Two of the most common questions businesses and individuals have in regard to employee advocacy are, “How do we find the time to share content while we’re busy doing our actual jobs?” and “Can we just use automatic sharing?”
You might think that automatic sharing is the solution and, on the surface, it does seem like it would solve some problems. Before we dive into this, however, let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing.
Automatic sharing doesn’t mean pre-scheduling posts; scheduled posts are extremely common and can be quite effective if used properly!
In fact, EveryoneSocial does have the capability to schedule posts in advance, but we’ll get to that later. When we say “automatic sharing” we’re referring to how some platforms out there allow program administrators to push content right out to their employees’ social media accounts.
We’re here to tell you the hard truth: that goes directly against what an employee advocacy program is all about.
The 3 Reasons You Should Avoid Automatic Social Media Sharing
1. It tarnishes authentic engagement.
One of the core aspects of any employee advocacy program is to get your people engaged: taking them out of the equation and automating it simply defeats the purpose.
In other words, by taking the employee out of the process, you’re not actually practicing employee advocacy. It’d be akin to going to your favorite brick oven pizza joint and finding out that they actually just reheat frozen grocery store pizzas!
Don’t get us wrong — frozen grocery store pizzas have a time and a place, but you go to a brick oven pizza joint for the added flavor and authenticity, right?
It’s impossible for even the best program managers to write a mass-produced post for their employees without sounding robotic to at least some of the audience.
The public can often tell when a social media post was written impassively or pushed out without regard to highly salient current events, which leads us to our next point.
2. It complicates employees’ personal branding, which matters a lot.
Tons of companies are encouraging their employees to explore their own personal and professional brands, which is fantastic!
In many cases, there’s going to be some overlap between an individual’s own brand and their employer’s brand. After all, most people prefer to work for an organization whose values and culture align with their own.
That being said, nobody likes a corporate shill and by automatically sharing content you risk losing control over your personal brand.
The reason employee advocacy programs work so well is because they rely on the fact that 76% of people trust content shared by “normal” people more than they trust content shared by brands, according to Olapic.
Authenticity and a sense of uniqueness are truly critical to a successful employee advocacy campaign.
3. The uniqueness of the individual is lost.
Very similar people can still use social media in very different ways, and there are often differences in how one person uses individual platforms.
There really is no one-size-fits-all approach to employee advocacy, because everyone uses social media differently.
A good way to illustrate this is by using EveryoneSocial’s marketing team as an example. My (the author) personal Instagram is primarily focused on my artistic side, my hobbies, and other things I’m passionate about.
I also post fairly infrequently. Conversely, our Customer Marketing and Content Strategy gal, Courtney Morrison, has all sorts of references to her professional endeavors on Instagram with new content almost every day!
Just because we work on the same team at the same company doesn’t mean we utilize our channels in the same way, and it definitely doesn’t mean our followers expect the same kind of content.
Even the cadence of posting can come into play here: getting too gung-ho with company-content sharing can come across as spammy when people aren’t used to seeing it.
That’s especially the case if someone happens to follow multiple people at the same company. Seeing two identical canned corporate posts from two different people posted at the same time would raise an eyebrow, right?
The point is, mass auto-sharing doesn’t take into account various platforms’ differences in functionality and user behavior.
What Should You Do Instead?
Rather than use automatic sharing, we propose you simply incentivize people to share content themselves.
- Showing the ROI for actively engaging with social media is one way to do this. Hard numbers are some of the best motivators, especially when it comes to things like sales.
- Another option is to utilize gamification! Tapping into their competitive streak can really light a fire under some employees, especially when their pride or a prize is on the line. EveryoneSocial’s leaderboard feature is a great way to track who’s in the running for next month’s upgraded parking spot or coffee shop gift card.
- Don’t take gamification too far, however. Rather than incentivizing every single action, you can also encourage employees to share curated content relevant to their particular niche at the company. Providing a sense of ownership over company messaging helps employees feel valued, so it’s especially handy that EveryoneSocial’s newsletter function recommends a list of shareable content that is unique to each recipient.
- Finally, don’t forget to tell them how easy it actually is. Reminding employees you don’t expect them to become full-time social media managers can take some of the pressure off. All it takes is 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there, and the ability to write a caption for whatever content they’re interested in sharing. If one of your people would rather spend an hour every Monday scheduling out a handful of posts for the week, set-and-forget is absolutely an option.
Utilizing A Scheduler For Employee Advocacy
As we mentioned earlier, EveryoneSocial’s scheduling tool allows users to plan posts out in advance for their convenience.
By default, it suggests the optimal time to post for the highest engagement rate so users don’t have to worry about analytics.
However, if your people prefer to have granular control over their social media (which is totally okay!) they can schedule it for a specific time, too.
Scheduling tools like ours allow users to easily share content and maintain a level of authenticity not found in platforms that use automatic sharing.