At Surf Your Name, we understand the importance of your company’s social media outlets. And we often get questions from clients wondering how they can increase their sphere of influence and they’re often surprised by our answer. What most business owners don’t know is that one of the most successful ways to tap into an extended social media audience is right in front of them: their employees.
As a business owner, your own employees can account for what is essentially a social media “army”. If you think about it in terms of numbers – if your business has 20 employees and they each have about 300 friends or followers then collectively, they could reach an extra 6,000 people! That makes a huge difference when you have an important message that needs to be spread far and wide. People tend to trust their friends and colleagues more than businesses or corporations. So, messages from your employees to their followers usually generate more engagement than that of a blast from your business.
Of course, some might feel apprehensive about asking their employees to essentially advertise to their friends and family. But if done correctly, this social media “amplification” can increase the reach of your businesses’ reach and benefit your employees in several ways. So, how do you get your employees to participate more enthusiastically in your business’s social media campaigns? We’ve put together a list of 5 tips and lessons to make sure that you and your staff see the best results.
1) Participation from your Employees Must be Voluntary
Obviously, as a business owner, you shouldn’t force your employees to post company messages on their personal social media accounts. But you should take this rule even further – for you to see the best results, your employees must want to share. There should be an equal alignment of interest for both the business and the employee.
The benefit for the company is pretty obvious – a bigger audience and therefore a greater sphere of influence. But what does your employee get out of sharing company messages? Sharing relevant messages allows your employees to build up their professional social media followings and it helps establish them as experts in their field. Ideally, your employees work for your company because they care about your company’s mission. On social media, people talk about what they love – so what if their profession is one of those things?
2) Your Employees Must Know Their Audience
For maximum engagement, your employees need to have a social media following that actually care about the posts being shared. Basically, their audience must be relevant. Sharing last quarters numbers and exciting new marketing projects to your high school buddies won’t work, because those messages are not useful to them. Your employees’ followers shouldn’t look at the posts as random, uninteresting corporate blasts but as valuable and engaging information.
3) Teach Your Employees How to Use Social Media Professionally
You shouldn’t expect your employees to automatically know how to use social media “professionally”. In fact, many businesses will offer some basic training aimed at dismantling the notion that social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram are wastes of time and bad for productivity. This training helps employees nurture a productive following and ultimately excel at pitching in on social media.
4) Make Your Messages Easy to Share
When you’re asking for the help of your employees to distribute an important message through their social media channels, you should alert them directly – an email works great, or an announcement at a staff meeting can do the trick. To make it as easy as possible, draft messages beforehand. Compiling a short list of shareable blurbs for Facebook about upcoming events or important announcements can make sharing your message as easy as 1-2-3 for your employees.
5) Don’t Over Use this Strategy
The respect and trust that users garner over time is known as social capital. It’s what makes posts effective – it’s what sparks engagement and its why people keep following each other. It’s important, as a business owner that you always respect the social capital of your staff. If their following is suddenly bombarded with irrelevant company information or sales pitches, their credibility goes out the window. Nobody wants to be put in that situation.
Because of this, it’s important to use this strategy sparingly. The best messages for employee sharing are posts that are interesting to a broad audience, something funny or entertaining, or something that contains actionable information.
Asking for the participation of your employees is only one part of making your businesses social media outlets successful and wide-spread. Sometimes, it’s difficult to devote time and effort to keeping your followers engaged because you’re busy running your business. That’s where Surf Your Name comes in. Our talented team of social media managers know what it takes to widen your sphere of influence and keep your audience interested. To find out how you can get started, give us a call TODAY at 515-4WEB-GUY (515-493-2489) or use the contact form on our website!