Social media is all about cutting through the noise and increasing your brand's reach and engagement. It puts a human face on your brand. But the people running the Twitter handle don't have to be the only ones involved.
According to MarketingProfs, there’s a significant increase in trust and credibility when employees spread brand messages than when “corporate” does, expanding engagement and reach. 2% of employees may share company content with their personal network, but that can translate into 20% of overall engagement that any one piece of content receives. Simply put, employees are the best brand advocates around.
Mobilizing them? That's easier said than done.
First and foremost, you should encourage employees to share because they want to, not because you're asking them! Your job is to empower them to spread the love, and you need to communicate that, and that there's no obligation or penalty.
The trick is to unlock their passion for their role, their job, or their team, and to help them unleash their creativity and voice, rather than turn them into a corporate robot.
Learning Social Media's A-B-Cs
Provide your employees and teammates with a guidebook. Social media can be intimidating on a professional level to those outside of marketing. Keep in mind:
1. It’s a little different to use social media for professional rather than personal reasons, but the idea is the same: be yourself. Make sure your employees internalize this, and that they're sharing because they like the content marketing is providing and think their followers will, too.
2. One challenge is to have all of your employees disclose in their profiles that they work for you. Most of them probably already do this because they're proud of working there (hopefully), but encouraging them to tag your handle in Twitter, set their employment on Facebook, and update their LinkedIn or Google+ profiles if needed. That way no one is misleading (or violating any regulations).
3. On that same note, what new advocates often get wrong is consistency. If they've never shared anything about your brand before, have them start slowly. Establish that they should be as consistent as possible with cadence, tone, voice, and content. A great way to start is by encouraging them to establish a cadence at all (like 1x a day, in the morning before you start anything).
How To Share
Most of all, you have to reduce the friction to share. That can be done through gamification tools like Smarpshare, or for the more budget-conscious, Click To Tweet. Since this could warrant a blog post all its own for creating great links, here's a great post from HubSpot to help you through. You could also use a comprehensive share link generator like this one.
Once you create your links, you have to communicate that to your army. That depends on the culture of your organization: Slack, email, or another internal website might work best. Set up a central hub for your employees to find out how to get involved, learn about best practices, and contact members of your team to best unleash their potential.
As difficult as it might be, employee advocates can exponentially build your brand power. Empowering them with the tools to get on social will make a huge difference--if you're up for the challenge.