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MANAGE YOUR MESSAGE: Social Media Recruitment Tips

by GUEST BLOGGER, Evan Lian [Evan is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University, and a member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity]

Social media is a great supplementary tool for recruitment but its purpose tends to be misunderstood, especially from an organizational standpoint.  Businesses and celebrities use Twitter and Facebook as a marketing tool: to build an audience and maximize outreach.  As a socially excellent recruiter, however, your job is to build a RELATIONSHIP.  The average social media user isn’t trying to amass the most Facebook friends or Twitter followers, they’re simply sharing with friends, and your chapter’s social media profiles should be treated the same.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Professionalism is important on social media platforms, but don’t be afraid to give your chapter some personality. Engage your followers and friends through likes, retweets, replies and favorites. Don’t become the chapter that only posts on holidays (I’m guilty of this at times).

2. When taking pictures, consider that potential new members won’t know or necessarily care WHO is in the pictures. They are interested in what it is you DO.  Rather than just posing for a group picture with your letters at the end of an event, take photos while it’s going on. Show your members doing community service, talking to other students, laughing together, etc. Candid photos are what make tabloids thrive (but in our case, we want them to be at least somewhat flattering).  Don’t be the chapter that only takes selfies.

3. Speaking of pictures, it’s 2014. Film is more than a century old! Now, a majority of students have powerful, HD-capable video cameras right in their pockets. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so just imagine the power of 24,000 words per second (that’s a film joke, get it?)! You can tell a lot more of your chapter’s story with a minute of video clips than you can with a minute of pictures.

4. SHOW, don’t TELL.  One of the things I dread the most in recruitment videos are the snooze-inducing interviews that make up some of them.  We live in the age of the internet. Attention spans are shorter than ever, case in point: Vine. Unless you are a phenomenal public speaker or storyteller, on-camera interviews are an easy way to bore people.  Use your time wisely, show a clip of your lip-sync dance or that crazy water-balloon social you had two weeks ago instead of giving the same textbook answers they hear from every other recruitment video.

Remember that your job is to continue building a relationship, not to start one from scratch. Your chapter’s social media isn’t going to Catfish potential new members into joining, but it can give them more insight into what your chapter is about.