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In my last post, I discussed how social media can be used to identify, engage with and hire talent. But another important aspect of social media recruiting is growing your presence once you get online. Like everything else, your social media presence needs an accelerator or advocate to help it grow. And lucky for you, the best resource you have to take your social media recruiting to the next level sits right in front of you (or at least in the same building): your employees.

Your employees play a huge part in the success of your social recruiting activities. We know that employee referrals are the top source of hires for companies. With the average person belonging to five social networks, employees can also play a part in helping social media become an effective recruiting channel for your company.

Sometimes it takes a little nudge to get them started, but with some support and recognition your employees can become an integral part of your social referral network. Here's how:

1) Provide Guidelines

Most employees are willing to share information about their company via social media, but don't take action because they aren't sure what they can post without getting in trouble. Put a social media policy in place to give your employees some direction. This also provides your company protection in the event that an employee misuses your social media channels. Here are two great examples of guideline documents that you can use from Intel and IBM.

2) Build a Content Library

A common complaint I hear when I speak to employees is that they don't have time to create original content, but are happy to share something previously provided. Create an easily accessible content library of "approved" content in different formats that employees can share and modify as needed.

3) Provide Training

Provide training workshops to help your employees make the most of their mobile devices from a content creation perspective. Videos and images are particularly powerful ways to bring your employer brand to life, and recent advances in mobile technology and social apps enable anyone to become photographers and videographers.

4) Equip Them

Give your employees access to social media tools and platforms they can use to create and share content. This may be as simple as allowing Facebook at work, or giving a volunteer control of your Twitter account for a day. Providing collaboration tools like Slack or Google Drive, where employees can share and discuss their ideas with colleagues, can also be helpful.

5) Feedback

Keep your employees informed about the success of the content they create and share on social media to actively encourage further participation. Simply adding tracking codes to posts will allow you to track the success of certain posts and share results with your employees for more effective posts down the line.

Internal social media advocates can bring your employer brand and digital recruitment to life. Make sure you show recognition and appreciation to the employees that go out of their way to act as powerful brand advocates, and provide encouragement to other employees to start creating and sharing content with their networks.

Photo: Twenty20