How to Create an Employee Engagement Social Media Strategy: Tips and Tools
Learn how to turn employees into brand advocates with a successful employee engagement social media strategy.
An employee engagement social media strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply involve employees in your social strategy to keep them more engaged at work while extending your social reach.
The Edelman Trust Barometer shows that people have much higher trust in regular employees (54%) than in a company’s CEO (47%). Their trust in a company’s technical experts is even higher (68%).
Getting employees involved in social media allows you to reach your market through the voices they are most likely to trust. At the same time, it allows employees to showcase their company pride and industry expertise.
Bonus: Download a free employee advocacy toolkit that shows you how to plan, launch, and grow a successful employee advocacy program for your organization.
What is a social media employee engagement strategy?
A social media employee engagement strategy is a plan that outlines how your employees can amplify your brand’s visibility on social media.
It should include tactics that encourage your employees to share branded content to their social media profiles as well as tools that help you distribute content to your team and track performance.
6 quick tips for creating an employee engagement social media strategy
1. Send out an employee survey
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 73% of employees expect to be involved in planning at their job. If you plan on using social media to improve employee engagement, it only makes sense to ask employees how the program could work best for them.
Hootsuite surveyed employees and learned that different teams wanted different social resources. The content employees wanted to share varied across departments and regions.
So, when planning how to engage employees on social media, you need to…
2. Provide the right content to the right employees
Hootsuite created a content council to make sure employees have access to the content they’re most likely to share.
The council includes representatives from various regions and departments across the organization. Each member of the council provides at least two relevant pieces of content per month that employees can share to their social channels.
Each of the content council members is also an advocate for the employee social engagement program within their team.
When the food services and facilities management company Sodexo launched their employee engagement program, they started with the executive team and senior leaders.
They designed the content around thought leadership and stakeholder outreach. It was enormously successful, reaching 7.6 million people and helping secure a high-value contract.
After this initial success, Sodexo expanded into more employee engagement on social. This extended employee engagement focuses less on thought leadership. The content is designed to motivate employees. It helps them expand their social reach while driving traffic to the Sodexo website.
Employees’ social posts, often using the #sodexoproud hashtag, now drive 30 percent of all traffic to the site.
3. Provide plenty of content
Employees are much more likely to share when they have plenty of options. They want content that feels relevant and interesting to their social connections.
The most successful employee engagement programs provide their employees with 10 to 15 pieces of shareable content to choose from every week.
But don’t let those numbers overwhelm you. You don’t have to create this much content right from the start. The important thing is to get your program going. Aim for one new post every day at first. Work your way up to a few posts per day once you start to learn which types of content resonate best with your team.
Remember that your employee engagement content shouldn’t only promote your products. You want employees to feel like there’s value in the content they share. That could include informative blog posts, job listings, or industry news.
4. Run a contest
As we’ve shown in our posts on social media contests, prizes can be a great motivator. A contest can be a good way of getting employees involved in social media. It could be a one-time giveaway or a regular monthly competition.
Hootsuite runs an ongoing incentive program anchored by a monthly contest. The details are different every month. One month, entry might be based on meeting a minimum number of shares. Another month, employees might have to be among the top sharers to enter. The goal is always the same — getting as many employees to share the company’s content to their social media accounts.
The prizes are different every month so there’s always new motivation for employees to check for great content they might want to share.
5. Get employees involved in product launches
Odds are, your employees are excited when your company creates something innovative and new. Get them involved in spreading the word by creating shareable social content for each new campaign.
“Our employee engagement program has become a key pillar of our go-to-market for campaign launches,” says Brayden Cohen, Hootsuite’s Social Marketing and Employee Advocacy Team Lead.
Get your creative teams involved in planning how to create content for employee engagement campaigns. The approach might be a little different from the launch content you create for your own social channels. Give your team something they’ll be truly excited to share.
“We work with our creative teams to ensure the content is innovative and stands out for our employees to share to their networks,” Brayden says. “This has been a new approach for us with incredible results thus far.”
Once your launch campaign content is ready to go, send an internal announcement. Provide details about the launch and any campaign-specific incentives for your team.
Meliá Hotels International launched a #StaySafewithMeliá campaign to welcome guests back to its hotels after closures last year. They worked with both influencers and employees on the campaign to expand their reach.
Hootsuite Amplify is a specialized tool for employee engagement through social media. Amplify makes it easy for employees to share approved social content from their desktop or on the go with a mobile app.
When new social content is ready to post, simply add it to Amplify. You can divide the content into topics so employees have easy access to the right material for their roles and interests. Employees log in whenever they want to see what new content is available and share it with just a couple of clicks.
For critical messaging, you can alert employees with a push notification on their smartphones, or share a post through email. You can also create internal announcements through Amplify to keep employees informed.
2. Workplace by Facebook
Workplace by Facebook is a workplace collaboration tool used by many of the world’s leading businesses. With so many employees already using this tool every day, it’s an important communication resource for employee engagement programs.
By connecting Amplify to Workplace, you can post Amplify content to specific Workplace Groups.
You can also use Workplace to look for new content ideas. What kinds of topics are employees already talking about? What kind of content are they sharing among themselves?
3. Hootsuite Analytics
To grow an effective employee engagement program, you have to track your results and learn as you go. You need to understand employees’ sharing habits as well as the impact of the content shared.