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Express recruits Snapchat to drive job applications among millennials

Express tapped photo-sharing application Snapchat to demonstrate a day in the life of a corporate intern and drive job applications among millennials, a move that could become more popular among other retailers.

The brand, which has been ramping up its focus on Snapchat as of late, posted a public Story this week that showed a short video and photo snippets of its public relations intern?s daily duties. More millennial-favorite retailers may soon jump behind Express and leverage social media to advertise seasonal or corporate positions among their customer bases.

?Any chance to drive engagement and interaction ? whether from the consumer or the employee side ? is now in bounds,? said Steve Rowen, managing partner at RSR Research, Miami. ?It?s a simple case of knowing your audience and getting to them where they are.?

A day-in-the-life POV
Express?s Snapchat Story was able to effectively show the various duties and tasks required of a public relations intern at its New York City studio.

The Story, comprised of more than one minute?s worth of snippets, featured Express?s summer public relations intern Hali taking on a busy day in Manhattan.

Hali was shown walking through the city streets until she arrived at the New York office, where she wrote a note to viewers on the wall of gratitude to welcome them to a day in the life of an Express intern.

Subsequent videos and images, some of which were time-stamped, displayed her steaming clothing in preparation for a shoot, visiting the fashion closet and dropping off samples at Hearst Magazine?s headquarters.

The penultimate posts consisted of Hali updating editorial content, after which the camera zoomed in on a computer to highlight an email address that users could contact for business opportunities.

Social media?s potential
Express?s tactic suggests that other retailers, particularly those geared toward younger demographics, may do well in tapping social media accounts to illustrate job tasks and place calls-to-action for additional applications.

?Social media is the most powerful channel to build personal interest and ultimately persuade action,? said Jordan Slabaugh, vice president of marketing at Wayin, Denver. ?Regardless of a target audience?s generation, job recruitment is a largely untapped - yet relevant - area for brands to focus in social media.

"I foresee an increase in forward-thinking brands leveraging social media activation across channels like Snapchat to drive recruitment. Tactics like those used by Express, or even a company like Lily Transportation, reach their audience in memorable ways, fuel word of mouth and ultimately increase job interest due to the relevancy created by brands within personal social networks.?

Brands may be even better-suited to post on Instagram rather than Snapchat, and offer a direct link to apply in their account profiles.

If retailers are seeking mobile-savvy candidates for open positions, targeting their social media followers is a smart move, as many of them are likely fans of the brand.

Offering a point-of-view glance at a typical day also provides for an organic experience, and may attract job seekers who truly envision themselves completing all of those tasks and have a passion for that line of work.

Express has been tapping its Instagram and Snapchat accounts for marketing efforts much more frequently.

Several days ago, the brand merged digital and traditional advertising methods by building excitement for a new commercial featuring supermodel Karlie Kloss with a rollout on Instagram 24 hours before it hit televisions nationwide (see story).

?It may seem kitschy at first to us old folks, but think about it from the following perspectives,? RSR Research's Mr. Rowen said. ?Someone who?d want to work at Express already lives on their phone. They?re probably already on Snapchat.

?So you?re hitting them where they live,? he said. ?But also remember how nervous many of us were at that age (or even now) about starting something new: a school, a job, whatever it might be.

?These images instantly take away some of the fear of the unknown, and for some candidates it may go so far as to make the job seem fun. No matter what response they illicit, they certainly trigger a memory of seeing someone doing a similar job while that we?ve all had while shopping, and that?s more likely to get a kid to say ?hey,  that?s something I could do.??

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York