The most cost-effective way to grow
your social media.
“The hidden diamond in your payroll”
Paying for ads online is an effortless way to reach a desired audience on social media, but the
cost can run up fast. There is another generally overlooked route to getting the message out that comes with no extra cost. Your own employees!
Inviting co-workers to share brand messages on their own social media accounts can have a range of benefits to your business. You instantly expand your reach, exponentially in the case of large companies and because messages are being shared from personal, they generally reach a higher percentage of followers. On top of this content shared by employees gets eight times more engagement than content shared by brand channels.
Like everything there’s a right way and a wrong way to encourage employee sharing. For starters it should never be obligatory or forced in anyway. Employees have to want to share company news, and it needs to be relevant to their own followings.
Simply encouraging employees to share their company’s social media updates can dramatically expand a company’s following, extending the reach and impact of its messages.
This does that require any special investment of time or money: The resources needed to execute it are already on your payroll!
Why An All-Staff Social Strategy Makes Sense.
No let’s do the math on how effective this could be.
Let’s say you’re a mid-sized company with a total of 4,000 followers altogether on your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts. Now assume say you have 100 employees each with 250 followers of their own, for a total of 25,000 unique followers. By asking your employees to share messages, you can boost your audience (at least on paper) from 5,000 to 30,000–instantly, and for free.
As we have written about before, it’s always more than the numbers.
Word of mouth posts from friends and colleagues are seen as more relevant and trustworthy than social media blasts from corporate accounts. In fact content that is shared by e
mployees gets eight times more engagement than content posted by a business account, and is shared 25 times more frequently. Even more impressive is the fact that leads developed through employee social marketing convert seven times more frequently than other leads.
Getting it right!
There will always be issues with this strategy, and it won’t work for every business or industry. Who says employees want to share updates? Will their followers care? Who decides what updates get blasted out and when? Shouldn’t my staff get a break between private and personal lives?
- You need incentive’s. Employees have to want to share updates. Just so this is clear it has to be voluntary! For this technique to work employees have to actually want to share company news. This starts with company culture. If employees are enthusiastic then helping the company get the word out–if it’s easy to do–isn’t a huge ask. Employees need to be engaged and involved front the start. By sharing relevant messages employees can build their own professional followings, as well as establishing themselves as experts in their industry. This is most true for LinkedIn and other professional networking sites.
- The posts and the audience need to match. It’s important that employees have a social following that cares about the messages being seeded, it must be relevant to the audience, or it won’t work. There’s little reason for the office accountant to send out quarterly earnings updates to his friends on Facebook. In other words, audience alignment is imperative. This form of Social advocacy works best when employees can tap into relevant professional or personal networks on social media. It’s is better to share a new product, an offer, or a pleasant experience.
- Depending on the type of company and demographic of the audience basic social media training may be necessary to get everyone up to speed on different social channels, and it’s also key to lay out guidelines for how employees should talk about the company on their accounts.
- The process must be extremely simple. When it comes to getting employees to share suggested messages, make it clear and straight forward. You may have a post from your account that staff can re blog, share or post. You can also send an office wide email with a pre written message for staff to copy and paste into a post. If you are confident and trust your team, you can let them post as they wish, however this is not without some risk.
- Use your new super employee advocates sparingly. It goes without saying that social media runs on trust, and trust is lost in an instant. If you are asking your staff to share posts every day or week, it won’t have the same effect, and you will lose the trust of the audience. The post sharing must be genuine. At most once per month would be our advice.
It’s not a matter of how many messages you send, it is more what kinds of messages you send. The most effective updates for employees to share are ones that are genuinely useful or entertaining.
Employee advocacy isn’t a new thing, but it is often overlooked. Social media has now made it significantly easier and cheaper to enlist your full staff as a marketing resource, so take advantage!
Applying the right strategy and a technology to tap into employees’ existing networks can radically increase the reach of your social media messaging, and lead to sustained growth in the future.
It’s important to point out that none of this works without the right foundation. Social advocacy depends on having an engaged and enthusiastic staff and the right corporate culture. People will never volunteer to promote a company where they don’t feel genuinely valued in the first place. Staff need to believe in the product, if they are going to share it with their friends and families.
Don’t overdo it! Once a month at most
The message must be genuine.
Include something of value
Staff must be invested the company culture for this to work or must be rewarded.