Beating Facebook’s Algorithm Update: How Staffing Firms Can Generate More Applications Through Facebook

Beating Facebook’s Algorithm Update: How Staffing Firms Can Generate More Applications Through Facebook

By Brad Bialy, Haley Marketing Group

With Facebook reporting 2.2 billion monthly users in Q4 of 2017, gone are the days when staffing firms could disregard Facebook as a viable recruiting tool.

But, with great opportunity comes great challenge.

With 2.2 billion users on Facebook monthly, it’s safe to assume that candidates (whether active or passive) are looking at Facebook as a viable means to find their next employment opportunity.

That said, with that many monthly users, how can you cut through the cluttered newsfeed and be sure your message is heard? How can you be certain your social media strategy rises above the rest and your posts outperform those from friends, family members, sports teams and bands?

Excerpts From Facebook Newsroom
Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect. (Facebook)

Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities. In Groups, people often interact around public content. Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues.

Using “engagement-bait” to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed. (Facebook)

Putting the “Social” Back in Social Media

Algorithm aside, Facebook’s mission is to "Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together."

Marketers have a funny way of getting in the way of things (and I say that respectfully, of course).

We find a new platform and we instantly think of ways to exploit it to make it work to our advantage. Two billion people on Facebook? Awesome! Let’s find a way to get our content in front of that audience. Let’s share jobs hoping that someone sees it and applies!

The problem?

We’re trying to operate on Facebook under our rules when we should be operating on Facebook under their rules.

For years, recruiters, staffing specialists and social media marketers have used Facebook to generate more traffic on their company website. They’ve used it as a viable way to increase metrics important to them. Facebook’s recent algorithm shift is a pivot from Facebook to regain what they intended the program to be, a platform to "Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

If we look at the excerpt from Facebook’s newsroom, a few specific lines make this shift back to the overall mission of Facebook very clear:

  1. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.
  2. Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed.
  3. Using “engagement-bait” to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction.

What does this mean for your staffing firm?

In March 2016, I published a blog titled Changes in Social Algorithms Should Motivate, Not Intimidate You. Two years later, I stand by the post title, but more importantly, I stand by one major point in that article:
Great content will continue to perform well on social media.
While I stand by this point, it’s important to remember one major fact, while great content will continue to perform well on social media, we (as social media managers) do NOT determine what makes content great, the market does. Facebook users, job seekers, potential prospects dictate what content you produce is great.

After all, how many times have you spent hours on an article or video to only have it receive a few clicks and likes? That content that you perceived to be great is just more noise in the clutter. The market dictates great, not us, and it’s important to remember that especially with Facebook's new change.

Planning a Social Media Strategy Amid a Changing Algorithm

Facebook’s pivot to put the “social” back in social media puts emphasis on “meaningful interactions.”

With an algorithm now designed to weight likes, comments, shares and conversations, staffing and recruiting firms need to put together a well-designed social media strategy that plays by Facebook’s rules, with content and status updates that elicit interaction.

Does this mean you need to stop sharing blog posts? No.

Does this mean you need to stop sharing jobs that link back to your job board? No.

Your strategy should include a healthy mix of content, all of which ends with a question or thought that elicits reaction.

Posting a new blog? Ask your audience what they think about the topic. Ask for their feedback. Maybe even include copy like, “We’re working on revising this article and want your advice. What suggestion would you give to a job seeker looking to _________? We’ll revise the post to include your name and thoughts!”

With the content you share on Facebook, whether it’s a blog post, a video, an available job opportunity or a graphic from your next team builder, think about the Facebook community. Think about yourself. Put yourself in the end user’s shoes. What would make YOU comment on your post?

Breaking Down a 7-Day Social-Sharing Strategy

To end with an actionable takeaway, consider implementing a variation of the following 7-day social-sharing strategy to get started on Facebook. For the sake of this post we’ll use April as a timeframe, but this can be altered to reflect any week.

  1. Monday, April 2
    Share one motivational quote with closing social copy that asks your audience what they’re working on this week.
  2. Tuesday, April 3
    Blog Content That Links Back to Your Website
    Include closing social copy that asks for suggestions and recommendations to improve the post. Did we forget a key tip? Let us know what we forgot to include.
  3. Wednesday, April 4
    Facebook Jobs
    Using Facebook Jobs, publish one of your available opportunities directly on Facebook. Additional Reading: Unemployment Rate Hits 10-Year Low, Land More Applications Through Facebook Jobs
  4. Thursday, April 5
    Meet the Team
    Post a picture of one of your team members and include three fun facts about them. This post is designed to increase the personal branding of your team, so when candidates reach out and apply, they feel comfortable with your team.
  5. Friday, April 6
    Third-Party Blog Content
    Find a great resource from Forbes, Entrepreneur or a local newspaper that your audience will find valuable and share it. Be sure to tag the publication you got the article from.
  6. Saturday, April 7
    Facebook Poll
    Using Facebook’s poll feature, ask your audience a question related to their job search or career.
  7. Sunday, April 8
    Job Board Link
    On Wednesday, we shared a job via Facebook Jobs; today share a job that links directly back to the job listing on your company website. Closing copy could direct applicants to message your page with any questions about the available opportunity.

Final Thoughts on the Algorithm Shift

Overall, great content will continue to perform well on social media. If you’re providing job seekers with valuable insight to improve their careers or land their next opportunity, it will cut through the noise and rise above the cluttered newsfeed.

By focusing on meaningful interactions, you can work to put together a social sharing strategy that focuses on putting the “Social” back in social media. Instead of using Facebook as a funnel to solely drive traffic back to your website, view it as a way to connect with job seekers in your local area. Use your page as a community where people can ask questions and provide their input on topics.

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About Brad Bialy
Brad Bialy is a Social Media and Content Marketing Strategist at Haley Marketing Group, the nation’s largest marketing firm dedicated to servicing the staffing and recruiting industry. Brad has over four years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry, helping organizations develop and implement strategic digital marketing plans to reach defined business goals.

As a digital marketing expert, Brad has advised over 65 staffing and recruiting firms on social media marketing, blogging, content marketing, email marketing and search engine optimization. He has guided the strategy and delivery of multiple industry award-winning social media campaigns.

Brad oversees and implements the comprehensive social media marketing campaign for Haley Marketing Group and manages the product development of Haley Marketing Group’s Social Pro service, the award-winning social media marketing solution designed specifically for the staffing industry.

He is a consistent contributor to Lunch with Haley, Haley Marketing’s educational webinar series for the staffing industry, and has presented at past industry-specific conferences. He was on January’s Industry Insider Webinar Series, where he discussed The Road Map: A Step by Step Guide to Social Media Success.