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Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which is the Best Employer Brand Venue?

SmartDreamers Team
4 min. read

In the current talent market, successful recruitment sometimes comes down to your ability to meet your ideal job candidates where they are. This means not just finding the venue or venues in which your target demographics are best represented, but also engaging with those demographics in a way that feels right to them and inspires them to interact with your brand further. In order to keep them moving through the buyer’s journey to the application stage, you need to provide your target personas with the right content, in the right place, at the right time. 


One the one hand, this is easier said than done. On the other, it’s something that every recruiter, armed with a little bit of information, can turn to their advantage. At SmartDreamers, our goal is to provide that information as best as we can. That’s why this week we’ll be giving an overview of Snapchat, Instagram, and the various features of each one that might create a better or worse fit for your employer brand. Since the goal is not just to meet your ideal job candidates but to engage and convert them, we’ll be going over the pros and cons of either platform relative to each stage in the recruitment marketing process: 




In the attraction stage, the key thing is to spread your employer brand to the right people, in the hopes of creating the beginnings of an association between your employer brand and all of the awesome ways in which your company provides value to its employees (i.e. your EVP, or employee value proposition). Here, there’s a careful line that needs be tread between casting a wide net and targeting your audience. In this regard, Instagram would seem to have a bit of an advantage. Why? Because it boasts 1 billion monthly active users (that’s billion with a ‘b’). Not only that, but it offers you all of the targeting and ad placement options that its parent company, Facebook, offers for its own users. Suffice it to say these are some of the most robust in the industry, and they can help a great deal when it comes time to roll out some targeted ads.


All that being said, of course, Snapchat does have certain demographic advantages. While Instagram draws a relatively young crowd overall, Snapchat actually skews even younger, meaning that it’s in some ways an ideal place to attract Gen Z candidates.   




When you send out recruitment marketing content, do you ever have the feeling that you’re just sending it into the void, where it will never be seen or heard from again? With email that can be a pretty common feeling—likewise on some social media sites. This is an area where Snapchat can be a breath of fresh air. While it can be difficult to amass a follower base on the platform (since there’s neither a newsfeed nor a search function, users have to know what your handle is in order to connect with you), once you’re connected to your audience it’s not hard to get them to engage. To wit, open rates for Snaps are much, much higher than they are for marketing emails. On some level, this shouldn’t be shocking, since Snapchat as a medium seems to promote a ton of engagement from its users. Not only do people send and receive snaps, they actively create the kind of zany, out of the box content that the site is known—from face-swapping to adding crudely drawn captions to images to using filters to give themselves old-timey mustaches. Not everyone’s employer brand will necessarily lend itself well to this level of whimsy, but if yours does, then you can even create your own sponsored filters to get future candidates even more interested in your company.




Okay, so you’ve found an audience and gotten them interested in your business as a potential employment destination. How do you turn those engaged visitors into applicants? On Instagram, the default answer is pretty much “advertising.” Instagram ads look the same as regular posts, except for the presence of a CTA (call-to-action), which means that they’re your best bet for moving interested candidates more concretely into your applicant funnel (since normal posts don’t offer much in the way of conversion potential). If you can create visual employer brand content that’s legitimately engaging, you can use it to generate leads in a fairly direct manner by adding a CTA and throwing some money behind it.


On Snapchat, the situation is similar. Within any given snap, the possibility of actually directing your audience to your career site or a particular career landing page is virtually nil. With ads (which typically play before a user’s selected video), an interested user can swipe to be redirected to the app store, to a longer video, or to a website of your choice. Be warned: since Snapchat only runs on mobile devices, using its ads functionality to redirect users into your applicant funnel will only be effective if you’re offering mobile friendly landing pages and applications.  




Okay, this one is obvious. Instagram, while not as robust in its reporting as Facebook, does offer all of Facebook’s ad tracking options. Snapchat, well… doesn’t. Yes, they’ve been bolstering their offerings in that department of late, but it’s still not offer super robust reporting—at least not natively.


The Winner


Okay, you didn’t really expect to declare an official winner, right? Certainly, in terms of engagement Snapchat has a fairly clear victory, while in terms of measurement the win goes to Instagram. But for every other stage of the funnel you’ll have to find a way to align your platform with your priorities. If you’re going after Gen Y candidates, Snapchat is probably your best option. If you’re trying to create a really slick visual employer brand, you’d likely be better off with Instagram. In either case, make sure that your content is optimized to the particular platform you choose and to the needs of the target personas that you’re trying reach there. By doing so, you can make either one a terrific venue for spreading your employer brand.

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