Everyone loves a good story — including job seekers. If you aren’t using social media to highlight your employer brand, you’re missing out on a key opportunity to reach and engage with your audience.
Jordan Scheltgen, founder and CEO of Cave Social, shared best practices for creating scroll-stopping content that not only captivates potential job seekers, but also fosters engagement and gets coveted clicks.
Read his tips below, or watch the full session on-demand here.
Why Story Matters
Early in his career, Scheltgen worked as a magazine writer, which nurtured his affinity for telling a good story. After one of his articles went viral, he was inspired to start Cave Social — a digital marketing brand that helps companies grow their business by weaving stories into organic and paid social media campaigns.
Storytelling is important from both a recruitment and business standpoint. “Stories matter, and how you position companies matters, and it can actually affect your bottom line. It can affect how attractive you are to potential candidates,” said Scheltgen.
Every Company Has a Story
Stories stand the test of time. Think about classic tales that have been passed down for thousands of years. When told the right way on social media, a good story can draw users in and help your content jump out.
But many organizations struggle to find their own story, and according to Scheltgen, a lot of them think they work in a ‘boring’ industry. “Ultimately, every single company has interesting stories going on within them,” he said. “Although they may seem mundane to you, to the outside world, they’re actually very, very interesting.”
The 5 Best Ways to Position & Tell Your Story
There are five key approaches to uncovering your brand story and telling it like Shakespeare (okay, that might be a stretch ... but you get the idea!). According to Scheltgen, conveying these types of stories work well to attract both candidates and customers:
1. Culture Stories: What is it like to work at your company? What is it like to do business with you? Culture stories build emotional connections with candidates and customers. They emphasize that there are real people that support the product or service. Sharing content that showcases your company culture can influence job seekers to join your workforce, or support your company by giving you their business.
When telling the story through the lens of culture, it’s important to show the human element, Scheltgen said. Show how you weave fun into the workday, so go ahead and post those Taco Tuesday photos. Don’t forget to share photos of employees having fun at events too — both virtual and in-person.
2. Customer Stories: What is the customer journey like with your business? What successes have you helped customers achieve? “This is showing how your product or your service helps elevate your customers,” Scheltgen said. It’s important to remember that the customer is the hero of these stories; your brand is the supporting character.
To customers, you’re communicating, 'Hey, this could be you!' To job candidates, you’re saying, 'Come be part of our company and help make people’s lives better.'
3. Origin Stories: Why did your company get started? “I want to know as a prospective hire, what am I getting into? What was that ‘aha’ moment for the founder?” Scheltgen pointed out. That “aha” moment — when the founder realized there was a better way to do something, and the company was born — is a very compelling angle.
Don’t be afraid to talk about vulnerabilities and risks your company has faced. That’s what inspires potential candidates and customers alike.
4. Challenge Stories: What big challenge are you taking on? Why is it worth joining your team to help fight that fight? “People want purpose, they want to be part of something bigger than themselves,” Scheltgen noted. Tell stories that show the innovation and passion you use to overcome that big challenge. Talk about your setbacks and your wins. “That’s going to help recruit talent that can join you on that fight.”
5. Community Stories: How is your company an ally to your community? (In this context, community refers to your industry at large, as well as who you serve.) For example, put a spotlight on an industry colleague who’s won a professional award, or a company that’s made a notable achievement.
“If [potential hires] can see that you’re really entrenched in the community and helping the community, they’re going to want to be part of that,” Scheltgen said.
Pro Tip: What if you find that, for example, community and origin lend a lot of good storytelling content, but the other three just aren’t coming as easily? According to Scheltgen, that's okay. “Find the blend that works for you.”
A Few Ground Rules to Guide Storytelling Content Creation
Before you click “share,” consider these guiding principles:
- Remember your story is timeless. Though you may get tired of it from time to time, for potential candidates and customers, it's still new. “Repeat it, be unapologetic, tell your stories over and over again, try them on different channels, try them different ways,” Scheltgen said.
- Speak “human” on social media. Even within industries that deal with formal topics, aim to sound like a human, not a robot.
- Be yourself. Avoid imitating another brand’s social media voice. Let your authentic voice be heard!
- Create content that focuses on the customer/candidate, not yourself. In other words, communicate “How can we help?” rather than “Look how cool we are!”
- Just keep posting. Not every post will be a home run, but don’t let that stop you. Social media is partly about volume, and perfectionism can lead to paralysis.
And like every marketing effort, measuring success is important, but it doesn’t happen overnight. “Throw stuff at the wall a little bit, and see what sticks,” Scheltgen said. Track post-performance and adjust accordingly so you can continue to create content that gets the most attention for your brand.
Authentically Tell Your Story on Social to Engage Potential Candidates
Story-telling is a compelling and engaging way to express your employer brand — especially on social media. By using your brand story to highlight what makes your organization different, potential job seekers can start to connect with your brand on a more personal level.
Every story is unique and by using the tips Scheltgen shared, you can start creating click-worthy content on social.