Activating Employees on Social Media

Building the framework for employee participation in driving performance takes a bit of planning, but can pay off big!

Asking employees to share content on social media can be an effective way to expand reach, build credibility, and influence your target audience. Some companies may ask employees to engage their friends in family in an early stage beta test, while others might want employees to help share special or limited offers. Employee social sharing can help you reach your company’s goals, but you may encounter resistance or apathy if you don’t have a strong employee engagement strategy in place. 

Here are a few best practices to get the most out of your efforts:

  • Build an internal communications plan
    1. Share the strategy and reason why you’re asking for employee participation through internal channels (email, intranet, meetings, etc). This will garner more buy-in from employees if they feel they understand the objectives and goals. In addition, put some goals behind the effort. Are you looking for 10 new signs ups, 100,000 incremental impressions, 90% employee participation? Determine a measurable KPI and share it with your teams. 
    2. Encouragement from leadership at all levels to participate will increase participation. Leaders are internal influencers and they will set the tone and expectation for the rest of the organization. Leadership should be posting the content to their own socials as well. Don’t ask an employee to do something on their personal public profile that you’re not willing to do yourself. 
    3. The communications plan should include a post-campaign performance update. Closing the loop on the activity will set the tone for the next time you ask for their participation. If there isn’t a feedback loop, employees will assume the effort is unimportant and will be less likely to participate the next time around.
  • Build strong content that employees will be proud to share 
    1. The content you’re asking employees to share must be high quality. This includes professional images or videos and well-crafted copy. Remember, you are asking them to put their personal stamp of approval on the content by sharing to their personal accounts, so they have to love it and believe in it.
    2. Provide multiple variations of each post. Not all employees have the same tone of voice on social media, so give a few options and allow them to select the one they feel most comfortable using.
    3. Let them add their own voice if they wish to. Don’t try to control 100% of the narrative. However, if there are topics or areas they should avoid, that guidance should be clearly provided. For example, if employees should avoid talking about pricing or discounts, or special claims, be sure to clearly communicate these parameters.
  • Make the ask easy for employees
    1. Think through how you want employees to share the content and be clear in the ask:
      • Option 1: You will post content to the company page and are asking them to share that post to their personal accounts.
      • Option 2: You are providing the assets (copy and graphics) and are asking them to craft the post directly to their accounts.
    2. There are tools such as Hubspot that allow you to connect employee social accounts (such as LinkedIn) and post on their behalf. If your team is open to this, make it entirely hands-off and do the posting for them using a social management tool! Using technology makes most sense if you’re asking for employee engagement on a recurring basis. 

Shared social goals can help foster a strong sense of community with your employees. Building the framework for employee participation in driving performance takes a bit of planning, but can pay off big! 

Share in the comments if there are other tips you’d add to this list!

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