I’m close to completing a white paper for TweetMyJobs entitled “What is social recruiting?” It started a white paper but may well end up being an e-book. There is so much to talk about from so many angles. It will be available to download over the next few weeks, and we are scheduling a hangout to talk through what has come out of the research.
The big message though that I keep coming back to is the need for network and engagement to get the best out of your social recruiting efforts.

Whilst there is plenty to be said for building relationships with potential employees through engagement, the big reason for making engagement and network a priority in your efforts is visibility and reach. no matter what angle you take, there’s another reason for growing your network and engaging with your connections.

If we start with Facebook, visibility of your content is dependent on Edgerank. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have, or how many fans you have on your fan page, if there is no interaction then your content is hidden from the streams of most of your connections. You will often hear people spout out that content is king. This is only partially true. Some of the best content on the web gets no recognition or return because very few people get to read it. Not because its not good, but because no one outside of the usual circle of friends get to read it.

Edgerank is the algorithm used by Facebook to determine whose content you see in your stream. That is why the updates you see are from the same people, unless you go searching in the stream, but most people don’t have the time or the inclination to go searching. The way Edgerank works is to rank your connections, and the pages you friend by how much you interact with them. If you think of it on a points system, a comment is worth 3  points, a share 2 points and a like 1 point. Scores decrease according to the age of an interaction, which is why you might see posts from some people for a while before they drop out of view, and only those pages or friends you continue to engage with stay in view. This means that your content needs not only to be good, but also content that elicits a reaction. If your working with brand advocates then you need to get them liking and commenting on the content posted to keep it visible to them.

LinkedIn are applying a similar algorithm to determine the updates that appear at the top of your stream. Updates are selected for you to see according to what is trending in your network. Trends are calculated each hour according to interactions, likes,shares and comments the same as Edgerank. The same ranking applies for what you see when you log in to a group. If people aren’t interacting then your content gets hidden from view.

Interactions are also important for Google juice. The more your content gets shared and actioned by way of likes and comments, the higher the Google ranking. The Google algorithm also promotes content according to your location, and what is getting shared, liked and commented on by your network. your social footprint influences your Google ranking, and your network determines who gets to see it.

This is the other key element of success, your active network. Not in terms of numbers but in terms of relevant audience and interactions. Only by continuing to grow and engage with your network will you achieve visibility, and it is visible content that is king, whatever the channel.