12 Facebook Lessons (Part Two): Myths Busted

February 25, 2013 8:50 am Published by Bill Boorman

Check out 12 Facebook Lessons (Part 1) for more on getting started with Facebook recruiting. 

In this, the second post in the series, I’m going to be taking a closer look at content and the mix between personal and business on the page. This is a tough one to call when considering the content plan for your page. In order to identify what works with a target audience, I refer to the Social Recruitment Monitor from Dutch employer branding firm Maximum. The index measures career sites across Facebook, and produces a list of the top performing pages each week, both globally and locally, for the US, UK, Germany, China and Brazil.

The scoring algorithm is explained in this way:

“The other columns rank performance through numbers of fans, growth of fans, numbers of posts, numbers of ‘likes’, numbers of comments, numbers of shares, Engagement Ratios (E.R.) and Community Interaction (C.I.).”

I like this index because it is heavily weighted around interaction, rather than fan numbers. This is critical, because Edgerank means that, unless you are paying to promote posts, only those who have interacted with your page recently get to see your updates. To everyone else (except subscribers), they are invisible.

Myth One: Facebook recruiting only works for “sexy” brands.

What I find most interesting is that if I were to ask you to guess the top 3 career pages in any country, you would expect it to be one of the “sexy” brands. The result, however, is far from that. The top 3 pages globally are Siemens, Hilti, and G4S. The top 3 pages in the US are Avis Budget Group, MGM Resorts, and Northropp Grumman. The top 3 pages in the UK are BT, Network Rail, and Barclays. The top 3 pages in Germany are Krones AG, Securitas, and SNT Deutchland. Whilst these will change most weeks according to activity on the page, the type of companies don’t change too much. Whilst they may be household names in their domestic countries, with respect to them, they are not what you would expect to be the aspirational Facebook brands, like a Nike or a Pepsico. None of these are purely IT companies, digital media, etc., and there is only one entertainment company amongst those I’ve listed. None of these brands are what you would term “kids” companies.

Myth 2: You don’t have enough time to create content.

Another area that I always look at is the number of updates that have been posted on each of the top pages each week. When I talk to people about running a successful careers page, some of the challenges they cite is a lack of time to post and the attention it is going to take to create content that is going to engage the audience.

This is the total number of updates the top pages in each company posted in the last week, and the corresponding likes, shares and comments:

Company Posts Likes Shares Comments Country
Siemens 2 53 9 4 Global
Hilti 4 91 11 5 Global
G4S 10 3,151 328 359 Global
Avis 2 5 0 2 USA
MGM Resorts 1 41 0 0 USA
Northrop Grummann 17 371 26 6 USA
BT 7 22 0 1 UK
Network Rail 2 6 7 0 UK
Barclays 13 8 0 0 UK
Krones 17 1,444 70 54 Germany
Securitas 1 0 0 0 Germany
SNT Deutschland 7 89 10 1 Germany

What is clear from this data is that no page has more than 17 updates in a week, and over half are posting 10 or less times. Too much content is noisy, and causes fans to turn off drown out the noise, but it doesn’t take a lot of content to gain traction–and the all important interaction.

Whilst it might seem strange that some of these companies have scored 0 for shares or comments, and yet they are listed in the top 3, this is because they have scored highly in fan growth during the period. New fans will have visited the page at least once, giving increased visibility. What is important here is that pages reply to comments and questions in real time. When you look at the volume of updates (and some of these will be pictures, or links from others, or updates generated by fans), ask yourself: do you REALLY not have enough time?

Myth 3: Only pages with thousands of fans work.

There’s a common misconception that you need lots of fans to make your career page work. Thats why companies have used tactics in the past to buy fans from companies who sell fans, or to create competitions to “like” a page and win an iPad, etc. This is really a vanity metric taken in isolation. Fan numbers count for nothing in comparison to engaged fans, because they are the only ones with visibility to your updates. 

One of the things I really like about the social recruitment monitor is that they measure the ratio of fans to interactions on the page in compiling the index score. Whilst employers like G4S might have over 43,000 fans, others have smaller numbers, like Siemens with 3,026 and Hilti with 1,713. Top ranking UK page BT has only 986 fans–and Network Rail has 1,480, and Barclays 422. In the US, top ranking Avis has 149 fans, MGM Resorts, 1,198, and Northrop Grumman 6015.

You don’t need tens of thousands of fans to be engaged or make your page work. You just need the right fans on your page, who are connected and interacting with you. That is what Facebook was built for.

These are my 3 myths for this weeks post in the series. I would be glad to answer any questions you leave in comments. Next week I’m going to dig a bit deeper in to Facebook advertising, and what really works. Thanks to Maximum for all the data on the Social Recruitment Monitor. It’s an interesting follow for real engagement data.



This post was written by Bill Boorman

1 Comment

  • Vincent Rietveld says:

    Thank you Bill for your blogpost on the Social Recruitment Monitor (SRM).
    From my professional experiences I agree that these are three common myths a lot of companies are struggling with. Luckily the SRM now gives answers to these myths by displaying facts and figures.

    Providing employers with unique insights and a benchmark was the reason why we at Maximum decided to set up the monitor site. We hope employers using, or planning to use, social media for recruitment regularly check back for the weekly stats.

    Looking at the stats it is indeed very surprising to see the weekly changing list of top ranking pages and the differences between the activity of employers. While the monitor runs since October last year, a number of all-time top pages can already be noticed. G4S, MGM Resorts and Network Rail are amongst them.

    In the end it is all about interacting with the right fans on your page. Those top-ranking companies are clearly able to share appealing postings and get the right engagement on their pages. I’m very curious how those top postions will evolve in the following period.

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