Your employees are some of the best ambassadors to your brand
Chances are good you probably are not taking advantage of their voices and their networks with your social outreach. Depending on the size of your organization you can potentially amplify your voice immediately and immensely.
Why your employees are your best social media resource
- Chances are good they enjoy working for you, and they love your brand.
- Employees are people, and people trust and buy from people - not companies or brands.
- Most employees already use social media in their daily lives, at work and at home. Embrace this fact.
- Well-known companies with a large following on social media only encourages others to join. Organic following allows companies to promote their brand in a more authentic way.
Do we agree then that you can increase your outreach efforts by taking advantage of your built in audience? Excellent!
Here are a few ways you can get started with employee advocacy for your social media and SEO outreach campaign.
Create a useful social media policy
You will want a social media policy that protects your organization. That is obvious. More importantly, though the policy should also protect your employees. When you clearly state what your employees can do to protect themselves and your company, they will feel empowered to speak freely.
Often employees completely disconnect from any association with your company because they are not sure how it will impact their employment if they say the wrong thing. Finally include some examples of what is safe and encouraged social media use in your actual policy.
Here are a few good examples to help you get started on your social media policy.
- Kodak Social Media Tips and Policies
- Best Buy Social Media Policy
- Coca-Cola Social Media Principles
- Adidas Social Media Guidelines
Train employees on social media use
While many employees are already using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, not all of them will be advanced users. DonÈt assume that your employees are using social media the way that your company is using social media. Take the time to create easy-to-use documentation that is easily located.
Your training guidelines should at a minimum include:
- Social Profile Creation Advice
- Posting Tips
- Sharing Tips
- List Building Guides
When you have new content to share, provide examples and templates of how youÈd like them to post. Visuals and specifics around links and tagging will help your employees learn posting etiquette and also contribute to your amplification.
Start with social champions and coaches
Start your training with a group that is already identified as socially active. These early adopters will be helpful resources in later trainings and can also help less enthusiastic employees become social advocates. These are your champions, and they will be the gasoline to fuel this initiative.
Coaches may or may not also be champions, but they will be the savviest of your social media employees. Let your employees know that these coaches are available for advice and training on social media use. Heck, go that extra step and assign coaches to groups of employees. They can check in on a regular basis and see how well your training has worked. Feedback from employees and coaches will help you adapt your training plan.
Enable your ambassadors at work
Embrace the fact that most of your employees are going to be using social media while at work. If you attempt to limit or even prohibit their use, they will resort to their phones. Instead show them that you trust them. Does your corporate culture reflect a history of trust? If not, consider it. According to Fox Business, only 25% of organizations have formal training on social media in the workplace. It's 2014 folks: time to embrace using social media, because itÈs not going away.
Let your employees know which networks and platforms you are actively using to promote your brand and your content. If the platforms are newer or less common, be prepared to provide training guidelines for employees to get started with. By giving your employees the proper training on how to share work-related items via social media, it empowers them to spread highlights as well has making them ambassadors of your brand.
Lastly, do everything that you can to make it easy for your team to share your content. Make sure you have share tools enabled. Include links to your social channels within your intranet site. The easier you make it to share a post the more likely it will be shared.
Get your team posting
Active engagement via your social media channels can improve brand equity and even deliver ROI. Using social media at work is about connecting with your coworkers via a very efficient channel. You can have all the social platforms out there but if you're not posting, then there is no point. No consumer wants to engage with a faceless brand.
Highlight your wins and successes in social media
Consumers are now using every possible medium to engage with brands during the path of purchase, including social media. Depending on your product or service offering, consider granting additional discounts or rebates when shoppers are referred via social media.
Your employees time is valuable. Their contributions to your social media campaign is important. Take the time to show your employees that their voices matter. Show them where your campaign has grown due to their help. The more wins you can share, the more engaged your team will be with your campaign.
This post was written with substantial contribution from John Mohr, Director of Web Content Strategy at Jellyfish.