There are lots of ways to show appreciation for your employees. Whether it’s a thoughtful compliment on their performance, or a coffee mug that says, “World’s Best Employee.” The truth is, your employees deserve all of the accolades thrown their way. They help realize your vision for your business every day. But did you know that empowering your employees empowers you, too? And not just in the altruistic “it feels good to give” way. Empowering employees makes them brand advocates. 

When utilized correctly, employee advocacy can build trust and brand awareness, which translates to increased business. Increasingly marketers have discovered that when employees are provided a structured strategy to share their pride in the company with their own social networks, your brand messaging finds new forums to shine and expand. Companies with high levels of employee engagement enjoy higher revenue growth and customer satisfaction rates. We really are all connected.

Here’s how to help nurture this feel-good dynamic for the benefit of all involved:

1. Huddle Up With Key Staff (Which could be all of them!)

No one loves to be told what to do. Humans are far more moved when they feel listened to, and have a sense of autonomy. Have a meeting with your team and share your plan. Explain to them how much value they can bring by helping in this way, through social media. If you’re part of a team big enough to have a management team, ask them for opinions on which employees they feel would make the best advocates. If your team is small, perhaps you’d prefer to ask them for recommendations, or offer the opportunity to whomever is naturally inclined. 

2. Engage With Your Ambassadors

Once you’ve identified your brand advocates, talk about the importance of social engagement and the largess of their involvement. Allow them to understand the value they bring by participating, and the value they receive. Besides expanding the livelihood of their, well, livelihood, they may be perceived as thought leaders in the industry, and have a forum to demonstrate their expertise.

3. Set The Tone

Be clear about the differences between their personal shares, and those that represent the business. Illustrate the importance of adhering to business guidelines and best practices, and let them know your do’s and don’ts. Discuss using key hashtags, and how to best to engage with customers online. Keep the dialogue open and frequent.

4. Have The Content Convo

Talk about the types of content best shared on various channels. Maybe you’re hoping to build camaraderie, which is great on Instagram, or wishing to sell a product, which might be more effective on LinkedIn. Stoke the creative fire by suggesting different product related content possibilities. Live streams from events or trade shows are always fun, as well as posts that celebrate your company culture. Data sheets and press releases are great because they showcase the success and expertise of the employee, while also shining a light on the business. Sharing a snippet of video content with a link to your business’ YouTube channel can also be an effective and lively way to engage with the customer, and expand your subscriber base.

5. Consider Buying Them That Coffee Mug

Positive reinforcement is a powerful thing. Once this ball is rolling, you’ll want to check in to let your employees know how things are going as a result of their involvement. You could share new metrics on customer engagement, revenue stream, brand awareness, or new prospects. Note which influencers are having the most impact, through meaningful interactions, or shares and likes. Everyone is different, and the subtle successes of each influencer will continue to thrive when they’re celebrated. Help your employees understand their audiences. Consider incentivizing by holding monthly contests, and reward the top. Think about giving a prize to the most improved, as well. Or the person with the most new followers each week. Make it fun. Ask your employees to share their posting habits with one another, which times of day garner the most views, and which types of content get the most attention. Suddenly your team is even stronger, helping each other, and your business, to succeed!

You know what they say, the business team who posts together, toasts together! “World’s Best Employees, Here! Here!”