How do you get someone to do something they don’t want to do? A quintessential question asked by wives/husbands, children, parents, and – you guessed it – marketers and salespeople everywhere.
Many books have been written on the power of persuasion, the science of likability, and a myriad of tactics to encourage someone to do something they aren’t enthusiastic about doing. From personal experience, I can tell you that this feat is quite difficult to accomplish. Fighting against the grain can be pointless – instead, try appealing to someone’s intrinsic motivations and tying them to what you want them to do.
Like marketing your business.
When it comes to marketing your business, you probably spend money on advertisements through Facebook, Google AdWords, radio promotions, etc. It’s easy to forget that your most valuable assets are right there with you in the break room, talking about the Super Bowl. Who are these assets?
Whether you’re a company of 10 or 100, your employees have reach. Their social networks may have up to 1,000 viewers and engaged members who are paying attention to the recommendations your employees make regarding products and services. Many times, social networks also have peer and industry counterparts who care about the messages shared by your employees. AKA you have a gold mine of promotion and brand ambassadors with a vested interest in your success.
But how do you get employees to want to use their networks and social reach for the growth and betterment of the company?
Lucky for you, we have some suggestions that will help!
Create a culture of shared goals
One of the most important factors in pushing the growth of a company is the shared goals of success your team shares. Make your company vision clear and ensure that employees know how they fit into that vision and how that translates to success. A study by McKensey showed that productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations with connected and engaged employees. Shared goals and employees who buy into the vision are likely willing to utilize all their resources to aid in the goal. A win-win culture is the first step to creating brand ambassadors out of your own employees.
Create opportunities for sharing
Your social media presence and engagement shouldn’t be limited to one or two posts regarding your services. Great engagement in social media comes from authenticity and showcasing your company’s personality. If you also allow your employees to showcase theirs as it relates to the company via social media, they’re more likely to share content.
Here are a few things to try:
- Social media takeover days – Assign different employees to be the social media promoter for the day. Give them access to your social accounts so they can share different content: videos, images, live streams, and different moments at the company from their perspective,
- Social media challenges – Get your team to think of messaging that will have impact. Create a monthly challenge where each team member creates a short social media campaign (2-4 days per employee) and whoever gets the most engagement receives a gift card. (A little healthy competition with a big reward.)
- Blogging challenge – Have a blogging challenge to generate content to share on social media where employees can participate for a chance to win a prize or some perks at work (half a day, anyone?)
- Social-sharing rock star award – People are often incentivized by friendly competition. Have a social-sharing rock star leaderboard where your team members can compete for the coveted honor. If done right this can create a lot of buzz around the office and incentivize employees who typically would not engage in social sharing to do so.
- Hash tag away – People work best when working toward a measurable short-term goal that’s easy to follow. Create campaigns centered around a topic and have your team rally behind it. Encourage everyone to use the hash tag and share personal stories. For example, if you’re promoting an eBook about a commitment to being creative on your marketing plans, create a hashtag called #putaspinonit and have employees share the marketing tactic they’ve found most successful. It will go a long way in terms of securing your employees’ advocacy as well as creating a splash in the social media world.
All We Do is Win!
One more successful strategy is ensuring that your employees can build their own personal brand while they’re building the company’s. Employees are more likely to share content and moments if they’re proud of the work environment and the work you produce; it’s especially important that you take their feedback into account about content production and that you write about topics that matter to them and in which they find value. If they’re excited about the content, they’ll share it and use it to help position their own brand. It should be a symbiotic relationship that’s beneficial to the company as well as the employee.
Ultimately, employee advocacy is hard work. It requires aligning company values and culture with those of the employees and clear communication from the leadership. If you want your employees to be brand ambassadors, they need to see themselves as partners in the company buy into the company’s goals and direction. Employee social advocacy begins with alignment and succeeds in the presence of consistent action by leadership and the presence of opportunities to share more.
If you want to learn more about social marketing and making the most out of social networks, check out our eBook on Facebook marketing. You can also contact us for more personalized help.