Mastering Machines: Writing Automated Social Media Job Ads

I started my first social media job in 2008. At the time, there was a lot of allure to the channel. It was apparent why to any marketer. These seemingly unknown brands were creating massive, active, and responsive communities overnight, while big brands spent years building smaller lists. Even creative social media job ads were getting attention

Overnight, stories were “going viral.” Media impression goals that took six weeks were hit in 6 hours. Sometimes, just 6 minutes. It was easy to buy into that potential, especially at the incredible cost of “free” in the middle of a massive recession. 

I can’t think of an industry that wasn’t idolizing the companies and campaigns going viral. Everyone wanted to master their message and strategy at the time. It was almost disgusting how many times I heard the words, “I want to go viral.” That’s a nasty phrase anyway. 

For HR and recruiting, that meant they wanted social media job ads to go viral. Then, they posted this. 

Hot Job! Accountant at Bank, Chevy Chase, Maryland LINK THAT USUALLY DIDN’T WORK #ILoveOrange

If you know me, you can imagine the face I’m making. Hot job? This is not a pizza, it’s a job ad. Also, who would ever search the hashtag #ILoveOrange? 8-year-olds and people who already work for you.  

Fast-forward 12 years, and the reality is that most automated job ads haven’t improved since 2008. Maybe fewer are posted with that “hot job” crap, but those useless hashtags and broken links haven’t evolved with user expectations. 

Candidates use social media every day, and they’re more active than your brands will ever be. The majority of your candidate audience sees over 3000 messages per day, has three or more social profiles, and logs in to all of them every day. Yet still, most career content reads like a bad pitch or a bot manufacturing links. 

Now is when most practitioners say, “but I’m too busy!” 

I hear you. I’m not saying you have to type every single tweet. I’m saying we need to upgrade templates and take more than two minutes before hitting send. 

How To Write A better automated social media Job Ad to promote jobs

Let me be clear. You’re not going viral with some automated job tweet. That’s not the goal. Your goal is to, first, be found by the qualified candidates on that channel. Then, convince that person to click. 

How do you do that in an automated social media job ad? Follow these guidelines. 

  • Train hiring managers. Nothing you post from some careers account is going to get better results than hiring manager content. Hire someone like me to teach them how to be more comfortable writing and sharing jobs. That way, they can write a series of posts you can automate that are relevant to their audience.
  • Lead with the job title, not location. Job titles are deal-breakers, location typically isn’t. 
  • Deliver the DL on deal-breakers. Are the shifts unique? The location? What’s absolute, 100% non-negotiable? Say that always.
  • Consider your audience. What keywords and hashtags do they follow? I guarantee using one of those will be more effective than the corporate hashtag even your communications team doesn’t know about.  
  • Track and tailor. Look, this content isn’t one-size-fits-all. Test different personalization fields (Name, location, title, etc.) and see what works best. Look for broad and role level-trends. 
  • Incorporate media on your job postings. There’s more to put in the automated social post if you have media on your page. A great job posting helps, too. Remember – they’re not watching any videos if your job posting is awful. (I can teach you how to write a job post here.)

Here’s what that looks like in practice. 

I’m hiring a JOB TITLE. This team is special. Meet them and see why in a video on the JOB TITLE posting here: 

The 3rd shift JOB TITLEs have one thing in common… 

No, it’s not the pinnacle of creativity. It doesn’t have to be. The job ad needs to create allure and connection, not conversion with every click.