Social media is a cheap and effective tool that can be used to promote your business, foster client relationships and share content. However, while many social media platforms are free to use, they require time you may not have. You don't need me to tell you that running a successful business already consumes a sizable chunk of your time and energy. So, how do you strike that balance, and make sure your social media efforts don't fall by the wayside? Lean on others! Getting your employees to buy in to your company's online strategy is an easy way to amplify your social media efforts.
Getting employee buy-in is easier said than done. Many of your employees may not have social media accounts, or may feel uncomfortable sharing company content from their personal accounts. Here are three few ways to confront this resistance and transform your employees into brand advocates:
1) Explain the Value
It's easy to understand why your employees would be hesitant to jump head first into something they simply don't understand. How would you feel if someone asked you to complete a specific task every day, but never explained why? Show your employees how impactful social media can be for company awareness and relationship building. Explain how a platform such as Twitter, for example, can be used to expose your company's message to additional networks of potential buyers. Do they know that if they retweet a post from the company account, all of their followers will see it even if they're not following your company? In order for your employees to understand the value of social media, you too must know why it's a worthy investment of your time. There are a lot of ways you and your employees can leverage social media to grow your business. These links below provide a few examples:
- How to Stand out From the Crowd on Social Media
- How to Use Social Media to Supplement Client Relationships
- Step-By-Step Guide to Targeting Your Verticals on Social Media
- Amplify Your PR Efforts With Social Media: Quick & Easy Cheat Sheet!
Social media is just like everything else when it comes to running your business. If your employees understand the reasons behind it and the goals tied to it, they will be more invested. At Continuum, we hold quarterly meetings with the entire company and go over our goals and initiatives, and the reasons for them. When the whole company is on the same page, it is much easier to move in one direction.
Holding a meeting to discuss the social media goals for the company is a great way to start getting your employees involved. Once they see how they can contribute to the team's success, they'll be much more likely toparticipate.
2) Provide Incentive
If explaining the value of social media isn't moving the needle for your employees, all hope is not lost. Think of ways to incentivize them to get active. This doesn't necessarily need to be monetary compensation. Perhaps organizing a team outing or in-office event for social allstars is just the push they need to keep it up and encourage others to get on board. Remember, more participants means more untapped networks. As for the reward for company wide involvement, it could be as simple as a pizza lunch or as extravagant as a dinner cruise!
Setting goals for your employees also promotes a team mentality, which is a win in and of itself. If your employees share a common, measurable goal (impressions, followers, etc.), they'll need to work together to reach that benchmark as a team.
3) Utilize Third-Party Tools
All marketing actions you take must be measurable, but tracking employee buy-in on social media can be a clunky process. Depending on the platform, you could add employees to lists, but that takes a lot of monitoring time.
Luckily, there are some third-party tools available that not only help you gauge how active your employees are, but create a painless, user friendly way for them to contribute. At Continuum, we use a tool called GaggleAMP that allows employees to link all of their social media accounts to one platform. From there, the manager of the account can suggest content to be shared. Each time a piece of content is suggested, all employees on the platform will get an email notification. With the click of a button, employees are able to share content across all of their social media platforms.
Additionally, these tools will often provide a "ranking system" to show which employees share most frequently and how much of an impact their activity has. "Gamified" approaches in which you introduce a little healthy competition usually have higher engagement rates. With GaggleAMP, you're also able to tap into its analytics to see how many clicks, impressions and interactions resulted from use of the platform.
If you're not looking to spend money on a social advocacy solution like this, there are still other share link generator tools you can use to get the word out. Here are two of our favorites:
With these, you'll get a unique URL for each post to send out to employees. Wrap the link in actionable anchor text, such as "Share eBook on Twitter," and include in an internal email send!
The bottom line is that it takes a village to build a social following, so you should strive to turn your employees into your fiercest brand advocates! While gaining employee buy-in for social media marketing won't happen overnight, hopefully this post helped remove stress and make the process easier. And if you're still struggling to build and maintain a scalable content marketing plan, check out resources like...
By Courtney Swift
By Scott Wittstock