According to a study conducted by MarketingSherpa, 85 percent of US consumers use social media and 58 percent of those surveyed said they follow brands through social media. Based on these statistics alone, your company should be active across all relevant social media platforms – or you’re missing out on spreading brand awareness, engaging employees and attracting top talent.
Being named LinkedIn’s No. 1 Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agency (in the medium enterprise category) in EMEA this year, I had the pleasure of participating in a webcast panel discussion to share insights on how to get the most out of your social engagement practices.
Read on to learn how these companies are leading the way in social reach, company branding, employee advocacy and audience engagement – and how you can join these ranks.
Empower Employees and Ambassadors
A major element in the success of brand awareness on social media is reach, and you can significantly expand reach by encouraging employees to build their networks on your organization’s behalf. Their activity on social media raises their personal profiles and builds trust and authenticity with candidates and clients, which in turn elevates your company’s with it.
To achieve buy-in from employees and turn them into ambassadors, start by educating employees on the importance of maintaining a professional and active profile. Have your learning and development team include a training during onboarding and hold lunch-and-learns periodically to share the most updated information. Show them what’s in it for them – their career and their future success. Provide employees with relevant content they can use to share, but don’t dictate every word. Let them make it their own and encourage them to be adventurous; it will only further differentiate them (and your organization) in the market.
Think Like a Marketer
Having the support of your marketing team for employee engagement and recruitment purposes will make a big difference to your social media program. If you’re able to have a resource dedicated to recruitment marketing, that’s even better. At the very least, someone on the team needs to fully understand what marketing means – from strategy, execution and measurement standpoints.
A content development calendar will keep your company organized; in fact, you should consider giving calendar access to everyone in the company. This will help encourage interest and ownership in the process. Regular posting (but not blasting the same information through the same platforms at the same times of day) will keep the audience you’ve captured on social media interested and engaged.
Measure Your Success
Of utmost importance is understanding how your social media strategy has influenced your brand recognition, employee engagement and recruitment success. If you don’t benchmark how your strategy is performing, you may be spending too much time developing content that doesn’t resonate with your audience. Likewise, there may be aspects of your business you want social media to bolster; be sure your social media and content strategy aligns with overall business goals.
While you should measure your success based on metrics that matter most to you – like high-quality website traffic, increase in revenue, positive brand mentions and ad campaign conversions – track how your competition is performing as well. Don’t be afraid to run multiple campaigns and strategies at once; by doing so, you’ll improve your hit rate and find successes that you can capitalize on faster.
Use Interesting Mediums
According to HubSpot, visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content. This is not to mean everything you post should be visual, but be mindful of the types of content you’re putting out there. Mix it up to see what your audience likes, shares and interacts with.
Research (while not visual in its original form) is conducive to being turned into a quick-read visual post. You can take statistics you’ve gathered in your business and create infographics that appeal to your social media audience. Another visual form of media to consider is video. This may sound daunting, but it doesn’t all have to be original footage. There is attractive stock footage you can purchase and splice in with interviews of your employees to create an appealing video. Most of all, consider creativity in the content you’re developing; typically, something out of the norm will get the most attention.
Have a Global – and Local – Strategy
Every market operates individually, so your company shouldn’t have the same social media strategy for every region. To gain the most participation and enthusiasm from your employees, the content should speak to their market.
An all-encompassing set of standards, in terms of quality, should be set to ensure all content represents the company accurately. But, individual content pieces must be relevant to the target markets. All posts should relate back to that region’s business objectives and overall marketing plan. To further localize the content you’re creating, allow employees to have the freedom to express themselves. They’ll know the market’s nuances best and how to frame it to get the most attention from their followers.
For additional insights from myself and other panel participants on how to become a socially engaged company, please listen to the webcast by clicking the button below.