How to Get all Employees Involved in Social Media Marketing
Long ago, employees were circumscribed from using social media within organizations during office hours. The technology was new, and the use of social media was not so extensive back then.
However, today, the use of social media at workplaces is a given and it has gone so far that organizations are thinking of ways to get smarter about it.
Motivating employees to take part in social media marketing is one way of doing that yet the most effective one.
Consider this: Brand messages shared on employees’ social media profiles reach 561% more than those shared by official brand social channels — and receive 8x more engagement. (MSLGroup)
According to the Marketing Solutions Blog on LinkedIn, just 3% of employees post or share company related content, but these posts account for a 30% increase in likes and shares.
This doesn’t mean that businesses should rely solely on employees to get their word out, but every employee has his/her own social network. Pairing those connections and followers with effective social marketing efforts will take your brand awareness to new heights.
There is even a term for this: Employee Advocacy.
It involves promoting your business through people who work within the company other than those related to the marketing department. This has decreased the company’s sole reliance on social media marketing experts. Besides, aligning all the departments and getting them to contribute in marketing eventually pays off really well.
Top reasons why your company needs employee advocacy:
When employees represent your business positively over social media, they influence countless minds. Say, you have 25 people working at your office, each having an average of 200 followers, this sums up to a potential reach of 10,000 viewers.
And that’s without investing a penny on marketing.
Let’s discuss some more benefits of employee advocacy before getting your feet wet with it.
Greater brand visibility and awareness:
Just as a recommendation regarding a specific brand from people we trust weighs a lot for us, genuine positive comments from company employees seem to be more credible to customers. People easily believe the words of your employees instead of a promotional message from your company’s official social handle.
Again, employee advocacy helps you reach unknown horizons of your employees’ social connections. This makes you reach not just your followers but also employees network down the road.
Attract and retain top talent:
One thing entrepreneurs know before starting businesses is that they need top talent. A well-devised employee advocacy program results in retention by drawing more talented people. Good employees look for an open, collaborative business that cares for its people, and employees applauding your company on their social media is what does the work.
Besides, your competitors are most likely considering it, if not doing employee advocacy already. It’s always great to find top talent and fill positions before your competitors.
Increase thought leadership:
Employee advocacy can serve as the fuel that your company’s thought leadership requires to take off. Employees in an advocacy program post curated corporate content and demonstrate their knowledge regarding the industry and their products.
Moreover, it shows that your employees are not just encouraged to share company content but are knowledgeable too. It will emit the vibes that your company is more than just a corporate-speak; it speaks with individual voices too.
Famous brands engaging their employees for social media marketing
Now that we have discussed the benefits of a successful employee advocacy campaign, let’s dive into some of the great employee advocacy examples executed by a few famous brands.
A few years back, Wells Fargo created recruitment videos to exhibit its company benefits, culture, community outreach, commitment to diversity, and so on. It helped recruiters to show applicants the perks of working at Wells Fargo. They also used Elevate, LinkedIn’s employee engagement tool to help its recruiting team to share content on social media.
People working at Google Inc. are great at creating their own content that’s not just personalized and authentic, but also effective in attracting potential talent. The content created by the employees is posted on the company’s @lifeatgoogle page. It’s an official Instagram page specifically created to post employees’ stories as well as their work experiences.
The renowned drug company, Pfizer used employee advocacy to explain how the drug prices are used to recoup billions of dollars invested in drug research. Andy Schmeltz, Global President & General Manager at Pfizer, tweeted a video contributing to the company’s successful #ScienceWillWin campaign.
Best practices to get involved in social media marketing:
Before jumping on the bandwagon of using employee advocacy to benefit your company, you should stay acquainted with the best practices to put together a successful program.
Educate your employees on the best ways to represent themselves. From their posts to their profiles, they should look professional. However, try not to dictate their actions on social media; they should only share the content that portrays themselves the way they want. Don’t forget to create and share some must-follow guidelines for your employees to avoid any sort of legal issues.
Understand the process and start small
One should identify the start with the small group of employees who are already sharing the company content. They’ll be the early adopters. Work with them and explain your objectives. Also mention how actively taking part in advocacy can increase their follower-base. They will surely spread the news to others in your company and other employees will soon be eager to be a part of your strategy.
Choose content carefully
Get feedback from your advocates. Post content they want to share, using the sources they feel positive about. When you are devising the branded content, you need to be sure that it matches your company’s tone, so your people feel comfortable reposting it to their handles. Also the content they will share should make sense too.
Content about marketing best practices should be promoted by marketers and sales professionals only. Plan different content that will be shared by software engineers and HR teams.
Involve employees in product launches
Whenever your company comes up with anything innovative, get your employees to participate along and spread words on social media. Let your creative teams plan content for your employee engagement campaigns. Make sure you are giving them something they will be eager to share. Meliá Hotels International welcomed their guests back after the pandemic with a carefully crafted #StaySafewithMeliá campaign using both influencers and employees.
Motivate with incentives
Encourage employee participation by acknowledging their efforts. Show them the results their contribution has been generating. This will further increase transparency. Another great way is to create contests and offer fun rewards to appreciate the top achievers. You can also acknowledge the efforts of top brand advocates in newsletters and/or during company meetups.
Share corporate gifts
Who doesn’t like freebies and corporate gifts? Present branded gifts to your people. It can be a company shirt, diary, vacuum flask, jackets, or even a mug. It will make them exhibit their workplace pride. Hootsuite provided its new employees with the branded mug with their company logo that they flaunted on their profiles.
Measure and Evaluate
Just like your other campaigns, employee advocacy demands measurement and objective evaluation. Consider the results after every campaign and measure its effectiveness as KPI. To assess the success rate of the campaign, you need to set up the employee advocacy metrics and attribution.
To Wrap Up
Businesses around the globe are tapping on the potential of employee advocacy even more so. When employees become partners in social media marketing, the boost to company awareness, social reach, engagement with new customers becomes impressive. Use the above-discussed practices to come up with an effective employee advocacy strategy and get the best of it
Believe it or not, businesses will be needing employee advocacy to cope with constantly changing social media algorithms every now and then. It is better to start today and reach the top marketing potential of your company by partnering with your employees and making them participate in social media marketing.