If you own or manage a business, no matter how large or small, you most likely are always looking for ways to get positive buzz about your company out to potential customers, especially on social media. Many companies rely on agencies and PR firms to do this for them, but that can be costly.
Lucky for you, you have an awesome resource right under your nose: your employees!
I’m talking about employee advocacy. Specifically, leveraging this advocacy on Facebook. In this post, I’ll explain exactly what employee advocacy is, why it’s great for your business, and how to improve employee advocacy on Facebook.
Let’s get down to business!
Employee advocacy is the buzz that your employees generate for your business using their own online presence. This usually refers to social media, but it can also include email, chat, online forums, and wherever else your employees spend time online interacting with other people.
When you see someone share a photo of the bagels their boss brought in on Twitter? That’s employee advocacy. When your friend posts a job opening on LinkedIn inviting people to apply and saying what a great company it is, that’s employee advocacy. When one of your team members shares a contest you’re running for customers on Facebook, that’s employee advocacy.
— Ali Canty (@AliCanty) November 23, 2015
I think you get the idea.
As just one person, you can only do so much on Facebook. What better way to spread the word about your company than leveraging your employees on the social network that over half of American adults log into every day?
Facebook helps spread the word about your business to customers in two ways — via reach and influence.
Reach is just how it sounds: how many people actually see your Facebook posts and page. We all know that organic reach on Facebook has been dropping, and marketers and small business owners alike have been searching for ways to boost it without digging too deep in their wallets.
Influence is how your brand looks to other people. It takes into account your trustworthiness and authenticity, and your reach plays a part as well. It’s part of what people call “social proof” – someone trusting a brand because they see their friends or others in their network endorsing it on social media. Facebook helps businesses with this by showing you which of your friends like a particular page that appears on your newsfeed.
So who better to shout praises of your business from the rooftops (of Facebook) than your employees? They know your brand better than anyone else and chances are their friends have the same interests and could benefit from what you have to offer.
Now you know what employee advocacy is and what it can do for your business.
So how do you get your employees to spread the love on Facebook? Here are some tips!
Before you fire off those emails with links to all your content, remember that you can’t ask your employees to go trigger-happy posting all of your content on their Facebook newsfeeds. Their friends probably won’t like it and chances are your employees won’t be interested in everything you’re asking them to post.
Your best bet is to identify a group of employees who are active on the network and ask them if they’d be willing to participate. You also could ask one person to be the point of contact for everyone else – answering questions and making sure your social media policy is followed.
Once you have your group selected, figure out what’s most interesting to them. If they’re a developer, they’d probably be super excited to share news of a big project that launched that they had a hand in creating. A marketer, on the other hand, may be more apt to spread the word about a promotion you’re running.
Now you know who’s going to advocate for you, and you have a pretty good idea of what kind of content they’ll share. Next, it’s a good idea to set goals for them, and make sure you have a plan for tracking them.
Based on your business objectives, you goals could look something like this:
Make sure you have a plan for tracking those goals – otherwise you’re flying blind!
Now that you have a framework for what you’d like this advocacy to achieve, you can start the engine on providing content to your employees to share.
Deciding how to get your employees the content to share is up to you. You may want to compile a database, like a Trello board or Google doc, that contains all the pieces of content up for grabs, and have them organically choose what they want to share with their audience.
Alternatively, you could decide on a periodic basis to send an email or some sort of notification suggesting content for them to share. It could be as simple as, “Here’s what we have coming down the pipe this week. It would be great if you could share one or two of these on Facebook!”
Lastly, but perhaps most important, don’t forget to thank them! You don’t necessarily have to provide an incentive but a simple acknowledgement that their actions are helping to grow the company go a long way!
Do you use employee advocacy to get your content shared? Tell us how in the comments!