You want employees to post content on social media, but you’re not sure about the best way to approach it.
Perhaps you’re managing an employee advocacy program and looking to increase user adoption.
Or maybe this whole ’employee social media thing’ is completely new to your organization…
Either way, today you’ll discover the best strategies for getting employees to post on social media 👏
From understanding and addressing the barriers employees may face, to gaining stakeholder support, here’s everything you need to know about encouraging employee engagement on social media.
Why Encourage Employees to Post and Engage on Social Media?
First, let’s briefly cover the why.
As you’re here, I’m sure you’re already aware of at least some of these benefits. But in case not…
Here are just a few reasons to get employees to share social media content:
- People are trusted more than brands. Social media users are more likely to follow and engage with the content of your employees than your company page.
- Get more eyes on your marketing content!
- Paid ads on social media are expensive. The cost-per-click seen by employee advocacy programs using DSMN8 is up to 82% less.
- Showcasing company culture helps attract top talent.
- Sales, especially in B2B, is all about building relationships. Nowadays, a lot of this takes place on LinkedIn. Salespeople sharing content allows them to become front-of-mind when a prospect is ready to buy.
How To Successfully Ask Employees To Share Content on Social Media
So, how can you ask employees to share social media content…
and actually have them do it?
You could simply send an email saying ‘please can you share this on LinkedIn?’
And some employees will share it.
But that’s a one-time win.
To get your team consistently engaging with your company page content, and sharing LinkedIn posts of their own…
You’ll need to take a strategic approach.
Follow this 4-step strategy for increasing employee advocacy on social media:
1. First, it’s essential to find out why your employees aren’t doing this already, and address their reservations.
2. Get leadership on board, and approach management within different departments at your organization. Explain how employees acting as brand ambassadors on social will help reach overall business goals, and department KPIs.
3. Provide sufficient training and resources, a clear social media policy and guidelines.
4. Finally, make it easy to share content. Reducing friction is key to increasing participation.
Understand The Blockers
Let’s dive deeper 🤿
What are the main blockers preventing employees from creating and sharing content?
Typically, these are the three most common pain points we see:
- Lack of Time
- Fear of Doing Something Wrong
- Not Understanding The Benefits
Thankfully, all three of these can be easily resolved 🥳
1. Lack of Time ⏰
Simplify the process of sharing content as much as possible. Sourcing, curating, and creating content for employees to share will get even the most time-poor employees active.
2. Fear of Doing Something Wrong 👻
The key to resolving the fear is communication. Employees need to know that your organization does not prohibit social media, but rather encourages it. They also need to know who to reach out to for support or queries regarding social media in your company. Training also helps alleviate the fear!
3. Not Understanding The Benefits 🤦🏻♀️
This one is really common, especially among those who don’t work in marketing, sales, or HR. When approaching employees about social media, emphasizing how it benefits them is absolutely essential. Otherwise, why would they want to put in any extra work?
Establish Your Goals and Share Them
Before inviting employees to start sharing content, it’s crucial to establish your goals.
Take note of the current marketing and sales metrics you’re tracking.
How are your organic social media stats trending?
How will you demonstrate to leadership that getting employees to share content is a worthwhile endeavor?
Once you’ve defined your goals, and which metrics you’ll monitor, it’ll be much easier to justify why this activity is valuable.
Employees that understand why this is important are more likely to get involved.
Choose Your Platforms
Don’t simply ask employees to share content about your organization on social media.
You’re much more likely to see success when specifying which social media platforms and why.
Otherwise, employees might think that you want them to share company blog posts on their personal Facebook accounts or create TikTok videos, and immediately decline.
Explain that you’re actually looking to see them become more active on LinkedIn, as the largest professional networking site. Depending on your industry and region, you might also like them to create a professional account on X, formally known as Twitter.
Instagram or TikTok might be suitable for your area of business, but for the majority: stick to LinkedIn.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Encouraging Employee Social Media Engagement
Getting employees to post social media content doesn’t have to be difficult.
Let’s break it down into a simple ‘do’s and don’ts’ list.
