Your Employees – Why you should be engaging them in your social media strategy
Your employees can be a wonderful source of word-of-mouth advertising for your brand. Think about it – who knows more about your company than you? Quite possibly the people who work in it. If you are not engaging your employees in the social media buzz surrounding the company you’re missing out on a valuable resource. Furthermore, they may be touting the pros…and even the cons of the brand without your input.
Why engage your employees in your social media strategy?
The bottom line is that people are interested in other people, not products. Regardless if you sell widgets or if you sell a consulting service, people want to know you. People want to know the personalities behind the brand. Automattic does a great job of introducing their employees to the world through their About Us page. They append the personal blogs of each employee to the biographies allowing for perusal of each employee’s hobbies, life outside of work, and life within the world of Automattic.
Another reason is that your employees know your products inside and out. People who have worked in your company for decades are already loyal. You may as well utilize those people’s expertise and understanding of your business and your products to share with potential customers.
Then again, it can also help boost loyalty to your company. If you’re engaging your employees in your social media strategy, that means they have more vested interest in the company’s success. Perhaps they’ll be more likely to stay there long-term.
If all that isn’t enough of a reason, how about when an issue arises publicly? Would you want to be creating a reactionary social media response or have policies and employees in place who are capable of responding in times of crises? An example of this would be the recent GM car recalls. An article in the NY Times speaks to the response GM has engaged in throughout its social media channels and the effects these conversations have had.
How to manage an employee social media strategy
First and foremost, it’s imperative to create a social media policy that spells out conduct, platforms, what is and is not acceptable to post on behalf of the company and more. In this policy, you want to outline the platforms you plan to use, a description of each, and how that platform can benefit your company in order for employees to understand the overall strategy. People need guidance on how to be the voice of a company on these social media platforms as opposed to their own internal voice. (Check with your lawyer on all legal matters – I do not claim to be a lawyer giving advice that would stand up in a court of law).
In addition, provide examples of acceptable and unacceptable uses of social media on behalf of your company. What employees can and cannot say, and whether you have proprietary information that is not to be shared on social media. Are there new products launching soon that the details of need to be kept quiet, but you want the marketing team to begin the hype and the buildup to the launch of that product? Spell this out in the policy.
Involving each department
Involve each department head in this employee-centric social media strategy. The marketing department can be the lead on creating buzz and excitement about a new product without actually giving away the specifics. A technical expert may be able to create some how-to blogs that will solve one of your customer’s pain points or problems. Customer service professionals can spend some of their time during their workday featuring an employee and compiling an article or a series of photographs or a video about individuals who work in the company. There are endless numbers of ways to involve employees in company branded social media.
The more employees involved, the more content that is created. The more quality content that exists on behalf of the business, the more potential customers can be reached. Some customers might like to see the featured employees, and some might like to read all the how-to articles. All of this branded content is exponentially shareable. The more quality content your company is producing on your website as well as social media, the more potential you have for your brand to be shared across the board.
An added bonus – if you’re utilizing your employees, that means that you don’t have to do it all yourself.
How does your company utilize its employees in the social media strategy? Leave a comment below.