Confession time: I lied in my headline. Unless they’re already bought into the idea of social media, getting your team on board with your social media marketing can be a serious pain in your ass.
At the same time, having your employees on social media increases the likelihood of your brand’s success. While it’s possible to have success in a vacuum, your chances of succeeding are much higher if you have engagement from your team and actively make an effort to get your team online.
Back to the real world, though. Employees will have varying levels of expertise in social media; some may know nearly everything while others wonder about “the Twitter” or “the Facebook.” Nonetheless, there are some relatively painless steps you can take to help get your team to buy into social media:
- Start with learning. Figure out your team’s social media competency level(s) and cater a presentation to fit covering best practices, what you’re doing on social media and more. If your employees don’t know what you’re doing on social media or what you’d like them to do, they won’t have the slightest clue where to begin.
- Encourage personality and individuality. You’re not creating robots here. You’re trying to get people online, and they’ll always take the path of least resistance. As long as they’re not poorly representing the company, having all of your employees do their own thing on social media isn’t a bad deal most of the time.
- Offer incentives/run contests. Sometimes, incentives help. Offer them to people for bringing in clients on social media, or run contests within your company to encourage social media participation. I’d recommend pursuing this last, as it’s easy to come off as desperate if you don’t take other foundational steps first.
- Make a social media policy. Some companies seem very strict and that can scare folks off. Write a policy so it’s clear what people can do and what they can’t. People fear ambiguity; don’t give it to them.
- Post things worth sharing. If you don’t make stuff worth sharing it won’t be shared.
Getting your team bought into the idea of social media takes persistence and a bit of ingenuity. Unless it’s tied into their job description or pay, most people view outside tasks as second-rate priorities. That makes things like social media and blogging difficult to work into the equation.
You don’t want everyone on your team liking every status or retweeting every post. At the end of the day, usage like that is most likely counterproductive. Make an effort to get your employees online and engaging occasionally, though, and you’re much more likely to see results.
All things considered, your employees will only share your content on social media if it’s worth sharing, and they’ll only post about your culture if your culture is worth posting about. Start from the inside and work out, not the other way around, and you’re much more likely to get that ever-important buy-in.
Image Credit: CC by Highways Agency