Adestra featured in our blog post all those months ago and we're excited at the chance for them to help us out with a new one! So read the blog, follow them, and be inspired.
Based in Oxford with offices in Australia and the US too, Adestra provide email-driven technology to help empower clients and maximise their marketing ROI. We were lucky enough to be given the chance to interview Ellie, HR Advisor at Adestra, to find out about her strategy with social media for Employer Branding and see how they've become successful at using it to tell their story.
So low and behold, we welcome you to our first guest blog between Becky (our Marketing & Events Exec) and Ellie…
Becky: When did you/Adestra decide you wanted to start telling your story online? What was it that made you think "yes, this is a good idea!"?
Ellie: When I joined, we were planning to recruit a lot of roles over the next few years to support our global growth, so this was a natural progression to strategically support that goal for the business and to grow our presence online as an employer. And it came at the right time for us too, as Adestra had always done a few things online, but when I started about a year ago I realised we didn't really have a presence on Glassdoor. So that really kicked off the Employer Branding project.
Ellie: Also, when I applied to start working at Adestra, I searched their Twitter page and noticed they didn't have much posted about the things going on around the office. They had some posts like Christmas Jumper Day but it was predominantly used for business related content for our clients. So that inspired me to start Life at Adestra on Twitter, to make sure we had a more personal account and to show people what it's like to work with us. It also
ties in nicely with the charity stuff we do.
Becky: Now, you've mentioned Twitter but do you use any other sites?
Ellie: We currently use LinkedIn but I use this more directly for posting job vacancies, because I've built up a network of people on there who may find these posts more relevant. I use it less often for employer branding, as people look to Twitter more for those sorts of posts. We will post about our charities on there and some pictures of our staff days out but it is really used for industry news and job postings.
Becky: And what about Facebook?
Ellie: We do use Facebook as well, as our following is increasing, but we predominantly use Twitter as our source for all things 'Life at Adestra'.
Becky: Is it just you that uses social media to build your brand or is there a team of you that do it?
Ellie: At the moment it's me and one other person, as it's still small, but we'll get more people involved around the business, who will then use their initials at the end of their tweets. That will help us show it's not just one point of view being posted. We now have our global offices involved too, but originally we wanted to see how it went with the UK first to ensure we built up a good rapport, which we feel we have now.
Becky: So now we know a bit more about how you started Life at Adestra, what are you aiming to achieve by telling your Organisation's story?
Ellie: We have a few things we've been aiming to achieve which are:
- Celebrating the success of employees by giving them recognition outside of the office.
- Being a recruiter; there is a recruitment benefit and we want to shout about what it's like to work here, to show people we like to have fun alongside hard work.
- To get our name out there in the local community, as we want to increase our growing presence and raise even more awareness about Adestra as a great place to work. Really it's only people in marketing who know about us but we're slowly growing our name in our area now.
Becky: You seem quite advanced with what you do online, has that come from specific training or has it come from a lot of practice and analysing what works best for you?
Ellie: I never went on any specific training or events to be honest, I just made sure I conducted research. I use social media myself so I know what posts will have a better impact as I think of the type I like to see myself and incorporate that into them. I also use LinkedIn a lot personally, so I've built a large network on there which helps my posts get seen by more people.
Becky: You've mentioned research, was that just basic research - like a quick search online - or did you undertake a lot of advanced planning to decide what to look for?
Ellie: My research was definitely more advanced planning. I had a look around twitter accounts to see what a few of the local businesses were doing online and I liked what they were posting. We based what we were doing on the ones that we saw, but really we just wanted to have a look to see if there was anything out there that would work best for us. When I finished my planning I decided to put some parameters in place for what would be posted and what wouldn't, and now we're looking at things we can post in the future.
Becky: So after all of your planning, when you started posting online was there anything that surprised you at all?
Ellie: I was very surprised at how quickly people found the page, especially in the business. I didn't tell anyone about it in the beginning, as I wanted to see how it went first and wanted to find my voice on there before sharing it around. But my colleagues, people in the local area and other companies started to find Adestra online and began retweeting things before I told them about it. That's something I found really positive.
Becky: And with more people finding you online has that caused an influx in applicants?
Ellie: It's actually encouraging how many people have mentioned in their interviews that they've seen us online, so it's definitely had a positive impact. We also have our LinkedIn mentioned a lot as well and I've noticed there's been more people applying through LinkedIn because they've seen what it's like to work for us on other sites.
Becky: Have you faced any challenges since you started posting your Employer Brand online at all?
Ellie: Yes, I think everything comes with its challenges. For example, with Glassdoor we need to make sure that we respond to reviews regardless of whether they're positive or negative and we need to make sure we do it in a positive way as well. We are keen to be transparent, which is one of our company values, so we want to make sure we build a good reputation online. We believe that all starts with how we respond to comments about us.
Ellie: But also having a consistent voice has been a bit of a challenge too, as we need to be considerate of what our marketing team and the board of the company want posted as well. We want to set the right tone for the company and its name, so need to make sure we're not posting anything that could damage our reputation. One of the main challenges we have faced however is making sure that people in the office want to be involved. If we take a picture of someone we need to make sure they're aware that we are and where it'll be posted.
Becky: And are there any important lessons you've learned since you started updating your social media profiles?
Ellie: Yes, so with Glassdoor we learned that the best way to get employees involved with writing reviews was to tell them a bit more about Glassdoor and what it was. We found it good to stand in front of our colleagues and ask them to review us in one of our quarterly business reviews, and as can be seen from our Glassdoor page, we've had some great feedback.
Ellie: Another lesson I've learned in particular is that scheduling posts is really handy. Making a plan for our posts and matching them with events and activities coming up in the business has helped us be consistent. I am able to search through our company's calendar to see what's happening around the business and then schedule the posts in Hootsuite.
Becky: So as you use scheduling platforms for your posts, do you analyse how successful your posts are through those?
Ellie: I don't analyse our posts on Hootsuite but I do use Twitter Analytics to see how well our posts do. More than anything though, I usually look to see what posts are more interactive by scrolling through our page. This helps to let me know what type of posts I should upload more of and what ones don't really do that well.
Advice for other companies
Becky: Well thank you for your time today Ellie, it has been really great getting to know you and Life at Adestra. At EasyWeb we do a lot of training on Employer Branding and help provide advice for other companies who are looking to start or who have recently started telling their story.
Do you have any advice for companies just starting out?
Ellie: In regards to advice, I'd have to say that:
- It's really important to schedule posts, as it'll stop you from spending more time than necessary on updating your social media pages. In the beginning you could have loads to post about your company, but then once you've posted it all you'll be in a bit of a lull and may not have anything upcoming anytime soon.
- Asking people to post a review online is really important too. Glassdoor is becoming more and more important during the job search process for candidates, so making sure you have a presence and are an engaged employer on there will do wonders for your applications. It's also important to respond to employees so you can ensure them that they are listened to.
- Lastly, if you're planning on having more than one person post on your page, it's important to speak with each other so that you know what each other are posting to help consistency.
To sum it all up, Adestra really are doing wonders in getting their story told online. We hope you take away some great tips from this interview and have been inspired to get yourselves online too. If you are inspired to start telling your story from reading this blog and our previous post, click here to see the free webinars we run on this subject.
Also, keep an eye out next week for our second interview post with Dennis Publishing.
Written by Becky Cellupica, Marketing & Events Executive