Going viral … this can be a marketing department’s dream come true or their PR nightmare. There are countless stories of misguided employees sharing inappropriate content or accidentally spilling insider secrets on social media.
Whether or not the malicious intent is there, these social media mishaps can tarnish a brand’s image. Because of this fear, many companies discourage employees from sharing and promoting their company’s brand on social, but this too has consequences. Being active on social media is no longer a competitive advantage, it’s the status quo. Companies who do not leverage these social channels are falling behind.
The market penetration of social is impressive, with nearly 62% of people using social as a key medium for news and events updates. Companies need to be where their customers are and one controlled branded channel is no longer enough to drive the reach and engagement social media requires for success.
In this article, we cover how brands can proliferate consistent messages on social media while safeguarding their brand from potential sharing missteps. This creates strong social media marketing programs that drive engagement.
New Age of Social Media Marketing
In order to organically reach more people, organizations are encouraging employees to promote and share on behalf of the brand. Having employees share allows a company’s total reach to expand exponentially as messages shared by employees are, on average, reshared 24x more than the same message shared on a branded channel.
This increased reach and engagement can be a blessing or a curse. Without proper guidance, the messaging employees share is outside of marketing’s control so there is more risk of posts being off-brand.
Risks of Employees Sharing on Social
In most companies, 30% of employees are already acting as brand advocates on social. While this should be encouraged and despite their good intentions, some employees may be misguided in what they share (both in terms of content and brand voice).
It is not uncommon to see employees, without proper guidance, sharing old collateral or articles where competitors are mentioned. They are also not marketers and may lack the marketing and social media know-how to probably promote the brand — leading to an inconsistency in brand voice and messaging to the market.
Despite the possible risks, it is essential for companies to have an adequate share of voice on social media in order to remain competitive. So how do you encourage employees to share on social while safeguarding your brand from these aforementioned risks?
Safely Sharing on Social
Employee advocacy provides organizations with a way to proliferate consistent brand messages on social. It harnesses the collective power of your employees and rallies your brand advocates to be active on social media while providing bumper guards for sharing.
For an employee advocacy program to be successful, it requires marketing and HR departments to train employees on the importance of being both active and on-brand on social. Creating social media policies and leveraging technology will simplify, streamline and safeguard social advocacy.
Providing guidelines for employees helps to remove their fear and uncertainty when sharing. Leveraging technology helps to encourage those who are not natural sharers. It also creates streamlined processes that allow brands to achieve more consistency in messaging.
Employee advocacy platforms allow marketing and HR departments to control all the content within the library so both those in charge of the program and employees can feel secure knowing anything they share was reviewed, approved and up-to-date. Employee advocacy platforms also streamline sharing by removing many of the tedious steps, making sharing as simple as a few clicks.
Safeguarding Social with Employee Advocacy
Both your employees and your customers are active on social media so it is important your brand image is visible and consistent in messaging. To help achieve both many organizations are creating employee advocacy programs. A strong program will provide guidelines, making it simple for employees to share on-brand content and provide marketing teams and executives with the safeguards needed to minimize social sharing risks. This helps organizations achieve positive business gains from social media while simultaneously safeguarding their brand image.