Nowadays, social media is a fast and effective way to promote your personal brand and business to the world. This is the primary reason why social media marketing is such big business.
Social media provides a quick and easy insight to anyone interested in learning about a person or brand. Just by viewing a completed profile, we can get a feel for what a brand is about and its values or an individual’s interests and skills.
Using the above, companies can create more effective marketing strategies to attract target audiences with whom they wish to engage. Never before has a medium been so effective and easily accessible for individuals and brands alike. Businesses that aren’t investing in social media are missing out on a channel by which to attract customers and advocates, and are far less ‘visible’ than their more social competitors.
Social media is also an effective tool when gathering feedback and market research relating to a brand. People will happily provide an honest opinion online and there are many tools to allow businesses to monitor, report and act on the results of their marketing efforts.
It’s a known fact that people are far more likely to use a business’s services, or buy its products, if they’ve been recommended by a friend or family member. It’s also reported that businesses with positive reviews are more likely to be successful in their marketing efforts.
Both recommendations and reviews are an essential part of any online marketing strategy.
As people become more oblivious to the standard forms of advertising online, it’s increasingly important for brands to use real world examples and real people who have used their services to attract customers. This includes their own employees.
Using real people to advertise for you through recommendations and reviews is a perfect fit for social media, as this is what people tend to naturally discuss anyway. From what clothes they bought, to how well priced their car repairs were, any business can prosper or suffer online at the hands of everyday conversations on Facebook or Twitter.
If your employees believe in what you do as a business, then it’s time you allowed them to share that advocacy through social media – sometimes during office hours.
How can employee use of social media benefit your company?
Life isn’t just about business, it’s about people too. A new customer, a new person for the team, even that important supplier can all be attracted through employee advocacy on social networks.
Every employee is an advocate of the company and therefore a buyer, seller or potential recruiter. Hence their social circles are key to an organisation’s marketing and recruitment efforts, through their positive updates about the brand and what it stands for, provides and plans for the future.
Every employee’s positive social share or update will define a part of the company’s reputation, spread knowledge and increase visibility about their products and services.
This is employee advocacy, there are three factors that must be understood and applied:
- They have to be engaged with, like and respect the brand and what it represents
- People trust employee’s social updates more than they would the company’s shares
- Their posts and updates are not filtered or optimised as a brand might be (they’re considered more honest by many)
Allowing employees to promote your business through everyday social sharing is a free marketing technique and can bring many benefits. The fact that every employee can have on-hand a network of potential customers, suppliers and applicants at any time, must not be underestimated.
Social media can also increase productivity. Brands who make use of social networking as a means to communicate and collaborate are able to receive and resolve support issues in real time and, more importantly, collaborate with colleagues residing anywhere in the world and utilise the functionality included in the platforms for free.
Many employers and employees do not consider themselves as proficient users of digital tools while performing their daily work. This can result in lower productivity amongst employees, delays in responding to customers or less than optimal collaboration and communication.
Social media is widely considered to be an essential part of business moving forward, whether this be for sales, marketing or an internal employee efficiency tool. For this reason, employers and employees alike must be comfortable working with social media, both internally and with the public.
Here are three ways through which you can improve the skills of your employees in the use of social media, in order to increase productivity:
Social networks contain an astonishing amount of information, curating the most valuable and relevant content is essential to adding value to employee’s profiles. If they post useful content, videos and infographics that actually contribute something to your customers, you will increase your credibility and build loyalty with other social network users.
Employees need to know how to select content and filter what’s not relevant in order to share updates that their friends and contacts want and find useful. This may seem obvious, but it’s not always taken into account by employers and is one of the big differentiators when promoting employee advocacy.
Add value to interactions
Training employees in the use of social media (in relation to your brand) should focus on the fact that they belong to a virtual community, in which there are different ways to communicate. Each social network has its own communities, ways of sharing content and forms of media that can be used. Knowing how to utilise these differences and capitalise on them is key. People want fast, easy to read snippets of information and attention spans are almost non-existent. Catching a user’s eye quickly (and holding their attention) isn’t easy and requires testing and knowledge to get right.
Marketing, selling and recruiting effectively
The key is to always think from the perspective of the user or customer.
Using social marketing and careful selection of content you can increase interaction, and therefore engagement, with consumers and users.
Utilising these abilities and social skills, employees can build a personal and professional brand that, in turn, benefits the company brand.
As an employer, you must help your employees to understand the techniques and provide tips on best practices, whether this is when promoting the brand to customers or referring people for an open position.