Some of the greatest assets your brand has are sitting at desks right outside your office. Employees are the lifeblood of any good company, and when developing a social media marketing strategy it is vital to remember that. Many companies tend to focus only on leveraging the online presence of their marketing and sales team members to represent their brand, but why limit yourself to those few when any employee can be a brand ambassador on social media? In this post we give 5 tips to help you turn your employees from worker bees into brand advocates.
#1. Create an encouraging social media policy
No one likes to feel as if their boss is constantly looking over their shoulder, even more so if they’re on social media while at work. In order for your employees to feel comfortable Tweeting out brand content or interacting with potential customers online, there must to be a policy in place that encourages employee engagement on social media. This doesn’t mean creating a giant list of “don’ts”. That will only make your employees afraid to post anything. Instead, build a policy that’s based on common sense, transparency and trust. Make it clear what kinds of company information can be shared on social media, and what should remain classified.
#2. Develop a strong company culture
If you’re going to have your employees representing your brand online then you need to make sure that they are as passionate about your company as you are. Communicate with them about the values and goals you have for your company, and create a sense of unity and teamwork around those shared ideas. Consider what would be enjoyable for your employees and incorporate that into your workplace routine. Think about having weekly after-work drinks or starting a company sports team! Developing an environment in which your employees are happy offline will make it easy for them put your company in a good light online. Take a page from Southwest Airlines playbook, where they’ve mastered the science of developing a family-like culture among their employees.
#3. Offer social media training if needed
Not everyone is comfortable with social media, but that doesn’t mean they should be left out. You can help these individuals feel more confident in their social media activities if you provide training. As a matter of fact, it’s becoming more and more commonplace for companies to have entire seminars devoted to training their “brand ambassadors” in the ways and means of social media. While seminars are a great way to provide this guidance, new hire orientations and blog posts can be an easier alternative. For those without such resources, even hosting informal training sessions during lunches or off-hours can do wonders for the employees still getting their bearings in the sea of social media.
#4. Provide content for employees to share
The easiest way to ensure that your employees are engaging with your prospective customers on a regular basis, and in the way you’d like them to be, is to directly give them the content that you want shared. This can be done in several ways:
- Have your employees follow your company on their various personal social media accounts and share company posts within their own networks
- Share interesting news and information with your company through email or your designated inter-office communication method, along with some suggestions or pre-approved post/update ideas
- Encourage employees to Tweet or post using a hashtag specific to your company or brand. This way all content can be centered around one main hub on the platform and employees will always have a point of reference for brand content
- Provide them with the list of content from the brand’s own editorial calendar and have them share at their own discretion
- If they are willing, have your employees give your company access to their personal social accounts so that you can post and interact on their behalf. This will ensure that their online activity is in line with your company’s social media goals and message
#5. Encourage your employees to divide and conquer
To maximize the exposure and reach that your employees can give you on social media, it’s worth considering having different employees, or different groups of employees depending on company size, engaging with different sections of your target audience online. Take our strategy at Socedo for example. Because we have a range of target user types, and we want to be sure that we are engaging properly with each type, we have divided the prospects into groups. One employee is focused on interacting with users interested in content marketing, while another engages with B2B sales-oriented people. There will always be some overlap of these groups, because no person can be confined to only a certain category on social media. But if you can divide the social media engagement up amongst your team members, preferably based on who they are most interested in connecting with, then they exposure your brand receives can grow exponentially.
These are just a few of the things you can be doing to make social media marketing a company-wide effort for your business. Remember that people enjoy engaging with other people, so the value of putting as many human faces on your brand as possible cannot be underestimated. Bringing your employees into your social media marketing strategy may not happen overnight, but hopefully these tips will get you started on the path to get there!