How to Motivate Your Employees to Engage on Social Media

August 18, 2016

LinkedIn Employee Advocacy

Your marketing department works hard to establish your brand’s presence on social media. They need to post the brand’s content, curate useful content from other sources, build an audience, and interact with prospective customers. It’s a full-time job, but the potential to create a community of loyal brand enthusiasts is well worth the effort.

Among the most powerful ambassadors for your brand are your company’s employees. Hello, employee advocacy. Studies show employees have up to ten times the followers of a company’s social pages. Even though only 3% percent of employees re-share content from their companies, they’re responsible for a 32% increase in the engagement of that content.

If just two percent can have that big an impact, imagine if 25%—or even 75%—of your employees were motivated to share. It is possible to achieve that level of engagement, but it doesn’t happen by chance. Your company must purposefully create an environment that inspires and encourages sharing.

Read on to learn how to empower your employees to be social sharing superheroes.

Step 1: Share the Company’s Goals and Values

Employee engagement starts with a clear understanding of where the company is going and what it stands for. Too often, upper management seems like a faceless, mysterious entity to employees further down the org chart. Let your employees see that everyone in the organization is an accessible, relatable human being. Let them catch a clear vision of where your company is now and where it is headed.

What we are really talking about here is creating corporate culture. That’s a process that involves every level of the organization, and it can’t just be imposed from the top down. Encourage the C-suite to share their vision directly with employees. Invite everyone to participate in shaping the culture. That way you can ensure that everyone shares the same values and understands the company’s goals. When employees have a sense of belonging, ownership and pride in the company, they will be more motivated to help it succeed.

Step 2: Provide Social Media Training and Guidelines

Fear of saying the wrong thing is one of the key factors that stops employees from sharing company content. Odds are your employees came of age in the social media era. They are well aware of how much damage a single tweet or Facebook photo can do.

Even once your employees are inspired to share, they may fear facing the repercussions of accidentally tarnishing the brand.

Make sure your employees have a clear understanding of what brand voice means in general, and how it applies to your brand in particular. Let them know what kind of content the company encourages and discourages sharing.

For example, content that features a competitor might be forbidden, or it might be okay. Humor may or may not be appropriate. Your brand may court controversy, or it may be conservative. Make sure your employees know where your brand stands on each of these issues.

It’s important also to let them know what laws and external guidelines apply, too—for example, FTC disclosure requirements when referencing clients.

Step 3: Provide Content to Share

Once your employees are inspired and informed, they’re ready to start sharing. The company can help by curating content from around the web alongside its own unique content, giving employees specific content they can share.

These shares will feel more natural, and make employees more likely to share them, if the content matches your employee’s interests. For example, an employee might feel hesitant to share three posts promoting your company’s products on their personal social media. They would be more likely to share an inspiring post from the CEO, an interesting article on industry trends, and a behind-the-scenes look at their work day.

To make this process easier, it’s worth considering a software platform like LinkedIn Elevate to help with this process. Elevate is a platform that lets you surface content based on trends and target audience, curate it, suggest it to employees for sharing, and track the results.  

Step 4: Recognize and Reward

Nothing helps encourage participation like recognition—and maybe a little good-spirited competition. Keep track of your employee’s share stats and publicly celebrate your top performers. You can even create a leaderboard everyone can see, with prizes for those with the most shares, most interactions, and largest reach.

It’s important to keep it light, though. Social sharing shouldn’t feel like yet another duty tacked on to the job description. When it’s implemented properly, a social sharing program should feel like a natural extension of the employee’s existing social media activity. Of course they want to share what the company’s up to—they’re excited about the vision! And with guidelines in place and content on tap, it’s easy to share.

Your employees have the potential to be a persuasive, authentic voice for your company. If you can inspire your employees and make sharing easy and fun, you can help them actualize that potential. Help them spread the company’s voice—and help them find their own voice, too.

Make curation and sharing easy for your employees. Learn more about LinkedIn Elevate.