How Your Employer Brand Can Profit From Instagram

As with many other social media apps and sites, Instagram is currently one of the latest in the line to be touted as the next big thing in social recruiting. With over 150 million users to date, the iPhone (and newly Android) app has clear potential as a relatively untapped source of passive talent.

Using instgram to boost employer branding

However despite a fair amount of hype, Instagram’s viability as a direct recruiting tool is largely debatable, and dismissed by many in the hiring industry as merely another notch in the social recruiting bedpost.

Despite the key advantage of being able to search for specific users (and their locations) with the use of hash-tagged keywords, the question of whether or not the app is a suitable and/or profitable method of direct sourcing remains disputable. Being only 3 years old it may be too early to tell.

What is clear however, is that Instagram can be an effective tool in employer branding, which in turn can support a well-rounded recruiting process.

What is Instagram?

For those of you unfamiliar with the Instagram, here’s the Wikipedia description which effectively sums up the app in a single paragraph:

Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.

The article further notes that the app is known for it’s distinctive use of square photos, which echo the effects of Polaroid and Kodak Instamatic images. Essentially it’s this feature, as well as the applicable ‘vintage’ digital filters that set Instagram apart from any other photo-sharing services.

Instagram users can ‘like’ eachothers pictures and tag images with the use of hashtags, which allows people with similar interests to easily search and discover shared interests. It’s this feature which can also be used by recruiters to potentially source candidates according to their interests.

Instagram and employer branding

From an employer branding perspective, Instagram can very effectively be used to capture and share a company personality. As with corporate Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest accounts, Instagram allows businesses to connect with their audience on a personal level – offering the outside world an ‘inside’ perspective, as it were.

Pioneers of Instagram marketing

At the forefront of the social recruiting pack, Red Bull are a prime example of a company successfully using Instagram to boost their employer branding.

In addition to their existing array of social media outlets (everything from Facebook to Vimeo) Red bull post daily images to Instagram. Not only that but they actively engage with other users by ‘liking’ other images. As a result, the company has amassed over 1,010,000 Instagram followers.

Red bull on instagram

Other successful brands using Instagram include the Victoria’s secret with 2.62 Million followers, Nike (2.60M), Forever 21 (2.03M), Louboutin (1.77M) and Starbucks (1.64M).

(Mashable October 25th, 2013)

Using Instagram to boost your employer branding

Using instagram as part of your employer branding is pretty easy, but moreover fun. All you need is a smartphone, the Instagram app, and a good eye for a picture.

What you choose to shoot is up to you, but a good rule of thumb is to keep it in line with your existing brand image i.e. if your employer branding already promotes your humorous side, then witty one-liner captions and tongue in cheek snapshots will enhance that appropriately.

As with any social network, building up a following takes time, but a good start is to begin following your contacts first and then branch out with the use of hashtag searches.

‘Liking’ and leaving genuine comments on other images will establish your online presence, but be careful not to appear spammy – it won’t do you’re employer branding any favors.

Tips to get you started on Instagram

Not sure what to post? Here’s a few suggestions that’ll give your employer branding a boost:

– A shot of the new Mac suite/snack machine/office chairs…
– The beautiful view from the office window
– Latest products, promos and events
– Snaps of the best nearby coffee shops
– The awesome company lunches
– Last but not least, the people who work there!

Any further comments or suggestions regarding Instagram and employer branding? We’d love to hear them, feel free to leave your comments below. In the meantime #havefun!

Image Reference – Flickr Jory

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