Got Employer Branding Social Goals? Monitor These Metrics.

If your employer brand communications mix includes social media, you already know that metrics matter. But tempting as it may be to obsess over all the available social media metrics, smart marketers and HR professionals understand the importance of focusing on the right social metrics for specific employer branding goals. For instance:

HR GOAL: Increase reach/Attract talent

SOCIAL MEDIA METRICS: Followers and Follower Growth

Conventional wisdom says that your number of followers isn’t as important as how engaged they are. But it would be a mistake to think that it doesn’t matter how many followers you have. Especially if you’re marketing across multiple social channels to attract talent, here’s why you should pay attention to the number of followers you have on each channel. Let’s say that after six months of building a social presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, your Instagram profile has far more followers than your other sites. That indicates an opportunity to create more Instagram stories, where the greatest number of people will see them. Likewise, if your YouTube channel doesn’t have as many followers as your Instagram – but your follower count has been rising steadily each month – that indicates a different kind of opportunity. Look at which videos are getting the most attention. Then, do more of what’s clearly working.

HR GOAL: Improve employer brand awareness

SOCIAL MEDIA METRIC: Social media mentions

Track how often others talk about your company by name on social media – as well as how often your employer branding language is restated – and you will demonstrate brand awareness. Track when those mentions happen most often, and you’ll get a sense of the best days and times for you to post. And, if you expand your tracking efforts to include mentions of your competitors, that can reveal opportunities to improve your performance and strengthen your market share.

HR GOAL: Strengthen employer brand perceptions

SOCAIL MEDIA METRICS: Tone and influencer support

Monitoring mentions isn’t just a numbers game. You’ll want to pay attention to tone – is it positive, negative, or neutral? Obviously, we all want to feel like our consumer brands are beloved and employer brands are attractive, as reinforced by positive mentions. But don’t be afraid of negative ones. They will tell you when you might have a problem you need to address. And they can open the door to turning that negative impression around through positive engagement. Respond to negative mentions in a way that shows you’re not just going through the motions or sharing a scripted answer like, “We appreciate your feedback.” Similarly, when you get positive mentions, show those people some love, thanking them for their enthusiasm, encouraging them to keep spreading the word.

You should also pay attention to who is mentioning you – and how influential they are. When top influencers talk about you, their thousands or even hundreds of thousands of fans pay attention. It may be the most highly targeted advertising you can get. Often, these comments don’t cost you a thing. Sometimes, they can happen with nothing more than a free sample. Regardless, it may be worthwhile to invest in deepening your engagement with top influencers. Talk to them about how you can support each other. If you do it right, the results can pay off in a big way.

HR GOALS: Employer brand engagement and conversions

SOCIAL MEDIA METRICS: Website referrals, activity, and applications

Of course, you want to see which social media channels are driving click-throughs to your careers website. Beyond that, pay attention to what those users do once they get there. Compare your social referrals with the average time users spend on any given page or job listing. Look specifically for users who spend at least 60 seconds on your website, which typically correlates with a higher likelihood of joining a company’s talent community or applying for a specific position. And look at which referrals generate that activity. For instance, you may find that Twitter generates more referrals than your other social channels but the people who spend the most time on your site and create talent profiles come from Reddit and Quora. That suggests that you should pay more attention to your activity and mentions on those two sites.

HR GOAL: Increase bottom line value

SOCIAL MEDIA METRIC:  Conversion points and employee/alumni engagement

Human Resources and Marketing aren’t often the departments people think of as generating bottom line value. But, with the right social metrics, they can be. Google Analytics allows you to assign goals and dollar values to each conversion. If you’re tracking where those conversions come from, you can calculate the dollar value generated by individual social channels. If you know how much a filled position is worth to the company and track customer journeys from their initial conversions off social media, you can calculate each one’s value.

Additionally, keep in mind that your current and former employees’ positive engagement with key social channels can also deliver significant bottom line value. Consistently positive comments by people who work or have worked for your company can significantly boost your attractiveness to employment candidates. And, of course, happy current employees cost the company far less than full scale talent attraction efforts.

If you agree that these numbers sound exciting, we want to hear from you! We love talking metrics with business owners, executives, and marketers. There’s so much to track, measure, scrutinize, and follow, which is part of why we’re here. We’ve built our success on creating the right combination of strategy and creative – including identifying HR goals and analyzing the right metrics – to get our clients results that drive their success.