Guest post by Lucy Thorpe
Social media marketing – How do you do it?
For a couple of years now I have been using social media as a pr and marketing tool in the hospitality industry to make new contacts and to spread the word about family friendly travel – and it’s great to see so many recruitment and HR people doing the same in their sphere.
But while I turn up bearing promises of sun and surf, you guys in recruitment are dealing with something potentially far more life changing. Does that affect the way we both use social media?
We often assume that social media is the same for everyone – but Twitter, LinkedIn etc are just another set of tools and so there are going to be as many ways to use them as there are industries. It depends on your goals.
What is clear – I hope – is that social media is social and that hard selling in this space is a big turn off.
So where do recruitment and the hospitality game, differ?
I’ll tell you what I do and then you can let me know.
My approach is to use Twitter to make new contacts.
This is where I hook up with people who are going to be brand ambassadors for my hotels. For family-friendly properties I am going to be looking at “mummy bloggers” and women running small businesses on the internet aimed at children. For wedding venues I am going to be looking at stylists and style bloggers, photographers etc
My aim is to get to know a whole community of people who will spread the word about my venues and I do it by spreading the word about them – my ultimate goal is to get them to feature us in their blog or magazine. They may even become guests themselves. One contact did just that – she blogged her stay complete with photos on her baby clothes website which lead to a newsletter swap and mutual special offers. If you want me to put it into business-speak (which I hate) – I leveraged the reciprocity element of Twitter to benefit my client.
I also use Facebook to give friends and fans more information about a property but in an informal and organic way. It’s not the official brochure, but we might feature photos of the chef’s new dishes along with pictures of events like bonfire night on the beach. I might draw attention to a marquee being set up live on the web cam for a wedding or a Christmas tree being brought back on the ferry. I see Facebook as a tighter opted-in community – the numbers are smaller, they have chosen to be there and can easily leave if they don’t like it.
I am a big fan of content marketing and use strong relevant content where ever I can. On Twitter I will share links to blogs, websites and articles which I think the people who follow us will like. On Facebook we create our own content with bespoke guides to the local area – what’s on and at Christmas I worked with my hotel in Cornwall on a style guide which built on their strong sense of décor.
Beyond that there are newsletters, which are more salesy but still beautifully produced.
So what about recruiters? Are they so very different?
A job candidate may not be in such a sunny frame of mind when he or she engages with you – looking for a job and booking a holiday are clearly not the same thing. Job Hunters may be in a bad place mentally and under pressure.
Why is a job seeker like a bride?
Is a job seeker like a bride?
Well brides engage intensely with online communities – they can’t get enough, until the big day when for obvious reasons they don’t want to buy a cake, hire a photographer or book a honeymoon anymore.
Is the job seeker who has found a job like the bride after the wedding? Is it true that they will no longer want to engage with you after the contract is signed?
Recruiters certainly don’t want to see their “brides” riding off into the sunset – networks are made up of people and you can’t afford to just let them go. Anyway networks are what you guys are best at – you want to keep in touch – but the challenge is how to persuade them that they want the same. They will need another job in the future, although whether the bride will need another groom faster is a moot point – we could argue that.
Let’s talk niche marketing.
This is where the niche comes in. Niche is good because it allows you to target your marketing very tightly. It’s much easier for me to target the children’s travel market and share links about all aspects of entertaining and bringing up kids than it is to go for everyone who wants a holiday. My market is affluent and their kids are young so I can focus even more.
When it comes to recruitment I am happy to say I am working with a niche recruiter – FMCG Central – which has a highly targeted FMCG market. They are not trying to appeal to everyone and so we can get to work on social media and content marketing that really fits the needs of the candidates.
But what if candidates don’t want it?! – I hear you cry.
Well that depends on what you are offering. As an ex BBC journalist I keep in touch with all my industry news via blogs and other “social” media – I subscribe to info digests about media technology and other relevant content. Content is king – cliché or not – and I reckon that smart use of content that adds some sort of value, together with great service and sound advice is the way to go for a niche recruitment business.
Now I’ve put quite a lot out there, so I am going to stop and let you have your say. How do you think we can learn from each other?