As both Twitter and Facebook continue to make changes to their algorithms that promote local and authentic content, working with colleagues across the organisation to ensure their input into social media activity has never been more important.
Your colleagues ‘in the field’, be they local sales teams, regional managers, customer support reps, or just about any other role you can think of, can add great value to your organisations social media presence. Their unique access to customers and opportunity to contribute local content, helps bring real personality to your social profiles and increases the reach of your brand.
While these benefits may be clear to marketing and communications professionals, getting buy-in from colleagues who might not initially see themselves as being involved in social can be much more challenging. That is why today’s blog is focused on identifying the challenges and our 5 steps to inspiring colleagues to engage in social!
Step 1: Involve Colleagues
When asking colleagues to engage in social media and represent your organisation, many marketers often hear concerns that social media tasks just add to their workload. If social media is just viewed from the start as another task handed down from management, then encouraging colleagues to take ownership of their social channels and represent your brand on social is likely to be a difficult.
The key to helping colleagues to feel comfortable and open to engaging on social media is to involve them in the process. Whether this is via simple things like the look and structure of a new location based social media account; or setting the aims and objectives for the coming period. Decide upon a clear vision together and seek input from those involved to get the project started and build empowerment and pride!
Step 2: Provide Inspiration
Once a collaborative vision has been developed, its time to start looking at how you will get there. For this, inspiration is so important! Providing your colleagues with some attainable examples of other organisations doing great things on social media will not only make the task less daunting, but also help to generate ideas and start healthy competition.
However, this isn‚Äôt just a one-time step ‚Äì enthusiasm for social media can fade over time, and some colleagues will be leaving or joining the business. So, don‚Äôt underestimate the power of some inspirational material to kick start more creativity.
Step 3: Provide Social Media Training and Guidelines
Fear of saying the wrong thing is one of the key factors that stops employees from getting involved on social media. With high profile social media scandals regularly hitting headlines, your colleagues are likely well aware of how much damage a single wrong Facebook post or Tweet could do.
That’s why inspiration and excitement for social media, must be coupled with robust training and guidelines, both to protect your organisation and your colleagues! Consider covering off the following as essentials:
- Your organisation’s brand and appropriate tone of voice — every organisation is different as for some professionalism may be first priority, whilst for others it may be humour and personality.
- Red, amber and green content (RAG) — what content is encouraged and what should be avoided — e.g. friendly and humorous contact with competitors may be okay for some organisations and forbidden by others — be clear about where your organisation stands!
- Laws and guidelines — education around the legal requirements on social media is particularly important for sectors such as finance, retail and automotive and should be discussed with colleagues.
Top Tip – If your colleagues are particularly nervous, remember that in CrowdControlHQ, their content can be checked over by others before it is made live!
Step 4: Collaborate on Content
With the right training and inspiration, your colleagues are now ready to start creating content and responding to customer queries to show off their fantastic local knowledge and relationships. However, from our experience the most successful social media projects are those that work in partnership. By that we mean the central marketing and communications team provide structure, support and sharable resources to build the foundations that local colleagues can then build on and add value to.
Not only does this help to boost confidence but will help to maintain the brand message and stay on track. Sharing a scheduling calendar such as the one in the CrowdControlHQ platform can ensure visibility over upcoming content and facilitate this collaborative way of working.
Step 5: Share Results and Reward
Finally, nothing helps encourage participation like recognition; and maybe a little good-spirited competition. Seize the opportunity to stimulate that competitive streak by sharing the results from each month across your organisation, perhaps including the following:
- Top performing post/tweet celebrating the author
- Fastest customer service response time congratulating the agent
- Leader boards of most engagement driven, or content created across all of your social media accounts highlighting top performers and most improved
Top Tip — providing prizes or rewards at the end of each quarter for colleagues with consistently great social media content or activity is a fantastic way to continue to build awareness across the organisation as well as keeping it fun!
Those are our 5 steps and tips but we’re keen to hear how you’re promoting collaboration on social media across your organisation — have your say by tweeting us @CrowdControlHQ!