When you are building your brand through a marketing strategy, one of the first goals is to use multiple channels to amplify content buzz, increasing engagement to find new leads. It is very difficult for a brand (any brand) to get noticed and be recognized; awareness is essential to emerge in social and digital channels and the fastest way to grow it is to enhance the scope of communications.
However, you are just forgetting an important element in your strategy: your employees and their use of social media (and, of course, a marketing strategy in line with their roles).
Your employees can be part of a very powerful strategy, why? Because they are the people behind your brand that:
- work hard
- support your mission
- help you achieve your goals.
They are the first people in your corporate culture who test the quality of your products or services on a daily basis. Your employees are those who can lend genuine credibility and authenticity to your marketing efforts.
The best part? Including employees in your marketing strategy will not cost you so much, but can give you great satisfaction. In fact, according to the MLS Group the communications concerning the brand shared by employees on the various platforms, are more frequently re-posted, up to 24 times more.
In addition, sharing certain information from employees on social media can generate more leads, conclude sales more quickly, and give more help in retaining customers.
Now that you understand the motivations of this strategy, you’re probably wondering how to start the program with the employees. Here are some tricks to realize your efforts.
1- Activate the employee brand ambassadors
Getting support from executives and people who hold leadership roles in the company is the first step, along with the use of gamification tools, to raise awareness of your brand and manage information effectively, improving relationships with employees that with customers. It’s no secret that social media has become an integral part of our daily lives and perhaps some employees are already sharing content about your brand. So why not invest in this aspect?
Having a team trained and effective in sharing branding messages is very important, both in terms of increased performance (employee retention) and the relevance that the word of mouth they generate for the network of their contacts. Request collaboration with executives and company leaders to create a network of social media communication activities and to credibly include the rest of the corporate team.
Imagine creating a team of brand ambassadors where participants can work with the marketing team to develop and define the advocacy program together. Do a little research to identify which employees are currently actively sharing content about your brand and who could effectively cover this role. When you find a contact for them, thank them for their efforts and ask them to become an integral part of the strategy of using social media, showing them the benefits.
On average, an employee advocat has a network of 420 friends on Facebook, 400 contacts on Linkedin and 360 followers on Twitter (Source: Smarp)
This statistic tells us that we are not talking about influencers, but about people able to pass a real and valuable message to a trusted circle of contacts. At the end of the journey, brand ambassadors will probably be even more proud to share content about your brand, thus encouraging other people to share content.
2. Make participation easy and fun
If you want your employees to start using social media more frequently for your brand, you need to make using it easy and fun. Here are some points to keep in mind:
- Use pre-written messages. For communications on social media, let your team use messages already prepared, so the only thing they will have to do is copy-paste, without wasting time creating new messages every time. Easy.
- Also make sure to provide them with a series of consistent content related to the company and treated appropriately. This will help the team to be updated simultaneously on the latest articles, creating a mixture of useful contents to the target and thus, expanding the network of followers
- Create clear guidelines on what they should share. In social media profiles, it often happens to share work content and personal content. For example, if you want to have specific people read specific posts, you can use hashtags created ad hoc. An example? For business communications, Dell employees use the # Iwork4Dell hashtag.
B2B content has a 16% better performance if shared at working hours, while B2C content improves results by + 17% at the weekend (Source: CoSchedule)
Probably, you will already be using social media tools that will support you in monitoring and organizing your presence on different online platforms. Some of the tools you use could also be useful for your employees: fill out a list of tools that can be easily used to make them manage their presence on social networks independently and continuously.
3 – Shows the positive impact they create with their online presence
Once your team has started sharing activities on social networks, the next step is to make sure they continue on a frequent basis. One way to make sure they do not stop their business is to demonstrate their positive impact on the company and on sales.
For example: regularly update the team on how this kind of activity is proceeding, rewarding those who receive more feedback and spreading short and fun contests or weekly competitions for the office.
This activity is very important for the project and requires management to have monitoring, reporting and evaluation tools updated in real time. Within the process of development of gamification tools this theme is particularly taken into consideration, without weighing down the usability of users.
4 – Do not force or compel: make it all fun
The best thing about employee advocacy in social media is authenticity. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the team should share their point of view towards the company, without being over-stressed or forced to adhere to this kind of activity. Do not entrust this task to those who are not predisposed or not suitable, you would risk ruining strategy and creating a tense working atmosphere.
As we have seen, having a team that takes care of sharing and communicating interesting brand content is very important.
Build a credible social branding network and increase business performance successfully!