June 30, 2017 – Ashley Ross, Assistant Account Executive
What do brands such as Sprint, Zappos and Southwest Airlines have in common? Other than strategic branding and positioning, all of these companies give the power of social media to their employees.
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer (2017), the general population no longer trusts business institutes. They want to hear directly from employees as ambassadors of the brand.
The brands above know this and started an industry trend by putting the power of social media content into the hands of employees. Each brand has an employee advocacy program, encouraging them to be brand ambassadors on social media.
Here’s how they do it:
Sprint uses employee advocacy through the Social Media Ninja Program. Employees can share company-related content to social media with guidance of an editorial calendar and topic suggestions.
Zappos has a Twitter account (@InsideZappos) that encourages employees to tweet about their work life. To reach beyond the Zappos audience, employees use the hashtag #companyculture. This method not only conveys how well employees are treated at Zappos but also encourages followers to apply. The company also provides employees with special Twitter training courses.
Southwest Airlines uses employees to share stories about working at the airline on its blog, Nuts about Southwest. (https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/)
Bloggers range from top executives to employees in the baggage claim writing about their daily adventures.
Why do these companies want employees to have so much influence on social media content? They’ve figured out that doing so can boost their social reach from 1,000,000 to 7,410,000 instantly!
As you can see in the image below, provided by Hootsuite, a number of employees multiplied by the amount of followers they have greatly exceeds the amount of followers the company as a whole has. The general public is also more likely to trust a post coming from a friend or family member.
So, how do companies get employees to voluntarily participate in social sharing?
Company culture is the most important part. Employees have to love what they are doing every day and who they are working for to positively promote it on social media.
Second, create content and campaigns employees want to share with their friends. Letting employees create content is another sure way to keep them engaged in the company and social sharing.
Lastly, create an employee advocacy program encouraging employees to share updates. This will enhance knowledge of the company, build relationships, spark conversations, improve job skills and affect real change within the organization.
Utilizing these steps will boost social reach and improve company culture.