Instagram and your Employer Brand

By Lisa Hey, Director of Business Operations at Heinz Marketing

Instagram has been a long ignored social media platform for us as an organization. As a B2B company, it just hasn’t been a valuable channel for us—it’s difficult to showcase what we offer in images to potential members of our target buying committees. Instead, we’ve utilized other channels more conducive to information sharing, where we feel our prospects are looking, like Twitter and LinkedIn. (We probably haven’t given it a fair shot for B2B Marketing, to be honest, but that’s a post for another day.)

But we’ve been missing a huge opportunity in Instagram all this time—and that’s showingcasing our employer brand.

What is an Employer Brand?

An employer brand is the image people have about the employment experience at your company. It’s the perception people have based on your company culture, work environment, and employee benefits. And when leveraged successfully, it should help you attract top talent—candidates who are a good match for your company culture.

Have you spent any time thinking about your employer brand? If you haven’t, you should.

I recently watched a great LinkedIn learning course called Employer Branding to Attract Top Talent with Roberta Matuson, Global Strategist, Advisor, Author, and President of Matuson Consulting. Roberta goes into detail on why employer brand is so important, covering why reputation matters, what top candidates want, how to appeal to candidates, how to make an emotional connection, and how to communicate your brand.

If you are interested in attracting the right people to your organization, the people who will add to your company culture, I highly encourage you to check it out.

Roberta explains that there are four questions you must ask yourself in order to create a compelling employer brand:

  • Am I clear on whom I’m trying to attract?
  • Why should someone come to work for you?
  • What’s it really like to work for us? Real stories, not wishes.
  • Does my candidate experience stick out from the crowd?

And when you have the answers to those questions, are you demonstrating that brand to the outside world? You might have an amazing company culture, but if you aren’t showing it externally, no one outside of your network will ever know.

Recruiting Challenges

As with almost everything it seems right now, it’s a tough hiring market. Job candidates have a lot of options, and the good ones get snatched up quickly.

The fact of the matter is that people do a lot of research when looking for a new place of employment. With the internet at their fingertips, they’ll have searched for information on your company long before ever applying, googling and scrolling through social profiles looking for the scoop. In a candidate’s market, you need to hook someone before you even know they are there.

You need to be externally demonstrating your employer brand.

When candidates are seeking a new place of employment, they’re often looking for things like job security, opportunity for development, an opportunity to work with a better team, shared values, and positive comments from the people who work there. Do you have anything that showcases that information for them to find?

That’s where Instagram came in for us.

Instagram and Employer Brand

Instagram can be a great place to showcase who you are as a company. Any company, in any industry, can utilize Instagram to showcase their employer brand. According to a quick Google search, there were 1.074 billion Instagram users worldwide in 2021, and 71% of the billion monthly active users on the Instagram app are under the age of 35—likely a demographic you’d like to hire.

We recently resurrected our own page so we could begin showingcasing our amazing company culture and promote our employer brand. Every week we make a point to post employee anniversary flowers, charitable giving, our work-from-home “coworkers” (shout out to all the pets out there keeping us company at the “office” these days!), and our employees’ celebrations inside and outside of the workplace.

After all, it’s our unique experiences that come together to build a rich company culture that we want to share with the world—and attract others like us.

We have a lot more ideas to incorporate in the coming months, as well. We are incorporating Throwback Thursday #tbt posts to catch up on our many great moments from previous years. We also have someone on our team who loves to cook and shares recipes with us from time to time. We’re eaters here at HM, so you know she’ll be featured!

We’ve been missing a huge opportunity all these years to showcase our amazing people and what makes us special. But we’re working hard to catch up, and we’re in a much better position now to demonstrate it to the rest of the world.

Opportunities all around

Of course, Instagram is not the only place to showcase your employer brand. You can utilize any social media site and feature the right content that will demonstrate who you are as an organization and attract the right candidates.

Your website is also a great place to showcase your employer brand, as well as employer reviews on Glassdoor. You can put any picture you want up on the internet, but what your employees actually say about you is instrumental in validating your employer brand. They are essentially the brand ambassadors recommending your company as a great place to work.

The key is to be people-focused. What is in it for them? Not the other way around.

Candidates are looking you up whether you have an online presence or not, so make sure you’re doing everything possible to hook people where they are looking so you can put your best foot forward.

And know that the work here is never done. Your employer brand will shift as your organization grows and changes. Make sure you’re adjusting the story you are telling online, as well.

Check out Employer Branding to Attract Top Talent on LinkedIn Learning. If that resource is not available, there are some other great resources on building your employer brand which you can find here:

How do you promote your employer brand and attract the right people to join your team? How do you utilize Instagram? I’d love to hear it.

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