I’ve also created a PDF Cheat Sheet you can download as a reminder for later.
1. Provide the Tools
2. Highlight the Benefits
The best way to motivate employees to be active on social media is to let them know what’s in it for them.
Remember, employees aren’t a free marketing channel: they’ll have their own motivations for developing their personal brand.
I’m talking about things like: increased visibility with stakeholders in your organization, becoming known as an industry thought leader, and future career opportunities.
Read our article on the benefits of employee advocacy for employees to discover more.
3. Make It Easy
If you only take away one thing from this article, let it be this:
Make it as easy as possible to participate.
As I mentioned above, one of the biggest pain points for employees trying to build a social media presence is a lack of time.
This is especially true for leadership teams.
People are busy at work. Sharing a post on LinkedIn is likely to be at the bottom of their priority list (unless they’re a social media manager).
So, one of your main goals should be to reduce friction.
Share links to your latest content with your team. Create a comms channel, a shared folder, or use an employee advocacy platform so everyone can find content, assets, and social media copy to use.
Get your marketing team to pre-write multiple LinkedIn post captions for every piece of content you’d like employees to share.
This helps guide them in the right direction, providing a great starting point for adding their own insights. Or they can share the pre-written content instantly, with no effort required.
At DSMN8, we recommend creating 5 unique post captions and graphics/images for each article shared.
This reduces the risk that everyone will be sharing the same piece of content, creating variation in the feed. The last thing you want is your entire team posting identical content looking like robots! 🤖
Think about the ‘Amazon Effect’. People are much more likely to purchase an item if it takes 2 clicks, rather than 5. They made online shopping a breeze. You’ll want to take the same approach.
DSMN8 makes employee advocacy as easy as possible.
With automation features, employees can maintain their social media presence with zero effort required.
4. Regularly Supply Valuable Content
By ‘valuable content’, I mean content that serves a purpose for your employee’s social media connections.
You shouldn’t only provide marketing content for your advocates to share.
Make sure to include educational content, and third-party articles, too.
To encourage employees to create their own content, why not share engaging prompts, such as a challenge or topic for the week?
This part is just as important:
Establish a regular routine for creating and sharing content with employees.
It’ll help your team build their personal brands, and also cements the activity as part of your company culture.
5. Tailor Your Content & Captions
Keep in mind that employees have different roles, KPIs, and motivations for becoming active on social media.
For example, social content for your sales team will need to be different to the content you create for senior leadership to share.
Don’t take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
Have an open door policy when it comes to questions and feedback.
A sure-fire way to fail at employee advocacy is by not providing support to your advocates
Make sure they know where to reach out if any issues arise, and listen to their feedback on your content.
7. Leverage Leadership Influence
The best thing to do when starting an employee advocacy program, or encouraging employees to become more active on social media in general, is to get leadership involved.
Once you have buy-in from the C-Suite, pitch the benefits of growing a social media presence to department heads / VPs.
This will start a snowball effect throughout your organization, as those within different business units will hear about the initiative, and see their managers posting content.
Leadership maintaining a presence on social media sets expectations, cements this activity as part of your company culture, and provides a good example to employees.
Watch the podcast episode below to find out how to get your CEO more active on social media from our very own CEO.
Don't Do This:
1. Force It
One of the biggest employee advocacy mistakes is making it mandatory
There’s no better way to make employees not want to share content than by forcing them to do it.
Following all the do’s from the list above will help motivate employees to post on social media and engage with your company page content.
But keep in mind that a 100% user adoption rate, even in the most engaged companies, is unlikely.
Rather than simply focusing on numbers, the key is to focus on getting the right employees involved.
2. Be Too Exclusive
I’m not saying to invite your entire organization immediately, but make sure not to be too exclusive.
Yes, your initial prime candidates are likely to be your marketing and sales teams, and C-Suite executives…
But don’t automatically exclude interns or new hires – they’re often the most eager to make a positive impression with leadership, and therefore more likely to get involved. Besides, every employee’s voice counts!
