Ten Ways to Turn Your Staff into Brand Amabassdors//
Every business needs to stand up and out in today’s content drenched world.
Social media economies of scale starts with your staff.
Whether your five or five hundred strong, look around the office or review the org chart.
Recruit, motivate and aggregate your talent: talk to your staff, understand the delicate dance of what’s required (P&L responsibility) and where/how you can motivate them to share content via the right social channel in some unified manner.
Start out with social focus: where are your customers congregating online? If consumer facing brand, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are low hanging fruit. For businesses marketing to other businesses think about LinkedIn or Twitter. The right channel strategy determines everything.
Forget all about video unless your targeting consumers and your staff are tech savvy fashionistas with Martin Scorsese like attitudes and skills.
Get a Handle on the Social Media Aptitude of your Staff
Understand how savvy your staff is about social media and think about at least rudimentary training for the appropriate social platform(s). Bring in an agency or consultant to backfill core competency.
- Blogging/Writing Skills
- LinkedIn Profile Development
- Twitter expertise (content curation)
- Facebook (Profile, how to use Lists, being algorithmic aware)
- Pinterest (again curating content & Pin and Board Setup)
Note: as earlier, training and even sharing templates or images of accounts that are good examples of “what to do” including competitors can help your team to get off on the right foot.
Put a line in the sand on what’s shareable and what isn’t: selfies on Instagram with clothing missing is not cool for the business: sharing pictures of clients at lunch is a good thing on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.
Whether your team is five or fifty know and remember the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Expect some faux pas along the way and manage accordingly. Gentle guidance goes a long way. You want arrows from the front not the back right?
Don’t forget your homesteading on social media and rent can and will be advertising at some point to get significant traction. But, get out there now/when/where you can to drive competitive advantage downstream.
No brainer activities for your staff: standing up profiles on the right social platforms, sharing great content in their own words (it’s authentic), not PR stuff marketing is shoving down their throats, images from the road, tradeshows, etc. with no more than 15% brand promotions in the content mix.
Success is Really about Content Marketing
You should be sharing promotional content with a rinse and repeat cycle: original blogs 2-4 times per account per day, twice a week for the first 90 day’s thereafter then 3-5 times per quarter. Remember, these people are distracted (see: smartphones in hand). Repetition is needed.
Social media content evaporates quickly. If you have a savvy, educated staff that can and wants to write sterling content then use an Editorial Calendar (that’s a link to an open download) for scheduling and organization of content marketing activities.
Great content trumps all forms of media: social, advertising, viral videos, staff selfies, ESPN replays, etc. Go to market with incremental content via your staff and syndicate and publish the hell out of it. That’s where and how economies of scale tip in your favor.
Nothing Wrong with Starting Ugly - Blow Back from your Staff, Whose on First Issues & Why are We Doing this Again?
Don’t over manage this process. Start “ugly” and build out from there. That’s not to say if your a public company you can go all in on social media and ignore the lawyers. Don’t do that.
Start slow (our mantra is iteration) for a month or two then dig into your analytics and understand if the lights are coming on via some of the staff’s hard work.
If nothings working then call an all hands (real world or virtual if need be) and have someone take notes and then distill this shared strategy and start over.
Coyotes are Born Survivors for Good Reasons: they pick their battles carefully (you should too)
Social media platforms are all moving to “pay to play” models. See: publicly held or “talking to investment bankers.”
Nothing wrong with their generating revenue. But, know your channel selection(s) are very important and the digital infrastructure under you will change moving forward.
Be mindful of these caveats below and adjust your marketing strategy moving accordingly.
Be a moving target. Nimble brands do much better than static organizations.
- Rule #1: “you gotta feed the beast” – yesterday’s content is in the rear view mirror and disappearing at warp speed.
- Social traffic is not all about “hard” data ROI measurement via analytics or other data driven tools. Consumer sharing and recommendations can drive significant brand value too.
- You don’t own your content on social platforms: you’re homesteading. But, “rent” is cheap if you are doing a great job right? (Traction, shares, comments, traffic, incremental revenue.)
- Expect the lines to get more blurred for “paid” vs. organic content costs moving forward.
- Understand what your competitors are doing right and wrong and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Don’t mirror them; many are lost in the desert.
- If you are not publishing content across the social web aggressively you are not going to get heard.
Cool Apps & Tools that will Save Time and Money
- Bit.Ly is the defacto best link shortener on the market: it’s an “all hands” tool that will show you relevant rough stats immediately
- Download and use the ShareThis browser plugin
- Use Buffer or HootSuite Pro help you leverage content economies of scale.
- Buzz Sumo is a content competitive advantage Swiss Army Knife for busy brands
- Twitter without Tweetdeck is know way to go (it’s free works great)
Great Content typically has these Hallmarks - Should Be Informative and Engaging
A great blog post is between 700-1,500 words, has three images, with a conclusion section, integrates calls to action to drive a desired action leading, uses lots of “white space” and font size is from 10-12 points.
Mobile usage is driving 30-50% of content “consumption, “brand stories” may drive significantly more engagement: mix and match the size of your content (long or short form).
Content syndication is critical in today’s “technology drenched’ world: use rinse and repeat cycles to reach today’s distracted consumer and professional. (Note: embedded link will take you to a post with a list of the top 25 platforms & more).
Personalty still drives content engagement for both B2B and B2C brands and it’s becoming increasingly more important to use imagery that gets attention in the marketplace.
Content Measurement is Critical: have a finite grasp of these ROI drivers: Unique Visitors, Page Views, Return Visits, Time on Site, Bounce Rate, Engagement, Virality: (ReTweets, Shares, Likes, Comments, Revenue or Lead Generation.
Mix and match “snackable” short form content (images, video, infographics) with “evergreen” high value content to drive brand engagement, incremental traffic and revenue.
Build in cross platform marketing on all top tier platforms: Tumblr, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook using plugin like Snap to automatically “push” content to other platforms or pure play content syndication cloud based services.
Brand ambassadors are hard to find, even on your own staff and creativity via social media is inherently not a rote process.
Again, expect to mentor and train your staff early on.
Sell, Motivate and Measure Your Team’s Social Activities
A heavy handed “we want to see everyone on Facebook” email blast will probably not be a good thing for your staff.
Most of them are working an ungodly amount of hours and you may be adding to the workload.
Analyze your inbound traffic with Google and adjust your strategy based on traffic, bounce rates and conversions.
Thriving on the borders can be a good thing.