Social media is a mainstream medium of engagement and communication in business. It has fundamentally changed the traditional marketing paradigm in B2B companies. Year after year the Edelman Trust Barometer Report states that the employee is the most trusted source of information.
The C-Suite places more demands on the CMO and her team to create awareness, authority and leads. But, the traditional marketing paradigm can’t get the job done without motivating employees to be part of the marketing engine.
Employees Didn’t Sign Up to Be Marketers
Most employees joined your company to apply their skills in a non-marketing role such as engineering, or research or customer service or sales or sale operations, etc. The modern employee faces three hurdles before becoming part of your marketing engine.
In most cases employees want to share your brand’s content. What they don’t want is to be perceived as a spammer, always promoting your company’s stuff. They also don’t want to get in trouble, or worse yet, get fired for saying something on social media that is against company policy.
Employees generally want to build their reputation for career advancement. Employees are often envious of others who actively engage in social media in a professional manner. However, without the know-how, many employees sit on the sidelines in frustration.
It’s vital to note that employees who are actively engaged on social media with cooperation by their employer develop a stronger loyalty to their employer. Said another way, employees want to work for an organization where they are encouraged to be digitally engaged in a professional context. Additionally, sales professionals want to learn how to engage in social media to sell more effectively.
It’s logical to comprehend that employees who want to engage in social media but don’t know how, will benefit from training and governance.
B2B companies who offer their employees training often provide a mix of live instruction and online courses. The investment in training should include governance, which spells out in plain language the legal guardrails to avoid getting in trouble.
Everything we do in business requires tools to streamline and scale. When it comes to getting your employees effectively engaged in social media, the role of tools is important for two primary reasons: 1) ease of engagement and 2) efficiency/scale.
In the context of employee advocacy, tools should make it easy for all participating employees to select from a pre-determined set of activities such as posting to LinkedIn or re-tweeting someone or following a company page on LinkedIn, etc. These activities are usually set up by the marketing team and make it easy for employees to engage. These activities should be optional for employees, not required activities. In other words, giving employees relevant choices of what content to share online and how to engage, is in their best interest and also in your brand’s best interest.
Offering employees relevant choices to engage makes it easy, convenient and fun. Yes, fun. When employees are able to engage in social media in a relevant, safe and easy manner, it’s fun.
Relevancy pertains to the employee’s professional interests. Safety pertains to compliance with industry regulations and company policy.
Your employees want to help you market. They need know-how, training and tools. @bernieborges #socialemployee Tweet This
Employee Engagement is More Authentic
One compelling benefit to having employees participate in social media is that people engage with employees online at a much higher volume than they engage with branded social media accounts. And, the engagement is generally more authentic.
Employee engagement volume in social media is higher for a simple, yet often overlooked reason. Business is conducted by people, not by logos. People want to engage with other people more so than with branded social media accounts.
In our latest Social Business Journal (e-book) we showcase three B2B companies succeeding on their journey to motivate their employees to engage in social media activities. ANSYS, Inc., Informatica and Q-Centrix are three companies we feature whose employees are actively engaging in social media. The benefits to these brands range from improved employee retention to driving website traffic and leads…
Download our latest e-book What’s Working in Employee Advocacy – How to Get Your Employees to Engage in Social Media.
Feature image credit: Sandro Katalina via Unsplash