Brand ambassadors are the best marketing force for any brand. Often they are dedicated clients, but all brands and companies have a secret in-house weapon when it comes to social media marketing, communication and PR: its own employees.
Who else knows the brand better, stays always up-to-date and has a strong personal connection with it?
And that’s not all. According to the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer, “Employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO, or Founder. 41% of us believe that employees are the most credible source of information regarding their business.”
And we all know, that word-of-mouth and friend’s recommendations are worth more than any marketing or advertising effort ever will.
So how to make use of this (often neglected) source of brand ambassadors?
Well, by empowering them on social media and turning them into employee advocates!
1) Connect the personal social media with the corporate one
Your employees don’t need to create a new, corporate social media account and identity to share their company related news and posts. On the contrary, the brand messages should become a natural part of their personal feeds, just like their work is a normal part of their everyday life. To get started, you can have an initial training and share some simple guidelines to follow, to ease out the initial doubts on what to do and what not to do.
2) Show your trust and encourage with incentives
As stated above, you can help your employees get started by providing simple social media guidelines and tips. But be careful not to state strict rules: your employees need to be encouraged to share their experiences, opinions and interesting company news, not threatened by the “guardian” corporate eye that makes them scared about possible mistakes they could make. Trust your employees’ own judgment. To get a head start, offer incentives, like small corporate gifts or public acknowledgment, for the most active social media ambassadors to show your support.
3) Make it easy: offer example articles, titles, hashtags and channels
Not all your employees are too familiar with social media, or even if they are, they might be hesitant to get started and begin posting about your brand. Share the most important company updates and news with them and suggest readily written titles, posts and tweets that they can just copy if they want to. This way they will become familiar with the kind of content to share and the right tone of voice to use. Also, coming up with a company hashtag to use will help the employees tag their posts in a correct way.
4) Celebrate the good results
Once your employee advocacy program has started and is performing well, keep up the encouragement by publicly acknowledging the best ambassadors, sharing statistics about the results of the shared company news and by celebrating important milestones, by throwing a company party of by making a donation to charity.
Employee advocacy works two ways – it communicates your corporate culture to the outside, while strengthening it in the inside.
It’s never too late to start! Engage your employees and encourage them to use social media, you might be surprised about the results.
Social Media Examiner
Social Media Today
We all know that frequent posting, presence on different social media channels, and collecting likes and followers are not enough if you want your social media activity to bring results. What we want is to engage our audience and produce better content that attracts attention and creates engagement.
Here are five great tips for boosting your social media engagement – for free:
1) CALL TO ACTION
If you want your audience to react to your posts, simply tell them what to do. Suggest them to click the link to your website, to like a post or to share it, or ask them a question you want an answer to. People are going to act upon your request, if you ask them to. It’s as simple as that – isn’t it?
2) CONNECT AND COMMUNICATE
Don’t limit your communication on your branded social media channels. Follow the leading people of your industry, share their best posts and articles, take part in conversation and don’t be afraid to be active elsewhere on social media. You’ll find out you’re increasing your brand awareness and establishing important connections that will eventually bring more engagement to your own channels as well.
3) MIX AND MATCH
Share your blog posts also on Facebook and Twitter. Ask questions and share the best responses. Organize a contest with an attractive reward. Create top ten lists of tips based on your professional experience. The list goes on. Different content on different days, starting conversation and letting your customer’s voice come through will all increase the quality of your content and the engagement with your audience.
4) MAKE IT VISUAL
The most engaging type of content on social media are images and videos, as they can be quickly viewed and create and emotional connection with the audience. To increase the engagement of your posts, remember to always include a visual element related to the content of the post.
5) UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
The best way to learn what people are saying about your brand, what type of posts are performing better, or what time of the day or which day of the week is the best time to post is through a social media management tool. With Allin1Social you can monitor your competitors, mentions and the performance of your posts and social media channels – all for free. All this information is crucial in order to know what is working best for your brand.
Knowing the facts and best practices will help you produce better content and increase your engagement rate!
Keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing in their social media strategy is extremely important, especially if you share the same target audience. Here are the main reasons why you should always be up-to-date about your competitors’ social media strategy and activities:
GET INSPIRED. If you’re struggling to create a successful social media strategy or to produce engaging content, the best place to look for help and ideas is on your dear rivals channels. Your competitors have most probably done the hard work and figured out a good action plan, so all you need to do is analyze it and implement the parts that you feel would work the best for your company – with your own creative touch, of course.
WHAT TO DO. Your competitor’s social media behavior is a great reference when it comes to deciding how often you should be posting on different social media channels, and which types of updates to post. Compare their posting frequency on Facebook and Twitter, and see which types of content have been the most successful ones – most probably the same guidelines work for you too.
WHAT NOT TO DO. On the other hand, competitor analysis might also reveal what NOT to do on social media. See what kind of posts aren’t performing well, and try not to make the same mistakes.
SPOT OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS. Your competitor’s customers’ opinions can give you hints about development opportunities or hidden threats. If someone is complaining about an issue, you can do your best to improve your own performance in order to avoid the same issue, and to improve your customer experience. In the same way, if your competitor is doing something innovative and successful, you can be the first one to implement a similar, and an even better, strategy – just remember not to copy, but always add your own unique touch.
Analyzing your competition actually means analyzing your own brand, and learning about your best competitive advantages, as well as opportunities for improvement.
After an initial, comprehensive analysis, it is important to keep monitoring your competition on a regular basis. Monitoring all the different platforms of your competitors can be time-consuming and confusing, so the Comparison Tool on Allin1Social can really come handy for a clear, structured report of your chosen competitors’ activities.
With Allin1Social, you can instantly export visually rich social media dashboards in PDF or excel – ready for sharing with your boss, colleagues and clients.
Want to know more? Take a look at our competitors monitoring features – click here.