What if you had tens, hundreds, even thousands of people available to advocate on your brand’s behalf?
What if they could help you increase inbound web traffic, rank higher in search engine results, and boost the number of downloads, form fills or sales on your website?
And while doing all this, they wouldn’t even charge you. You could actually potentially save dollars in your marketing and advertising budget.
So why wouldn’t you “employ” them? The truth is you are, but you may not be making the most of them. They’re already employees of your organization, and they have the power to be some of the most effective marketing resources for your brand. And I’m not even just talking about traditional marketing professionals. I’m referring to people across the entire company, from sales to engineering to human resources.
- 76% of those surveyed said they were more likely to trust content shared by their network versus content shared by brands. (Source: AdWeek)
- Employees have, on average, 10x more connections than brand channels. (Source: MSLGroup)
- Brand messages are re-shared an average of 24x more frequently when distributed by an employee vs. the brand. (Source: Hinge Marketing)
- Leads generated through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads (Source: IBM).
Shall I go on? Or are you now convinced of the importance of employee advocacy via social media for your brand?
Ok, great. Now comes the hard part – actually getting employees active and engaged on social.
Why is that? Well, for a lot of people, it’s scary. Employees are worried about posting something that could get them in trouble or even fired. One way to ease the tension (for you and for them) is by establishing a social media policy that provides training – explaining the benefits, purposes and best practices of each social media network – as well as guidelines for posting.
Next, make it easy for your employees to post content. Offer suggested messages to get them started – perhaps something that’s a slight variation on what the brand is already posting. At the very least, request that they share/retweet and like/favorite your content, even if they don’t add their own spin.
But once they do get the hang of it and see that they’re not going to singlehandedly destroy your brand’s reputation, then they may begin to get more creative with their messaging. In the meantime, there are certain fairly safe bets when posting to social media about an article or a blog, for example.
- Cite a statistic from the article.
- Ask a question that the blog answers.
- Quote the author and include attribution. It’s really that simple.
Another thing to encourage is for employees to tag the brand’s account, creating a hyperlink to your organization’s social media and also alerting whoever manages that channel that there’s been a mention. Same thing goes for authors of the content or the publication/website where the content is published – make sure they are tagged/mentioned.
Finally, once your employees do post about and tag your brand, show them some social media love! Further expand the reach of their posts by sharing them from the brand channels. Recognize them in that way, or even by keeping track of (and then reporting to the full team) how well their individual posts helped boost the performance of specific company content.