Of course your business is on social media.
Today, that’s just a given. But are you making the most of it, by having your employees amplify your reach? Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool in a company’s arsenal – but multiplied by social media, it has the potential to add jet fuel to your marketing strategy.
If you need a little convincing, here are the facts:
- Social media posts shared by individuals have 561% more reach than a company account.
- 76% of individuals say they are more likely to trust content shared by people as compared to content shared by brands.
- Posts shared by employees have 8 times more engagement than official brand accounts.
- And finally, a lead is 7 times more likely to convert when it is developed by employees on social media.
That, friends, is the power of what marketers call social sharing.
At least, that’s the theory. Any content marketer will tell you that it’s not very easy to get employees to share content and promote it via their own social channels. There are a few reasons for this: inertia, a built-in reluctance to promote company materials on media that they own, self-consciousness, and more.
Sadly, there’s no magic bullet. But we have helped a company or two to increase their fair share of social sharing. So, we come bearing tips – and the following approach does help to empower employees to take it to social media.
1. Produce meaningful content
When you hit the share button on social media it’s an extension of you and your reputation. People don’t want to be associated with posts that are not relevant. The harsh truth is, if your employees don’t think the content is useful, they just won’t share. Be honest: you wouldn’t either, would you?
So, first things first: before you ask anyone to share anything, you need to produce high-quality, pertinent content.
One strategy here is to engage employees in the content creation process. Do a bit of outreach to identify pertinent topics and see if you can garner any themes from colleagues. Not only will employees have a bigger stake in sharing content, but you will also probably gain some good ideas! You can also work with a trusted social media marketing agency that can also come up with ideas to help you achieve your business goals.
2. Identify the social media super-users
Chances are, you already have a select crew of colleagues who are naturally active on social media – whether it’s an Instagram queen, TikTok master, or LinkedIn advocate. Find out who they are and get them on your side.
Once you’ve identified your social superstars, the goal is to convert this group into your company’s social vanguard. But you need to address the elephant in the room: what’s in it for them? Why should they share your content with their followers?
A few arguments you can share with your colleagues:
- It can support building their own professional social networks
- They can use it to position themselves as thought leaders and keep their profiles active
- The company can showcase their achievements internally
- They can be provided with training and ongoing professional development
- You can even offer to build it into job descriptions.
But, the most effective motivation of all? You’ve guessed it: rewards.
3. Incentivise and gamify
As part of your program, you’ll want to set up a system of rewards and recognition. This can be done by measuring the results of your employee’s outreach actions and creating milestones that they can aim to achieve – each mapped to a specific incentive. This gamifies the process and keeps people enthused and motivated, and maybe even competing with themselves!
You can offer rewards on a weekly or monthly basis, and the prizes can be varied. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Gift cards
- Lunch out
- Company swag
- Extra time off
- Donations in their name to their charity of choice
4. Encourage participation – but don’t force it
Once you have a strong pilot program with results (that you can hopefully tie back to revenue), it’s time to inspire others to jump on the wagon!
You will always have some employees who are not comfortable raising their profile on social media: don’t waste precious time trying to convert them. If employees are “forced” to participate, their involvement will be more robotic – and trust us, social media can tell. It won’t look good for the company, and it may cause even more disengagement.
But there will be the middle ground of employees who would like to have a better presence but don’t know quite how to go about it. In our experience, subtly showcasing a successful social sharing program – with incentives for participating – does create a virtuous circle of employees joining in and making social sharing a normal behaviour.
5. Make social content sharing easy
Once you get the ball rolling, you will need a strategy to make sharing as easy as pie.
Your employees will be the voice of your company – so you want them to be talking about things that are relevant for the business, and you want the messaging to stay consistent. So, providing pre-approved, easy-to-copy-and-paste content is essential. And you want this content to be in the right format for the platforms your employees will be using.
In our experience, a content bank coupled with a social media management tool like Hootsuite or Simplified is an unbeatable combination. Basically, the whole process becomes as easy and quick as a click.
Not having a social media component in your company’s B2B content marketing campaign is no longer an option. So, stay ahead of the curve – contact us to talk about how we can help create the content your employees will want to share, or take a look at our blog detailing the perfect content strategy, here.