Turn Your Employees into a Team of Social Media Advocates

9/30/2017

By Will Brame & Patrick O’Connor

There is no denying the importance of social media for business. More than 4.5 billion people are active users on at least one of the top three social media platforms. Facebook has more than 2 billion users, while YouTube and Instagram are not far behind with 1.5 billion and 700 million users, respectively. With more than half of the world’s population actively engaged, social media is much more than just an avenue to keep in touch with old friends. It is a way to connect with the world.

Social media places vast audiences at the fingertips of its users. For this reason, marketers around the world are capitalizing on its reach through more advanced strategies. Despite varying techniques, most marketers agree that social media presents an opportunity for exposure, brand building, and ultimately a way to create an online community built around their company. There will always be debates about the most efficient strategies – video content, infographics, pictures, or stories – but there is one avenue of social media strategy that is often overlooked: leveraging employees. Who better to represent a company than those individuals who live and breathe your brand and culture every day? Below are just some of the numerous advantages of utilizing your employees as part of your social media strategy:

  1. Increased reach. As members of a company, employees are automatic brand ambassadors and sharing to their individual audiences, together with their company’s audience, makes for more far-reaching brand exposure.
  2. Employee enthusiasm. Chances are your employees want to share their positive work experiences on social media but hesitate if there is an unclear message on how to best do so. Encouraging employees to take to social media allows the company to consistently make impressions on a larger number of people, while simultaneously spreading something positive about the business.
  3. Increased employee engagement. Team members appreciate being a part of something larger than themselves and their individual role. Charging employees with sharing their work experiences may even challenge them to come up with new ideas and strategies to improve the company’s social media strategy.
  4. Improved online image and reputation. Nowadays, online reputation is everything. For better or worse, what is found in response to a Google search can have a profound impact on revenues, potential new clients, and future employees. If consistent positive messaging is found, chances are high prospective partners will want to work with you. Bottom line – when your employees are actively promoting the company and brand, everyone benefits.
  5. Brand Equity. Your social media footprint impacts your overall enterprise value as well. The results of a recent INC study reveal that “the average [acquisition] offer received among all of the businesses analyzed was 3.7 times pre-tax profit. However, when we isolate just those businesses with at least 10,000 connections, the offer multiple goes up to 4.67. If you have more than 100,000 people in your opt-in footprint, the multiple goes up to 4.87.”

While these advantages demonstrate the power of an effective social media strategy, consistent messaging and guidelines are crucial during implementation. When employees do not have a clear vision of the strategy, these perks will not be maximized and may ultimately negatively affect the company. Below are procedures that ensure a seamless roll-out of your new social media marketing strategy:

1. Create Guidelines

What instructions or suggestions should employees follow?

For many, connecting with friends and family via social media is second nature. Yet, it can be tricky and even intimidating when trying to use it in a more professional setting.

Relieve some of the pressure and make it as easy as possible for your employees to represent their company on social media. You might provide a guide with suggestions or directions on how to post, when to post, what hashtags to use, and what voice to use.

Of course, you don’t want a long list of rigid rules. That tends to discourage people from getting involved in the first place and using their own creativity. However, you do want to give your team a good foundation to post in a meaningful way, while also encouraging them to be creative in their own ways. Give your employees parameters, and let them do the rest.

2. Provide Some Content

You will need to decide what content to provide and how much. You want each employee to share their thoughts and experiences in an authentic way, but providing ideas and examples of things to share is a great way to kickstart their creativity.

You don’t want to take the reins of their social media efforts by any means. The purpose of providing some content is to help them out when they are low on ideas about what to share. This will give them a pool of inspiration to draw from and will also create consistency in what your employees are sharing.

3. Create Incentives

The harder your team is willing to work at this, the better the results for your business. Try to set milestones, create competitions, and give out awards to those who reach various goals.

4. Don’t Stress Over Monitoring Everybody’s Accounts

Put a cap on how much you monitor your team’s social media activity. It’s only natural to care about your company’s online reputation. But ask yourself: Do I trust my employees enough not to check up on them? Do I have confidence that what they post online will only reflect positively on the business? If you can’t say “yes,” then there may be some underlying issues that need attention first. If trust is not an issue, don’t monitor any more than necessary to determine what milestones or goals have been met as discussed above.

From Team Members to Brand Advocates

These recommendations can provide your team with a good foundation for success. The more success they have individually, the better the outcome for all. You can maximize your company’s reach, enhance your company’s image, and keep your employees engaged by turning your team in an army of social media advocates.


Will Brame is a Principal at LDR focused on identifying and evaluating investment opportunities while providing strategic growth guidance to partner companies.

Patrick O’Connor is the Director of Marketing & Branding for LDR focused on growing the awareness and the power of the LDR brand.

Connect with LDR on LinkedIn and Twitter!

 

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