Imagine a world where your employees love your content so much that they actively share it with their colleagues and friends on their own social media accounts. Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not!
Not only is completely possible to have employees want to share your content every chance they get, it’s highly beneficial for you! According to Everyone Social, individual accounts on social media tend to have a 5x increase in reach than corporate accounts, and their followers are 7x more likely to convert.
So how do you get employees to go from barely glancing to actively engaged? Here are few tips worth implementing to make employee advocacy skyrocket almost overnight.
1. Create interesting content
The number rule of any shareworthy content is that it must be interesting. But what makes content interesting? Well, that’s going to vary depending on your employees and their audience.
Don’t just talk about your business and report the facts. Share news and stories about company culture, impactful community projects, and exciting announcements. Get employees involve by having them create or submit content about themselves and their colleagues. And mix things up with related content from third parties - just because it’s not about your company, doesn’t mean it won’t help your company in some way.
At the end of the day, the primary objective of most businesses are to make a profit or fulfill some ultimate objective which requires a buy-in from the audience. So you’re going to have to sell at some point. The trick is, when you sell, you have to sell with a twist - use humor, great visuals or stories to get folks on your side.
Even if you have a ‘boring’ business or one that doesn’t sell anything directly, you can still make great content. Just check out Merriam-Webster (yes, the dictionary) and a police department use humor to transform what could have otherwise been very boring accounts.
Just remember, your employees do want to talk about their work on social media, they just want do it with content that’s worth sharing.
2. Take the guesswork out of sharing
Know what really kills the vibe when you want to share great content? Having to jump through hoops to do it.
If you really want someone to share something, one click of a button is going to make that a lot more likely than if they have to copy a link, open a new window and browse to their social media page, log in, paste the link, type a caption and send. Whew! It’s exhausting just to think about it.
So if you want your employees to share the content you’re sharing with them, you have to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Firstly, you must make it clear to them that you want them to share the content with their network. Say it out loud and give a call-to-action so they know that this is permitted and welcomed.
To take it a step further, make sure you provide sharing buttons or links that make it simple and quick. If you’re using email software like Mailchimp, or a chat tool like Slack, you may have to add those links on your own. However, if you use a dedicated employee advocacy tool like Smarp, these share buttons are already added for you, allowing your employees to share on their social media in one click.
Another great way to inspire employees to share content is showing social proof amongst external influencers posting similar content and topics. If others are posting this content and getting good engagement on their posts, it is likely your employees will benefit from posting it too. With Awario, you can monitor all mentions of brands, topics and influencers online to help find great great content that’s already getting traction. The more powerful the content, the more your employees will want to share it.
3. Get the buy-in of internal influencers
In every organization, there exists a few influencers - the natural-born leaders, who may not actually be in official leadership roles but command the attention and respect of their colleagues. Whatever they opt into, the majority of the organization will typically follow along.
Just like in the social media world, if you can tap into their influence, you can win over your audience through them. So be sure to meet with them early on to get their input and support. Don’t just ask them to get people on board, but involve them in the process of designing and building your advocacy program, so they can be just as invested in its success.
When it comes time for them to spread the word, there are many ways they can do it. It can be done in person, through announcements at company gatherings and informal discussions, or through digital means, particularly if the company is already active on social media. Some companies even allow employees to take over the brand’s social media accounts for the day to have them post their own content and get other colleagues involved in a very natural, informal way.
Feel free to suggest a few options for sharing, but remember that influencers tend to know their audience and what they’ll respond to, so let them decide the best route to take.
4. Gamify the system
A little competitive rivalry between coworkers can be a big boost for a company’s overall productivity. Which is why another great way to add excitement is to turn sharing into a game your employees play with each other.
You can track the actions of each employee - such as where and how often they’re sharing - and use that to rank employees. Smarp, mentioned above, not only tracks this data for you automatically, but it also shows each employee how they are performing, compared to other employees on the leaderboard.
Each employee gets a personalized score, called the SmarpScore. The leaderboard shows the top 10 performers and their scores, and how the employees rank amongst their peers. This is a great way to keep employees engaged on an ongoing basis and give them an incentive for continuously sharing content.
5. Add tangible rewards
While most people love the challenge of a good game and getting bragging rights, nothing sweetens the pot quite like a reward for such achievements. To amp up the gamification, your company can offer employees tangible rewards for sharing your content.
Bonuses are always welcomed. However, if you’re not able to offer a cash payment incentive, there are many other options that some might consider even more appealing. Small rewards such as getting to leave work a few hours earlier than everyone else, a free lunch, a gift card, or even getting to bring their pet to work can go a long way towards helping employees feel appreciated for their efforts. And it certainly helps in creating a happier, healthier and more productive workforce - so it’s a win for both.
6. Keep it going!
One of the biggest reasons, employee advocacy programs don’t last is because those who implement it tend to set it up, then expect it to get traction and grow on its own. Rarely will that happen. Instead, people will get busy, get back to work, and move on to the next great thing.
In order to keep the attention and growth, you’ll need to continuously implement exciting new ways to get employees to stay engaged and keep sharing content.
A simple way to do this is by offering different prizes each week, or month. This way employees will all get a chance to win something they want, and they can even offer prize suggestions. You can also create short term rapid-fire challenges to get a large boost of shares when you release new content.
It’s also crucial to incorporate third party curated content among the items you ask your team to share. This serves two functions: it breaks up the monotony of only sharing content from one source, and it allows your company and your employees to show their diversified knowledge and further cement their authority to their social media peers. If you need help finding great third party content to share, be sure to get a ‘briefing’ from Anders Pink to find the best content worth sharing with your team.
Some employees may be more active than others when it comes to these activities. It’s important to continuously nurture the ones who participate frequently and get others involved. Finding new ways to engage your team will ensure that everyone stays interested and you get the maximum results.
Following these crucial steps of creating great content, engaging influencers and creating a system that rewards active participants will not only create a passionate, involved team that loves to share your content, but it will also allow employees to feel included and invested in the organization’s success.