- Social media is a great way to develop a connection with your audience
- Business owners can lead their employees to become social media experts
- Go beyond social media do’s and don’ts with guidelines, prepped materials and other tips
Social media is all about being, well, social. It’s a place where people connect. How do we get your team to use social media on behalf of your brand? How can social media create value for your business and your employees?
When an employee shares content online, they develop a higher degree of brand trust. People want to talk to other people, not a logo. Individual posts generate more engagement than brand posts. Additionally, the pandemic drove explosive growth in social selling and thought leadership on social media. Nearly 86% of employees involved in a formal advocacy program say it positively impacted their careers.
How can you prepare your employees to be social media savvy? Read on below.
Tip #1: Establish a good policy and guidelines
Yuck! What a way to start an article! Seriously though, good policy and guidelines help protect your business and your employees. According to guidance from the Content Marketing Institute, your policy and guidelines should include the brand’s purpose on social media, a company style guide for consistent branding and access to a shared asset or brand folder. Additionally, I recommend providing examples to employees of what you’re looking for them to post on social media. Go beyond a list of do’s and don’ts.
Tip #2: Offer them training and incentives
Training doesn’t have to be a full-day workshop or webinar. It can be a “lunch and learn,” sending out a tip of the day or a quick start guide.
Tip #3: Reward great behavior and make it public
No, you don’t need to give out a special parking spot for Social Media Employee of the Month, but if you share more about those champion social media for your business, others will look to them and follow their lead. It’s great to highlight those employees on your business social media pages – resharing is a great way for both accounts to gain followers and engagement.
Tip #4: Lead by example
I often hear business owners who want to pass off social media to their employees or expect their employees to be advocates. One big problem: they don’t participate themselves. If you lead by example, you’ll reinforce that it’s a crucial part of your business strategy.
Tip #5: Allow for mistakes and redirect
This is the biggest fear of many businesses on social media. What if someone slips up? It happens! As a social media manager, I’ll admit I have had my moments posting to the wrong Instagram (whoops)! If you punish an employee for a mistake, you’ll likely make them fearful and lose engagement from all employees. The best thing to do is to address it but redirect them. Be understanding. Sometimes you publish a martini you were having on your business account. We’re human. (Thanks for the 373 likes on that post, by the way)!
Tip #6: It’s ok if your employees don’t want to participate often, or at all
Social media is so personal. Some love it, some hate it and some are indifferent. It’s ok if they don’t want to participate or if they only do occasionally. Plus, that makes it more organic. If you force employees to post, they won’t enjoy it. It’ll be clear that the voice is forced.
Tip #7: Give them good content to share with the WHY!
When you’re just getting started, it’s difficult for employees to navigate what to share, what to not share and why certain things might be important. Ask them to help out on their socials. “Hey, we have this exciting new product launch, and you’ve all worked hard on this! Let’s celebrate our success and get the word out. We put together these posts for you to easily share on your social media channels as you wish. Thanks!”
Tip #8: Use it as a recruiting tool
Finding employees is tough in almost every industry. Using social media can help recruit employees for two reasons. First, if your employees share what the day-to-day looks like in their jobs, that creates an authentic voice and can help show good corporate culture. Second, employees have vast networks where they can share all those great “we’re hiring” and “join our team” posts.
Remember, start small, invest and grow your program to keep it social!
About Katelin Cwieka
Katelin Cwieka is a digital and content marketing expert located in greater Boston, Massachusetts. She’s a professional public speaker and workshop facilitator. Cwieka currently works at Avidia Bank as a Marketing Communications Manager and teaches Marketing and Personal Branding at the Center for Women and Enterprise. When she’s not working, Cwieka is an avid trail runner, skier and cook.
Looking for more social media tips for your business? Check out this guide!