Often when companies are revamping their social strategy, they forget some of their most important assets: their employees. Employees are the perfect brand ambassadors to deploy across social channels. People are three times as likely to trust a post from an employee of a company than a post from the company itself.
Leveraging Employees and Social Media Platforms
The average person has about 1,500 connections on social media. Each connection provides an opportunity for a company or brand to expand their reach. In the business-to-business (B2B) space this is especially true, as 77 percent of B2B purchasers stated they would not speak to a salesperson until they had done independent research. Furthermore, another study showed that 70 percent of B2B purchase decision-makers do some of this research through social media. Utilizing your employees on social media may help some of your potential customers make a decision in your favor.
But which social media platform is the best for such a brand ambassador initiative? For B2B businesses, LinkedIn is key. Forty-nine percent of B2B buyers research vendors by using their own LinkedIn profiles and 44 percent of these buyers have found potential vendors by looking at their shared connections on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is different from the typical pack of social media platforms because it is specifically designed for businesses and professionals. Because LinkedIn accounts list an employee’s place of work, their posts reflect not only their personal brands but the company brand as well.
The Dos and Don’ts
But what are the best practices for utilizing employees as brand ambassadors across their social media platforms?
- Make this an optional program, you cannot force your employees to post anything on their personal profiles.
- Incentivize your employees to join the program. Give them gift cards for posting X amount of posts in Y amount of time.
- Offer them pre-written posts to make social sharing easy.
- Encourage your employees to participate in social media discussions around your industry. They are experts in their field, after all.
- When sharing company news, make sure employees tag reporters and news outlets to achieve broader social sharing and recognition.
- Encourage your employees to bring complaints directly to HR or your management team rather than posting on social media.
- Have employees post sales pitches.
- Suggest posts that are too casual or would not be relevant to your employees’ social networks.
- Encourage employees to spam their networks. For most platforms, like LinkedIn, 3-5 posts per work week is considered a best practice.
Sharing Relevant Content
Now that you have the basics down, it is time to think about what content your employees should share. Company news, assets, and updates are the most impactful and most engaged with content on Linkedin and Twitter. On the company website, you can mine the blog, events page, webinars, press releases, product/solution page, about us page, and other resources for content.
With so much competition for audience attention, your employees should post content their audience will find valuable. Consider the following questions: How does this piece of news impact audience members’ friends, family members and followers? What does this content teach readers? Is this something their social connections want to learn? Does it strike an emotional chord because it touches on personal or societal issues?
Employees Are Extensions of the Company
Take pride in your employees. After all, they are people who help make the company as great as it is today. Encouraging them to post on behalf of the company is a great way to include them in your marketing efforts as well as help create possible leads at the top of the sales funnel.