There is no question about the value that social media platforms provide for businesses today.
Social media is one of the easiest ways to connect with customers, employees, new potential hires, and the prospects your organization wants to attract.
Yet, in order to improve your results online via these social networks it requires that your company has a strategy in place to increase overall social media engagement.
That means, your organization puts in the effort to increase the amount of shares, likes, and comments – all which can impact the network effect, brand awareness, and much more.
And one way to stimulate social media engagement is via your company’s employees. Between their networks, content creation, and own shares — it can have profound impact in multiple areas of the company.
The Value of Socially Active Employees
While building your LinkedIn Company page and creating a social media community around your brand is important, your employees’ networks can play a major role in the success of the business.
And there is tons of data and studies around the effectiveness of employees creating, sharing, and engaging on social media for your brand and their own personal brands.
I won’t get into it all here, but here’s a snippet of stats:
- Content has 2x higher engagement when shared by employees. (LinkedIn)
- On average, your employees have a network that is 10 times larger than your company’s follower base. (LinkedIn)
- 76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands.
- During our paid advertising and advocacy research for our guide, we’ve found employees have an average of 1,000 social connections. If your organization for example has 1,000 employees creating and sharing content, they have a combined potential average reach of 1,000,000!
Enabling employees via an employee advocacy program
For many organizations, their employees are already somewhat engaging and talking about their company online.
And marketing leaders might be attempting to improve this via general company newsletters or even using the “Notify Employees” option on a company LinkedIn page for example.
However, newsletters get buried or forgotten about. The notifications on LinkedIn only work if your employees are following your company (not all do) and are on the platform enough to easily engage.
One of the better ways to improve social media engagement and organizing a strategy is through an employee advocacy platform. This provides employees with a central location to discover content and news, create their own user generated content, and easily share to networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
An employee advocacy platform also allows the company to easily distribute news and information, push important announcements, and give deskless employees on the go easy ways to share via mobile apps.
Of course, I’m only scratching the surface at the power an employee advocacy program can have. While employee advocacy adds specific value to any team or department that uses it, the platform also reduces those departmental silos and provides cohesion for the company’s culture.
If you want the true power of social media engagement via employees, driving results for marketing, sales, recruiting, communications, and employer brand – then an employee advocacy platform will be an absolute must.
How to Get More Employee Social Media Engagement
Even if your company has an employee advocacy program in place and portions of your team creating and sharing content, your goal is to encourage and get more employees involved.
Afterall, the more socially active employees there are on behalf of your brand, the more results your organization will generate.
For example, take a look at two of our customers: Adobe and Teradata. They have highly engaged employee advocates and strong social media engagement with their internal programs.
- Adobe Expands Social Reach By 3 Million+ via Employees
- Teradata Expands Their Social Reach Over 800,000 With Employees
Since employee activation is so critical to your business, your company will need to formulate a strategy that will also assist in increasing social media engagement.
And while you certainly want social engagement from customers, prospects, and other brand followers – your employees can help increase results and enhance awareness.
Here are some of the best tips to improve social media engagement from your employees.
What’s In It For Them?
One of the best ways to get employee engagement on any company initiative is to show your team how it’s beneficial to participate.
A common risk of advocacy admins is to fixate on the returns of a program at the exclusion of the participants’ experience.
Of course the goal is to reap the benefits of any strategy or campaign, but the efforts should be a two way street. Meaning, whatever it is should be impactful or useful to employees too.
With driving social media engagement, that concept is no different. If your company goal is to improve social media engagement and results, how does employees getting involved impact their own lives?
- Helps them increase company results and goals
- Improves their own personal branding that can lead to future opportunities
- Increases their thought leadership and expertise
- Can increase career experience, leading to more internal company opportunities
- If your company is carefully gamifying employee advocacy, employees can be recognized or win interesting professional rewards (lunch with CEO, free tickets to something, etc.)
If a social media engagement initiative is important to your company, ensure that the value of employee advocacy is clearly communicated for everyone. That can be done through team meetings, training, internal announcements via email and employee advocacy.
Remember, social media engagement from your employees cannot be required. But, you can communicate its value and entice employees to care and get involved.
Post Content That Is Interesting And Personalized
Too often, brands follow simple social media formulas and just post the latest company news, product or service pitch, or a generic blog post. Unless you have a massive social following, you’ll most likely find social media engagement to be lacking on these posts.
