Are you finally realizing social media needs to be a part of your marketing strategy? That it plays a huge role in promoting your business? It’s about time…

You know your customers are on social media, but your employees are on there too, whether you like it or not. Often, it’s on company time. This doesn’t have to be such a bad thing.

If you want to take advantage of that, you’re going to have to play the social media game, too.

Messages about your company coming from friends are trusted more than when they come from your company pages. These messages shared by friends also get measurably more engagement than when they are shared from a company page. This is why your first order of business in trying to increase social media engagement should be to develop an encouragement strategy for your employees.

Here are some tips to help you get started in creating that strategy.

Offer incentives

Maybe you work with exceptionally traditional people who think social media is a waste of time. That’s fine, they’ll come around someday. Help your employees get there by giving them reasons and reminders to engage. There are many ways you can do this:

-Give a prize to the employee who shares or “likes” the most posts in a month. Similarly, an award or a bonus to the office’s biggest social media supporter can be given at the annual Christmas party.

-Tell your employees that you’ll be making a company announcement today on LinkedIn at 1 p.m., and that they have to tune in to see it. While they’re already on there, they’re already set up to give it a “like” or a share. This also enforces the idea that they are missing out if they don’t use social media.

-Use company outings as an excuse to take pictures and share the experience. Not only will employees be having fun and given the option to tag themselves in photos, you are promoting a fun and healthy workplace and drawing increased interest from talent for hire.

-Share employee posts that are relevant to the company. If you can recognize the employees who regularly share industry insights and stay active on social media, share their content with a nod to their good thoughts. It’s as valuable to them as hearing your boss say, “good job”.

-Have a lunch and learn about the importance of social media activity and show employees how to be active. Free food and learning opportunities are two things the average person cannot turn down.

Post shareable content, regularly

Posting regular updates on your pages, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, provides opportunities to reach those within your employees’ networks and multiply the amount of people seeing your posts.

Give your employees something to “like”, or a reason to engage with your company page. People can see their connections’ interactions on all of those networks.

To make it easier to create that content, have a universal area where employees can share pictures and good news. Utilize what is being discussed in your communal conversation space, whether that be the water cooler, or a chat room like Slack.

Posting regular content is a time and effort commitment. But, if you don’t post consistently, your social media pages are barely serving their purposes. It’s why many companies outsource to people like us to take care of that for you.

Share analytics

If you’re going to encourage your employees to engage with your social media pages, you have to be able to show them why it matters. As you receive reports on your analytics and learn information about your customers, use that to help your employees better represent your brand.

With every ounce of encouragement, always circle back to why social media is important and how it helps the company. Your employees want to be serving a purpose, not just acting as a “like” mill to help you get clicks on your page because you told them to.

Do not enforce strict rules about social media use, or create a negative stigma or fear of being on platforms during the day. Do give your employees the resources and the encouragement to make good use of the time they undoubtedly will be spending on social media.

The next time you walk by Suzie from accounting and see her scrolling through cat pictures on Twitter, don’t think of her as a procrastinator. She’s ultimately just a few scrolls away from liking your company post.

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