Attracting top talent to your company is one of the most difficult tasks facing any owner, recruiter or business manager. The success of your business is largely determined by the quality and character of your employees, so this is a top priority.

You already know that social media is necessary for attracting new customers, but did you know that it can be just as effective at attracting new employees? It’s true, especially when it comes to younger candidates in the 18-40 age range.

Here are three tips you need to put into practice to recruit some of the best people in your industry using social media.

1. Create a Real Social Recruitment Strategy

Newsflash: spam posting job ads on LinkedIn and Craigslist like it’s 2007 is not a legit recruiting strategy.

Yes, you will be posting about employment opportunities, but you should mix up your content as well. You’ll need to understand each platform and its user demographics when creating content with which to promote your company.

Approach social recruiting much like you would social media marketing and content marketing. You’re not selling products and services, but you are definitely selling something.

You’re selling your brand itself.

So mix up your content to include announcements and events along with job ads. Include branding elements as well, because you’re trying to present your company in the best light possible. Think like a marketer.

Today’s job candidates are more selective than ever. They want to work for a company that they trust, one which is making a positive impact in its community and which has a culture that is a good fit for them. So if you begin seeing yourself as something of a brand ambassador, then you’re on the right track.

You’re social sourcing strategy will need to identify who your ideal candidates are, along with the different social platforms on which they can be found. As an example, it’s well-known that most recruiters choose LinkedIn as their primary social platform for seeking out job candidates, yet data shows that job seekers are actually more open to job opportunities on Facebook than other platforms.

Keep in mind that since you are reaching out to find candidates, many of them will be passive at first. They might already be employed and might not be actively looking for a job. So you will need to spend time building relationships and networking. This will be a long-term game, but if you are able to

2. Tailor Your Message and Content to Each Platform

While there are similarities between many social media channels, the truth is that each one of them is unique. This is true not only in terms of content formatting and features — but also in regards to the audiences who use the platform most often.

If you are looking to hire an experienced distribution manager with decades of experience and connections throughout the Midwest, for example, you won’t likely find him on Snapchat. But Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter might be a good bet. Or if you’re looking for a young media manager to bring you up to speed with the latest in digital advertising, you should probably start sifting through relevant hashtags on Instagram.

Now as for content, you want to get creative here. As mentioned, it’s not just about posting job ads. Those will work well for candidates who are actively on the hunt for a new job, but some of your ideal candidates aren’t ready to send you their resume. They might be interested in a new job, but they might not have a clue about your company or what it’s like to work there.

So show them.

Some of the most effective pieces of content right now are stories — not just personal stories of individuals, but branded stories too. A potential job candidate might respond well to day-in-the-life types of content. Authentic glimpses into what it’s like to work in your company at different positions and locations can really warm up a lead to the possibility of working for you. These videos, photos and essays from and about real employees can help them picture themselves doing the job. That’s a powerful way to connect with future hires.

3. Make Applying Easy for Candidates Using Mobile Devices

Locating qualified job candidates, connecting with them and convincing them to apply to work at your company is your primary function, but your job doesn’t just stop there. It’s not a victory just yet. Handing off these leads to HR is one link in the chain where failure often occurs.

It makes no sense to use social media to recruit tech-savvy applicants, only to have them fumble through a clunky website application that has them pinching and zooming til their fingers bleed. You found them through their phones. Now let them apply for the job through their phones too.

A recent poll found that 78 percent of job applicants would prefer to apply using their phone or tablet — and that study was conducted a few years ago. The numbers today are no doubt even higher.

If you’ve ever tried applying for a job using your phone on an employer’s website that was non-responsive to mobile devices, then you know how frustrating this can be. You could literally lose this candidate before you even get them to their first interview.

Try out your company website for yourself. Take a test run and actually try applying online using just your smartphone and see how smooth the process is. If you find it difficult to navigate the site, fill in data fields and upload resume files, then something needs to be improving. Have a chat with the powers that be to figure out how to make your job application process mobile-friendly.

Hiring good people through social media is a whole lot easier when you know what you’re doing. Depending on your knowledge and skills, it will either be an effective strategy with a high ROI, or it will leave you scratching your head wondering why nobody pays attention to your posts. Follow these three social recruitment tips to help you get off to a good start in attracting top talent to your business.