How to choose a social media platform

Social media platforms massively changed how people connect and share. In June 2017, Facebook announced that there are 2 billion registered users.  Worldwide, there are 7.5 billion people.  Approximately 27% of the human population is on Facebook.  Across all social media platforms, there are 2.8 billion users.  That’s 37% of the human population on social media. In the United States, 83% of Americans have at least one social media account.
Given these numbers, healthcare organizations of all sizes should use social media as part of a strategic recruitment plan.  Before moving forward, organizations should consider certain factors when identifying what role social media will play in recruiting efforts.

Platform Choice
There are dozens of options for social media platforms. Before deciding, leaders should research the benefits and drawbacks of each.  Organizations should also consider how they will use social media in their recruiting efforts.  These answers will help drive the decision making around platform choice.
Facebook has the most users, and it offers powerful targeting options.  Many organizations enjoy the ability to target certain audiences with their Facebook ads.  The platform recently started offering Facebook Jobs.  Since it is still new, many organizations (and candidates) haven’t fully embraced it yet.
As the most popular professional social media platform, LinkedIn is used by many healthcare recruiters.  When users are on LinkedIn, they are usually seeking to connect professionally.  Although smaller than Facebook, LinkedIn has an audience of over 500 million users.
Choosing a social media platform will naturally limit the available audience.

Users Location
Location does not matter if an organization aims to increase their number of followers.  Although many marketers consider follower count to be a vanity metric, there are still some organizations who want to have a lot of followers.  Instead organizations should work to engage with their followers. A highly engaged smaller audience can be more powerful than a large disengaged audience.
Generally, healthcare organizations will want to build an audience that includes a large number of people from their local region.  Most jobs in healthcare require employees to be on site.  By building a local audience, recruiters can more effectively use social media to target candidates who are in their local area.
Although an organization will want to have a mostly local audience, out of area visitors can provide an important resource.  Perhaps these people used to live in the area, and still support the organization.  People in this group could also share information and refer people (and qualified candidates) to the organizations.


Resources
Statista. Most Famous Social Network Sites Worldwide as of April 2017, Ranked by Number of Active Users (in Millions.) https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/  Accessed June 26, 2017.
Walters, Kendall. 125+ Essential Social Media Statistics Every Marketer Should Know, Hootsuite, 30 November 2016. https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statistics-for-social-media-managers/. Accessed June 26, 2017.