Beyond that, think about who would benefit the most from being active on social media, and use the pyramid of employee influence to guide you.
3. Only Ask Once
Don’t make the mistake of only sending out one invite and never mentioning it again 😫
Establish a regular cadence for inviting employees, and don’t be afraid of sending reminders too.
If you’re part of a large organization, there will be new employees joining all the time, and many of them will have come from companies who take the opposite approach to social media.
It’s crucial to let new hires know that you actively encourage your team to create and share content.
4. Ask Employees To Use Personal Social Media Accounts
I’ve already mentioned that you should be specific when asking employees to share on social media.
Otherwise, employees might think you want them to share on their personal social media accounts, and say no.
Boundaries and work-life balance are important!
Besides, is it likely that you’ll find your next client from an employee’s Instagram profile, where they typically share photos of their cat? Probably not.
Another factor to consider, especially for those in regulated industries, is the risk factor of your company being associated with everything your employee shares online. We’ve all heard those stories of employees getting fired over TikTok videos.
This is why we recommend sticking to LinkedIn, and if you’re looking to get employees active on Twitter, get them to set up new accounts for work purposes.
5. Tell Them To ONLY Share Company Content
If you insist that employees only share company content… It’s not going to go well.
Here’s the thing:
Employees will resent you for it – it makes them feel like they’re being used.
Their connections will see right through it, quickly realizing that the content isn’t authentic.
It’ll be much more difficult for them to grow an audience, because their content provides less value than a mixture of educational content, industry news, and thought leadership.
6. Be Needlessly Strict
This ties in with the previous point: don’t be unnecessarily strict about their content.
Yes, pre-written captions by marketing are absolutely a good idea, but you should allow employees to add their own insights.
This makes the content more authentic and engaging.
In regulated industries, of course it makes sense to be more strict with employee content. But, simply making sure employees are aware of the laws will help empower them to create compliant content.
Results To Expect
Following all of these do’s and don’ts will enable you to go beyond simply asking employees to like and share your content.
You’ll be well on the way to building a community of engaged employee advocates, all of whom have the potential to become the next industry thought leader.
So, what results should you expect from this activity?
For marketing and sales, the results will be tangible from the get-go. With increased content reach and engagement, you’ll be seeing lead generation and sales.
When your company culture becomes more visible, your recruitment campaigns will be more effective at finding the right employees for your organization.
And of course, you’ll be able to reduce spend on paid advertising, thanks to the increased organic reach.
In fact, DSMN8 client AkzoNobel achieved a huge $100,000 in earned media value in one year with their employee advocacy program.
Another DSMN8 client, Frank Recruitment Group, saw an average CPC of only £0.19!
How To Maintain Employee Engagement on Social Media
We’ve established why getting employees active on social media is worthwhile, both for reaching your business goals and improving employee engagement.
You’ve learned the do’s and don’ts around asking your employees to share content, to maximize the number of participants.
So, what now?
The final step in the process is to maintain their interest.
The last thing you want is an influx of employee content, then after a few weeks have passed… absolutely nothing 🤦🏻♀️
DSMN8 CEO Bradley Keenan wrote an article for Forbes Communications Council, covering the 6 key components to maintaining employee advocacy momentum.
We’ve already covered some of these elements, but here’s a quick breakdown of the 6 ways to keep employees interested in sharing content:
- Create a feedback loop.
- Make sure advocates understand how this benefits them.
- Discover the content your advocates need by creating ideal advocate profiles.
- Get leadership buy-in from the start.
- Make it easy to participate.
- Advocacy should become the heart of your company culture.
Give Bradley’s article a read to understand each factor in more depth.
Point #6 in particular is the way to building a thriving community of engaged employee advocates. Starting to get your employees (including senior leadership) posting on social media will mark a positive shift in your company culture.
Watch the podcast episode below to find out the key to building an employee advocacy community!
SEO and Content Specialist at DSMN8. Emily has 10 years experience blogging, and is a pro at Pinterest Marketing, reaching 1 million monthly views. She’s all about empowering employees to grow their personal brands and become influencers.