If you’re a recruiter using Instagram as part of your recruitment marketing strategy, it’s time to ask yourself a big question: what is the goal of your Instagram page? There are a range of acceptable answers. You might be trying to increase employer brand awareness, in which case your goal will be to maximize impressions and follows from the right people. You might, on the other hand, be actively trying to jumpstart your hiring efforts, in which case your goal should be conversions, whether that means converting traffic into e-mail newsletter signups or actual applications. If you’re in this latter camp, it’s time to start taking Instagram seriously specifically as a conversion machine, a tool that serves a specific business goal in a specific way. Sure, you’ll still need to generate quality content that emphasizes your employer brand, but you’ll also want to optimize your page for the task of converting visitors into leads.
1. Make Sure You’re Using a Business Profile
To some of you, this first item on the list of best practices might sound obvious. Why wouldn’t you be using a business profile? But especially for early adopters of the platform, the advantages of a business account may not be obvious. Whichever camp you fall into, this is a crucial first step for getting more out of your current and future traffic. Business accounts let you add more information than personal accounts (business hours and location, for instance), while giving your followers the ability to contact you directly (via direct messages that can be automatically forwarded to SMS or e-mail as needed). By offering potential applicants this level of direct access, you make it easier and thus more likely for them to enter your recruitment funnel. More than that, business accounts give you the ability to run ads and leverage useful analytics tools. Better still, create a business account that's specific to recruitment, instead of posting recruitment-centric content on your main page.
2. Use Your Links Wisely
One of the reasons that it’s so crucial to focus on the conversion potential of each element in your Instagram presence is that, unlike many similar platforms, link real-estate is at somewhat of a premium. To wit, your profile page only gives you one opportunity to link to your website. Use that opportunity wisely! Your first impulse may be to link to your corporate website, but you may actually be better off using that space to direct users to a career-focused page, whether that be a landing page for an individual job or a newsletter sign-up. Either way, it should entice your audience to take some further action, ideally one that keeps them in contact with you (i.e. something that requires them to provide an email address). If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can rotate this link over time depending on what your most immediate goals are. This will give you a certain degree of flexibility in your marketing efforts, and it will give repeat visitors to your page a reason to click multiple times.
3. Utilize CTAs
Calls-to-action (CTAs) come in many forms, and they can all be critical for driving conversions. First, there’s a call-to-action in the sense that you are literally recommending that the reader perform a particular action; this can be a good way to let users know what next steps they can take to continue engaging with your employer brand. This might act as a valuable element of your bio, for instance, which might otherwise give your target personas no way to act on what they’re learning about your business. CTAs can also take the form of actual links, i.e. rather than directing a user to a link by telling him or her to “click,” you present them with a single button that does both. This kind of CTA is a big part of Instagram’s ads infrastructure, and it’s another important piece of the optimization process. When you’re running a recruitment ad campaign, it’s crucial to match your CTA to the recruitment goal that the particular ad campaign is supporting. If, for instance, you’re a growing start-up trying to establish yourself as an employer of choice and thought leader within your industry, you might use your CTA space to direct users to a signup form for a recruitment-centric blog. In this way, you spread your employer brand and attract a number of potential applicants to the top of your recruitment funnel.
4. Optimize Your Landing Pages
Above, we alluded to the possibility of directing your audience to a signup form for a blog, but that’s not the only thing that you’re likely to need to direct people to. You might need to send potential candidates to pages for particular jobs, or to your corporate careers page, or anything else that moves applicants from one part of the funnel to the next. In order to do so in the most effective way, you’ll need to optimize your landing pages. This means setting up a separate landing page for each job that you might be advertising for and each individual form that a user might need to fill out. This advice might not seem like it’s really specific to Instagram as a platform, but it’s important nonetheless. Why? Because a clean, simple, and individualized landing page can radically increase the likelihood that users will stay on the page long enough to provide you with their information. By sending people to a long, confusing form or a generic, hard-to-navigate careers page, you risk frustrating or alienating them in such a way as to cause them to drop out of your funnel.
5. Try A/B Testing
We hope that the paragraphs above have given you a sense of what might work for your page, but the only real way to be sure what the best version of your Instagram presence is from a conversion perspective is to experiment! Try A/B testing different links, bios, and CTAs to determine what converts visitors into recruitment leads most effectively. While you’re doing this, Instagram’s analytics tools can be a big help, and can provide you with the feedback you need to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your Instagram account.