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Employee advocacy on social media

Most businesses understand the importance of a strong online presence for the company, but some overlook the fact that their employees are representing them on social media too.

Other users might come across an employee profile or post that doesn’t fit with what you as a business are trying to achieve. But how can you manage this? We’ve set out some ideas below.

Encourage social media use

Chances are that most of your employees will be using at least one social media channel. Encourage your employees to follow company pages and engage with the content; you could simply send round an email reminder with links to your social media pages.

The type of content that the company posts can encourage employee interaction too – sharing stories about your team’s success or some photographs of them having a charity bake sale, for example, is likely to be shared by the people involved.

If your employees are proud of where they work, they will be more than happy to shout about the company.

Set out some guidelines

Make it clear with your team what the company rules with regards to social media are. Although they are using channels in a personal capacity, if the company name is linked to their profile, they immediately become a representative.

You might want to create a social media policy and circulate this to all staff, or perhaps include information in their contract. Include in this what your expectations of them are, whether this is compulsory or not, and some guidelines on best practice, as well as details on how the company is managing the business pages so they understand the overall social presence.

You can’t expect employees to be in work mode 24/7, but you can ask them to use social media channels respectfully and thoughtfully.

Make your expectations clear

Consider how you would like your employees to support the company’s social media efforts. For example, if you’re asking staff to engage with your posts, make it clear that they aren’t expected to comment on every single one. If you’re asking them to follow the company page, make it clear this is optional and won’t count against them if they don’t. Let them know if they are allowed to log in and do this during working hours too.

Perhaps you will have different requirements for the senior management team to apprentices, maybe different departments might take a different approach – whatever you decide to do, ensure this is clearly communicated to everyone in your team.

Understand the different channels

With social media, the same rules do not apply across all channels. LinkedIn is a far more professional network, so you may set out different guidelines to those you’ve prepared for Facebook, a channel that is much more personal and one, perhaps, where employees won’t be sharing work-related content.

You might want to consider asking your team – particularly at management level – to make the management of a professional LinkedIn page part of their role. They can make valuable connections that may benefit the company, get all the latest news from their networks, peers and other businesses in the sector, and can help to promote their own work and the company too.

Social media is a great tool to raise your company’s profile, publicise your news and help your business to thrive. And, if managed in the right way, your employees will become advocates to support this.

If you’re looking for support for your company’s social media strategy or management, get in touch with one of the team – we’d love to hear from you.