How to Use Instagram for Employer Branding Successfully

Instagram for Employer Branding A Woman on her phone StudySmarter

Did you know that by 2025, it has been forecast that there will be 1.44 billion monthly active users of Instagram, which would account for 31.2 percent of global internet users? With such a vast audience, it’s no wonder that businesses are increasingly harnessing its potential for their branding needs.

As recruitment professionals, harnessing the power of social media can be a game-changer. Enter Instagram, a platform that allows companies to share their values, culture, and brand story with potential employees in a dynamic, visual, and engaging way. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover why Instagram has become an essential tool for employer branding, how to leverage it to its fullest, and how to sidestep common pitfalls.

In this article we will discuss:

Why should employers use Instagram for branding?

Employer branding is more important than you might think. A study by LinkedIn found that companies with strong employer brands see up to 50% decrease in their cost per hire and a 28% increase in retention rates.

Instagram, far from being a simple platform for leisurely browsing, can play an instrumental role in conveying your brand’s ethos, culture, and values. Delving into why Instagram is a crucial component in the employer branding toolkit can significantly revamp your talent acquisition strategy.

The power of visual storytelling

Instagram’s primary strength lies in its visual storytelling capacity. With a plethora of features including photos, short videos, and interactive stories, Instagram provides a canvas to present your company culture in a manner that is both captivating and accessible. It allows you to depict your office environment, showcase your team, and share snippets of company events in a manner that text-based platforms cannot replicate. This is instrumental in creating an emotional connection with potential hires, offering them a glimpse into life at your company.

The Millennial and Gen Z audience on Instagram

Instagram’s user demographic is predominantly millennials and Gen Z, both of whom place considerable emphasis on company culture when job hunting. These generations appreciate transparency and social responsibility, and they want to engage with brands that share their values. Showcasing your company’s commitment to a healthy work-life balance, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability on Instagram can significantly strengthen your appeal to these demographics.

How to do employer branding on Instagram?

Effectively branding on Instagram involves much more than the occasional office snapshot. A robust employer branding strategy is crucial to leveraging Instagram’s full potential.

Understanding your target audience

Given that 79% of job seekers are likely to use social media for their search, with the number increases to 86% for younger job seekers, understanding your target audience’s habits and preferences on Instagram is more critical than ever. Before embarking on any branding effort, it’s imperative to understand who your audience is.

Identifying your audience goes beyond just their professional titles. Dive deeper to understand their lifestyle, aspirations, values, and habits. Use Instagram’s Insights tool to gain valuable data about your followers such as their active hours, gender, age range, and location.

You can also perform a competitive analysis to understand what kind of content resonates with your target audience. Look at similar companies or direct competitors – what kind of content do they post? How do their followers engage with them? Take these learnings and adapt them to suit your unique employer brand. Are you aiming to attract young, tech-savvy professionals, or are you more focused on seasoned experts seeking a career change? Once you identify your target audience, tailor your content to their preferences and aspirations. This will not only increase engagement but also make your employer branding strategy more effective.

Curating engaging content

One key to Instagram success is a diverse content mix. Incorporate different forms of media such as videos, pictures, GIFs, and Instagram’s features like polls, quizzes, and live broadcasts. Take advantage of Instagram’s multiple post format to share a series of photos or videos at once, perfect for telling a deeper story about an event or a project.

Don’t shy away from sharing user-generated content or encouraging your employees to share their own experiences using a company hashtag. This not only adds credibility to your employer brand but also drives employee engagement. Balance your feed with a variety of posts showcasing office life, employee achievements, company news, and job opportunities. This ensures your audience stays engaged and interested, making your company a more attractive prospect for potential hires.

How often should you post content?

Consistency is critical on Instagram. Strive to maintain a regular posting schedule, with a baseline of one post every two days. However, it’s equally important to monitor engagement and adjust your posting frequency based on audience interaction. A consistent, active presence on Instagram will keep your brand at the forefront of your audience’s mind, fostering deeper connections.

Instagram for Employer Branding Happy group of employees taking a picture StudySmarter
One ket to Instagram success is posting an interesting mix of content.

To learn more about how employer branding can help you attract and retain talent, download StudySmarter’s free guide.

Pitching a brand for collaboration on Instagram

Collaborating with other brands can provide a significant boost to your visibility on Instagram, expanding your reach and enhancing your employer branding efforts. So, how do you effectively pitch your brand for collaboration on Instagram?

