5 Top Tips for Small Business Social Media Success
It wasn’t long ago that many businesses considered social media to be a distraction for their employees, rather than legitimate business opportunities which they might take advantage of. That has all changed now though, and most businesses recognize the tremendous opportunities provided by social media, allowing businesses to reach out to vast audiences which might become potential customers.
Nowadays, most businesses monitor their social media presence, because it has become one of the most critical aspects of their overall marketing initiatives. However, one area that some businesses have not yet capitalized on, is in getting their own employees involved to enhance their social media presence. Here are some ways that your employees can really add to your online persona, and provide real value to your business at large.
Make your business exciting and shareable
This doesn’t mean you have to provide a thrill a second to your employees, in order to get them to share tidbits about the company on social media. But it’s fairly easy to stage company events or to embark on company initiatives which will be exciting to employees, and are therefore worth sharing with all their friends on the various social media platforms.
If you can develop a work environment which keeps your employees engaged and enthusiastic about the company, there should be lots of opportunities for your workers to share their feelings. Many companies have already found a significant increase of photos and posted content on social media platforms following a major company event or milestone. Your workers will feel great about having something worthwhile to share, and your company will get lots of extra mileage out of the exposure.
Focus on company values
You certainly aren’t going to want your employees to make posts on social media about product information or about pricing, since these don’t make for very exciting content. You’d be much better off to focus on company values, and constantly convey them to your employees, encouraging them to participate in causes which have significance to them.
Natural social media activity will generally occur when companies share their vision or their mission with employees, and motivate those employees to make posts about them. If you can instill a sense of pride in employees about working for your company, they will naturally tend to post content which reflects well on the company.
Develop a social media guide
While most of your employees have a good feel for what kind of content is suitable for posting on social media, some workers will invariably go too far and cause a negative reflection on the company. It’s a good idea to avoid this possibility by developing a social media guide which clearly outlines expected behaviors and allowable content on social media platforms.
This is necessary to ensure that your company’s reputation is maintained, and helps to ensure that your company’s legitimate message is dispersed. All directives included in the social media guide should be very clear and concise. It should also be accompanied by as many visuals as possible, so that employees can have a clear understanding, even at a glance.
Avoid making restrictive or rigid policies, because these are likely to quickly become out of sync with the rapidly changing world of social media. Your social media guide should be considered a living document, which requires constant adjustment and updating. This approach will be much better in terms of keeping in sync with the platforms themselves, and will therefore be more appreciated by employees.
Reward employees for great posts
For the most part, employees who post content to social media will be creating their own material when doing so. These might consist of long-form posts, or even personal stories which include references to the company, but in any case, creating this content will involve a considerable amount of work. When exceptional posts are created by your employees, it’s a good idea to reward them, so as to encourage more of them and to convey your genuine appreciation of the effort.
Employees who develop in-depth content for social media posts should be given prizes or some other kind of consideration, especially if these posts can be used by the company’s business accounts. In fact, it might even be worth your while to formalize an initiative like this by encouraging departmental leaders to solicit really good content from individual employees. This might even involve having employees sit in on brainstorming sessions for marketing personnel, or by contributing to the company newsletter.
Anything that promotes the involvement of employees in a positive way to reflect on the company brand, could have tremendous public relations value. You might even have company contests and award prizes to employees who produce the best content posted on social media. Company resources could be made available to employees for the creation of videos, infographics, or even blogs. When really good content is posted by your employees, you should also encourage them to engage with any other users who comment about the post, to extend the mileage you get out of each post, and to increase readership.
Value of employee posted content
The real value of having this kind of involvement from your employees, is that other readers are much more likely to pay attention to them, because they’re real people just like the users are. As opposed to a post made on a company account, users are more likely to read and react to content shared by an individual employee.
These types of posts feel much more authentic to readers than do branded posts, and they will encourage outside parties to become connected with your company. There is a tremendous potential for increasing your online presence when you encourage employees to post content about your company. In a number of different ways, this brings value to your company. It will help to boost engagement with your company, it will probably enhance your bottom line, and will make your employees feel like they are essential contributors to your company image.