Building your Employer Brand on Instagram

Published on 27-11-2017

Instagram – seemingly a place for celebrities, bloggers and the world’s top brands. But can it be used as an employer branding tool? Or should we rather stick to more business-like platforms such as LinkedIn? Let’s have a closer look at it!

Instagram and Employer Branding

Pictures say more than a thousand words

Instagram is a major social social platform and growing! Worldwide, Instagram has over 800M users, 500M of those are daily users of the platform. 17.2M active users are from the United Kingdom. Those numbers are steadily increasing, not only in terms of private but also business profiles: In September 2017, Instagram had over 15M registered business profiles. Two million companies use Instagram as a advertisement channel and over 50% of business accounts have made use of the Story function at least once to promote their brand, products or services. Using social media channels for marketing purposes is very much accepted amongst users: Over half of Instagram’s users follow brands and 70% of the most used hashtags are related to brands and large companies such as Nike, BMW or Apple.

Marketing or Employer Branding tool?

We are all aware of the huge potential of advertising and marketing campaigns that use social media as a channel. With the help of Instagram, however, we are not only able to communicate product releases but also strengthen our employer brand. The platform enables us to visually display our company’s culture and interact with our target audience.
Current statistics show that 61% of Instagram users in the UK are between 18 and 34 years old and the average 25 year old spends approximately 35 minutes on the platform every day. Those numbers illustrate that especially companies recruiting young professionals could (and should) integrate Instagram in their recruitment process. On top of that, this generation is more concerned about topics such as company culture, cultural fit and authenticity than any other generation before. A combination of social media and active employer branding is therefore a logical step!

Let’s become ‘Instagram famous’

It can be a huge challenge to communicate your employer brand via social media. Although the key concept of a successful social media campaign is rather simple: Everything revolves around authentic, emotional storytelling. Applying the following three strategies correctly, is a first step in the right direction of making your company’s employer brand ‘Instagram famous’:

  • Using hashtags
  • Embedding Instagram Stories
  • (Corporate) Influencers

Understanding the world of hashtags
By using the correct hashtags you can increase your profile’s followers as well as reach users that are not actively following your account (yet!). That is why it is crucial to use relevant hashtags – and not only the most popular ones – to reach your specific target audience and maintain a consistent, authentic feed.
Hashtags are a great tool for distinctive storytelling. If an intern, for example, posts a weekly picture about their week, you could use the hashtag #internstories. That allows you create a small series on your account and, at the same time, enable users to interact with the post by using the same hashtag. If that isn’t a great way to trigger engagement, then what is?!

A new feature: Instagram Stories
Only a couple of months ago, Instagram integrated the Stories function into their application. Similar to Snapchat, short videos and pictures posted in your Instagram Stories are only available for 24 hours.
This is a perfect tool to provide your target audience with a direct insight into how your company operates. Live streams of meetings or lunch breaks, a boomerang of the interns or a picture of a current project, all of which are great examples of how to share parts of your company culture with your followers, everything in real time!

(Corporate) Influencers
Social media influencers have become extremely important in the last couple of years, especially in marketing. You can also apply the influencer concept in employer branding: A so-called ‘channel take over’ can boost the number of followers of your brand and strengthen brand awareness. Selecting the right influencer is crucial. After all, you would like someone who not only represents your company’s values and goals but also has followers that fit your target audience. Once you have selected the relevant influencers, it is essential they announce the channel take over on their profiles. That way their followers might also become yours!

Besides using external influencers you can also involve your own employees in your online employer branding strategy. After all, who represents your company better than your own employees? As ‘corporate influencers’ they can, for example, take over your Instagram Stories for a day and share insights of their daily working routine.

Come work for us, we are fun!

We believe Instagram is a great way to demonstrate your company’s culture and attract young professionals that match your culture. A well-maintained and authentic Instagram feed could be a clear advantage in the ongoing ‘war for talents’.

Our partner Vodafone Germany is a great example of how to use Instagram as an employer branding tool. Their feed includes intern channel-takeovers, team photos and even an advent calendar with ‘real’ doors. Every day they opened an actual door at the Vodafone campus in Dusseldorf, showing how the company’s different departments work!

Vodafone's Instagram Feed

Interested in more? We spoke with Stephan Rathgeber – Director Marketing, Corporate Communications & Digital of the Manpower Group Germany – about successful employer branding and the importance of cultural fit. Read the full interview here.

CompanyMatch also published a white paper about the real costs of a bad hire. Based on recent studies, we explored topics such as cultural fit, employer branding, corporate culture and many more. To download the full report for free, please fill out the form below!