When we talk about social media we are often talking about connecting with your consumers to bring a genuine voice and a face to your brand.
But, did you know that you can also use social to strengthen relationships among your employees?
According to EveryoneSocial, when you engage in a social employee advocacy program 20% of employees are more likely to stay at their companies, 15% are more likely to feel connected to co-workers beyond their core teams, 20% are more likely to feel inspired, and 27% are more likely to feel optimistic about their companies’ futures.
Not bad, huh?
However, employee advocacy programs are a lot of work for a small business to start and maintain when you figure in communicating your brand voice, what you can and cannot share to social, and all the worries in-between for employees who may not consider social part of their everyday.
Therefore, we thought we would give you an intro to advocacy involving just four steps to jumpstart your employees’ interest in getting involved (and inevitably assist in sharing your campaign across several social networks).
1. Ask for participation
Campaigns for holidays that are widely celebrated are a great place to start when trying to get your employees involved. Most will be celebrating one way or another, are happy to share the experience, and may already be thinking about how to acknowledge the holiday with cards, presents, etc.
So when thinking about how to get involved in Father’s Day, we couldn’t think of a better way to show our appreciation for dads everywhere than asking our employees to share why they were thankful for their fathers.
All that was left to do was to ask for their participation.
This can be done through a simple all-inclusive email to the company to a) cast a wide net to collect the most participation b) not single anyone out to pressure their contribution.
Another great option is to take advantage of internal networks like internal websites or dashboards (or Hipchat, in our case) to get the word out.
2. Be transparent
No matter how you ask people to get involved, be sure you are clear on all of the details of what you will be sharing.
Here’s a quick checklist:
– What form of information you will be sharing (a video, photo, or message)
– If you will be sharing their name (just first name, last name, and if they will be tagged/mentioned)
– Which networks you will be sharing on (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
Including all of this information is to ensure they will be comfortable with what is being shared, and trust your company to uphold the integrity of their employees. No surprises means they will gain confidence to do it again in the future.
Below you’ll see an example of our recent #THANKYOUDAD campaign where we told employees we would just be sharing their first name and would not tag them in the photo. However, they were more than welcome to like or share the photo with their own networks once posted.
3. Share to multiple networks
As with every good marketing campaign, you must think about your audience when deciding where to share your messages.
So for the campaigns where employee participation is included it is essential to not only think about where your consumers will be, but also your employees. Not everyone will be just on Facebook or just on Twitter, so it may be a good idea to post to multiple networks for mass appeal.
If you’d like to go as far as taking a poll to your employees preferred networks, that would be ideal. However, for our #THANKYOUDAD campaign we chose the top three networks where Webs posts content and shared the designs to all three so that employees could share, retweet, and repost on their preferred social channel.
4. Announce publish dates
This last step is a little bit of a no-brainer, but we still feel it is worth mentioning.
Just because your holiday campaign is for Father’s Day, or Christmas, or the New Year, doesn’t mean you will be sharing to social on that specific day. You could be using the campaign to lead up to a special sale and posting the employee-participation posts earlier that week.
To prove to your employees that you care about their input and involvement, let them know when you will be sharing the posts and try to go a step further by giving specific days/times for an individual.
That anticipation of participation could be enough to incentivize your employees to check in with your networks and share with their own once the content is published.
But if that won’t be enough, it may be important to also point out the intrinsic value of sharing when you first ask for participation like building up their personal brand, or helping the company succeed. Or there are always the extrinsic values of participating and sharing like gift cards, raffles for days off, etc.
Have you had success encouraging employee advocacy on social media?
Share your ways in the comments!
About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Senior Specialist of Content Marketing for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on Pagemodo’s Blog and Twitter.