Look to your left. Now look to your right. If you’re sitting in one of the millions of cubicles across America, you just happened to look at two of your company’s best brand ambassadors. In fact, the PR firm Edelmen recently published a study that states that people trust employee testimony more than any other source in a number of areas – including a company’s innovation and new product development, as well as their overall business practices.
With this information it mind, it certainly behooves companies to get their employees more engaged and spread the word about all the amazing things going on in their office. The easiest way to do this is through social media. Sure, a company’s PR department does a great job at publishing interesting material, but to reach even more people – and to lend credibility to what that company is saying –employees need to like, share and comment on this material, essentially vouching for the validity of the claims their employer makes.
Think about it this way: According to Statistics Brain, the average Facebook profile has 130 friends. So for every employee you can get to share something on Facebook, you just reached 130 people.
Easier said than done? Well maybe, but there are a few things you can do to get your employees more engaged on social media.
Make it a Competition
Everyone has a little competitive edge in them. Use it to your advantage by having employees form teams. Whichever team shares the most on social media until the end of the quarter wins a prize. Having teams in a friendly competition will also increase employee engagement and productivity. While office bragging rights (and a trophy) should be enough to light a fire, actual prizes could work too. We suggest desserts.
Make it Appropriate
No one logs onto Facebook wanting to read about the nitty grittys of the latest deep sea petroleum extraction process, and people don’t re-tweet 140 characters about things you need a PhD to understand. So if you want your content to be shared on social media, make sure it’s something that belongs on social media.
Write a story that the average person on social media wants to read: how your video player makes viewing videos easier, how your cars are more energy efficient, or how your software makes average office tasks less of a pain.
Make it a Team Effort
Employees are more likely to share something that makes them proud, and they are more likely to be proud of it if they helped make it. Get your PR team to sit down with employees and ask for their input on new blog posts, press releases and other marketing content. Your employees know your company better than anyone, so when looking to show the world what’s great about your company, your employees truly do know best.
In the end, it always circles back to quality. Make sure you’re asking employees to promote high quality content that they would actually be interested in consuming – not too complex, not too novice and certainly not too crude or sloppy. If it’s something you’re excited about and truly proud of, start empowering your employees to share today.
To see how these strategies work in practice, read this mini case study to see how Microsoft France mobilized their entire workforce on social media.