For most companies, social media is fast becoming a central component of the yearly marketing plan. As we’ve previously discussed, the most successful social marketing programs often leverage employees outside the marketing team to engage in social conversations. Many marketers are surprised to find that their most effective brand ambassadors are editors, product developers, sales people, or even customer service reps. But how do you motivate employees outside the marketing department to stay engaged in your social marketing program?
1. Educate Your Employees on Social Marketing Best Practices
Just like in any business process or internal mandate, you should give your employees sufficient training in the best practices of social media marketing, networking, and programs. Show them the advantages of social media, like how to maximize the use of social networks for sales conversations, or how to use twitter to facilitate customer service conversations.
Lay down a social media strategy that they can follow. Give them the guidelines that set the rules on what is allowed and encouraged. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, creating a comprehensive strategy is a top priority for companies that want to use social media to generate consumer awareness and lead to conversions.
2. Lead the Way with High-Level Brand Ambassadors
If you’re the owner or CEO of your business, you should spearhead the effort to be more socially engaged. CEOs that are active on social media not only boost their company’s credibility, but also improve employee morale. In a Weber Shandwick study, 52% of all respondents agreed that they are inspired by socially active CEOs.
CEO’s active in social media marketing and networking also help bolster content marketing through socially sharing or syndicating content through distribution platforms. In social networks like Facebook, profiles of CEOs are pseudo brand pages, where people can follow CEOs for updates and news relevant to their interests.
3. Set Your Expectations & Communicate Social Marketing Goals
It’s easy for employees to misunderstand your push for involvement in a social marketing program. They may view it as a discipline that only benefits the marketing team, and they may set it as a last priority if they don’t see the direct benefit. Set your expectations on how you want your employees to engage in social media, and clearly communicate how social engagement will benefit them. Editors can get direct feedback on their content, sales people can facilitate new leads, and customer service reps can distribute useful tips to a large audience. From a marketing perspective, these functions all contribute to a larger picture of the brand’s value.
4. Show Them the Results from Your Social Marketing Program
Few things create that motivation or drive to keep going than seeing positive results. For businesses that engage in social marketing, the results of employee contributions are easily measurable. The beauty of social marketing is that it’s digital, and therefore trackable. Employees posting in the company blog, for instance, can easily track the audiences they reach through analytics and see social sharing data. Make sure you share reports with your social ambassadors on a regular basis.
Make them understand that you appreciate their contributions to your content marketing campaigns or social branding initiatives. This has the twofold effect of letting them know they are valued and creating a sense of positive pressure to continue doing great work!