This entry is part of the Vitrue Community Manager Master Class which features new content focused for marketers and community managers every Monday at 11 am e.s.t.. This free content can be found on our blog, Facebook wall and Twitter (#CMMC) stream.
When you were made Community Manager at your company, it may have felt like you were handed the ball, told “good luck with that” and left alone in a room for all eternity. Well, the answer to the silent question you’ve been asking yourself is no, community management shouldn’t be like that.
The thing about social is that it involves more than one person. And the social marketing efforts of your company or brand should not be solely in the hands of one person, or even a few people. When it comes to tooting the company horn, cooperation and participation should come from every corner and cubicle. Here’s how to get it.
1. See if all co-workers have personal Facebook and Twitter accounts. Don’t assume. It might sound odd to us, but not everybody does. Nor is there a law that says they have to. But if the reason they’ve never set one up is they weren’t quite sure how, help them get started so they can start helping you. Make sure everyone’s employment is a loud & proud part of their social profiles, including links to the company.
2. Are all employees are seeing your posts and tweets? Make sure they’re following the Twitter account and have “Liked” the Page. Whatever tool they use to read tweets, show them how to pull up all the company’s tweets so they don’t miss any. In a perfect world, your company’s posts are showing up in everyone’s Facebook news feeds…but don’t count on it. Encourage everyone to pull up the company’s Page directly at least once a day so they see all posts. It would be smart to e mail your whole team after your last post with a call to action asking for engagement with your posts from the day.
3. Tell them to support the content and explain why. Explain that engagement of all kinds helps the company’s visibility and reach along with helping boost your company’s social metrics. Get them to Like, share, comment, use the app, retweet, it’s all good. It’s not hard at all, is very much a part of their job, and should be ingrained as pure habit.
4. What do you do if you’re just not getting the cooperation you should be getting in the liking and retweeting department? Subtly let them know that thanks to our friend technology, it’s very obvious who is and isn’t helping the social marketing effort. This is not something they can blow off unnoticed. If necessary, have the boss personally convey how important and expected this participation is (even if he himself has no clue why the company is even posting or tweeting at all).
5. Beyond engaging with company posts, employees should personally be finding and participating in conversations related to your industry on their personal streams. Any time within these conversations it’s appropriate to mention or link to the company, they should do it. If employees aren’t following anything related to their own industry, well, that’s a problem that goes beyond just social marketing.
6. As employees are reading posts and following tweets related to your industry, they should be encouraged to forward anything to you that is news or noteworthy. The company may want to comment or retweet via the official stream, and you can’t see everything that’s out there on your own. The demand for content is massive, and your people can help you fill it. Likewise, have them send you any media content they make, even if it’s just photos of the last birthday party in the break room. Media is highly engaging, and you can be the judge of whether it should go out on the company stream or not.
7. Despite the fact you’re reading one, blogs have become the overlooked middle child of social marketing. Sure they look great on the company site, but their higher purpose is as content for promoting via Facebook and Twitter. I get it, not everyone can write. But everyone should at least be able to bullet-point on a subject in their area of expertise. Get the pertinent info from them, blogify it, and share the byline. You may have to get bossy and assign blogs, complete with deadlines, or if voluntary submission is working for you, rock on. You have the option of creating contests and awarding prizes for top engagers/contributor.
8. Remove the fear excuse. You’ll find a great many employees are scared to death to ever say or write anything related to the company, thinking they could cause a lawsuit or instant bankruptcy. As far as the company streams, you’re the screen, so they shouldn’t worry about anything they submit to you for consideration. On their personal accounts, the unwritten but universally understood rule is that the opinions expressed on a personal stream are the author’s and not necessarily those of the company. If something is really that big of a problem, help them take the post down or remove the comment.
Lastly, if your company actually bans or blocks employee use of Facebook and Twitter in the workplace…have an intervention and help them sober up.