Are Your Employees Brand Advocates?
What do you do when you publish a blog post?
Share it on your company’s social media profiles? Add a link to your next newsletter?
What about encouraging your employees to share it too?
Chances are many of your employees have social media profiles, over a third of the UK population logs on to Facebook daily, so what about getting your team members to help promote your posts?
It doesn’t have to be on Facebook, in fact many people view this platform as a place for personal interactions, not business. But many of your employees will have professional social media profiles on LinkedIn, and perhaps on Twitter too.
Brand Advocates On Social Media
For some companies their staff need to use their social media profiles to do their job – recruitment consultants are a good example. In this case those team members will be using their social media to network, advertise vacant positions and promote their recruitment agency’s offering. Chances are they will have professional profile photos, a strong summary that highlights their role within the agency and their employer probably has some guidelines in place for using social media for work, and promoting the company’s brand.
When I publish blog posts on behalf of the recruitment agencies I work for, we not only promote the post on the agency’s social media profiles, but expect the employees to promote it on theirs too.
This is also beneficial for the employees. It means that their social media updates don’t become a monotonous list of “Recruiting for a …..”, it increases engagement particularly with passive candidates who may not be actively looking for a new role, and it also enhances their professional profile – highlighting their professional interests and expertise.
Does this work in other sectors?
Yes! With all my clients who have a number of employees, I would recommend getting them on board to help promote the company blog posts. However, don’t expect them do it automatically you may have to give them some encouragement and reminders so it becomes routine.
You may also find it difficult to get employees to participate when they will rightly view their social media profiles as being personal. This approach generally works best when your focus is on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google + as these may be viewed as less personal than Facebook. However, it is possible to persuade your employees to become brand advocates on Facebook, especially if your business shares content that your employees identify with. For example a travel company is more likely to get their employees to share content about travel and holidays with friends and family on Facebook, than an IT company will get their employees to share a blog post about IT infrastructure!
How To Get Your Employees To Promote Your Blog Posts
Before you directly ask your employees to share your blog content, make sure their profiles are going to enhance your brand. Once again, Facebook is a sensitive area as you may find your employee’s profiles are not aligned with your company brand…
Optimising Social Media Profiles
LinkedIn is the platform that you are least likely to run into controversy. If your employees have LinkedIn profiles have a look to see how professional these are, it surprising how unprofessional some people’s profiles actually are. I would definitely recommend that you offer a professional photo shoot to those employees who are likely to be attributed to posts in your blog, and any other employees who are active on this channel.
You may also like to offer some advice on optimising their LinkedIn profiles, such as writing their professional headline and summary. And why not provide them with a recommendation? We might view recommendations like references given after a job is complete, or when someone moves to another employer, but there’s no reason that you can’t recommend an employee for their successes and achievements during their service.
All this enhances their profile but also rubs off on your company – just make sure they’ve included their current position with a link to your company profile!
Social Media Groups
Next, I would recommend that you identify some social media groups that you would like to reach with your business offering. Unfortunately it’s not possible to post updates as a company into Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Instead an individual needs to do this. It’s much better if this can come from an employee with a relevant interest in the group, rather than the marketing manager or MD’s PA.
Look for groups where your target audience hangs out. Top tip: check out your clients’ LinkedIn profiles to see which groups they are members of. If your client is a member, it stands to reason that other members may also be interested in your services and work in the same sector or fulfil a similar role.
Then suggest that certain employees become members of these groups. Choose groups that are most relevant to your employee, ones that they would join anyway and find it nature to engage with.
5 Ways To Make It Easy To Share!
Finally, when you publish a new post you need to make it really easy for your employees to share. Here’s what I recommend my clients do:
- Promote your blog post on your company social media profiles,
- Notify the employee attributed to the post that their blog is now live and ask them to promote on their social media channels – suggest an update or tweet, including the link, to make it really easy for them,
- Ask key members of staff to promote the post in specific social media groups (target groups that will be interested in your content), provide them with a suggested update to do this including the link,
- Make sure your team are following your company social media channels so that they see your updates and therefore are more likely to share them,
- Tell the rest of the team that a new post is now live and encourage them to share it. Send them the link to the company social media update or provide suggested updates that they can cut and paste.
In my experience once employees get over an initial reluctance to use their social media profiles for work, they begin to see the benefits. They start to get some engagement with others and this encourages them to continue to share the company’s updates.
I also find that employees begin to understand that the blog and content marketing is something that they can use to help them in their role. For example, pointing a particularly difficult customer to a blog post that explains their predicament, or to nurture leads and build relationships with potential customers.
If you would like any further advice on getting your team on board and supporting your company blog, leave a comment below.