When it comes to listing one of your company’s greatest assets, it should really come down to your employees. This is especially true in the field of B2B marketing. Yet, employees are unlike any other company asset because they are simultaneously the greatest potential asset and the greatest possible liability. Yet, when it comes to social media, social media managers are starting to understand that employees can be influencers and brand advocates.
Because current research shows that customers trust company employees as sources of information they want.
According to Advertising Age,
The entire industry is looking at how to get content into people’s social media streams.
So how do you get your employees to become impassioned marketers? Read on to learn more.
Why do you need employee advocates anyway?
In 2015, IBM made headlines with their #NewWayToWork campaign. In fact, it was awarded the Viral Marketing Campaign of the Year from the Annual American Business Awards of 2015. The reason is for the rockstar ROI IBM was able to produce.
The company called on 1,000 employees to become brand advocates on their own social media accounts. This gave the tech giant 141,000 clicks. This is just one of many success stories companies have when it comes to enlisting employees in sharing their brand. Of course, there are some considerations.
When it comes to social media, do employee posts really count?
To illustrate, does your company monitor employee accounts? What is the down side? If you don’t call on employee brand advocates, you might lose business. According to Kredible.com,
53 percent of decision makers eliminated a vendor from consideration due to information they either found or did not find online.
How would that impact your business and financial goals? The best thing about it is employees can manage their social media at their own pace and on their own phones.
Your employees already use social media
In addition, you can be sure many of your employees are already sharing things about work online. They spend time online just like your customer base. If they list your company name on any network, they immediately become a brand ambassador. Why not help them get the right message out?
Decide what types of employees you want to enlist
Although many of your employees are probably already active on social media, there are some who don’t use it as regularly. It is critical to have an understanding of which employees are the best fit for specific marketing objectives.
You want to determined the expertise, strengths and background of each employee.
Then, categorize them in a way that makes the most sense for your company. You might create distinctions based upon job title, department or product. Once that is done, you can customize your social media marketing based on a more targeted approach.
Set the guidelines
You want employees to become brand advocates, but you certainly don’t want them tweeting about anything and everything, such as company secrets. Always make sure your employee advocates are aware of what types of customer-related information needs to be kept confidential.
Furthermore, they should understand not to disclose financial or legal information of customers or clients. Remind them of their contractual obligations when they became employees. They should understand the boundaries.
Encourage unique voices
Increasingly, many businesses want to become more personal and welcoming with customers. Through social media, you company can self-promote and take part in more casual conversation. Video marketing is one way of reaching customers at a deeper and more personal level. In this regard, don’t be afraid to let your company’s unique voices be heard.
Your employees should be able to “keep it real,” while still maintaining a balance regarding professional moderation.
It’s important to start with learning. Once you’ve determined your team’s social media competency, it’s easier to create a presentation that covers best practices. There should also be ongoing training as technology and social media networks evolve.
People will always take the path of lease resistance. At times, incentives and contests can help. You might run contests to encourage social media participation. Moreover, you can offer incentives for your brand advocates to bring in clients on social media.
Encourage passion, not anger
There is a difference between passion and anger. Passion is great, anger is not. When you’re on social media, emotions can run high. This is especially true if something has been taken out of context or misrepresented.
You can have spirited discussions, but fights should be completely avoided.
Even if you delete an angry tweet, you never know who’s already turned it into a screen capture. Anger turns people away, passion brings them in.
Make the content organic
Customers turn to social media because they are tired of fake and scripted sales pitches. It would be the kiss of death if that is how you run your company’s social media accounts. This is why you need to give your employees some creative freedom. They will enjoy it more, and it’s something that can’t be copied or replicated. It can make you anxious to trust employees this way, but that is why you have to pick the right ones in the first place.
Even if they go “off script,” their personality, passion and expertise should shine through.
Don’t go overboard with promotions
Yes, you are on social media to self-promote, but you don’t want to do it. Being to pushy can quickly turn people away from your intended message. They way to make the most of your self-promotion is to share valuable content that ties back to your company.
The objective is to create a clear voice
as opposed to only promoting products and services all day long. With a personable account presence, you may be surprised at how quickly your sales rise.
Tie it all together
It can take a bit of planning and thought to get the right mix of employees to become brand advocates. In addition, conquering social media takes persistence and creativity. By teaching your employees how to do it, creating boundaries and offering some creative freedom, you create a culture that wants to tweet about your company. Moreover, contests and incentives only serve to heighten their motivation to become branding rock stars.
So, what are you waiting for?