Why your social media success is in your employees hands

By Dean

27 Jan 2016

Whether you’re a small business with a handful of staff or a large multinational, ignore the power of your employees’ social media ‘clout’ at your peril.

By Graham Campbell, Moose Media

We’re not trying to scare you here but you are potentially sitting on a limitless, untapped resource of customers – currently sitting quietly in your employees’ LinkedIn contacts, Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

Employee advocacy, in terms of social media is taking off. It’s not a fad. It’s happening and it’s bringing in results because of one word: Trust. According to Gartner, 15 per cent of people trust recommendations from brands, whereas a huge 84 per cent trust recommendations from people they know. Using your employees’ existing contacts to promote your brand and spark discussions around your company almost looks like a no-brainer now, doesn’t it?

The average employee has a staggering 846 social connections (Sprout Social) which include the big platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but also the newer players; Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest etc. Utilising your staff to promote your business might feel uncomfortable at first, but the potential for your growth as a brand is huge.

How would it actually work then?

We’re not talking about forcing your staff to share your Facebook posts here, badgering their friends and family to buy. You need to put a programme in place. Sounds painful? Not really.

The foundation is the existing culture within your organisation. Work with a team of happy bunnies? Then you’re already on the road to employee advocacy. If your employees trust you and they know you trust their actions too, that’s the first step. You want your staff to advocate for you. This can’t be forced. Enable them through involving them, trusting them and training them.

Think about what you actually want sharing in terms of reaching your marketing goals. Is it a new product launch, a push on sales, or just a general drive to raise brand awareness? Without clear objectives, you’re not going to get far. Having measurable goals is the only way forward.

The next stage is getting your employees to share for you in a way that reflects positively on your brand and also on them. It might worry you that by giving your staff this freedom, it could impact negatively on you. We know that when social media goes wrong, it can go very wrong, right? True, but you get around this by providing training and support for your staff. There are also lots of platforms available to you that help you collate, curate and distribute your employees contributions from a central point, rather than have a scatter-gun approach.

The final consideration is maintaining your employees’ support, keeping them engaged. This really is about the quality and relevance of your social media content. It has to resonate with your employees. If it appeals to them, chances are it’ll appeal to their contacts. How do you achieve this? By offering up varied content. Targeting different interests, telling compelling stories and mixing-up your media. Share great images, attention-grabbing, useful videos and you’re already there.

Still not convinced? A recent study by Social Media Today and The Hinge Research Institute found that nearly 31% of high-growth businesses have a formal employee advocacy programme and that it shortens the sales cycle – with 27 per cent of respondents to the study reporting a whopping revenue growth of 20 per cent or higher.

At Moose, we recognise that employee advocacy is quite a new concept, particularly in the UK. We’re here to help. We’re proud to offer the UK’s only CPD accredited social media training course. With a focus on employee advocacy, we will put you on the road to success.

Our next CPD accredited social media course: Creating Social Media Advocates

is being staged at Stanley House Hotel near Blackburn on 28th January 2016.

We’d love see you there. Click here for more details and to book your place now.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Dean

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