You’d have to be living in the dark ages to not see the power that social media has and how important it is to businesses today. Most people have a social media account across the main platforms. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, often social media is something owned by the marketing department, yet there’s a wider team sitting at their desks like an untapped gold mine.
Take LinkedIn for example, if you have 60 employees who all have a LinkedIn profile and they all have 300 connections? That’s a combined connection reach of over 18,000 people before you’ve had to put the real hard work in!
So how do you get your employees more involved? Well…
We’ve recently done a series of online webinars for one of our clients specifically on this topic. In order to help maximise your reach potential, your employees are one of your best, free and readily available tools. We know not everyone is an expert on social media, and we are lucky enough at Sixth Story to have grown up digital, so we have a little expertise we have been able to share.
A webinar is great if you want to share what to do on social media with people in different places. You can easily share PDF files too with a few guidelines to help them remember that online they are, essentially, brand ambassadors. One thing we would say is to keep it as simple as possible, there’s no need to make social media complicated.
Where did we do our webinars we hear you ask? We chose Uber Conference as we felt this one would work for us being able to share our screen with lots of people and making documents easily downloadable.
Highlight Your Employees
Quite simply your company is only as good as your hardworking employees. If you didn’t have them you would find it difficult to make your business successful, so don’t be afraid to highlight them! Putting a face to your business is one of the things people like online, they like people pictures! Whether it’s fun photo albums of what you and your employees get up to each week or creating a competition for your employees to see who can get the most likes on their photo on your company page, these people make your company. Show them off a bit and in turn your company culture. You never know, it could create new opportunities for you all!
Make your content worth sharing
Of course it’s up to your employees if they have social media accounts. If they do, it’s even better if you are creating content online that they want to share. To get employee buy in, it can be good if they have an input in what is being posted. Of course, this is easier said than done when you tens or hundreds of employees but you get the sentiment. Make is exciting or showcase projects people are involved with that are exciting and your reach could greatly increase if your employees are engaged and enthusiastic. The right company culture and great content means it’s not a chore for your employees.
Encourage post sharing
Sounds super obvious but there’s huge untapped potential sitting in this rather simple idea.
You’ve definitely heard the concept of ‘six degrees of separation’, well imagine if six of your team members retweeted a Tweet or shared a LinkedIn post – it could widen your reach exponentially. It’s also a fair assumption that your team or company’s employees are connected to the people you’d like to reach. Even a small team can boost your content in a big way, if they’re happy to share it of course.
Actively encourage conversation
If you’re online, it’s likely that people are talking about your brand. Social media shouldn’t be a one way push but actively encourage conversation. If you have a strict set of brand guidelines or social media policy, let people know the rules of the game but empower your team to talk about your brand. There are great benefits in that ranging from a positive employer brand but also promoting your brand as a whole in an authentic, genuine way.
As I mentioned, we work with our clients to develop webinars and content that helps increase employee engagement with corporate social media profiles, gives them some tips and helpful ideas for getting involved.
Social media runs on trust. Messages that come from real people have real impact and it’s often from people you know and whose views you value. Keep your employees in mind when you’re asking them to serve as social advocates.
It’s important to not bombard your followers with a flurry of messages, and it’s important your employees do the same otherwise it can affect your brand credibility and online presence. The best updates are genuinely interesting, entertaining or have animals (in case you didn’t know, we have an office dog who you can follow on instagram @cuteasabiscuit). Employee advocacy isn’t new but social media has made it significantly easier to happen.
Although none of this works without the right business foundation. It depends on engaged and enthusiastic staff and the right working culture. Your employees won’t volunteer to promote a company where they don’t feel valued in the first place.
It’s a two way street
We follow a few brands who do a team member take over. They encourage their team members to take over the Twitter or Instagram account for a week and document their working days. It’s a great way to get fresh, authentic content from around the business that you might not capture otherwise.
You could also feature the profile of one of your team members on a regular basis. Wouldn’t showcasing your great talent be another way to indirectly promote your brand?