Building a social media presence isn’t always easy, especially when you are first starting out. Do you have a social media vision but need your employees’ help? Employee Social Advocacy is when your employees generate interest in your brand using their own online and social media assets. Employee advocacy on social media is simple but can be very effective. Making it easy for your employees to take an active role in posting and sharing your company’s content can help your brand reach a larger audience and feel connected to your brand through the influence of the employee. Even if you have an established social media presence, a more proactive approach by your employees can make your efforts go farther.
How to Encourage Employee Social Advocacy:
Educate your Staff on Social Media Best Practices
- Don’s assume that your employees are already connected to your social media profiles. Make sure you invite your employees to like your social media pages.
- Encourage people to optimize their social media profiles and explain why it’s important. Go ahead and offer time at work to do this.
- Provide guidelines and basic training on what is considered positive interaction, what to avoid, and when to take conversations offline.
- Be transparent – Why is this important to the company? What is in it for them? Share how it can benefit the company and them overall. Explain how a better marketing presence leads to more sales, and more sales lead to other employee incentives.
Make Social Media part of your Company Culture
- Get people excited! Share success stories about how a similar approach has worked in the past or made an impact for other companies.
- Allow employees to be online and active during the workday. If you foresee challenges, provide guidelines or limited areas of the business or times when it is allowed.
- Encourage co-workers to connect with each other. A tight-knit team who not only works together but cares about each other will help build the company overall.
Everything is Better with Incentives
- Put together a pizza party, group lunch date, coffee & dessert break, or breakfast to brainstorm ideas. If your staff isn’t into a typical pizza party, maybe a margarita party is in order (or whatever your company culture enjoys)!
- Not every incentive has to be for the entire team. You can offer rewards for the most active individual employee advocates as well.
- Consider creating a visual tracking board or participation board to keep social media top-of-mind. Show how the platforms are growing or who is the most active.
What you need to do as the Leader
- Create an easy to follow social media program, with easy to share messages.
- Consider finding an employee who is passionate about each of the platforms and have them lead a sharing program for that avenue (for instance, one person for Facebook, one for Twitter, etc.).
- Set and communicate goals to the staff, management, and stakeholders.
- Create a social media policy that is easy to follow and understand.
- Make sharing voluntary. Do not make it required.
- You will need to ask and ask again; don’t expect the staff to know to send content or to bring it up. You will need to request information and follow-up.
How to Encourage Staff to Contribute
- Help them form habits. Provide ideas and how examples of what you want from them.
- Make social media contributions part of your staff meetings. Brainstorm about things coming up that people could capture.
- Encourage individuality. Allow each employee to personalize the message to their audience. Let them pick the social platform most comfortable and allow them to alter the message or image to fit the platform.
- If you have certain employees who love to write or take photos, let them create and publish that type of content. For instance, if they write an article for the company blog post, encourage them to also publish the content on their Linkedin profile using LinkedIn Publisher.
Ways to get Staff to Share Company Content
- If you want your employees to share a company’s post, make sure you are posting things that interest the staff and they are willing to put themselves behind.
- Make sure your policy or job expectations don’t contradict what you are asking them to do with social media.
- Reduce technology barriers that may exist, such as Firewall or security issues.
- Provide advice on mobile or desktop apps to make the process faster or easier.
- Send out reminders when an event is coming up or there is something important to share.
- Share results with them, even if it seems small. For instance, “we got a new customer thanks to you sharing that post”.
- If needed, designate time in the work week to dedicate to social sharing and building the company brand.
If your company can build their social media brand, not just through the company’s social media accounts, but also through employee social advocacy, the message will have a greater reach and impact. Your employees’ networks of contacts are very valuable, and their support will help your company’s posts reach more people and have greater influence.