And if outside audiences don’t care, most of your employees have no interest in it either. Certainly, you may get a few to force a “Like” on it, but generally employee social engagement or enthusiasm will be lacking.
But the best brands on social media realize that the content being shared has to be unique, creative, and get employees involved. Mix in videos, images, GIFs, detailed blog posts that really add value, use third party content – and focus on team members, executives, and customers more.
Part two of this requires your company to organize and create a personalized content experience where employees find relevant information they care about.
While info about your company’s product or services is important, employees aren’t looking to spam their networks with that constantly or engage with it either.
The best way to accomplish this is with an employee advocacy platform, like EveryoneSocial. Content can be organized by groups, with employees joining what is relevant to their interests.
Admins can also ensure everyone has access to a specific group, like content that is important about the company. Private groups can be useful for team leads and executive members to stay on the same page.
But this experience is organized, is more relevant to the users interests, and helps employees create or join communities of topics that interest them most.
Encourage More User-Generated Content
While marketing and content teams might be the gatekeepers with creating posts and social copy, all employees bring unique experiences and thoughts to the table.
One of the best ways to harness these insights and creativity is to let employees create their own content for sharing.
Typically UGC is in reference to campaigns that get customers and social influencers involved to showcase a product or service. Yet a budding option is to get employees in on the action. Sometimes it’s referred to as employee-generated content, but you can bucket this under the umbrella of UGC.
This is a big way to boost social media engagement and get employees more active. Employees will be more likely to engage with their colleagues’ content, show support internally, and even start creating and sharing their own too.
- Employee-shared content gets 8x more engagement than content shared by brands. (Social Media Today)
- UGC posts shared to social channels see a 28% higher engagement rate than standard brand posts. (SocialToaster)
- Social campaigns that incorporate UGC see a 50% lift in engagement. (Salesforce)
And this type of content from your employees can be about their work, travels, professional careers, company events, blog posts, or even being part of a bigger company initiative.
This content works so well for social media engagement because it humanizes the content, is more personal, and you can tell it was not created by the marketing department.
Again, EveryoneSocial makes UGC easy for employees to create and engage with. Whether uploaded to the desktop application or creating content on the go via mobile apps, UGC content can be at the forefront of employees to engage directly, share, or go to the social post and engage there.
Make It Easier to Engage With Company Posts
As I mentioned earlier in this post, not all your employees are following the company page on social media accounts. And those who do are not always seeing the social posts (depending how often they login, social algorithms, etc.).
Yet, you can build more social media engagement from employees (which can lead to more engagement from audiences) by making it easy for employees to engage with your brand’s social posts. The easiest way to accomplish this is with EveryoneSocials feature “Engage.”
When your team is in the central program, you can include social posts from branded accounts to let your team know about it and to ask for them to engage.
These can be marked as important so everyone is notified, to keep pinned at the top of their EveryoneSocial feeds, and only include into certain groups if the post is more tailored to a particular team of employees.
This can drive more attention to the social posts, help them trend, or increase the network effect on audiences that see the content.
Not every branded social post needs to be highlighted for your team, but if you want to amplify engagement from your employees and beyond then pinning posts as important is a good idea.
For example, let’s say you have something cool like a unique virtual event and you want to amplify the content to drive awareness and leads.
Beyond employees sharing that message to their networks, in EveryoneSocial you can share social updates within the platform for employees to “Engage” with.
By doing this, it makes it easy for your team to quickly go to that virtual event announcement and like, reshare, or comment on it to amply the social engagement and reach of the message.
Keep Employees Consistently Informed
A challenging aspect to getting more social media engagement from employees is keeping them informed of the newest content and social posts.
Everyone is busy with their daily work, and oftentimes employees aren’t thinking about social media or engaging with the latest company post.
Employee advocacy empowers your organization to stay on top of the latest content or social campaigns you’d like employees to drive more attention too.
When companies use social media internally, messages become content; a searchable record of knowledge can reduce, by as much as 35%, the time employees spend searching for company information. (McKinsey)
But beyond keeping everyone informed, employee advocacy makes it easier for employees to find content to share on social media and for everyone to engage with company shares to increase overall brand reach. This is where employee advocacy shines.
Not only is there content organized for employees to find, but push notifications for desktop and mobile, email alerts, and newsletter capabilities all ensure that the social content for engagement is never missed.
Employee advocacy is the easiest way to organize social engagement and keep your employees in the loop.