Social Employees: Everyone’s Job is Social Media Marketing

In these days of social media-fueled marketing, companies should expect their employees to be active users of social media — both for themselves, and as ambassadors for the company. And, likewise, employees should now see this as an inherent job requirement.

Cheryl and Mark Burgess, authors of recently published, The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work, stress that failing to leverage your employees this way is a missed opportunity. And we agree.

The notion that only the “official” marketing department can initiate communication or outreach is over — everyone on the team can be a contributor and influencer online, if done properly. Product managers, technical leads, creative leads can all promote the company in ways that make a significant difference.

With strong leadership, team buy-in and guidelines for content creation and social media, this can be an amazingly productive strategy to employ. Some companies have already cracked the social employee code and are setting excellent examples:

  • Kodak has created an engaging best practices document, which is not only helpful, but also inspiring. By educating employees about the different social media channels and the role each plays in the company’s online image, Kodak helps realize and reinforce best practices for employees personal and professional online communications.
  • Coca-Cola makes sure all employees are completely aligned, with a social media policy that emphasizes consistency. Coca-Cola stresses that any employee posts associated with the company should convey the brand’s “positive, optimistic spirit.” They take steps to ensure their employees fully understand the brand’s overarching message and tone before enlisting them to be its online ambassadors.

One way to make it easier to adopt this kind of initiative is to consider an “employee advocacy platform.” This provides the tools, support, and systems to your employees to advocate on the company’s behalf. Companies like Dynamic SignalAddvocate, and EveryoneSocial are great places to start.

You don’t have to be a large company to consider an employee advocacy initiative. A company of any size will benefit from the social support of their employees, provided both clear leadership and guidelines are in place.

Melanie Barter

Melanie is an executive producer with a creative background in film, digital and marketing. She is originally from Toronto and has worked in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. She has been in San Francisco since 2004.

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