Spreading the Social Love: Getting Employees to Share Your Content
Social media is a big job. And I’m only referring to the planning, creating, publishing and monitoring. The other (massive) portion is the sharing. If you cannot get your content shared through social channels, it is not going to be of much help. Employees are busy doing, well, their jobs. But that doesn’t mean you can use some tactics to help get them on the social sharing train, and really spread your brand’s content to as many eyeballs as possible.
As a brand, you likely have a huge network of followers at your disposal, in the form of the followers of each of your employees. Of course this largely depends on the size of the company, but even a small operation with only a handful of employees likely has a cumulative total of thousands of potential followers. Even though every follower of every employee is not going to be a potential prospect, it is still hugely worth spreading the social bug to your employees so they can help spread your brand’s content.
Here’s what we noted just a short time ago:
“It can take months, or even years, for a marketing team to build up a company’s presence, reputation, and credibility online. This is exactly why employee advocacy is so powerful. Every post published by an employee on social media reaches hundreds of new connections, which the marketing team would not be able to gain exposure to on its own.”
In a world where everyone is on social media, all the time (yes, at work – just accept it. Actually there have even been studies indicating that those that use social media during the workday produce at even higher levels!), it makes sense to encourage employees to share corporate content. However, there are some specific ways to go about it.
Empower Employees with Autonomy
There are better ways than creating rules and regulations forcing employees to share certain things at certain times. Give them the power to be more autonomous with their social media, even with corporate posts. After all, they are using their personal accounts and personas to help the brand, they should be able to do so in their own ways.
Encourage them to incorporate the brand into their social media habits as they see fit and in ways that makes sense. If they don’t want create their own posts about new content or brand news, perhaps they can simply retweet, share and spread your brand’s official pieces of social content.
Skool is Cool!
While allowing employees to autonomously and uniquely share brand content, it’s important to educate employees about the brand’s social goals and strategies. The point here is not to limit or restrict how and when they share information about the brand, but to ensure that the brand’s social presence maintains a unified voice and consistently targets the correct audience.
No, I am not suggesting creating an actual school or training program to “teach” employees about just how to use their social accounts professionally – they are busy and don’t have time for that. Nor will they enjoy it. However, a brief memo or guide could be distributed with some suggestions and key information. Or perhaps you already have an internal marketing program set up that this type of education can be incorporated into.
Depending on your social voice, the contents of a guide such as this will differ, but consider indicating typical styles of social content across differing platforms, if there are any absolutely “Do-Not-Mentions” in association with the brand, and an audience persona list. This could be 1 or many personas that your brand typically targets in social media – where they read content, at what times, what they like/dislike, etc. All these things will make it very easy, and therefore more likely, for employees to help with social networking.
Employees and Audience Should Be Very Similar
If you (ideally) have employees that are passionate about your brand and believe in it, or at minimum clearly tolerate enough to spend 40+ hours a week on it, then their interests should at least slightly overlap with the interests of your audience. There is no reason that your social content can’t be naturally interesting for both prospective readers and employees.
This is an important thing to consider when creating social content. Because it can work the other way around, too. If it interests the employees, then it will likely be of interest to the target audience. So crafting content that would be accepted and enjoyed by the brand’s employees may be a very good starting point for creating engaging and interesting content for the readers.
Employees Can Create
Employees are busy with their jobs to do. Most likely, they are not hired to write content for you, create tweets, or make Facebook posts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get them to help out once in a while. Not only will it give them a feeling that they are contributing to the company (and indirectly to supporting where their income comes from), they may even come up with excellent ideas for engaging prospects. For example, they can come up with a quote or quick customer interview that gets turned into an interesting and popular social media post. Even if you can’t always get employees to help create the brand’s official social posts, maybe they can help with developing content ideas for the marketing team. They'll feel appreciated for their contribution if it gets used and get credited for it.
People love recognition and if they are active in social media, they'll be sure the share whatever was produced with pride. In addition, it wouldn't be surprising if it will encourage other employees to begin to participate more.
Once you have actively engaged employees in the social sharing game, don’t leave them hanging! People love transparent data and seeing the results of what they have accomplished. Share the statistics and analytics with them to prove how effective and helpful their involvement has been. Number of new followers, likes, shares, retweets, pins, hashtags, and whatever other current social media involvement actions are all great ways of demonstrating the effectiveness of employee sharing. Plus, with most social analytics tools, these numbers are readily available anyways, and easily converted to charts and graphs, to really drive the point home.
Spreading the Social Love On A Wider Range
The benefits of getting employees sharing company posts and media can be exponential. Any employee active in social media likely has hundreds, if not thousands of followers between all of their different accounts. Highly likely that they are like-minded or in the same field of business, making your company's content relevant to a wider reach. It is simply too large of a potential of an audience to ignore! So, put a plan into place and start encouraging social sharing ASAP.
Ever consider getting your employees who are not on your marketing team to help increase your social engagement? If not, you're missing out on expanding your reach. If yes, are you having problems getting them engaged? Tell us why in the comments below. Maybe we can help!