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Employee engagement is critical for social media marketing success

Highlighted strategies for fostering better engagement from employees when implementing a social media program.
Highlighted strategies for fostering better engagement from employees when implementing a social media program.
Shel Moore, Moore Than SEO

Ever launch a social media promotion that simply doesn't take off or gain engagement and followers? Most of us have experienced lackluster results from our first few attempts at such a project. There are some common problems that tend to hold back many businesses that decide to make a strong effort through social marketing. Here is some discussion on one of the most common pitfalls - lack of employee engagement.

Poor engagement trickles through a business affecting multiple areas of performance. If employee satisfaction is low, it may become increasingly difficult to get them engaged and feeling good about their participation in a number of activities from quality control to customer service or even marketing.

What can a business owner do to make sure their engagement is high? For starters, they can assess the overall satisfaction with an anonymous survey, make a constructive comments box, or give other outlets for sharing without any threat of negative consequences. Become aware of any problems and resolve them before introducing a new procedure or program.

When beginning any new program, especially social media marketing, it's very important to involve team members in some of the decision process. Show them the reasons for new processes, software, or marketing initiatives. Work hard to gain their commitment on the plan to ease implementation. Remember, when developing a social media marketing program, to set up professional standards that must be adhered to when employees help with company social media discussions. Provide these guidelines as part of the standard rules for a positive experience where conduct and processes are understood by everyone. Finally, offer the necessary training to make such a transition smooth and less stressful.

Upon launching a social media marketing program, consider boosting internal excitement by holding employee contests for participation in social communications. Invite employees to be a part of the business' social media culture and offer incentives for following, liking, sharing, retweeting, and re-pinning. Respectfully accept the decision of any employee who does not wish to take part, unless such a function is typically required of their job title. If Mary, in customer service, had a bad personal experience and simply isn't comfortable possessing a social media account, let her be. It's hard to undo such negatives and there are likely other better contenders for the organization's program.

Continuously encourage impromptu videos, photos, and anecdotes from internal team members. Funnel these items to a primary coördinator for evaluation and development into quality posts, graphics, and other information online fans will interact with and value. Such practices will also ensure that social media standards for a brand are maintained by pre-screening any material submitted by a team member. Record special occasions, achievements, and milestones on all social media. Customers enjoy getting to know the personalities behind a brand. Give fans a back stage pass and share photos of the accountant's birthday lunch, kudos for a promotion, even snapshots with willing customers or partners to give enhanced interest.

Integrate primary social media pages on every communication including: Direct mail, print advertising, business/loyalty cards, email communications, company website, countertop signs, and everything else in between. Provide links between various social media accounts. For example, it's possible to embed a Pinterest or YouTube account directly into a Facebook page tab.

Develop a schedule for consistent content posting. Try to work a month in advance to have content prepped and ready for posting. Creating an editorial calendar may help businesses to know and share information about upcoming key events, promotions, product launches, and milestones with ample time to develop meaningful posts and graphics.

Every successful social media program is evangelized and uplifted by a company's internal ambassadors. These are the individuals that believe in the brand, company, and end-customer product or service. They are proud members of the team and happily share their organization's achievements, innovations, and aspirations. Nurture this type of participation and engagement within any company for a more successful social media marketing program.

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