Your staff are an important part of your business both for the work they do in the business, but also for their external communications. This blog looks at ways to engage and encourage all your staff (not just sales and marketing) to be a part of the wider marketing goals.

 

Why should I try to improve employee engagement?

To enable your staff to start spreading the word about your business, you firstly need to consider your internal communications. Simon Sinek once said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.” This can also be applied to internal communications. You need to effectively communicate your business objectives (and the why) to your staff and show how they can live the values of your business.

Of course, it is better to involve all staff in the why, rather than just communicate it down. Forward-thinking businesses involve the whole team in the decision-making process, and you will get better results if your staff feel part of the process. They can then become your brand advocates and ambassadors.

 

How can I transform my staff into brand ambassadors?

Did you know your staff have on average over 1000 social connections? That is just one reason that staff make the best brand advocates and ambassadors. Think about it, outside of work, your staff talk to others about your company; the good and the bad. How many times have you heard your friends talk about their jobs, their bosses, and the workplace culture? If they speak negatively about their experiences, would you want to do business there? By fostering a positive work culture your staff will talk favourably about your business and promote it to their social connections.

Your business’s social media pages can only do so much, and your staff will have five times more reach than business accounts. Furthermore, followers of your staff are seven times more likely to convert. With stats like that, it is easy to see that you need to include your staff in your social media strategy.

A social media policy is necessary. A reason your staff are not posting about your business on social media could be simply because they don’t know they can post, or they don’t know what they can post. A social media policy here with some clearly defined guidelines can help guide them. Some staff may not feel confident using social media so a guide can help them navigate social media. By having a clearly defined social media policy, you can help protect your business and ensure staff are aware of how and what to post (and share). It is also worthwhile having a dedicated contact who can answer any queries that may arise.

When an employee posts original content about your business on social media, the content will be viewed as more authentic than the brand content that you produce. This is because people like other people’s opinions. Think of it as a product review, if a brand said, “our product is the best” or a person wrote a review saying, “this product is the best,” Which one would you find most believable?

While your employee may not feel confident producing their own social media posts about your business, you can encourage them to like and share your posts instead. This will still allow your post to be seen by more people and is in some ways authentic, as people only share what they think is relevant.

There are also some simple ways in which staff can be brand advocates without too much work. Offer them email signatures with links to the business page, or they could use the brand logo as a header on their LinkedIn page.

 

How to use employee images on the website and social media

Before you go and take photos of your staff and post them on your website and social media, you need to get their permission first. Their image is part of their personal data, and you need permission to use it, and you must express in what circumstances this image could be used. This can be done with a simple form, or you can include it in the employee contract.

If you want more authentic content and brand authenticity is necessary for marketing to the Gen Z audience, then you need to start including staff in your comms. This shows your audience that the brand cares about its staff as well as gives staff the chance to shine. Here are some ideas to get you started on using staff in your comms:
Team Building days – Are you having a team day in or out of the office? These snapshots into your staff’ working environment work well for engagement and authenticity. Those who attended and had fun will likely reshare your original post on social media and may even create their own too.
Someone’s birthday – show your staff that you care and give them a birthday shout out (even a nice company branded gift if you are feeling generous!) Admittedly, this will be easier to do for a smaller company rather than a company with hundreds of staff!
Charity collecting/bake sales etc – Are any of your staff doing a charity challenge? (For example, a 5k run or coffee morning.) These are great to use in your comms as they are examples of CSR and who knows, if you attach a Donation link (such as Just Giving), then your employee could raise even more money for charities!
A photo of staff in a brick-and-mortar store/office – If you have a brick-and-mortar store, an image or small video of your staff can highlight how great it is to work at your company.
Meet the team – this only needs to be a picture of the employee with maybe a few words about them, their job title, what their favourite part of working at the business is, and their likes/dislikes. If you look at the bottom of our blogs, you will see an author bio telling you a little bit about the author, which includes their name, experience, and a fun fact. For example, mine talks about my B2C background and off-key singing; both of which are absolutely true!
Mini-Challenges – You could have a TikTok dance challenge or a lip sync battle. Whatever it is, make sure you have a hashtag for it that includes your company name, so staff can participate (especially in the WFH/hybrid era).

 

Other benefits of having staff engage on social media.

While this blog is from a marketing angle, it can also have benefits for the wider business in many positive ways:
Retaining staff – Staff that feel valued and respected at a company will be more willing to stay at your company than move to a competitor. Retaining staff is much more cost-effective than recruiting and training new staff. You don’t want to lose that employee’s years of experience and knowledge of your company.
Hiring new staff – Today’s job seekers and especially the Gen Z era will not work for a business that does not align with their beliefs and values. Using your current staff in marketing images shows the job seeker what type of business you are, and how you treat and care for your staff. Gen Z and Millennials undertake extensive research of a company before they apply so if they can see happy staff and a positive work culture, they are more likely to apply for a job at your company.

So, there you have it, engaging staff to be part of your social media and getting them to share content will help your business reach new audiences. If you want to know more about optimising your digital marketing, you can connect with us today and see how we can make your goals a reality.

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