A genuine culture of content goes far beyond enabling and empowering content creators outside of marketing.
It’s about education: what content can achieve and how those achievements might benefit them.” – Rebecca Lieb, @lieblink
Not having a social business infrastructure for your organization is no longer an option. Your employees are using social. Your customers are interacting with content online. The millennial mindset (digital mindset) has taken over your business communications, and people are always connected, on multiple devices.
It’s pretty clear to a lot of businesses that employees should share content on their personal social networks. It’s the ONLY true way to scale social media distribution across the enterprise. But for the sceptics out there, here are a few stats:
- 77% of buyers are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media (Source: MSLGroup)
- Social CEOs are much more likely to be seen as good communicators than unsocial CEOs (55% vs. 38%, respectively (Source: Weber Shandwick)
- Sales reps using social media as part of their sales techniques outsell 78% of their peers (Source: Forbes)
- 80% believe their sales force would be more productive with a greater social media presence.(Source: Sales Management Association)
- B2B buyers complete 57% of the buying decision before they are willing to talk to a sales rep.(Source: CEB)
- 92% of buyers say they delete emails or voicemail messages when comes from someone that they do not know. (Source: A Sales Guy Consulting)
- Content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brand channels (Source: Social Media Today)
- Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels (Source: MSLGroup)
- 47% Referral hires have greater job satisfaction and stay longer at companies (Source: Jobvite)
Everyone wants a competitive advantage. More leads, more talent, more awareness. Investing in processes and infrastructure that enables your employees to share on social is a great step. But how do you get them to adopt the employee engagement program?
Employees Are Your Brand’s Superstars
Without buy-in from your employees, your employee engagement program will fail from the start. No matter what kind of infrastructure, processes, or technologies you have in place, if your employees don’t want to do it, it will be difficult.
So when it comes time to present and recruit team members for your social sharing program, you need to make it about their objectives. What’s in it for them? Why should they do this?
- Grow Professional Networks: Every opportunity starts with a connection. By encouraging employees to share industry and brand related content, they’ll build up their professional networks. These connections might develop into stronger relationships, which can be leveraged for opportunities later on.
- Personal Branding And Thought Leadership: In today’s world, your digital footprint matters. You’re applying for a new job, you’re trying to recruit someone, you’re working on a deal – everyone will be checking you out on LinkedIn or Google. By consistently sharing content, you’re building up your personal brand as developing thought leadership, which leads to higher quality connections.
- Lead Generation: Everyone at your company can be a micro inbound marketer. By arming your employees with the right technologies and content, you’re enabling them to create their own sales funnel, and help generate leads.
- Professional Development: By sharing content and interacting on social networks, your employees are learning valuable communication skills. Content and social media has become a natural part of everyday business communication, and your employees need to keep up to date.
By making sure you make the program about your employees, you’re investing in their knowledge, which helps with engagement and retention. You will still get the results you want for your organization, but the focus needs to be on them, not you.
Everyone Is Working Towards The Same Goal
Just like your company’s mission and vision statement, it’s important you’re transparent with the objectives of the program. You might want to even create a mission and vision statement, and call your program something fun.
It’s easier for employees to get on board when they know what they’re working towards. It also adds a sense of community to know that everyone, regardless of which department they’re in, is all using the same platform. It helps break down the silos.
So why is it important for employees to participate?
- Showcase Culture: Your employees are excited to be at work. They love their job, they like their colleagues, and they find their workplace cool. Showcasing the people behind your brand helps establish trust, attracts better talent, and improves brand health.
- Efficiency In Work And Communication: By having the right processes, infrastructure, and technologies in place, you’re improving the way employees are sharing content, and communicating with prospects, customers, and eachother.
- Professional Development, Knowledge, And New Skills: By working collectively on an employee engagement program, your employees are learning new ways to communicate. You’re educating them through a central library of brand and industry content they should know about, and they’re building out personal brands. It’s a win-win for everyone.
And you know, if you invest in the knowledge of your employees and organizational efficiencies as a whole, you’re making your company that much more competitive.
Incentives, Reminders And Gamification
Once users are sharing content and participating in your employee engagement program, it’s important to find ways to keep them active.
- Leaderboards: When you’re running an employee engagement program, it’s important to add an element of competition. You could have different leaderboards based on different tasks or outputs. This will keep employees active, and make them want to share more content as they compare themselves to their colleagues.
- Rewards And Recognition: It’s important to recognize the small stuff. Someone shared a great tweet, a post on LinkedIn got a lot of interactions, there’s a champion employee recruiting new employee advocates for the program. Acknowledge these achievements and people on the leaderboard frequently to keep everyone motivated.
- Email Updates: Once in a while, send an email reminder to your employee advocates about the program and the latest content is available to share. This is also a great time to recognize some of your top performing team members.
Sending a virtual high five to employees to recognize the great achievements they’ve made through the program will make them want to do more.
Everyone Craves Structure, In Some Shape Or Form
In the end, you need organization in your processes and structure in order to stay sane. Everyday life can become chaotic. You receive a ton of different communication, from different places. Content gets lost in emails. It’s a mess!
Having one centralized platform with all of your company’s latest content that can be access by every single employee to share at a click of a button adds structure.
Having a system in place that employees can use to suggest content and have their voices heard adds structure.
It’s important to have these systems in place to improve productivity at work.
It Only Works If You Have A Plan In Place
Your program will only be as successful as the effort you put in it. Before even starting to recruit your social employees, you need to have a strategy in place.
How will you get them excited? Do you have resources to help them get comfortable? How will you train them? How will you present the program to them? How will you keep them motivated?
These are all questions you’ll need to answer before you invite the first employee advocate in your engagement program.
Trying to do this ad-hoc, and only send the occasional email with “hey guys, here’s our latest blog post – please share it,” won’t cut it. Employee engagement needs to fit your overall business strategy, be reflective of your company’s mission and vision, and integrate in your modern business stack (processes, infrastructure and technologies).
Think about it. Give it some time. Then reach out to people who have done this at scale before starting. It will be much easier.
What are you doing to encourage employees to share? Is your employee engagement program about your company, or about them? Do you have a plan, processes, and infrastructure in place to make employee engagement successful for everyone? Please leave a comment below and share with your colleagues.