Many of our clients take an active role in promoting new blogs and social media content, but we often get the question:
What could we be doing as an employer to get our employees to share our content on their personal social media accounts with their friends and family?
With projections of over half of the world’s population being on some form of social media by the end of this year, giving your business some social media advertising reach can help your business generate leads, establish brand awareness, and prioritize company culture.
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Let’s Do a Little Math
Let’s say you are the owner of a small business with 20 employees.
X 3 social media profiles each
X 250 followers per employee = 15, 000 potential post views!*
*This is terrible marketing math
Wow! That’s a lot of people viewing the things your employees share! Unfortunately, social media marketing isn’t that simple.
A typical organic post shared on Facebook, for example, will only reach an average of 5.2% of followers. Organic posts shared by your employees with a lot of engagement, however, is more likely to be shown in the newsfeed.
The real organic reach looks something more like:
“But that’s not a lot of people!” a worried client might say. Is social media worth it? The good news is that how often the algorithm shows your posts can improve through engagement.
- More likes, comments, and shares on the post = more engagement = more views
So how do I get more engagement on my social media posts?
- Ask a question
- Host a giveaway
- Show employee faces
- Personalize the post
- Use employee names and positive callouts
The key here is creating great content that your employees want to share in the first place in order to maximize the reach and overcome the 5.2% statistic.
In Summary: Engagement is important for maximizing your overall social media reach. Below, we also detail the best practices for employee engagement.
1. DON’T Make it Mandatory DO Make it Easy
Your employees might be comfortable with using social media for only very specific purposes, and social media is personal. Just as you have your company standards, they might want to keep their personal life personal.
- Remember: Your employees are doing you a favor by sharing company content to their networks.
Make it Easy with Optional Captions
If sharing company content is a matter of clicking two buttons, more employees are more likely to do it. It’s the Amazon Effect. If I can click two buttons and have a human-sized electric blanket delivered to my door tomorrow for $42.99,* I’ll do it. If I had to input credit card information and my address, I might lose gumption along the way.
That being said, a study conducted by Deloitte says that when making decisions about companies, 28% of consumers care most about seeing how positively companies treat their employees.
*This may or may not be a real-world example
2. Create an Open Social Media Policy
Many employees refrain from sharing company social media posts to their personal profiles for fear of representing the company incorrectly or inappropriately or facing repercussions.
When writing social media guidelines for your team, consider writing two sets of Social Media Brand Guidelines to ensure that your employees know that they are welcome to share company content online.
- Company hashtags by platform
- Character or word limits
- Recommended post times
- Image sizes
- Outlines that employees have the right to voice their work-related opinions online
- Guidelines of what information can and can’t be discussed according to NDA or HIPAA policies
In addition, demonstrate your openness to employee feedback by welcoming their opinions about social campaigns. By clearly communicating your policy and open door, your employees might be more likely to share.
3. Be Transparent with Your Employees
Being a great employer is all about trust. Explain your marketing goals to your team and demonstrate the reach that a certain promotion could get if all of the employees share with their family or friends. Be clear, however, that it’s never mandatory.
Which social media platform are your employees using?
Everything here is a professional humblebrag but also completely work-appropriate. Did your employees win an award at work or gain a new title? This is the place to put it on the company page so your employees can show off their accomplishments to their colleagues and industry peers.
Many employees might be establishing their own industry-specific personal brand. As they become thought leaders, they might also want to retweet company content.
Another place to show friends and family where you work and say it proudly. Typically if your employees are in the 40-60 age range, this is the place to push.
The most personal and human of the social media apps, this is the place to share the company Christmas party. It’s also a highly visual platform. Get that extra bit of reach with smiling faces in the photos.
4. Incentivize Shares, Likes, and Clicks
In the same way that you might offer a reward for the sales team that generates the most leads, offer an incentive to the entire team for social media engagement.
Potential Prizes Could Include:
- Friday afternoon off
- Lunch out with a superior
- Gift certificates
- Cookie dough delivery*
- Tickets to a sporting event
Again, this relates back to the transparency aspect. Your employees will want to know that this is for marketing purposes, what they’ll get from the deal, and how to opt-in.
*Casual hint for our boss: will share for dough
Keep Things Transparent for Your Employees
At the end of the day, your employees are people. If you want them to share company content on social media, make your company an exciting place to work where employees feel proud of the organization they are a part of and excited by the content they’re sharing.