Branding/Marketing/PR Social Media

Why many recruitment agencies need to delete their Twitter accounts

Written by the Editorial Team

For any forward-thinking recruitment agency, Twitter is quite simply essential. But there are two types of Twitter users who are killing their agency brands because of the way in which they use the social media platform.

First there are the number hunters:

These are those recruiters who have a seemingly insatiable appetite to increase their followers as much as they can. You know the kind – they post things like ‘Please help us reach 1,000 followers’ or ‘We’ve hit 5,000 followers’.

It is pure vanity and demonstrates a true lack on understanding of the ‘social’ element of social media – something that the Oxford English Dictionary describes as ‘being willing to talk and take part in activities’. When the focus is solely on driving numbers, there is no audience engagement.

Then there are the free riders:

These are those recruiters who treat Twitter as a job board without the price tag. Take a look at their feed and all you will see is job posting after job posting. These recruiters are akin to those sending unsolicited job alerts to everyone on their database informing them of a great new role for a Marketing Manager, even if the recipient happens to be a chef or IT programmer.

They don’t believe in relevant and meaningful communications, they consider the scattergun approach to be most effective. They are, of course, idiots.

The consequences

Social media in general is a highly effective way to enhance your reputation as an agency that ‘gets’ the nuances and challenges your clients and candidates face. In doing so it helps to build your profile and position you as a leading recruitment partner in your sector.

However, acting in the same way as the types of Twitter users outlined above will have the opposite effect.

Having hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers is irrelevant if those followers aren’t relevant. Yes you could easily build a following of thousands but for every 10 new followers you gain, how many is a potential client, candidate or industry influencer? Will they be interested in what you have to say or are they also on a drive of their own to build their audience too, in the hope that if they follow you then you will reciprocate?

The correct way

Recruiters often bemoan the fact they have very little time in the day to focus on what they do best – selling. That’s why it is important that the time you have available to actively promote the agency via Twitter is spent in the most effective way. And that means sharing information that is interesting, valuable and fun (see: What makes a good Tweet?).

Social media is most effective when based on 4 key principles that if utilised correctly, will maximise your return on investment and deliver a number of business benefits:

  1. Communication – provide engaging and relevant information
  2. Collaboration – seek to stimulate greater collaboration with potential partners
  3. Entertain – your brand needs to have a personality and Twitter is a great place to convey this
  4. Educate/Inform – share latest news from across your industry sector, position yourself as a thought leader

Tweeting is a two-way communication and when you fail to deliver relevant ‘What’s in it for me?’ content, those followers you’ve tried so hard to attract will simply un-follow you in an instant. It won’t be personal, it will be because you have failed to add value to their interaction with you.

This is permission-based marketing personified – it’s like having an inbuilt anti-spam filter. It is NOT a competition to see who can collate the most number of followers and any PR agency that tells you otherwise is full of the proverbial!