Why State Farm is a Social Media Superstar

As many of you know from my speaking engagements around the country, I like to discover brands that are using social media in innovative ways. I honor these organizations with the name “SoMe Superstars.” Recent winners include PepsiCo and Moleskine.

Today I’d like to recognize a company that’s using social media for recruiting: State Farm. I like how the insurance company recently rebranded with its clever “Magic Jingle” commercials, alongside funny ads featuring everything from falcons to giant robots. But the company has continued its transformation with a big push in social media and interactivity as well. Here are the three superstar ways that State Farm engages job applicants:

First, State Farm has a dedicated careers Facebook Page with more than 16,000 Likes, featuring lots of interesting content from both the corporate communications department and individual agents. Responses to questions and grievances usually come within 24 hours. The page’s admins go beyond typical stories of disaster recovery to include posts that are useful to job-seekers, such as asking “What’s the strangest thing you ever sent a recruiter?” and giving “Tips for networking at holiday parties.” This makes the Page a destination for anyone looking for employment, even outside the insurance field.

Second, the State Farm careers site includes eight videos under the title “See For Yourself.” These feature testimonials from agents and employees and great photography of the State Farm headquarters. The company offers a section called “Meet Our Interns,” with videos, written interviews, and “Advice and Guidance from Real Interns.” This is a powerful way to reach out to young people by providing content that’s educational but also fun. It also shows an awareness that Millenials would rather watch a video than read a long corporate mission statement.

 

Third, State Farm offers a unique interactive website, exploresfagency.com, which the company calls a “virtual job tryout with real-world scenarios.” Job-seekers are put in situations faced by real insurance agents, from marketing a new office and handling staff to dealing with customer complaints. There are no wrong answers; users simply pick the action they’d most likely take, and the one they’d least likely take, from four options. State Farm then evaluates what sort of agent they’d be. It’s a job preview unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Finally, these career sites add to the overall State Farm online presence, which includes branded accounts on YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr – and an interesting Facebook Page called State Farm Nation, “where fans can get helpful tips, be inspired, and have fun connecting with others.” That Page has more than 1.3 million Likes.

What can you learn from State Farm? First, set up a dedicated careers site, preferably accompanied by a careers Facebook Page and Twitter profile. Then post content that’s useful to anyone looking for employment, not just posts about how great your organization is. Offer photos and videos, showing job-seekers what your office looks like and what your employees love about working there. And, if you really want to stand out, invest in something unique like State Farm Nation on Facebook or the revolutionary “Day in the Life” interactive site.

For communicating with talent in smart, fun, and interactive ways, I name State Farm Insurance a SoMe Superstar!

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