Ashley Zeckman

How To Tap Into the Social Media Power of Employees for Content Amplification

Ashley Zeckman     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

dave and dave

Social media has evolved significantly in the past six years. At the beginning, businesses focused solely on just having a presence on social media. Then, brands beginning honing in on social listening and figuring out the “science” of a good social media campaign.

Marketers then realized that social media was a great tool not only to engage their audience, but a prime opportunity to amplify their content and draw even more people in to consume, engage with and share that content. Recent studies have found that social networking accounts for 30% of all time spent online.

Last week at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, David Honig and David Thomas (otherwise known as Dave Squared) focused on another very important element of social media that most businesses are not taking full advantage of, the power of employees. While employee’s are often the most loyal supporters of the brand, they may be intimidated or scared to promote content on behalf of the company. Below are some ways that employers can encourage and help employees amplify brand content using social media.

Create Clear Instructions

Fear many times is a result of not having all of the information about a particular topic. The last thing you want to do is create or enable fear when it comes to encouraging employees to amplify brand content on social media.

No matter what you say, if you have a workforce it will be important to remind employees that you want them to share and that it is valuable. And you have to show them how to do it.

If you put a series of guidelines that tells people what to say and how to do it, you take away that fear factor.

Understand The Workforce

Employee’s personal and professional lives are intertwined more now than ever before and are constantly connected to devices which creates a remarkable opportunity. There are estimates that nearly 75% of the global workforce will be made up of Millennial’s by 2025.

These employees’s were raised with cell phones and the Internet which requires an approach beyond email to reach them.

Turn Employee’s Into Storytellers

What do you think would happen if employees become the storytellers for your brand? Research says that around 15% of consumers actually trust a brand while 85% trust their peers. With the average employee having around 1,500 connections on social networks, think of the possibilities.

Brands have the opportunity to empower employees as storytellers by informing them, engaging them with the content and inspiring them to create and share.

These stories aren’t just about selling your brand; it’s about what the company believes in. It’s about sending the right content at the right time to the right employee.

Identify Early Adopters

As with any new program, it’s important to have beta testers before rolling out a program to the entire population. This will provide a chance to find out what they are doing currently, gauge their level of interest in supporting the brand online and getting them involved in the process.

Finding an executive champion can also help spread your initiative like wildfire. When there is support shown from the top, it will be easier to get other employees on board.

Add Gamification

We live in a gaming world. From gaming systems to mobile applications, they’re everywhere. If you add gamification to your employee social program, you can create some healthy competition and even offer incentives to encourage participation.

Make Consuming & Sharing Easy

The number of tools that we have at our fingertips today can help create efficiencies and offer new opportunities in all aspects of business. Social media is no different. Employee’s can be trained to use tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to share brand content on social media. Better yet, tools like Dynamic Signal offer a mobile application and admins can push notifications to employee’s that allow them to read and share brand content with the click of a button.

Everyone Benefits When Employees Get Involved

Data supports the importance of sharing content with employees. There is an opportunity to make employees better at what they do, by providing them with relevant content on a consistent basis. Building an employee advocacy program benefits both employees and the company in many ways including:

Employee Benefits:

  • Better connection with the brand
  • Feeling more “in the know” with company news
  • They may become viewed as a thought leader
  • An opportunity to establish their personal brand
  • Easy ways to grow their online audience

Company Benefits:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Deepen customer loyalty
  • Strengthen company culture
  • Drive leads and sales

For a successful program, it’s important that your employees don’t feel like you’re exploiting them to promote your marketing message. This fear can be alleviated by introducing the information clearly and transparently with the whole team. Of course, you always want to encourage employees to share what is relevant for their audience.

 

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Director of Agency Marketing for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.

Comments

  1. Da Professa says:

    The use of social media as a means to amplify content was something that I thought about during my time as a newspaper production advisor at a local college. It can be analyzed through the use of employees but also viewers/customers depending on the type and source of the content.

    For example, you consider the current usage of social media cross all platforms FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. then you look at the average friends/follower numbers and the propensity of people to share and you can see the significance in utilizing the amplification possibilities of employee/customer sharing.

    If you are a company that is focusing on publishing content online and you have lets say 30 employees (which is a relatively small company). If each of those employees has an average of 500 FB friends and 100 twitter followers. Then just using those two social media each employee has a reach of 600 people x 30 = 18,000 possible audience from just the first level shares. If only one fourth of those (4500) share it with another 500 people on average across social media your potential audience is greater than 2 million. Now if you have a site that draws in a marginal amount of customer/viewer traffic you can easily amplify that through additional shares if you incorporate social media sharing options within the site content.

    This same phenomenon is how things go viral so quickly with todays technology and social media landscape. Amplification is real.