Your company needs brand advocates. Your employees are hard-working and dedicated, but asking them to post on behalf of the company is a delicate matter. If you ask for something they are unwilling to support, you risk resentment and resistance. If you push for something that is not felt by the employees, you risk a marketing flop that does more harm than good with its awkward results. Figuring out the right way to get your employees publicly supportive of your brand is well worth the effort.
Change Your Social Media Policy
Start out by establishing a policy that clearly defines what your employees can and can’t do on social media, taking into account federal laws and regulations. If you find it terrifying to allow an open communication policy that allows employees to complain about their company without consequence, then you should take a deep look at your company before moving forward with employee advocacy plans.
- Plan to give your employees complete freedom to post what, how and when they want
- Make it clear you will never ask for an employee password or attempt to post on their behalf
- Ask your employees to identify you as their employer on social media so any posts about your products or competitors is in compliance with the FTC requirements.
You will want to provide your employees with an opportunity to learn about what is appropriate for social media. Some employees might not even realize what exactly will be public and private when they post on a specific platform. E-Learning courses might be the best way to ensure employees are free to learn about the specific platforms or rules they aren’t as familiar with. If you do choose to offer a form of training, make it optional and enjoyable. Your goal is to empower your employees, not curb them.
Get Everyone on Board – From the Top Down
It is vital that you start with a top-down approach. If you get employees excited about social media posting, only to have them come back saying their boss isn’t supportive, you could crush the momentum. Start by getting upper management on board and then work your way down the ranks. Don’t forget to help key stakeholders, like board members or funding partners, understand the strategy and its benefits as well. Everyone needs to understand the potential power and the complete opt-in nature of this strategy.
Focus on the Buy-In
In order to get your employees to opt-in, you need to get a buy-in. Focus on the benefits this will give your employees, like pushing their personal brand and improving their reach in the industry. Make it clear that your company does not expect them to participate, but that your company would greatly benefit from their support. If they love their jobs and their brand, then it will be easy to help them think more pointedly about the support they can provide.
Part of your employee training should focus on the voice, tone and content choices of their posts. However, you can also take the next step and provide key content for them to post quickly and without hassle. Great tools, like EveryoneSocial, as specifically geared to help you get your employees posting on your company’s behalf. You can now curate company and industry content that employees might find valuable to post for their own audiences to see.