- Have leadership lead by example
- Educate your employees
- Make it fun
- Post engaging content
- Answer your “why”
- Make it simple
Your employees should be your top brand ambassadors. But, how do you get buy-in from employees to engage brand content with likes and comments?
You’ve heard it said that employees are your number one brand advocate. There’s a reason for this; they collect money from you. Not only should employees like their job, but they should also be enthusiastically willing to promote the brand. Yet, in many cases, that’s not what happens.
How can you change it?
Apart from having a great culture, asking employees to engage with brand marketing does not come easy.
“I don’t want all my friends and followers seeing my comments on company page posts.”
“My friends make fun of me and tell me I’m blowing up their feed when I comment on company page posts.”
There are many reasons employees will not engage with likes and comments. We have found that people who think they know all about social media know very little about how the different platforms operate regarding who will or won’t see your content.
If you want to increase your brand reach on social media, you must have engagement. Yet, company page posts on any social channel are historically difficult to get engagement. That’s why it’s so necessary to get your employees on board. Even with all the excuses and reasons not to, it is possible to establish a culture of brand advocacy in your company.
Here are a few options we’ve found to work:
1. Lead by example.
If leadership is not engaging brand content, good luck getting employees to engage. People are more likely to follow without being told to do so when leadership models the desired behavior.
At Abound social, our leadership team takes an active role with our company’s social content. They take time from their day to engage company page posts as well as any team members who engage the content as well. Employees don’t appreciate being told to do something that leadership won’t do themselves. Showing that we care about our brand encourages our team to care as well.
2. Educate employees.
As we stated, most people don’t fully understand what content will show up, when, and for whom. Employees are much more willing to engage in brand content when they know why they are engaging and how it will affect their own brand image.
Believe it or not, it’s somewhat rare to find a group of employees who all understand each social channel and how they work. Most have a very rudimentary understanding of Linkedin. A little bit of training about how an employee should comment and where that comment will be shown can go a long way to easing the concerns of employees clogging their connections feed with their comments.
3. Make it fun.
Employees don’t want another task on their plate. Add some incentive to engage brand content. Establish easy to measure key performance indicators and goals through challenges. When employees achieve a metric, throw a pizza party, or find another way of value to express appreciation of employee’s effort.
KPI’s could include the number of likes/comments/shares in a week, the number of times a post was shared in a direct message, and the total number of views posts received through the week because of engagement.
4. Create easily engageable content.
One of the biggest mistakes we see are brands taking what we refer to as “website content” and distributing it to their social channels. Challenge your marketing teams or providers to create content the promotes conversation with the brand. If your employees feel they have value to add, they will be interested in engaging.
Sometimes it’s as simple as asking open questions instead of closed. For instance, if we asked you, “how was your day today?” your response would likely be short or only one word…”good.” But, if our question was more of a statement, “tell me about the best part of your day today.” You would actually respond with more than one word. All company page content needs to have the same level of thought and effort…
5. Answer the “why.”
If leadership hasn’t established a culture of brand champions, there will be no “why.” The why will instead be “why do we have to do this?” Remember, if employees see engaging brand content as a task or mandate, it will never happen. Forced engagement is not quality engagement. When encountered with the “why should I engage brand posts? I don’t want company page posts showing up to my contacts feed every day.” The question should be asked, “why not?” Listen to the answer, and it may provide some valuable insight into your marketing strategy.
If your own employees don’t resonate with the content, then maybe your target market won’t either. This scenario provides an excellent opportunity to get your employees involved in the brand message. What are their ideas and opinions? Create a suggestion box for employees to share their thoughts on upcoming posts. When employees feel valued, they become better brand advocates and will encourage one another to do the same instead of being the squeaky wheel that brings the entire team to a grinding halt.
6. Make it simple.
If your employees don’t know when posts are live or where content is distributed, they will not engage. Make sure you inform employees of the post schedule and alert them when new content is available.
On Linkedin, brands can alert up to 10 employees when a post goes live. These notifications often show up in the employee’s notification section on Linkedin. In addition, brand posts will show up in employee’s news feeds. However, it’s not automatic and sometimes doesn’t happen, especially if the employee has not engaged in brand content in the past.
We’ve seen great success using messaging apps such as Slack or Telegram to group employees and alert them when posts are live. Adding employees to groups also allows marketing and sales leaders to encourage team members to comment on posts for greater effectiveness.
Employees should receive bonus points or additional encouragement when they go above and beyond the call. For instance, if one of your employees shares a brand post to their own profile. Don’t let that go unnoticed. Comment the employee for the effort to the entire team.
Don’t sweat Linkedin’s algorithm. It’s going to change.
Algorithm changes are always a challenge. In the past, brand posts needed immediate engagement to get any views at all. Prior to this last algorithm update, if a post was live by 7:30 am and received as little as five comments and likes from your own internal team, that post would have received views in the thousands if not tens of thousands. As of the writing of this article, it is better to get some quick engagement followed by ongoing engagement dripped throughout the day.
We recommend that when a post goes live, your internal marketing team engages immediately and then alerts the rest of the employees that the post is live and to engage it when time allows. If your employees are all in a group chat, then reminders can go out a few hours after and then again before the close of the day.
One of the easiest teams to get involved is your sales team. Marketing should be meeting with sales regularly and gaining insight into sales call conversations. What questions are people asking? What objections and complaints are prospects making? Answering all sales-related questions in brand posts are a great way to educate your market and allow your sales team to engage with comments. Sometimes, the best posts are simple questions that your sales team can answer.
In addition, have your marketing team and sales leadership provide comment ideas and examples are very helpful to get the rest of your team commenting. Often, when we create content for clients, our posts will come with comment ideas for both the sales personnel and administration.
With a bit of creativity and leadership, companies can take full advantage of their internal brand champions. Once you get the ball rolling, don’t let it lose momentum because it can stop much more quickly than it takes to get it started.
Once your team is active and fully bought in, your brand reach will skyrocket, leads will become easier to come by, and your business will grow. It does take effort, but it’s the quickest way to drive brand authority, build a following, and outpace your competition.