Finding the right brand to collaborate with

Identifying the right brand for collaboration is critical. Seek out brands whose values align with yours and whose audience may be interested in what your company has to offer. This synergy ensures that the collaboration is beneficial to both parties.

Crafting the pitch

When proposing a collaboration, focus on the potential benefits for both brands. Start by identifying the point of contact in the target organisation, preferably someone in their marketing or public relations team. Engage with their content to build some familiarity before you reach out.

When crafting your pitch, be personal and professional. Mention their work that you admire and state clearly why you think a partnership would be beneficial. Also, give them a clear understanding of what you expect from the partnership and what they can expect in return. Clearly articulate how the collaboration will offer value to both parties, and present a concise, engaging proposal. This can include ideas for shared content, joint events, or promotional campaigns.

The rules of branding on Instagram

Successful branding on Instagram necessitates adherence to a few essential, albeit unwritten, rules. By following these guidelines, you can maintain brand consistency and foster growth on this platform.

Consistent aesthetics and voice

Your Instagram page is a reflection of your company’s personality. Consistency extends to the colour palette, fonts, filters, and tone of voice used in your captions. This builds a familiar and recognisable brand identity that users will remember and associate positively with your employer brand.

Develop a brand guideline for your Instagram content. It should dictate things like your company colour palette, typography, tone of voice, and visual aesthetics. Ensure everyone who manages your Instagram account understands and adheres to these guidelines. As such, maintaining consistency in visual aesthetics, brand voice, and messaging across all posts is essential. This doesn’t mean every post must look identical, but they should all feel like part of the same story. This consistency creates a cohesive brand image that audiences can easily identify and connect with.

Use of hashtags and location tags

Hashtags are a powerful tool on Instagram, making your content discoverable to wider audiences. Similarly, location tags can boost local visibility. By incorporating both in your posts effectively, you can increase reach, engagement, and, in turn, potential leads for your company.

Instagram pitfalls to avoid

While Instagram offers immense potential for employer branding, there are pitfalls that can hinder your success on the platform. By being aware of these and taking proactive measures, you can ensure your Instagram strategy remains effective.

Ignoring engagement

Engagement is the lifeblood of any successful social media strategy. Ignoring comments, messages, or mentions from your audience can come across as unresponsive or disinterested. Make it a priority to respond to engagements in a timely and genuine manner, fostering a sense of community and showing your audience that you value their input.

Inconsistency in posting

Inconsistent posting can lead to reduced visibility on Instagram. An erratic posting schedule may cause followers to lose interest, which can affect engagement rates and overall reach. Develop a content calendar to ensure regular posting, keeping your brand at the forefront of your followers’ minds.

Best employer branding examples on Instagram

Learning from the best can significantly enhance your employer branding strategy. Some companies truly excel in using Instagram for employer branding. Here’s a more detailed look at different strategies:

Innovative use of Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories offer a unique way to share fleeting, behind-the-scenes glimpses of office life or to spotlight employees. Stories are displayed at the top of the follower’s feed, ensuring high visibility. Brands that utilise this feature in innovative ways create engaging, authentic content that potential hires can relate to.

Instagram for employer branding Starbucks example screenshot StudySmarter

Starbucks has a unique approach to Instagram Stories. In a series dubbed “Starbucks Stories,” employees take control of the company’s Instagram account, sharing their daily routines, customer interactions, and even personal stories. This approach offers followers an authentic, unfiltered glimpse into life as a Starbucks barista.

Employee showcase

Featuring employees in your Instagram content can be a powerful tool for demonstrating your company culture. It gives potential hires a real-life glimpse into your company and shows that you value and celebrate your staff.

Instagram for Employer Branding Example from Hubspot StudySmarter

HubSpot does an excellent job of featuring its employees on Instagram. They have a regular feature called #HubSpotLife, where they share stories and achievements of their employees, in addition to glimpses of their personal lives. It not only underscores their appreciation of their workforce but also gives potential hires a taste of the supportive and inclusive culture at HubSpot.

Behind-the-scenes content

Sharing behind-the-scenes content humanises your brand, allowing followers to connect on a deeper level. This could include snapshots of daily office life, team-building activities, or even the production process for your products or services.

Instagram for employer branding Screenshot from General Electric's account StudySmarter

General Electric (GE) excels in sharing behind-the-scenes content on Instagram. Through their regular posts, they offer followers an exclusive look at the creation and testing processes of their products. This openness and transparency not only pique the interest of their followers but also showcase their dedication to quality and innovation.

These real-world examples clearly highlight how effective Instagram can be as an employer branding tool when used creatively and thoughtfully.

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