Why Companies Should Be Training All Employees to Use Social Media
Oh yeah, one of my friends on LinkedIn works for that company, maybe I could…
My friend mentioned this company that…
A guy I know posted this article about…
Around 200 people gathered for PRNews’ Big 4 Conference in San Francisco to learn about rising marketing and PR trends, strategies and tactics for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
While the majority of the time was spent detailing tips and tricks to use on each of these social networks, one speaker in particular highlighted what I believe to be the most underutilized, but highly effective social selling tactics: employee engagement.
By training employees on social media usage, companies can reach wider audiences, build better brand awareness, increase sales, help recruitment efforts and increase employee engagement.
What we often see in mid-to-large-sized companies are policies that discourage employees from using sites like Facebook and Twitter. Often, these policies are enforced by IT departments who block access to them.
According a 2014 study by Proskauer, 36 percent of employers actively block access to social media sites, a number that has increased by 7 percent from the previous year.
While many employers believe this policy will increase employee productivity, this comes with a huge opportunity cost.
Social Media Access with Guidelines and Expectations:
Let’s be honest, at some point most of us have experienced logging onto Facebook clicking a link to an article, and then mysteriously finding ourselves on the weird part of the internet … again.
Distractions happen at work, whether we are browsing the Internet or not. Productivity will depend on the employees themselves.
Walking around the office here at Cision, one will always find employees playing basketball, taking fitness classes or even just sitting and socializing with co-workers. We have fun, but we are responsible and productive as well.
Social media should be no different. Allow employees to access social media sites, but have HR and marketing work together to develop a social media guideline policy. This could detail everything from performance expectations to forbidding employees to speak directly on behalf of the company on social media, unless it is directly related to their job function (i.e. HR recruiters, online customer support or a social media manager).
Which Networks Should Be Accessible?
Depending on the nature of your business, the social platforms that should be accessible to employees could differ.
LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the three big social networks most companies could find the most benefit out of.
LinkedIn is most useful for B2B companies; Facebook is most useful for B2C; and Twitter falls somewhere in between.
Training Employees to Be Social Sellers and Brand Ambassadors:
According to HubSpot, 90 percent of people believe brand recommendations from friends. They also found that 71 percent of people are more likely to purchase something when referred by social media.
Training employees on social selling is incredibly important. Not only should they be taught tips, tricks and best practices, but companies should also make sure their employees post on their own behalf and not on the company’s.
Training an employee to share content your marketing team has developed can be one of the best ways to generate new leads and increase SEO rankings.
If a company’s marketing team actively uses UTM codes when distributing content, they can easily measure the effect of training employees on social media has had on their KPIs.
Companies should not only allow their employees to have access to social media platforms, but they should be trained on the art of social selling as well. Otherwise, they are missing great opportunities to increase sales, brand awareness and affinity.
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