Happy New Year, Rally Community!
I’m kicking off this blog post a bit different this go-around by asking for a quick favor.
Can you grab your cell phone for me?
If it took less than 30 seconds for that glorious gadget full of pictures, text messages, emails and thousands of apps you rarely use to find its way into the palm of your hand, then the chances are high that you’re on your phone all the time. Don’t worry, friend. We’re all guilty of it!
Did you know that consumers spend an average of four hours a day on their smartphones? FOUR HOURS. And for those who have the latest iPhone update, how does it feel when your phone gives you your weekly usage report?
On Sunday morning, my phone rudely informed me that I spent an average of 3 hours and 47 minutes a day on my device. Cringe. To my defense, with my role as a Recruitment Marketer, part of my job is to manage the AppianLIFE Instagram, so you bet I’m using that as my excuse!
Want to hear another fun stat? Over 84% of organizations are currently utilizing social media for their recruitment process (Postbeyond).
Now, let’s think about that for a moment.
If consumers are on their phones for an average of four hours a day, it should be a no brainer to include social media in your recruitment strategy.
If you aren’t there just yet, no sweat! There’s still time for you to get your brand out there. When you are ready to kick things off, first things first: be sure to have a presence on a variety of social media channels that make the most sense for your employer brand. For example, at Appian, our employer brand AppianLIFE uses the following outlets:
- Facebook: We think of this as Yelp. It’s a way for us to promote blogs, videos and reshare content from our corporate Facebook page.
- Instagram: This outlet has been a great place for organic and topical content. For example, through the story feature, every Tuesday an Appianite takes over the account to show what it’s like to walk in their shoes. Stories have been a great way for candidates to see what it could be like to work on the team they’re most interested in.
- Medium: The AppianLIFE blog has been a great channel for Appianites who love to express who they are and what they do through writing. The blog also helps to showcase the diverse backgrounds and interests amongst our employees, as everyone has a very special and unique story to tell.
- YouTube: Video has been a great way to bring more humanizing content to our employer brand. No paid actors, just real Appianites. We’ve been able to highlight our employees both in the office, and also who they are outside of work through our Out of Office series.
- LinkedIn: Studies show that 92% of people will trust recommendations that they get from friends and family over any other kind of marketing, promotion or advertising (Postbeyond). With that being said, we encourage Appianites to share AppianLIFE content and job openings with their networks via LinkedIn.
Expanding with influencers
Once you build a presence on social, it’s time to expand (because frankly, you can’t do it all yourself!).
Can you think of brand champions within your organization? (You know, those rock stars who refer all of their friends, organically share their experience externally via blog posts or LinkedIn and take pictures in company swag whenever and wherever?)
What do you think would happen if those rock stars multiplied each day, each week or each month? How do you think your recruiting process might improve? Can you picture all of the possibilities?!
Creating a formal program
Building a formal AppianLIFE Influencer Program has been a game-changer for us, and it can be for your organization as well. It all started with carefully pulling a list of Appianites who have been heavily involved in writing blog posts, taking over our Instagram account, referring employees and more. Think of these people as brand champions, but in this case, we call these already influencing Appianites our Founding 40.
To kick off the new program, my boss, Dawn Mitchell, and I invited the Founding 40 to an official launch party where they were the first ones to hear all about our new influencer program. We defined what it meant to be an influencer, how they can contribute, the importance behind the program and what’s in it for them.
The launch opened up a great discussion with the Founding 40 and allowed us to hear their thoughts on how to grow and scale the program. Given their contributions, we gifted them a special AppianLIFE branded Patagonia gym bag filled with the rest of the swag that will be given to future influencers. They approved. 🙂
Days later, Dawn announced the new program at our company quarterly meeting. Near the end of her presentation, she pulled up a slide that had a collage of our Founding 40 wearing their brand new IAM an Influencer t-shirts and asked those that were local to rise. The company began applauding and recognizing their peers. It was a powerful moment. Even greater, was that half of our influencers weren’t local, but were remote or based in our international offices. Talk about expansion #goals!
Scaling our influencer program
Once we had our Founding 40 in place, it was time to start hosting information sessions for other Appianites interested in getting involved.
Thankfully, Appian launched a new Learning Management System (LMS) in 2018. This LMS was the perfect platform for us to use to host our AppianLIFE Influencer 101 trainings. The training, while treated more as an information session, gives employees the full rundown on what it means to be an influencer outside of simply getting involved on social media. After the session, they receive a survey which allows them to provide feedback and officially opt-in to the program if they are interested.
We hosted our very first session right before the end of the year, and had an exciting turn out. Over 22 people attended – 10 of whom were remote! Of those 22 people, 21 opted in to the program. Our next session is scheduled for Friday, January 25th and we have 28 people signed up thus far; 17 attendees are remote.
Shortly after our first information session, one of our newest influencers wrote a blog, signed up to be a new-hire employer brand ambassador, took over the Instagram account AND was involved with our series AppianCUBEZ. In other words, she’s a rockstar.
The thing is: people love to be a part of something great. We as humans thrive in environments filled with camaraderie. I can almost guarantee your employees want to get involved — you just have to show them how.
Whether it’s starting small with just a handful of employees to build an Instagram presence, or scaling a full influencer program, your efforts will help trigger a domino effect and ultimately help improve your recruiting process.
Best of luck, and if you’re running a similar program, I’d love to hear from you!