Matthew Seitz, Skoda Minotti
Fifty-four percent of B2B marketers said they have generated leads from social media, and a mere 12 percent increase in brand advocacy can drive a two-times increase in revenue growth. Do others in your firm - including your senior leaders - realize this? As marketers, we all understand the value of posting and sharing information on social media, but how do we involve other members of our firms in this process?
With content consumption rapidly changing over the past few years, getting your message out via social media is necessary. In addition to boosting your bottom line, social media involvement expands your brand’s reach, showcases thought leadership, increases web traffic, and attracts top talent.
As adoption of social media will only continue to increase, you need to create a process now so your firm is not left behind. Like many of us, you probably struggle to get firm employees to share content or may even just be starting to devise your social media strategy. Below are nine tips to help you jumpstart your program, build it into your culture, and engage people to regularly share content.
- Show them how – They cannot share if they do not know how. We surveyed our employees two years ago to find out why they were not sharing. We learned that 29 percent of them did not even know how to share. Begin with internal education before expecting engagement.
- Get leadership buy-in – The more senior leadership you have backing (and participating) in the program, the higher your success rate. Like many other initiatives, this starts from the top down. If employees see your managing partner and niche leaders sharing, they will follow.
- Show them what is in it for them – People like to see their own return on investment if they are going to expend time and energy. Explain to them how this will help position them as thought leaders, differentiate them from peers at other firms, and build their professional network.
- Make it easy – The easier it is, the quicker people within your firm will buy in. Provide them with specific links and copy that you want them to share. Even better, post the content to your firm social pages and have them share it from there. You also may want to create a short ‘how-to’ guide/video they can reference.
- Highlight superstars – Be sure to highlight the early adopters at your firm by congratulating them at firm meetings or in internal newsletters. Their peers will want to follow, if nothing else, due to the competitive nature of our industry. Make these individuals your internal champions and ask them to help engage others. That way, the message is not always coming from you.
- Have a contest – Offer incentives to the employees, or niches, who share the most. Make it a fun competition and before long, you will see rapid results and help build employee camaraderie.
- Keep it in front of them – It is easy to forget things, so send periodic (e.g., bi-weekly, weekly) firm-wide emails to remind people to share. Call-out specific content, such as job postings or new legislation that you want them to share.
- Offer coaching – Some people may want to share but have questions about getting started and do not want to ask these questions in front of a group. They also may be new to social sharing and would like the individual attention. If you want them to participate, make the time for them.
- Show them results – In our industry, it is all about return on investment. Showcase your successes to the entire firm so everyone can see that it is working. If you can track it, tell them how many leads, proposals, and new clients came from social media. The more results they see, the more participation will increase.
Before ramping up your social sharing, you need to start with timely, relevant content, such as firm and industry news, trends, insights, and helpful links. If your firm and your employees are only using social media to sell, those efforts will not position you in a favorable light. The purpose here is to position firm members as thought leaders in your industry and provide value to readers.
If you are looking for a starting point, I would suggest getting everyone on board with LinkedIn. Eighty percent of B2B social leads come from LinkedIn, and 49 percent of B2B buyers say they research LinkedIn profiles before making a purchase. Find ways for your professionals to provide value to their networks on LinkedIn and then proceed to other platforms.