Snapchat: it’s not just for kids anymore! As this unique social platform has grown from something you’d barely heard of and didn’t want to try into an intriguing platform for directly interfacing with your target personas, whether that’s as a traditional marketer or a recruitment marketer. As hiring and recruitment marketing are increasingly moving away from traditional channels like job boards towards the sites where potential future employees actually spend their time (think Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, etc.), Snapchat is quickly emerging as an attractive option for growing your employer brand and spreading your EVP.
Just because there are exciting opportunities here does not, however, mean that everything is sunshine and roses. Because Snapchat is so different from most other social platforms, the most effective strategies for use may not be obvious to your average recruitment marketer. As a result, there are a number of hurdles that typically need to be overcome before businesses can really generate meaningful employer brand gravity through the Snaps, Stories, and videos that get posted on Snapchat. What are these hurdles? Read on to find out!
1. Learning the Platform
Let’s start with the basics: in order to recruit effectively on Snapchat, you first have to forget everything you think you know about social media marketing. This platform has its own community, its own language, and its own milieu, all of which makes the Snapchat experience very different from that of other social media sites. How so? Well, first of all, there’s no tags, or shares, or likes, or hashtags. These are tools that social media marketers have relied on for years to improve their content’s performance, but here they’re nowhere to be found—none of which is to mention the fact that your content simply vanishes after a set period of time.
Just as stringent as the technical limitations, however, are the stylistic practices. On a platform like LinkedIn, your users might be expecting fairly straight-laced, corporate-seeming content. That won’t fly on Snapchat. Users demand content that feels honest, authentic, and improvisational. Sure, you’ll need a cogent marketing strategy for your presence there, but you don’t want it to look like you have a strategy. Thus, you might find yourself taking a punk rock sort of approach—you can spend hours getting your outfit just right, as long as it looks like you just rolled out of bed.
2. No Evergreen Content
Now, if you’ve worked with other social media platforms in the past, you’ve probably found yourself searching for those elusive pieces of “evergreen content,” posts, images, or videos that stay relevant and keep gaining views long after the first time they were posted. These have, historically, been powerful drivers of engagement for marketers, especially as Facebook’s algorithm (for instance) has become more and more stringent in what it shows to users. On Snapchat, this concept doesn’t exist. This means that not only do you have to create content that looks and feels authentic (and engages with Snapchat’s unique filters and lenses in a way that will delight your followers), you have to do so on a consistent, ongoing basis. This might seem like a difficult obstacle to overcome, but the informal nature of the platform should make it possible to churn out content that appeals to users a little bit more quickly than you’d be able to on, say, YouTube.
3. Developing a Following
Above, we mentioned the idea of delighting your followers—but where exactly are those followers supposed to come from? Snapchat doesn’t have a search feature or sharing functionality, so even if a Snapchat user is interested in learning more about your employer brand, it’s not clear how they would find you. This is a problem that’s essentially unique to Snapchat, but it doesn’t have to stymie your efforts completely. Try putting your Snapchat handle in email signatures, on business cards, and elsewhere, while linking from your other social media accounts to your Snapchat (whether that’s via CTAs in paid ads or just standard posts). Not all of your followers will migrate there, but there are good odds that at least some of your target candidates will prefer to engage with your brand on Snapchat, and the less formal content on the platform might help to move them deeper into your recruitment funnel by giving them more playful versions of your employer brand and your EVP.
4. Targeting Your Ideal Candidates
Of course, even if you are able to amass a decently large following, it’s particularly difficult on Snapchat to be sure that your following is composed of the of the right people. Whereas on, say, Facebook, you have a lot of demographic data about your followers and fairly robust ad targeting options to help you adjust that demographic more towards your ideal audience, Snapchat doesn’t really offer this same level of visibility. Even as you get into their advertising options, you might find that winnowing out exactly the right audience is harder than it is elsewhere (though, this is improving—you can now create “lookalike” audiences based on email lists or target people with particular interests). Because many of your followers will be discovering you based on your other social media accounts, you first have to be sure that you’re reaching the correct followers on those sites. Beyond that, however, you’ll largely have to rely on the types of interactions you’re getting, as well as your overall ROI.
5. Measuring ROI
Speaking of ROI—because Snapchat doesn’t have the same analytics options built-in that other platforms do, it can be much harder to measure your success (without some third-party support, anyway). For this reason, it’s crucial to make sure that the rest of your funnel functions as legibly as possible. The landing page for each individual job posting, for instance, ought to be able to tell you how much of your traffic is being routed from your Snapchat profile. While this might not give you the level of nitty-gritty information that you’d like, it will at least give you a rough idea of how any money and time spent on the platform is transforming into actual applies. As you track further from there, you measure (perhaps more qualitatively than quantitatively) the quality of the average Snapchat applicant and adjust your strategy accordingly.