In theory, getting your employees to share your content should be one of the quickest and easiest ways to get more people seeing your message. It should also be one of the best ways to get the right people to see your message – your employees are likely to know other people who would make good potential employees. This is why employee referrals can be one of the most effective ways to recruit (there are hundreds of articles about this, one of my favourites can be found here).
In practice, actually getting your employees to do this can be tricky. Below are some thoughts on how we could improve this, both for our own marketing and for our clients. Many of these were taken from a talk I attended at LinkedIn Talent Connect: Promote & Engage: Ways To Amplify Your Talent Brand, a really interesting talk by Sarah Penrose, Global Talent Acquisition Marketing Manager at British American Tobacco. (Incidentally, I have taken a look at their channels, and they clearly do practice what they preach!)
1. Make sure your employees really agree with the message you are trying to portray. Consult them during development of the employer brand message. Employees are not going to be happy endorsing a message on their personal channels if they don’t really believe in it.
2. Communicate what you want employees to do as clearly and simply as possible. Many people might not be sure how to do something. Make sure they don’t have any excuses not to by giving them really good instructions. Also make it clear that this isn’t a scary or time-consuming thing.
3. Encourage an open ‘share and tell’ atmosphere. A lot of people still aren’t sure what is and isn’t OK on social media channels, particularly as some employers have historically been very strict on this. Eliza’s email the other day was a really nice example of someone who clearly liked his employer and was happy and confident to share this with others. It might be worth revisiting your internal social media policies to reframe them in a more positive light.
4. Focus on your most socially savvy employees first and encourage them to lead by example. These are probably likely to be quicker wins because these people will already understand the channels and how to promote their employers on them. In large companies, these people can also be really effective social media champions, helping to encourage others, drive change in the business and troubleshoot as required. These people should be easy enough to find, because they’re probably already all over the various social media channels.
5. Make it a competition. As Susie’s last blog post showed, gamification is a great way to make people do things. And it’s what made me want to write this post!