Social media advocacy refers to using your employees and your clients to promote your brand. In the peer-to-peer world that we live in, it’s essential that prospective clients and hires hear about your firm from their peers—your clients and employees.
Whether your company’s goals are increasing your social media following, driving traffic to your website, or adding to your team by attracting new candidates for hire, look no further than the people that surround you every day. Your employees can enrich your social media content offering and provide up-close and personal perspectives on what it’s really like to work at your company. In fact, employees are twice as trusted as a CEO or senior executive.
Here are 8 tips to leverage your employees as social media brand ambassadors.
Each social media platform has different strengths and weaknesses. Platforms differ in their users—your audience, in their rules for posting, and in offerings for business. Your goals should differ accordingly. A goal for your Twitter account might be driving visitors to your website, whereas an Instagram goal might be to showcase your product or service visually or to target a younger audience. So be sure you not only select the right social media platforms to use, but also take the right approach for each individual platform.
Before encouraging your people to get involved and post about your company on Social, it is essential to establish company-wide standards for talking about your company. Should your employees tag your company when they post? Are there specific hashtags that should be used on certain platforms? Can your employees mention clients? How so? Which platforms, if any, are acceptable outlets for informal company culture-related material? Who should respond to comments, and when is it time to get higher-ups involved? These questions and more should be crystal clear in the minds of your people before they start to post about your firm.
There are no better advocates for your company as an employer than your employees themselves. Facebook and Instagram are great outlets for more spontaneous and less formal content, such as sharing company outings or meeting the team. This sort of material is ideal for firms that are looking to hire as well as firms that would like to give clients and prospects a glimpse into what they do.
Whether it be a gift certificate to the company store, or awards based on post engagement, find an appealing way to incentivize your people to get involved. Consider holding a contest or raffle where employees who post about your firm are automatically entered to win. Finally, share top posts from company accounts, positively reinforcing ideal employee-generated content.
Hashtags can function in several ways. They can act as searchable keywords for your audience. By using specific hashtags that convey the purpose of each post, such as #ContentMarketing, #SocialMedia, and #EmployeeAdvocacy, your post becomes searchable by anyone who is searching a platform for one of the keywords above. Creating unique company-specific keywords is another way to leverage hashtags for your company’s benefit. Having specific hashtags for post types or events, such as #circleBackSaturday or #circleSspecial make it easy to locate employee generated content or raffle entrants.
For your prospective clients, there’s no peace of mind quite like reading accounts of your performance from their peers—your clients. Encourage your raving fan clients to post about their experience working with you, whether it’s showcasing the work you did for them or just a friendly shout out of appreciation for your work.
Whether it’s retweeting a blog article, commenting on a Facebook post on a company outing, or sharing a new hire update on LinkedIn, each time an employee or client engages with your company content, your firm is exposed to their network, garnering new visibility and enlarging your company’s network.
Whether it’s done by you, a page admin for each platform, or a dedicated Social Media Coordinator, someone must take responsibility for responding to comments-both positive and negative-and de-escalating negative posts, should they surface. This person should search company hashtags periodically and monitor company pages for opportunities to engage prospects, clients, and raving fans.
Leveraging employees and clients as advocates not only increases your firm’s reach and basin of collective knowledge, it creates new accountability and buy in. When employees are intimately involved in your social media advocacy program, they become stakeholders, invested in its success.