The main focus of Dell’s early employment branding strategy was to be visible where candidates were spending most of their time – on social media. However, there was no real approach to our content strategy on social. We simply followed a post and pray model to increase brand awareness, where we posted pictures that we thought were globally relevant and prayed that we’d reach candidates in all markets to join Dell.
As social media evolved, so did our approach to Dell’s online presence. We created a content strategy aligned to Dell’s talent acquisition objectives and our employee value proposition (EVP) to attract candidates. While aligned to our EVP, the content we were sharing was a one size fits all approach across our followers, and over time, we realized that it was not driving engagement or converting followers into applicants.
WHY WE DID IT
After two years of implementing our global content strategy, requests from local leaders to boost brand awareness in their markets began to grow. However, we only had one Employment Brand and Social Media lead, Dalhia Rodriguez, covering the entire Western hemisphere. In order to scale the reach of Dell’s employment brand, we needed to leverage resources in our core markets to create localized content that resonated with followers to drive conversion.
WHAT WE DID
In order to attract and convert candidates in Dell’s Brazilian market, we piloted a local content strategy in Latin America (LATAM) that mirrored our global content strategy, where we “glocalized” content and empowered social media leads in each country to “tropicalize” (our slang word for adding latin flavor) the content and create rich posts that would position Dell as a great place to work in their specific market.
HOW WE DID IT
At Dell, we believe that managing our employer brand on social media has a significant impact on our ability to attract and hire top talent, but we have historically under-invested on social because the ROI is hard to measure. Due to our limited budget, we had to rely on our existing team members to close the gap and help grow Dell’s brand in their particular markets.
We first garnered the support from LATAM’s Talent Acquisition Director, Amanda Spurlock, and she agreed to provide local interns for each of our main markets (Mexico, Panama, and Brazil) who, in addition to their recruiting responsibilities, could dedicate at least 25% - 50% of their time on social media. Once we had a commitment of people resources, we trained them on Dell’s employment value proposition, brand guidelines, and overall content strategy. We provided access to Sprinklr, a social media management platform, and Photoshop for the interns to be able to create and publish content that attracted talent. We also stood up sister Twitter accounts such as @DellPanama and @CarreiraDell and geo-targeted the content on our Careers at Dell Facebook in their native language for those countries.
With a local content strategy, our followers in key markets now receive content that is relevant to them in their local language, culture, and values, to create a deeper (but more locally relatable/relevant) connection to our employment brand.
For example, local Brazilian labor law requires companies with at least 100 employees to enter into employment agreements with people with disabilities. Now, with the support of our local social media resource in Brazil, we’re able to create targeted posts and boost awareness of Dell specifically for this demographic, an option that wasn’t attainable with much consistency before our localized content strategy was in place. We even identified a Brand Ambassador within our True Ability employee resource group that passionately shared his experience working with Dell in sign language. This was quite compelling because not only did we align with local recruiting objectives, but we showcased the company's overall commitment to an inclusive work environment.
Our localized strategy is primarily based on Facebook because of the available geo-targeting feature. Below is an example of an organic post created by one of our local interns. Through advanced targeting on Facebook, we were able to reach over 33k people, compared to a typical post where we on average only reach between ~5-10k of our total global audience of 620k when we don’t target.
Another example is from our University Relations team in Brazil, who created a video showcasing our engaging work culture and targeted interns specifically in their market. With that post, we were able to reach 274k people organically via our Careers at Dell Facebook (as shown below) and attracted over 700 students by using the Avature link as the call to action.
A key element of the local content strategy is to consistently measure all of our posts to know the effectiveness of the strategy. For every post created, we use the same call-to-action (CTA), directing those who clicked to jobs.dell.com/brazil link to search Dell’s opportunities in Brazil. In addition, for every post that promoted a local event, we insert the specific link tied to our Candidate Relationship Management tool, Avature.
When we analyzed the results, we found that our CTAs on our localized social posts resulted in a 1,661% increase in traffic to Brazil's job page (jobs.dell.com/brazil) compared to the year before.
To test the effectiveness of our local strategy, we targeted the same content to our Brazil audience as shown in Exhibit A and to our global audience as shown in Exhibit B below. The post targeted to our Brazil audience of roughly 20k people had a higher reach and engagement rate than the post that had visibility to our global audience composed of over half a million people.
Furthermore, we analyzed our posts targeting Millennials and women globally vs posts targeting the same demographic specifically for our Brazil audience and found some compelling numbers:
- 145 posts were created towards our Millennial audience while 54 were specifically created for Brazil.
- Posts targeting our Brazil audience got more engagement when compared against posts opened to our global audience.
- In Exhibit A below you'll see that the top 3 posts were those targeting our existing Brazil audience.
- 32 pieces of content were geared towards women both locally and globally and the top two posts with the highest level of engagement were those from Brazil, as shown in Exhibit B below.
In addition, when we measure our other campaigns that make up our core content strategy -- Diversity and Work Culture -- the posts tied to the local content strategy consistently continue to be our top posts quarter over quarter.
Attracted Top Talent in Local Markets
We realized that by conveying the work culture in our key markets in the local language, we were able to effectively compete for talent within that market, instead of posting content globally in hopes that it would resonate and attract candidates in all markets. Roughly three months after implementing the strategic localized approach, we began to see our followers convert into applicants.
- Source of hire for Social Media increased from 3% to 8% in LATAM since the implementation of the strategy.
- We had over +1,500 college students opt into Avature from July to December 2017
- Engagement on Facebook for our posts targeting Brazil doubled from 6.5k to 12.6k engagements once we started being purposeful with our content
Total followers is no longer used as a sole indicator to measure our brand's success. As our content strategy has evolved we have begun to put a higher weight of success on post engagement.
For example, 50 percent of the followers of our Careers at Dell Facebook page are from Egypt and India (as shown below). Based on the size of these audiences we assumed that they would be the most engaged with our content but instead, our most-engaged fans on our Facebook page this year have been our audience from Brazil, which accounts for only 3% of our followers. We attribute this engagement directly to having a local resource in that market focused on consistently curating, creating and posting quality content in Portuguese 3-4 times a week.
Easier to Measure Your Brand
Through our localized approach, we have also been able to better track the ROI of our social efforts.
- From July 2017 to December 2017, we have seen a 407% increase in page views and 439% increase in unique views for Brazil’s career landing page, which is more traffic than our bigger markets such as India, Ireland, and the United States!
- By incorporating Avature links in our local content strategy in Brazil, we have been able to capture over 1,500 warm leads into our Talent Community.
WHAT WE MISSED
While we have experienced a lot of success in our localized content strategy, there a few areas that we still can improve on:
Interns are short-term: The duration of LATAM internships last on an average of six months to a year so ramping up new interns makes it challenging to grow our followership in countries that experience various handoffs in responsibility.
Measurement of same links is key to show ROI of strategy: Initially, we would use different links to all of our posts making it difficult to measure over time the effectiveness of our posts. Once we simplified the process of just measuring two links, we were able to measure over time the ROI of our branding efforts.
Authenticity instead of stock photography: To get the strategy started, we would initially use stock photography as a way to make the posts aesthetically appealing but as we started incorporating videos and real pictures of our team members, we started to see an uptick in the level of engagement.
Talent is getting harder to find and differentiating your brand from the competition is crucial for candidate attraction. Implementing a local content strategy drives deeper engagement with your followers and increases conversion of those followers into applicants. With the success of our localized strategy in LATAM, we have begun to implement a similar strategy for the United States and Canada.
Sprinklr, Avature, Photoshop, Facebook, Twitter