In the toolbox of social media strategies, employee social engagement is the tactic that many companies are striving to implement in 2017. The potential benefits of employee advocacy can be staggering. More success stories are published every day and it’s getting easier to get executive level buy-in. However, motivating your employees and getting their buy-in can be a bit more difficult.Remember, your employees already have a stake in your company – you pay their salary. If you can show them why employee social media engagement benefits the company (and how they can benefit as well), you might find motivating them to be easier than you think. Here are some tips for how you can start exciting your team about your company’s message and social media efforts immediately.
Show employees how their efforts benefit the company
You know how employee social engagement can benefit your company, but do your employees? While social media might seem universal, not everyone is using it yet. In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile on at least one network. That is a huge usage number, but it still means that about one out of every four people are still in the dark.
Most people who use social media, do so in order to connect with friends and family, and to share photos. Those who utilize social media for personal reasons might sometimes connect with companies, but often do not advocate on behalf of a company, let alone one they work for. So, your employees might not understand how participating can help their employer (and by extension – themselves).
Involving and motivating your employees in your marketing strategy can be easy, it comes down to communication and information. You need to show your employees:
- Overall sales results
- New sales and business growth that can be traced back to their participation
- Other marketing successes related to employee social sharing
Once employees understand the purpose of the program and what is expected of them under it, you will find them much less reluctant to participate in it.
Show employees the impact of their individual efforts
You can repeat statistics such as: “Content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brand channels” (via Social Media Today), or tell employees that leads developed through employee social sharing convert 7 times more frequently—but that does not make the program relevant to employees on a truly personal level.
This is where the element of gamification sneaks in to any strategy. You need to show employees the individual impact their efforts make. This can take the form of a public leaderboard, company-wide email updates, or both. Whatever method you choose, you need to connect employee participation in the program with specific and measurable results so that employees can clearly see the value they contribute.
Once you have a leaderboard or points system, your next step is to add in a rewards mechanic so that you can provide individual recognition for the work that people have done. The rewards can be tangible, such as money or vacation days, but they do not necessarily need to cost you more than some creativity. A system of points and badges are often just as motivating for employees as monetary perks. By quantifying the value of your employee’s contributions in points, you show them the impact of their individual efforts. In addition to that validation of effort, you open the door to friendly competition.
By establishing straightforward reporting for the impact each employee generates, and then gamifying the engagement program, you make it incredibly easy for each employee to engage with it.
Show employees the benefit to themselves
Employee efforts on behalf of the organization help to enhance the employee’s professional brand. This is the part of employee social engagement that can strike fear into the hearts of some managers, but it shouldn’t.
Offering employees the opportunity to grow and develop their skills helps them stay engaged at work, which helps keep them productive and happy. This is also a good way to stand out when you want to recruit new staff – happy employees make for happy workplaces. According to DecisionWise, 43% of employees do not feel their current company provides attractive opportunities for growth and development. Don’t lose employee loyalty because you neglect involving and supporting your staff.
Engaging your employees so that they incorporate your marketing messages into their social media routine not only helps them to explain to friends and family what they do, but also carries a host of other benefits. Participating employees get to:
- Build their position as thought leaders in the field
- Make new connections to advance their career growth
- Enhance their personal and professional brands
- Grow a better understanding of what the company does
- Share the good things their employer does with the people they know
When it comes to showing employees the benefits of employee advocacy, do not rely on just telling them how it enhances their career growth—show them. This can come in the form of company-wide software adoption to assist in social sharing, training sessions from HR, and so much more. Building up your employee social media skills helps them in their future careers, but it helps you in the present as their social efforts can have a more positive impact on your marketing goals. If they clearly understand how these social media strategies help them, it is very easy to get them on board with your initiative.
Bringing it all together
If you think that this all sounds like a lot of work, you might be surprised at how easy we can make it. Our platform takes a lot of the work out of your hands, giving you the tools to communicate with your staff for the employee social sharing program that suits your needs. You can be up and running sooner than you think.
Download our eBook for tips on how to start an employee advocacy program of your own!