Technology & Data
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
How to Get Your Sales and Marketing Teams to Work in HarmonyContent Marketing for Midsized Companies: Whom to Target, What to CreateAtri Chatterjee of Act-On Software on the New Generation of MarketersMarketing Automation: What It Is and Why You Need to Know
- Social Tools
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Having Trouble Turning Your Employees into Social Media Brand Advocates?
Posted on June 23rd 2014
You’ve probably already heard how useful it can be if your employees are willing and eager brand advocates for your company across social media channels. In the best cases, employees who naturally promote your business in the social media realm can be more effective than even the most carefully implemented marketing plans.
However, sometimes it’s harder than expected to create a company culture that encourages those valuable brand ambassadors. Keep reading to learn what might be to blame if you’re running into obstacles and aren’t sure how to overcome them.
Your Company Isn’t a Great Place to Work
It sounds obvious, but if employees aren’t satisfied with the work environment for one reason or another, they almost certainly won’t speak of your company favorably across social media channels. It’s often difficult to get to the heart of the problem, so you may want to think about having informal chat sessions or offering voluntary surveys or comment cards to your employees.
Keep in mind that it usually takes time to make major and lasting changes in a workplace. However, when you show a willingness to at least make the effort, that in itself could be enough to start changing employee attitudes.
Employees Are Afraid of Potential Backlash
Almost everyone has heard a horror story or two about employees who posted something on social media only to find out the next day they had lost their jobs. It’s necessary to have social media guidelines in place, but you don’t want the rules to be so strict or hard to interpret that people would rather not bother even trying to follow them.
Consider asking employees to collectively come up with the rules for social media behaviors. That may allow you to uncover some of the reasons why people feel uncertain about discussing your company on social media. It also helps avoid the hard-to-understand terminology that often characterizes company documents.
Employees Aren’t Sure How to Get Started
Another possible reason why you may be having problems is that employees are feeling uneasy about taking the leap into social media at a corporate level. It’s one thing to use a channel like Facebook or Twitter to describe how you spent a day off. It’s another to positively speak about the place where you work in a way that seems natural. Remember that when working with your own employees.
Social media advocacy doesn’t have to feel like a major undertaking. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting employees to share a piece of content published by your business on their own social media accounts.
It may also be useful to have some sort of incentive program that helps break the ice, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of people who are hesitant about using social media at all.
Alternatively, think about offering several social media specific roles within your company for interested people. For example, if your company works with business telephone systems in Lancaster, PA, you could have one person is responsible for putting news content on social media, another who contributes to the company blog by offering user-friendly tips about how to choose appropriate communication setups for particular needs, and an individual who is responsible for getting testimonials from clients within the community.
These are just a few ideas. When employees naturally work with social media as part of their jobs, that increases the chances they’ll also spend time on social media while at home, and hopefully they’ll become brand advocates for your business, too.
The process of creating brand advocates who drive your business through social media posts should be very organic, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan in mind. If you’ve had one for a while and it’s not working as you’d hoped, the possible scenarios discussed above could help you get out of the rut.
Image by Viktor Hanacek