This article is part of our blog series, Social Media for Landscapers, featuring tips on how you can take advantage of social media for your business.
Establishing your company’s brand on social media is an important factor to growing your business. Having a central social media manager who runs your accounts is the most effective way to focus your social media strategy; but having employees participate in that strategy can help raise brand awareness and establish a wider audience.
Encouraging your employees to post company related information and news on social media can be risky, but there’s also the potential for great reward.
Here are some important tips to consider when developing a social media strategy for employees.
Rules and Expectations
Depending on your company’s size, having one person responsible for social media will result in having one voice for all your accounts. It will also cut down on confusion, overlapping posts, and allow for a more streamlined approach to an online strategy that matches your business objectives.
However, do encourage employees to participate in other ways, such as posting company content on their own pages in a professional manner.
Make sure to communicate your expectations with your employees thoroughly.
- Do you want them to post often? How often?
- What do you want them to post?
- Should they be tagging the main company account in their posts?
- If they see a comment on the main company account, can they respond? If so, what are the rules for doing this? Should they be more professional or casual?
- What kind of job-related photos can they post?
- How should they interact with other company employees online?
Write the rules down and send them out or post them in the shop for employees to reference. Be as specific as possible about your expectations in order to get the results you want. Having clear rules will also help employees understand boundaries for posting online.
Once your rules and expectations have been communicated, employees can begin networking and sharing online, which can improve your business’ overall reputation with customers.
Having a team of people sharing positive information and successful jobs online is one of the best ways to get your company name and brand out there. It’s like having an unofficial public relations team!
You can’t manage and monitor all of your employees’ social media accounts 24/7. That would be a full time job in and of itself.
If you want your employees to participate in social media, you have to trust them to promote the company’s brand professionally, ethically and responsibly within the guidelines you set forth.
This can most effectively be achieved by communicating the rules and expectations.
Impart onto them that social media is a form of advertising and they are representing the company, the overall brand, products and goals—and that it’s important to be professional and friendly to followers because they are likely current or potential customers. Anyone can see public posts, so be sure to review messages for proper spelling, grammar and brand messaging.
Not only can social media help build your relationship with customers, but trusting your employees to effectively share business related information online can help build team camaraderie, as well, while helping them build their personal brand as a representative of the company.
When an employee is actively advocating for a company they feel more connected and involved with that company, which builds loyalty and can even improve job performance, because they’ll want to share their best work online.
While you want to encourage active participation from employees on social media, employees shouldn’t post just anything, and you definitely don’t want your clients to see your employees personal posts tied to the company’s social accounts.
First, educate your employees on the importance of having a professional social media presence, and how they can best serve the company with their participation.
Next, employees can manage their social media accounts to maintain both a personal and a professional presence by creating lists.
Having lists on social platforms like Twitter and Facebook will allow employees to keep personal content private by targeting who sees which post.
Provide guidelines for what type of content is acceptable for professional social media posts, these can include:
- Job-related photos
- Industry news
- Company events
- Company specials
- New services
- Seasonal service offerings
- Customer testimonials
This will give your employees a better understanding of what’s appropriate to post about the company.
Also, be clear about what isn’t OK to post. Internal goals, communication and strategy, or revenue numbers are best kept off the social space, so remind your employees of this.
The best part about social media is having the ability to communicate with people easily and there are a lot of opportunities to build relationships; so be encouraging, and try to be available to your employees if they have questions regarding social media best practices for your company.
While social media for businesses should have a developed strategy, remember it’s supposed to be an enjoyable way to interact with customers and receive feedback.
Encourage your employees to be professional but have fun while using social media, and these social platforms can become a great tool to grow your business.