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I've been using social media to recruit for a long time but only recently came to the realization that it’s not just about updating my status with the hottest open positions. And I wondered why I wasn't getting any response!

If you are using sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to get the word out about your open positions, there is so much more to it than posting jobs. To build an active following, you have to add other content to your posts. This could be highlighting articles that people will find value in, thoughts and tips that will start a conversation or pictures that show the company’s (or your own) personality. It’s also important to interact with your network by starting and participating in conversations. You will really need to set aside time for this. With recruiting, being social isn't just about posting your job and waiting for a response. Think about how you interact with your friends; it’s a two-way street. If you just talk at them about yourself and do not listen at all, you probably won’t have very many friends. If you expect social media to work for you or your business, it’s the same way. After receiving some helpful advise along the way, here are some things that I've learned to be more effective.

Make a plan: Ask yourself what you want to get out of utilizing social media and what your message will be. Based on that, make a plan for how to proceed. If you want to attract new talent to your company, for example, how often will you post open jobs? What types of articles, pictures or other content would be relevant to share? Which sites will you be active on and will the content change based on whether it's Twitter vs LinkedIn? Don’t forget to set aside time to interact with your network as well.

Connect with the right people: After you have a plan, take a look at the people you are connected to and/or following. Are they going to find value in your message? Will they provide you with the valuable content you seek? Spend time to build up that network.

Utilize all of your resources: Set up a Google Reader feed and add sites that will provide you with content. Follow industries and sites through LinkedIn so you will have relevant articles everyday right on your home screen. Scroll through your Twitter feed to see what people in your network are talking about and participate in the conversation.

Follow the data: Make note on a weekly basis of what you posted, what specific content people responded to and how many followers/likes/connections you have. You can look back at this information to see what works (and what doesn't) and tweak your message accordingly.   

Remember that with social media, you’ll get out what you put in.  If you utilize social networking right, you’ll be amazed at what you get out of it!

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