Why Social Media Matters For Executive Search Lead Generation
eBook: Social Media Marketing
How To Leverage Social Media & Why It Is Important For Executive Search & Executive Recruiters
There are an overwhelming number of social media networks available for you to promote your specialization, highlight your expertise and market your executive search firm - so which ones should you focus on? The challenge many search firms face when considering social media within their marketing strategy is two fold. The first objection is how can social media make an impact in my marketing. The second is how to implement a social media strategy that will actually drive results and lead generation and yield a much better ROI.
One of the most common statements we hear from executive search firms and executive recruiters is, “I don’t see the value in my firm or my Partners being active on social media for business development.” This is the result of a poorly planned and executed social media strategy within your marketing efforts - and this eBook is designed to change this for you.
First, let’s take a step back from social media marketing and examine how it will play a role in the larger picture for your marketing strategy and lead generation efforts. Within every marketing strategy there are two different types of approaches, outbound and inbound marketing.
Social Media As An Inbound And Outbound Marketing Engine
Outbound marketing represents the more traditional channels of marketing such as email blasts, event sponsorships, paid banner ad placements, etc. While these are effective in some cases the rise of the digital age has drastically challenged the effectiveness and value that outbound marketing campaigns bring to a marketing strategy. As digital media platforms rapidly evolved this greatly disrupted traditional outbound marketing campaigns that became less accurate and produced nominal results.
Inbound marketing means creating and leveraging high quality content that pulls prospects toward your company and services. By aligning the content you publish with your target audiences’ interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic to your webpages or other owned channels (such as social media) that are qualified prospects you can then convert and close to win more search fees over time. If we simplify the concepts of outbound marketing as “pushing content” out to prospects; and inbound marketing as “pulling your audience” in by generating interest, we can see that social media is a hybrid blend of both.
Outbound marketing happens on social media when you post, share and publish content or thought leadership pieces to Company Pages on LinkedIn or Twitter and create Paid Social Ad Campaigns. Through your outbound efforts, target prospects are able to see your expertise, value and specialization and as a result take an interest by following your brand, clicking a Call-To-Action (CTA) Link or engaging with your content to syndicate to their own connections and followers. Inbound marketing happens on social media through engagements, interaction and total reach. Engaging with other users on LinkedIn or Twitter on a more personal level through comments, likes, re-shares and more generates interest, builds loyal followers and drives traffic to your webpages.
Where To Focus Your Time And Resources
At the very core of any social media platform is the simple concept of connecting people and building relationships. In comparison, this founding principal is the core mission for the executive search and executive recruitment industry. It is only natural that an entire industry devoted to elevating candidates and leadership teams through conversation, networking and relationships leverage social media for this very purpose to spotlight these capabilities. When executed properly, social media will help to raise your visibility, highlight your expertise, source candidates and increase search revenues by engaging and targeting prospects.
First we will need to identify the best social media platforms for you to focus on. Initially, you may think the best strategy will be to push the most content out through many different networks to gain the most exposure and the most reach. While this is one approach, it is not a true strategy nor a best practice.
Just as your business development and marketing materials are tailored and targeted specifically for HR Decision makers and key stakeholders, so will your strategy for selecting a social media platform. The key to any effective social media strategy is choosing to invest your time and resources wisely in the right places for the best ROI. Think about where your audience spends most of their time (during the workday) on social media. This is where you should have a strong and active presence. In this eBook we will focus on the two best social media networks for B2B marketing, these are LinkedIn and Twitter.
The other consideration for only focusing on LinkedIn and Twitter is the evolution and adoption of social media features across these platforms. Many years ago, certain social networks were better at showcasing culture and team successes such as Facebook and Instagram versus LinkedIn. However, as all of these social media platforms have evolved, LinkedIn and Twitter have adopted new features for their platforms that allow you to highlight your culture, mission and values directly alongside your thought leadership content and expertise through company pages, stories, videos and more. Before we discuss the more specific rules for engagement to maximize Twitter and LinkedIn, we will need to understand and discuss one more concept that is “Bite Size Content.
Bite Size Content
Your target clients on social media are within a position of authority and are responsible for making critical business decisions for growth, strategy and talent in a split second. Whether it’s a Venture Capital firm that wants to appoint a senior executive team at a portfolio company, a Head of Talent looking to find the best Executive Recruiter or a senior executive looking for a trusted advisor, these stakeholders need information fast from experts that they trust. Social media will help deliver this content to prospects quickly and support your reputation as an expert, using short brief posts, which we will refer to as “Bite Size Content”.
Bite Size Content is a basic fundamental principle for all social media platforms, and is made up of many small, short posts derived from a longer and larger piece of content, such as an article, report or even an eBook. We will refer to this concept of Bite Size Content several times throughout this eBook. By converting a larger piece of content or thought leadership into many smaller “Bite Size Content” posts, you are able to extract and share critical insights in short snippets, build out weeks’ worth of social media activity and posts and increase your exposure and reach to generate leads across networks. We will discuss the proper formats and appropriate places to share Bite Size Content across LinkedIn and Twitter later within this eBook.
The Value Behind Engagement That Builds Credibility
There are plenty of executive search firms and executive recruiters that already are using social media to push marketing messages (outbound marketing) through thought leadership posts and content. As we discussed earlier, this is only one part of social media marketing and should not be the entire strategy. Strictly using social media for pushing content out to your followers and neglecting relationships and engagement will harm your brand. Engagement, interaction and conversation (the inbound marketing) is just as critical and important and builds credibility. When a follower, prospective client or candidate interacts with you and your content on social media, there is a baseline expectation of validation on your end. Your engagement and acknowledgement with a follower is the hallmark of starting a positive conversation, brings a more human touch to your brand and generates authentic interest.
When we discuss engagement we are referring to the actions you can take on social media to converse and interact with prospects in real-time. Engagement drives exposure and reach of your thought leadership, brand and expertise to other audiences and communities on social media that are outside of your immediate networks and communities. Followers and connections that may be a few degrees of separation from you, will see your content appear in their feeds if their other connections are engaging with it. Since people often build communities of followers and connections that are like minded and interested in similar topics, engagement amplifies your marketing efforts on social media and places your expertise, brand and services directly in front of these like-minded prospects that are beyond your immediate reach.