19 Mar Social Media and Employee Advocacy – 4 Ways to Succeed
You may wonder whether you should incorporate a social media employee advocacy program into your integrated marketing plan. There are many good reasons to do so – it increases the company reach, shows that employees are invested in the company, and can help raise the brand image across social media. But how do you build a program that bridges social media and employee advocacy? You’ll need a system that works for you and your employees.
Making an overreaching or too stringent schedule will only decrease buy-in and make everyone hate social media. Use these tips to build a social media employee advocacy system that your team can keep up with.
Join the networks that make sense for you
Maybe your teams love Reddit, or they only scroll through Twitter. Find ways for them to share on the networks they already use and understand. If that means that teams only share on their personal Facebook account, then so be it.
Most of us use good social media etiquette, but employees should also think about how they interact with other individuals on the social network, especially if they’re going to be sharing your company’s content on that channel. While we’re all allowed to have lives outside of work, generally it’s best to comply with the first-date rule: don’t talk about money, politics, or religion.
If you’re worried about employees mixing work and play, you might suggest that they make an account designated for their professional life and separate that from their personal account. Or have them sign in to LinkedIn on work computers and only post work-related articles there.
Curate content like a pro
RSS feeds and content aggregators like Feedly make it easy to gather content to share on social media. Add the sites and topics the team should follow to a master list, and ask employees to schedule time in their day or week to curate content. Employees can probably do this while sitting on the couch at night or in the last 30 minutes of the day (instead of watching the clock tick down to 5 pm). If your teams use a project management tool with alerts and notifications, set it up to notify employees to take a work-related social media break during the afternoon slump.
Or, use a free browser extension like Pocket and a free Buffer or Hootsuite account. Between the two of these, employees can build a free marketing automation tool that shares interesting content to social media. Suggest that employees scroll through RSS feeds and read some articles during downtime and on the weekend. If the articles are interesting enough to share with social media followers, save them to Pocket and keep reading. Share saved items via the social scheduling tool all at one time, and schedule the posts to send out over the next couple of days and even weeks ahead. When your employees are trained on how to use the tools and start sharing consistently, followers will come to expect your company’s insight and professional content every day.
Contribute an opinion
Employees don’t have to be writers or #ThoughtLeaders to contribute to the conversations going on in your industry. But just sharing industry-related content to your social media profile without any sort of comment can make you look like a bot–and no one wants to look like a bot. When sharing an article, video, webinar, or image on social media, make sure that your teams write a short, original commentary.
Be cognizant of the personal brand
Tamara Scott is a Research and Content Manager for TechnologyAdvice.com. Here’s what she has to say about blending your employees’ personal brand and that of your business: “Whether or not we want to admit it, we all have some sort of personal brand. Maybe you’ve got the introverted sales manager or the developer who plays rugby on your team. Whatever your employees’ personal brands, have them think of their professional social media voice as a distilled version of themselves.” In other words, it’s ok to take a side trip off the main message every once in awhile to share a funny cat video or inspirational advice. As part of a social media employee advocacy program, however, employees should try to stick to their professional brands.
This doesn’t mean that you have to sit down and draw up a marketing plan for your teams, but rather that everyone needs to focus their social media attention on professional social accounts. And again, it’s perfectly fine for employees to make multiple social media accounts for different facets of their personalities
Keep in mind that your employee-advocates should help promote the company’s overall brand. They’ll probably find that it helps their personal brand as well. Want to learn more about building a social media employee advocacy program? Check out these tips from Hootsuite here.