that hiring managers use social media to evaluate candidates. In the past, typical advice included keeping social media accounts private to avoid the risk of pastime activities harming employment chances.

But the role of social media in the hiring process is evolving, both from an employer and candidate point of view.

A recent CareerBuilder study confirms that over the past decade the number of employers turning to social media to research job applicants has risen from 11 per cent to 60 per cent, but it goes on to clarify that most hiring managers aren’t checking Facebook and Twitter feeds in an effort to “dig up dirt”, but to find information that supports a candidate’s qualifications for a job, such as a professional portfolio.

It also found that more than 40 per cent of the hiring managers surveyed said they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about that person online.

Cultivating a ‘personal brand’ and using social media to take that brand to market is gaining more and more traction.

The rise of the personal brand, especially among ‘Millennials’, is significant for business owners looking to hire because it has turned the tables; candidates are increasingly exploring a business’ digital footprint to determine if its brand aligns with theirs. As recruiters, we are now encouraging our clients to showcase their company culture and values online as much as possible so that they attract the best talent.

Candidates have effectively become ‘consumers’ in the job market so it is imperative for a business to have an online branding strategy which reflects its personality and enhances its reputation.

In 2016 there would be few businesses which didn’t recognise the critical nature of having an online presence, and that the various social media platforms offer great B2B and B2C opportunities at marginal cost compared to traditional marketing. But for many SMEs the 24/7, real-time nature of social media can be daunting, especially for those which aren’t in a position to employ or engage a marketing and communications advisor.

However, there are a number of resources available which can make digital marketing easier or which make the case for utilising social media, and here are links to some of our favourites:

Social media 101: timing and frequency
The quick-start guide to social media for time-strapped Execs
4 reasons not having a social media strategy can hurt your business
Why I use social media for business
Marketing to Millennials: why your content should reflect your values