Engaging employees in the online conversation

Posted by Albers Communications on September 20, 2012 |

A very good friend of mine recently asked me for some help. She needed to create her very first
Facebook page.

Yes, there are still people out there who are not on Facebook. But I digress.

Her employer asked her to create a personal account to help spread the word about her company on a social level. Her employer is smart.

Engaging employees in your social media plan is just smart business. It’s the ultimate in today’s word-of-mouth. One person knows another, then ten others and then dozens more. It’s a way to spread good news about your company without going to all those awkward networking mixers…and perhaps more effective, too.

If you’re looking to expand your company’s social presence through your most valuable asset – your employees – here are my top three tips:

  1. Make Time for Education and Training. Just like my friend, not everyone is familiar with social media. Give your employees the tools to be successful. Sometimes this means actually showing them how to use social media, but more often it’s simply giving them the messages. What do you want them to say? Share with your employees insights and messages that they can share with others. Doing so will make it easy for them to speak about your company professionally and thoughtfully, using just the right words.
  2. Create a Social Media Policy. Just because an employee has a personal page doesn’t guarantee that they know how to use the platform effectively or appropriately for business. Establish guidelines for acceptable use of social media on company time and outline a clear expectation of participating in online conversations on the company’s behalf.
  3. Give Them a Reason. Ultimately, employees like to feel both important and empowered. You’ll have better buy-in if you involve employees from the very beginning. Ask them for their input! Having employees volunteer ideas helps both with morale and creativity… meaning your company wins on multiple levels.

While my friend is still “learning the ropes,” she (and her company) are quickly realizing the business benefits of joining the online conversation. She’s growing her contact base and exposing potential clients to information that will ultimately grow her profile and performance.

Someday I’ll introduce her to YouTube, Pinterest and Google+…but let’s not overwhelm her quite yet.




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