Every successful manager or business owner knows that people are any company’s best asset, but do you know how they can also amplify brand visibility, increase lead quality, and boost recruitment through social media?
If not, here’s some advice from social media expert Janine Amphlett, Digital Content Creator at leading communications agency, MMC.
Social media is an essential tool to help you connect with customers, employees, and support recruitment. However, staying visible on each platform can be difficult due to the changing algorithms that determine how content is distributed, displayed, and interacted with.
When building your social media presence and creating a social media community around your brand, your employees’ network can play a major role in its success. When they share and engage with your social content, you will start to see an uplift in your followers, reach and brand awareness.
Of course, getting your employees involved in your social media marketing strategy can be a challenge because they may see it as an additional burden to their workload. However, here are 5 tips to help you create a culture where employees become active ambassadors for your business and brand.
Make it easy
Before considering getting all employees on board with your social plan, it’s important to have an accessible social media policy and strategy in place. This should be easy to locate and simple to follow. While the content published should have clear gate keepers – either within the marketing department or outsourced to an agency – you should aim for active engagement on the content through likes, shares and comments. Employees are already busy with their jobs, so an understanding of what days and times you are posting content, and on which platforms, will encourage them to support the strategy and become brand advocates.
Share your goals and expectations
Company culture is becoming increasingly important to ensure every member is working towards the same common goal, and sharing a bigger purpose – and that employee ethos you have worked hard to create in the office should also be reflected online. Setting shared goals and expectations for the social media strategy will help encourage participation and help all employees to understand the reasoning behind the initiative. Along with transparency of the goals, it’s a good idea to share monthly reports of the employee efforts on social media – such as the monthly increase in followers and reach. Providing data which shows how everyone is contributing and making a difference can be a big motivator. Using tools such as LinkedIn’s notify employees feature will alert employees of important company updates that you want them to engage with – and this can be a good tool to use in the early stages to remind people of their commitment until it becomes second nature to like and share the content.
Identify the social savvy
You will probably find that your workforce is pretty equally split between those who are active on social media and those who still haven’t changed their social media’s default avatar.
It’s a good idea to identify those who have a natural enthusiasm for social and have these people become the social ambassadors for your company. They are more likely to have stronger networks and be more willing to embrace the new advocacy programme. With these people as your front runners, you should find those who are more reluctant will eventually be encouraged to join in too. Those who are social media savvy can also help other members of their team to set up and complete their personal profiles, as well as make sure they are following the company pages.
Encourage engagement through gamification
As most organisations are naturally competitive, you may want to consider an incentive to transform the employee advocacy programme from a chore to a contest. One way to do this would be to display a leaderboard in the office that ranks the top people who are engaging with content. Each month, the top person could then be rewarded for their efforts. Rewards could be along the lines of, an extended lunch hour, a gift card, employee recognition on the social channels, a box of chocolates, or whatever you feel would motivate your team. The ‘prize’ could change each month to keep it interesting.
Highlight the personal benefits
The best way to keep people engaged and motivated with your social media strategy is to show employees what’s in it for them. Key benefits include:
- growing their own professional network
- establishing themselves as an expert in their industry
- the potential to tap into new career opportunities
Making the process seem like another task can create a barrier, so it’s better to encourage employees to take part and not make it something that they have to do. Having regular reminders of why you are doing this, plus how participation is mutually beneficial and not just one-sided, will maintain momentum.