In the good old days, before the digital age, businesses advertised through printed directories like Yellow Pages. We hoped that, when our potential customers let their fingers do the walking, they’d settle on us. But those days are gone. The Internet and a range of social media platforms is our directory now.
Social media is still quite new – ten/fifteen years old – but it’s here to stay. So, we either adapt or become extinct. We’ve done it in our personal lives already. Now we must get used to doing it in the workplace too. And that’s where I come in. I run my own small business, Visually Explained. I help companies like yours with their social media and I’m going to explain why you, as a business owner with employees, should involve them in your company’s social media activity.
Regardless of which platform you choose, social media is, in essence, a way of advertising. And advertising is a way of finding new customers – the purpose of every business. Customers first – then margin, profit, salary, bonuses etc.
I’m here to help you to adapt to the new world of social media for business. A few years ago now businesses, big brands in the main, began recognising the potential locked up in their employees in terms of social media reach. These social media savvy businesses started encouraging their workforce to like and to share the company offers on their personal channels.
Why? Because they grasped that people buy from people. They understood that a potential new client could be someone’s auntie or niece or brother.
This article from CIPHR, ‘Why social media is good for you, your employees and your business’, offers up some compelling statistics as to why you should have social media as part of your recruitment, sales and support strategy. Here’s a few:
- 71% of consumers who’ve had a good social media service with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.
- In 2015 Facebook influenced 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchases.
- Top brands on Instagram are seeing a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21% That’s fifty-eight times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter.
- Answering a social media complaint increases customer recommendation by as much as 25%.
- Employees are often ranked as a top trusted source on various aspects of the business. This is in comparison to other sources such as the CEO, Senior Execs, academics and even spokespersons from the media.
- Content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement than content shared by brands.
This trend of getting employees involved in company social media has grown 191% since 2014. In addition, there’s been a drastic change in customer behaviour. They use social media to communicate with companies including law and solicitors’ firms. No one is writing letters and waiting for a reply these days.
Talk to them
Ask your employees how many of them use FB, and Twitter and LinkedIn.
That’s how many times each of your company posts could be liked and shared. But not commented on – that’s for you or your marketing team to control.
How to start channeling the various social media platforms
1. LinkedIn: Founded in 2002, this is a business and employment-oriented social networking service that operates via browsers and mobile apps. There are two types of profile in LI:
- Company page
The first thing you should do is update your profile. It doesn’t need a lot. Your current position, the company you work for, one or two previous work places and your education. That will suffice. Then, ask your clients to write you a recommendation – on your personal page. This is important so make it a habit.
2. Facebook: Launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg this is an American social media and social networking company. As with LinkedIn we can have two types of Facebook profile:
- Personal profile – this is the most widely used
- Company page
The chances are people know that you work in a particular company so tell them more. Getting your company posts shared on personal pages is important – people are more trusting of information shared by friends and family.
If you’re active on FB then go and ‘like’ your company’s page. And ask your clients to write a review on your company page.
- Twitter: is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with messages otherwise known as ‘tweets’. Originally restricted to 140 characters, tweets doubled to 280 characters in 2017.
If you’ve got employees on Twitter ask them to share and like your posts and to follow the company on the platform.
The moral of all this?
Don’t shy away from it. Like and share but don’t comment. The marketing team are there to deal with that. They can give comments the right tone or decide whether it’s appropriate to comment at all.
It’s not necessary to be on social media for work every day. Try scheduling for thirty minutes a week. Open your company LinkedIN page, open Twitter, open company Facebook page click-like-share-move-on.
Mobile apps make it easy to do when you’re travelling or taking a break. So 9ish, 12ish, 4pmish – all are good times to do be doing it.
All your employees should be on LI and following the company page. All your employees on Facebook should ‘like’ the company page. Ditto with Twitter.
Remember the stats from the CIPHR article. Employees have the power of attraction. Potential customers trust information shared by friends and family above any other source.
Finally, use a platform that you like. If Twitter doesn’t grab you – don’t do it. If Zuckerberg leaves you cold leave Facebook. But do not ignore social media altogether. You do so at your peril.
To find out more about how I can help you with all this get in touch for a free, no-obligation chat.