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Forget Facebook if you’re targeting millennials and young people

Written by the Editorial Team

Social recruiting has become an essential part of the recruiter’s candidate attraction strategy, with Facebook being one of the most effective ways to reach top talent. Or so we thought.

New research suggests that there is an entire demographic that has bypassed the world’s most popular social platform altogether, in favour of its image-driven rivals Snapchat and Instagram (which of course Facebook now owns).

MediaCom, the UK’s biggest media agency, surveyed 1,200 young people to ask when and why they use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat – the four most popular social media sites. 28% of respondents stated that they used Snapchat to express their true selves, while just 8% of Facebook users said the same.

Facebook, the survey found, was considered to be a ‘family friendly’ platform, with 58% of respondents stating they use the site to keep in touch with relatives. A key reason for this is down to users reluctantly accepting friend requests from their parents and other relatives, which in turn have altered the ways users interact on Facebook.

Indeed, the survey found that 41% of Facebook users aged up to 19 years old only show a sanitised version of themselves – a version they’d be happy for their closest relatives to see, with the likes of Snapchat et al reserved for their real personas.

This follows the results of another survey that were published in August by eMarketer. It found that the number of young people using Facebook has declined by 3.4% from last year, with the company itself admitting that it has been struggling to compete for younger audiences stretching back to 2013.

With users spending less time on the site in favour of its Instagram and Snapchat rivals, it is hardly surprising that Facebook was keep to buy the former (£629 million in 2012) and the latter – a bid of £1.9bn that was rejected and now worth an estimated £18bn.

So if you’re recruiting entry level or junior workers for your clients and focusing your recruitment marketing and messaging on Facebook, you may need to rethink your strategy.

Today’s 16-19 year olds (we would argue 16-25 year olds) have clearly either turned their backs or completely shunned Facebook, so to get the maximum return on your social recruiting investment you need to concentrate on engaging with users where they are hanging out most – Snapchart and Instagram.