How Employee Advocacy Can Save Your Social Engagement Crisis
Social media marketing is in the midst of what many are calling an engagement crisis. Marketers are producing more content than ever, promoting it across various channels and waiting for customers to interact and follow the trail from Tweet to contact form and through the sales funnel. But as those social posts go out every few hours, companies are not seeing the results they are looking for. Logically, if content numbers rise, so should engagement levels. In reality, content numbers have risen, but engagement levels have stagnated.
A recent study conducted by TrackMaven revealed that content output per brand increased by 35% in 2015, but content engagement decreased by 17%. Regardless of why this downward trend is occurring, marketers are concerned about how to change content strategy to reverse it. The answers are complex and deeply rooted in overall marketing culture, but an easy-to-implement solution lies in the power of employee social media advocacy. This simple activity can leverage audiences from new places, revitalize your current social tactics and even engage your employees in improving all aspects of your content marketing.
Appeal to the Niches
The main benefit of using employee advocacy as an engagement catalyst is the ability to segment based on individuals. First, segmenting your employees by providing only relevant content to the appropriate groups, helps them connect to your content and get excited to share it themselves. It also informs your idea generation and editorial calendar.
Segmentation doesn’t just help your employees get more involved, it targets content to their audiences. If, for example, you are looking to sell your product or service to more financial managers, you should mine your own financial manager’s social accounts for promising leads, general tone of voice and important insights. Then you can tailor whatever social content you are currently using to this audience. Appealing to one specific niche is better than producing countless generic posts. If a financial manager is browsing their LinkedIn feed and happens upon a post not necessarily about his industry, but related to his job, he is more likely to click. This is the practice of personalization on a very micro level, and should improve engagement among your ideal target audiences.
Engaged Employees, Engaged Customers
As employees become engaged in their company’s social marketing, they begin to appreciate customer interaction and the real value of their offerings. Employees who are engaged on social and share the articles they feel match their professional interests infuse a company’s social identity with personality and realness. Those are qualities that customers respond to and appreciate.
Employees can save falling engagement by participating in the social conversation. If a conversation isn’t happening, have your employees start it themselves. Evidence of a person-to-person interaction, rather than simply a brand asking a question, might encourage customers to get involved as well. Also, encourage employees to provide their own commentary to posts, even if they disagree. That is what showcases awareness, trustworthiness and charisma to an otherwise disengaged audience.
Cover image via @Eelke