In today’s digital age, social media is one of the main driving forces behind a business. Whether it be through Facebook and Twitter updates or posting behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram, it is a way for companies to interact with their customers and show that companies aren’t faceless organizations, but teams of real people working to get things done.
Even if you have a whole team dedicated to promoting the company on social media, sometimes you need a bit more help. That is when you should be engaging all of your employees to show what it’s like to work and engage with customers.
Encouraging staff members to share updates and photos about their company to their personal social media accounts is a great way to reach a whole new audience.
If you are a leader within an organization, here are some tips to get your whole staff on board with promoting their company in the social space.
It Starts With Your Company Culture
If you want your staff to use social media to promote the company, they need to know they are allowed to do just that. If the company culture encourages the use of social media, there is a better chance that they will use it for good.
Promote a company culture that allows the use of social media, even during working hours (as long as it doesn’t come at the cost of productivity). There’s a good chance employees will be checking their social media on their smartphones if there is no access to it on their computer.
Allow them to use their work computers for appropriate use of social media (i.e. promoting their company). Dont’ be a social media ostrich, fearing that their lost productivity will negatively impact your business.
Instead, think if it as an opportunity to spread good will and reach new potential customers at a rate that is much less costly then TV advertising.
If you’re really concerned about employees taking advantage, then develop a strong, easy-to-understand social media policy that will help them understand what is appropriate and what constitutes over-use and over-sharing. Just make sure that your policy is reasonable.
Have Employee “Takeover” Days
Invite certain employees take over the company social media for a day. Not only is this a fun way to get employees engaged, but it also allows customers and clients to get a feel for what the company culture is like.
Use the takeover opportunity to show what goes on behind the scenes and how much fun the office really is. Let you employee show what goes into creating your products, serving your customers, and interacting with other co-workers.
To keep things focused and under control, it is a good idea to lay out stipulations as to what is and isn’t appropriate to post on company social media. The last thing you want is the wrong tweet to become viral and make the company look bad.
However, you do need to give the chosen employee some freedom and flexibility while taking over the accounts. Even if they have a slip-up, be sure that the consequences don’t deter other employees from wanting to take over the company social media next.
Bring in Fun Competitions
Sometimes, employees need a little extra push (or incentive) to get them engaged with the company on social media. Provide a reward system to motivate employees.Think of challenges they can solve.
For instance, imagine a competition where your employees monitor the social media channels of your company and those of your competitors. What problems are customers reporting? What opportunities are there to solve them or re-imagine your products and services?
Challenge your teams to use social media to listen and engage with those customers and then reward them for actual solutions that your company can put into place.
In the end, when employees are motivated and rewarded for a job well done, there’s a good chance they will continue doing what you are hoping for – using social media to promote the company.
Use Team-Building Exercises
For your employees to want to promote their work on social media, they need to enjoy where they work. Investing in team building exercises is a great way to boost morale.
These types of exercises are a way for employees to bond with each other while having a bit of fun at work. The better the atmosphere is within the office, the more likely employees will want to share that with everyone else.
During these exercises, encourage them to snap pics and share via social media.
The goal is to have employees who want to share and promote the company that they work for. The more they believe in the company and your commitment to being transparent, the more likely they will be willing to show off what they do.
Need More Proof? Checkout The Numbers
To demonstrate the power of employees as company ambassadors, the team at SocialReacher.com pulled together a great infographic that aggregates data from Ogilvvy, MarketingLand, Cisco, and others to demonstrate the power that employees can have.
Some insights from the research include:
- 90% of brands are reporting that they have implemented employee advocacy programs
- When employees share information about your company via their social media channels, it increases your organic reach, beyond the limited reach of your company Facebook page
- When their connections are combined, individual employees can have as many as 10x the connections that a brand has on social media
- 72% of respondents report looking to their social media connections for purchasing recommendations. This means they are often looking to your employees for input and advice
- Content that is shared by employees can generate up to 8x the engagement that without employee activity
Those are some pretty compelling numbers and great reasons for ensuring that you are including employees in your social media engagement.
|Ben Hoffman is the co-founder of CityHUNT which is an organization that focuses on developing a team atmosphere for companies by encouraging positive workplace relationships among coworkers. Ben is known for delivering entertaining team-building events that are tailored to each client.
Thanks to Ben for sharing his insights on the topic of engaging employees in their use of social media!
|Thanks, again, to Ben for sharing his ideas about the value of engaging employees and some tips on how to encourage them to use their social networks to promote the company. Be sure to follow Ben and the CityHUNT team on Twitter.
Have recommendations or suggestions on good ways to engage employees and encourage them to use social media to promote the company? Be sure to share them in a comment.