It’s 2016, and we’re all familiar with the value of strategic social media, but there’s more to connecting with your audience than digging roots on Twitter and Facebook. As a recruiter, sometimes it pays to strategize with subtlety. Big social media outlets cast a wide net, which is essential for organizing events and attracting top-candidates, but what about the smaller venues?
Small? Now that’s an interesting word. We’re not really talking small as in small and obscure, we’re talking targeted specialization.
Imagine connecting with your audience in an unexpected medium like Tumblr to let them know about your next career fair with an engaging web-comic. That expands your total audience, defines your focus, and establishes a new branch in your new network. Sound interesting? Now that’s our ticket.
With a connective strategy, it’s possible to maximize your total outreach and save time with the process of efficiency with niche (and very fun) avenues, as demonstrated in five targeted steps:
1. Strategize Your Audience’s Demographics
So to start with, ask yourself a set of questions to define the demographic you’d like attract. You’ll find it helpful to ask yourself:
- What industry-specific candidates are we hoping to connect with?
- Where do these people spend their time online?
- What are the common characteristics and traits that these people share?
- How do these potential candidates fit into the context of our company culture?
If you’ve defined your target, we can get more specific about where you might actually connect with your audience online. Keep in mind that these are generalities, but this will point you in the right direction:
- Tech-industry candidates are likely to frequent social media sites like Quora and Reddit
- Graphic designers are known to socialize and display their works on Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest
- Marketing and management candidates have a natural home in places like LinkedIn and Xing
2. Test The Waters And Specialize
Naturally you’ll gravitate toward to a certain flavor of website, and this is totally the time to experiment. You don’t have to decide exclusively between say Pinterest or Reddit as your final destination , in fact you have the flexibility to cast a wide net.
Pay special attention to early responses and try to gauge the general feedback from every wing of your outreach. Ask yourself:
- How is your audience responding to your presence?
- What elements are they connecting with?
- What are they suggesting you improve upon?
This is the “constant-tweaking” phase of your strategy, and let’s be real, it’s a challenge. Be honest with yourself about what doesn’t work and try not to become overly-attached to any specific format.
After a time, your team will organically settle onto a specific website. A website like Xing will help you compound your audience-specific tweaking into a more specialized format.
3. Nurture Your Community Gradually
This is a big one. It’s important to execute your early engagement with subtlety so as not overwhelm your audience. Try providing soft value as a start (think curated content, infographics, and answering audience questions).
If you’re consistent in your efforts, you’re likely to earn your audience’s trust and solidify credibility, which is absolutely essential. If you’re particularly on-target in your avenue, you have the golden opportunity to take the lead in representing your industry before any competitors wise up to modern social media tactics, which is always a treat.
You’re in this for the long-term, so there’s no rush for excessive glitz. Focused simplicity is your best friend in this leg of the journey.
You might also try:
- Polling your audience with engaging questions
- Maximizing audience interactivity (particularly by encouraging open dialogue and commenting platforms like Disqus)
- Responding and acting directly to feedback
Be useful, be present, and most of all, get out there.
4. Deliver Valuable Content
This is a must, period. However, keep in mind that the nature of your content will be dependent on the context of your social media website (an outlet like Pinterest, for example, won’t require regular blog posts).
Your content isn’t limited to any particular format, so have fun, and get at it. Engaging content is the foundation of your social media outreach, so as always, be sure to craft everything with love, care, and precision.
Again, context is king to content, so let’s get specific with the magic you can work:
- Live interviews and Q&A sessions (Reddit and Tumblr are excellent community channels)
- Targeted videos ( distributed via LinkedIn, Tumblr)
- Infographics, charts, and animated content (Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram)
- Short-form and mixed media copy ( on text-driven platforms like Tumblr, LinkedIn, Xing)
5. Test What Works And Fine-Tune
And finally, test, test, test! Keep your outreach sharp by constantly collecting data, synthesizing your audience’s input, and fine-tuning the mediums that work. Continue to honor the fundamentals of asking questions, tweaking your strategies, and providing value and you’re unlikely to steer wrong.
You’re defining something that didn’t exist before and creation is always a process, so take it easy on yourself.
As you embark to boldly go where no one has gone before (well, in the realm of social media anyway) remember that innovation is an unending process, so don’t be afraid to get started. You’re providing that extra value (and making your job more effective in the process) that few even bother with until it becomes defined in trend. Delight your audience and maximize your internal value by growing a new avenue from seed.
Believe us, the rewards of being there first, and frankly better, speak for themselves, and did we mention it’s just a lot of fun?
So rock on with your niche social media marketing, we can’t wait to see what your craft.