Let’s face it, if there is one problem most social media teams face today it’s that they are UNDER resourced. Social media staff are asked to do a thousand things, all at once, and struggle to find ways to get it all done. One of the most time-sucking parts of social media is content creation. While most people think all you have to do is place a couple of words over an image, write some quick copy, and press send → social media pros know better. Between making sure correct fonts, colors and images are used and going through an array of approvals, content creation can literally take up your entire day. I mean, debating over whether an image is offensive or not (something you have to think of more than you would like no matter what company you work for) can take hours. Enter employee advocacy. This sweet little concept that major companies such as AT&T and HP are adopting has a secret tool that will change your life → a tool that allows employees to SUBMIT content to your team for approval. OMG. Life changed. Employees can now have a major role in content creation, and you can still manage your brand through the handy ‘approval’ button. They can submit content to go into the main news feed your employees are seeing on a daily basis, thus, putting more content out into the world about your company.
Here are five ways steps to turning your employee advocacy program into a content creation hub:
Think Of Content Employees Can Provide
Hold a brainstorm with your team to discuss what types of content employees can actually provide. They most likely will not have the same point of view as the company. Being outward advocates of the company, rather than the company itself, they have the opportunity to think more ‘outside of the box’ than the company often can. Ideas of what they can share include an ‘inside look’ at a new project (once it is cleared by legal), quotes about the company, third party articles that promote the company where they can add their own POV. DO NOT ask employees to submit content that you have yourself, such as press releases, product announcements, etc. You should be taking care of those items. You want the content creation to be fun for employees.
Create A One-Pager With Guidelines
There are going to be some posts you approve, and some posts you do not approve. Believe me, you will want a page of guidelines to defend your reasoning when you are questioned from all sides. Some popular things to list include:
Only submit high-res, high-quality photos
Ask yourself if it ties back to the brand
Do not submit articles that promote a competitor
Include appropriate handles and hashtags for Twitter
You get the picture.
Provide Your Employees With Tools
Empower employees to submit the best content they can. Send them tips for taking professional photos on an iPhone, provide them editing tools for photos, send them to Canva to make quote graphics. Give them all the free tools you can to ensure they are providing content you can use at the end of the day.
Explain Why You Are Accepting/Rejecting
This is CRITICAL. Employees who see their post was ‘rejected’ often times will not submit a second post. A great example of this is if you reject a post because the image is dark. Send the employee and email with some tips to take brighter photos on their phone and let them know you look forward to seeing their next submitted post.
Also praise employees that submit awesome posts for to approve. If you see them in the hallway, mention that you loved the post they submitted on Monday. Or, send them a quick email that you totally agreed with what they submitted.
Reward Your Employees
Let your employees know that you appreciate them submitting authentic content to your employee advocacy program. This thank you can range anywhere from a quick email with their manager CC’d to a small prize for the employee that submits the most ‘usable’ content within a month. When you value the employees supporting your program, they are more prone to continue to support you!
This is just one of the ways an employee advocacy program can improve your social media world. For more on employee advocacy, visit my original post here, and stay tuned for more ways employee advocacy can benefit your team and your company!
– Marji J. Sherman