Right now there is a lot of ill-feeling towards LinkedIn. Recruiters don’t like the new user interface, but they particularly don’t like how functionality is being taken away from anyone not prepared to pay much higher subscription fees to retain them. That's why I wanted to create this post all about advertising on Facebook, as for many recruiters it’s an absolutely untapped goldmine for candidate attraction and engagement. Did you know that for any given advertising budget, you are likely to be able to generate 10x to 100x times more clicks by advertising on Facebook compared with investing that same spend on LinkedIn?
Given that huge difference, it's staggering to me just how few recruiters understand how you go about advertising on Facebook - or indeed the high degree of targeting that Facebook now makes possible on its advertising platform. If you want to advertise your careers page, your recruitment business, specific hiring campaigns, you have to understand that Facebook is probably the most underutilized advertising channel within the recruitment sector today.
So in this blog I'm going to walk you through the steps involved in advertising on Facebook. I've also recorded a screen-share tutorial to guide you through these steps in more detail, you'll find the link to that video at the bottom of this post .
I’m starting with the assumption that you have a company page on Facebook and therefore have an advertising account and are able to create adverts. If that’s not the case, you’ll need to start with that step first…
Within your advertising account, when you click to create an advert on Facebook the first thing you will be asked to do is select what your marketing objectives for this campaign are. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are a variety of options to choose from. If you're not a seasoned Facebook marketer already, you're probably going to start out selecting a traffic campaign. That's to say, you’ll be choosing to pay to drive a targeted audience to a particular web page on your site.
Let me say at this point that one Pro Tip when advertising on Facebook is to instead select the conversions objective. By placing a piece of web code onto your website, you can enable Facebook to track actions that users take on your website. This opens the door to some really exciting possibilities. Instead of just paying to send traffic to your website, you can now send traffic to your website and monitor how many people go on to do the thing that you wanted them to do, for example registering their resume on your database or applying for one of your open vacancies. Facebook can then show you, for each campaign you run, what the cost per conversion is. This allows you to A/B test campaigns and to compare results using different audience targeting, to compare results for different types of vacancies, to compare results using different advertising copy... as well as comparing your cost per candidate registration with all the other candidate attraction channels you currently use. Powerful insights.
Having selected your objective and having given your advertising campaign a name, the first thing you'll be asked to do is to narrow down the audience you wish to target your advert to reach. This step is absolutely key to your success. The more closely we can target our adverts to be seen by an audience for whom the advert is really relevant, the lower the cost per click or conversion we are going to achieve - and the greater the overall results we’ll see for the campaign. Therefore, time spent creating targeted audiences to advertise to is a highly worthwhile investment of your time.
What I find particularly surprises recruiters is the degree to which you can now target your adverts to be seen by particular employees of the specific companies and competitors you would most like to hire from. What’s more, you can also narrow this down further by targeting people with particular job titles and a whole array of other demographic criteria.
I have included a screenshot here to show you where you would go to select employers whose employees you wish to target. You can see in the screenshot that before having selected employer targeting, the advert has defaulted to targeting the whole of the UK and we can see on the right hand side that we could potentially reach 42 million people with our advert. Below this is the estimated daily reach of our advert based on the default budget level that's been set - and by increasing our budget, we can reach an ever larger proportion of that maximum total.
I also include a screenshot showing how you can pick out the particular companies you’d like to target. In this particular instance, I have chosen to target several consulting employers like Accenture and IBM. We can also specify additional criteria such as job titles to really make the targeting as laser-focused as possible. This is covered fully in the video shared at the bottom of this blog.
I've skipped over the steps involved in selecting the budget you wish to allocate to your campaign. This is really self explanatory, but if you're at all worried about this aspect of things I do show you how this works in the video below. In essence though it's really a question of selecting a total budget you wish to allocate to your campaign and the timescale during which you wish to have this campaign run; or alternatively, choose to have an ongoing campaign and then specify a maximum daily spend that that campaign will incur. Either way, you are in full control of how much your advert is actually costing you when advertising on Facebook.
Anyway, I digress. The final step in creating a winning Facebook campaign is to craft a visually appealing and compellingly worded advert to run. Facebook has a neat feature allowing you to create different variants of your advert to run simultaneously. That's to say you could upload the same advert with half a dozen different images and have Facebook run those alternately so that after a period of time you can start to see which of your adverts is generating the strongest response. This is tremendous as it means you no longer need to second guess what kind of advert is going to perform well for you. Instead, set up several different variants and then let the actual results determine the winning campaign that you are going to invest most of your budget into in the longer term.
Above I’ve included a screenshot of a campaign we ran on Facebook, you can see you have the ability to write introductory text to appeal to your target audience; to add imagery as part of the campaign; to add in a call to action and then some additional information about the page that you will be sending people to; along with a button that can include words such as “sign up” or “learn more”. Obviously as you become more adept at advertising on Facebook you’re going to experiment with all these elements and learn what combinations produce the best results for your business.
I mentioned above the difference between paying for a traffic advert and paying for a conversion advert. The statistics below demonstrate the value of setting up conversion adverts. In this particular instance, we are driving potential clients for Social-Hire to attend one of our webinars and learn how to get results from social media. As a lot of people attending these webinars realise that they need external support in order to get the maximum possible results, a portion of all attendees obviously go on to become new clients of our business.
With one of these campaigns we can see we have paid to drive traffic to the sign up page and have succeeded in attracting interest for only $0.04 per click. However, we cannot see from this how effective the advertising was, i.e. how many people actually signed up for one of the webinars? That's where conversion adverts are so powerful, because the other example shown in the screenshot has been set up as a conversion advert and here we can see that we've been able to generate 178 signups and that each of these has cost $5.62. This allows us to readily compare the cost of generating new clients through Facebook with all the other marketing channels we use. Obviously the same would be true for you when looking at the cost of generating new candidate applications or resume database registrations - and comparing that with your other candidate sources.
The final thing to say is that if you would like to gain a better understanding of how you’d go about doing this yourself, you're welcome to check out the short video tutorial I've created on how to advertise on Facebook. Or if you would immediately like to book in a call with us to talk about how we could help do this for your business, please do book a call here. I hope the above has been really helpful and if it has, please do share this post on social media or comment below. Many thanks!
The team at Social Hire won't just do social media management. Our team work closely with your team to ensure your business sees great value from the service and that your team gets tangible results.
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