Social media reach and engagement rates have declined so drastically in the last year or two that paying to play is almost not an option anymore.
But what about businesses and brands that can’t afford to advertise? These organizations can be particularly creative or incredibly persistent, but the most effective strategy they can embrace may be to get all hands on deck and launch their own employee advocacy program.
Of course, to go in this direction, employers need their employees working together toward the same goal if this social media strategy is to be effective. And in many cases, that’s just not going to happen anytime soon without proper training, guidance, incentive and rewards.
Here are just a few mistakes many businesses, brands, teams and their leaders are making today with social media…
Not providing enough education. Social media isn’t rocket science, but it requires a huge leap of faith for the uninformed and uninitiated. Not only can it be daunting, it can be downright difficult for a newbie to craft even a simple tweet, never mind write a blog post or record a video. A comprehensive, mandatory educational program is key to bringing employees up to speed.
Not offering enough incentive. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that job descriptions seem to include everything but the kitchen sink nowadays. So why not add learning social media to employees’ list of responsibilities? Everyone’s a marketer. Everyone’s in sales. And everyone’s on social media. Which should mean giving props to your employer every once in a while.
Not connecting with others. There’s power in numbers, especially when it comes to propagating content. No reach, no engagement. Don’t be afraid to suggest that team members broaden their networks, even if their roles have nothing to do with sales and marketing. There’s a lot to be said for the multiplier effect.
Not sharing organizational content. All for one, one for all. That should be an internal team’s creed. Someone writes a white paper, everyone shares it. Every employee – certainly those in marketing, advertising, PR and social media – should be sharing content that’s created under the corporate roof. Their personal brands should include the professional brands for whom they work.
Not producing original content. There’s a rule in group communications called 90-9-1. This rule suggests that 90% of the members simply lurk while 9% add something to the conversation and a mere 1% contribute the most. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Key employees and related stakeholders should be more than encouraged to create their own content, they should be rewarded for doing so on a regular basis.
Not keeping up with changes. Call them luddites, laggards, naysayers or just plain stubborn. Whatever you call them, call them late to the party, almost too late to gain entrance. Anyone serious about their career in this day and age who hasn’t at least started to use social media risks falling dangerously behind their colleagues, connections and competition on the job.
Not leading by example. Employees will rarely take it upon themselves to share work-related content on their personal accounts. They’re afraid it’s irrelevant and off-putting to their audience. But if leaders are doing it themselves as an example to their teams, that’s another story altogether. Employees will quickly see the benefits of supporting their employer’s brand on social media if they see senior managers practicing what they preach.
Note: The original version of this post was published on ClickZ on December 5, 2016. To read the entire post there, click here.