Chances are, regardless of where you work, that a decent number of your employees are on Instagram. After all, Instagram was the fastest growing social network among U.S. adults last year and boasts more than 300M users, so its path to ubiquity seems unstoppable. At HubSpot, we are an inbound marketing software company, so it’s no surprise that we use Instagram. What was a surprise to us, however, was how useful it has been in building our external employment brand.
Below is a summary of what Jess Webb on our marketing team and Melissa Obleada from our culture team did to make HubSpot’s Instagram a star player in our employee engagement and recruiting branding efforts. Additionally, here are some tips for your company to better use Instagram to build your employer brand:
1. Be relevant. One of our goals at HubSpot is to build the most inclusive work environment possible, and doing so means attracting talent as diverse as the customer base we serve on a daily basis. When the United States Supreme Court announced its ruling on gay marriage in June, there was a groundswell of excitement from employees and a keen interest to share our excitement with the world.
The post (crafted by one of our talented in-house designer with crowdsourced copywriting help from the team) ended up being the Instagram post with our highest engagement all year was successful because it was highly relevant and fit with our broader commitment to employee inclusion, ditto with this post for the #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign.
When something happens that excites and energizes your core audience (employees, customers, partners, or prospects), follow the lead of The Gap and Starbucks and don’t wait. Instagram is aptly named for its commitment to urgency and time relevance, so jump right in and get conversation started.
2. Hand over the reins. We have over 1000 employees at HubSpot in four office locations around the world, so Instagram is one vehicle our team members use to connect with each other outside of work. In addition to their skills at work, it turns out many of our employees are avid Instagrammers, so rather than keep all the fun within the marketing and culture teams, we started the #HubSpotEmployeeTakeover, allowing one employee each week to post photos of their daily life and work.
So far, we’ve featured our company logo made out of dumplings created by one of our engineers, a 15 second tour of our Portsmouth office, and a photo of our Pushup Club in Dublin dropping to give us twenty mid-office. Equally as important, we’ve engaged more employees in following and commenting on Instagram posts, which has resulted in some great connections between our global offices. Often, the best content comes from crowdsourcing instead of trying to exert control, as some fantastic posts from Reebok employees and Bryant Park, both of whom let their team members go to town with posts that performed well and reflected their brands in a professional yet personal matter.
At the end of the day, people want to work with and do business with companies with a personality, so letting your employees show off their day to day life and work is a great way to connect with your audiences and keep your content fresh.
3. When in doubt, choose children or puppies. It is a true universally accepted that social media favors small children and four-legged friends, and Instagram is no exception. Some of our most popular posts have captured dogs visiting our office (complete with their own Instagram handles, naturally) and our employees hosting their children at HubSpot’s Take Your Child to Work Day. Marriott showcased kids giving back alongside their parents at a Seoul-based community event, while Glassdoor (well-known for its commitment to dog-friendliness) got in on the action with a portrait of a pet hard at rest in their offices.
Regardless of your industry or office location, the reasons employees choose to join your company is personal. Maybe they work to support their family, to set a good example for their kids, to pay for care for their four-legged friend, or to put enough money away to consider a house or pet at some point down the line. Whatever the reasons your employees work for you, highlighting the personal angle can go a long way to showing people what makes your organization and the people that comprise your team so special.
HubSpot’s employment brand
I think about our employment brand as both the narrative we tell the world about working here and the stories our employees share with their friends, loved ones, and the world through their own conversations and day to day lives. We make use of traditional mechanisms for telling our employment brand story, including our careers site, but social platforms like Instagram provide options that are highly relevant not just to how employees work, but also to how they live, creating a personal connection that is often evasive on more traditional marketing channels.
Your customers and employees want to work with and for people they connect with, and Instagram provides a snapshot (pun intended) of the things that matter most to your organization, an important and highly visual component of the story you don’t tell candidates.