Your employees who use social media are an important asset to both your company brand and employer brand.
Eighty-eight percent of employees use at least one social media site for personal use, and 50 percent post messages, pictures or videos about their employer on social media, according to a Weber Shandwick study. Meanwhile, the 33 percent of employers who encourage employees to share news and information about the company see a dramatic 50 percent increase in employees recommending the company's products or services.
The takeaway? If you encourage employees to share, they'll share even more. But how do you get started?
These seven steps will show you the way:
Get management buy-in. Some of your company leaders may already use social media, so it's wise to present them with your plan for engagement. Brainstorm what you want to share on social, making sure you adhere to your brand voice, based on your plan of engagement (see the steps below).
If you share job openings and employer-related information, specify which channels and social accounts (if you have more than one). Welcome all feedback! The questions your management team asks may encourage you to clarify or refine your efforts.
Identify active employees. Your employees probably range from very active to minimally active on social media. Why they use it will vary, too. Some may use it for industry or career-related purposes, others may share jokes or selfies.
Identify and reach out to your most active social media participants, especially those who regularly post work-related content. During an informal lunch, for example, ask what you can do to help them post more company-related content. They may also have ideas on how the company can gain social followers while maintaining relevancy to your audience.
Offer training. Employees may be looking for an opportunity to start using social media or deepen their usage. Identify best practices for each channel, including how to set up a good profile and ways to engage (such as hashtags).
Enlist the expertise of an outside consultant, your current social media manager or your most active social employees to lead social training or best practices sessions. Finally, be sure to outline company policies regarding restrictions on sharing confidential information.
Give employees material to share. From a company wiki to internal newsletters, let employees know where to find and share news, awards, job openings and good press mentions. Include shareable text and links, Twitter-ready posts, hashtags and uploadable images.
Engage. Acknowledge employees who post about your company by re-sharing, commenting or liking their posts on social. This public conversation creates value for both you and your employees.
Be real and personal. Social media updates shouldn't sound like they were written by a corporate-speaking bot. Translate corporate efforts and company values into simple, real-world language to ensure you come across on social with an authentic voice.
Experiment. Social media best practices and platforms are constantly evolving. Whenever a new feature is announced, brainstorm ways to get employees involved, from contests to hashtag challenges.
Don't be afraid to try out new or underused social platforms-you might be surprised at the results! Instagram, for example, is an often overlooked platform for recruiting.
Help others get social
As they come on board, be sure let new employees know about your social media efforts and how they can get involved amplifying your company message and employer brand to company followers, prospects and customers.
Resource tip: For social media managers, we recommend downloading How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day, a great "how-to" eBook from our marketing friends at HubSpot.