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Best Practices: U.S. Army using MySpace to recruit soldiers

By: Michael O’Dell

In the world of social media recruiting, you hear a lot about the big three recruiting tools. These three are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Often times, MySpace is completely overlooked as a source of recruitment leads. Many recruiters say the MySpace demographic is less professional. They say the medium is “too messy” to make a positive impact on their recruitment efforts.

Well, that may all be true. In the past two years MySpace has fallen from its leadership position in social friendship business to Facebook. Facebook with over 350 million active users has put a lot of concrete between themselves and MySpace.

One organization stands out in the crowd though. The United States Army gives us arguably the most impressive social media recruitment outpost on the web. With almost 95,000 ‘friends’ the Army has a recruitment tool that most organizations can only dream of. The page can be found at MySpace.com/Army.

So, let’s talk best practices. What does the Army’s MySpace page do that stands out?

1. Design – The Army has replicated its well-known recruitment brand and messages on the MySpace platform. This can be a difficult task if you choose too many social media tools as the tools vary in how much you can change the look and feel. Army has a well thought out layout that is engaging, but not over done.

2. Diversity – Diversity is a big deal within armed forces recruitment. The Army has done a really good job making sure that all the page’s visitors feel represented. Taking that one step further, a quick glance at the page’s friends will show a highly diverse group of individuals.

3. Multimedia tools – Engagement is key to a page like this. The Army has done a great job using several multimedia tools to get its message out. The page features more videos than you can count, a place to download images and wallpaper, and a virtual tour guide names Sergeant Star.

As of today, the Army is the only branch of the armed forces to use MySpace as a real recruiting tool. I’m sure that the rest of the military branches are in the process of catching up. Those of us that work in corporate recruiting can learn from Army’s MySpace page too. Here are a couple of thoughts:

– In choosing a social media tool to recruit, use the one that engages your target demographic best.

– Don’t do it half way. There are a lot of valiant recruiting efforts on sites like MySpace and Facebook that get no traffic …and
that’s a good thing. Some recruiting pages are so lacking in strategy and attention that they hurt the organization’s recruiting efforts instead of helping them.

– Design is key in candidate attraction, but don’t forget about engagement. What makes a page’s fan want to come back to your recruitment fan page after they friend your organization.

– Two way communications is a must. Job seekers view social media outposts as a place where they can get attention from a hiring organization. Users expect to be able to have one-to-one communication with a brand using social media. This is a very different set of expectations than when this same job seeker visits your website or career page. Different tools require different behaviors.

Source : http://socialmediarecruitment.com/blog/2010/01/23/best-practices-u-s-army-using-myspace-to-recruit-soldiers/

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Pretty slick and important. Was on a flight about a month ago next to a solider and was talking about social networks and she said all her friends still use MySpace (although she did say some going to FB)…important to know our biases.

Donita Prakash

Kudos to the Army who is really innovating in use of new approaches to recruit. Our firm, Acumen Solutions, has worked with the Army to pilot the Army Experience Center which is another innovation in recruiting candidates. The support system is a great use of cloud computing. Check out a video of both the center and more details about the system here….http://www.acumensolutions.com/armyrecruitingapp.asp