Image by Jae C. under CC BY 2.0

Why Your Colleagues Still Won’t Share Your Blog Post

After an hour of research, four long hours of writing, two hours of editing, and two hours of trying to find the perfect photo (let’s be honest, the worst part of blogging), you send your baby out into the world. One day later, it has six shares. Two days later, it has nine. All the while, you’re sitting in a room surrounded by dozens of your colleagues. What the hell man?

If your colleagues still aren’t sharing your blog posts, you’re missing out on a major marketing opportunity, one that can mean the difference between a flop and a fresh batch of leads, between 10 pageviews and 10,000 pageviews.

So how do you get them on board?

The first step is to identify the reasons why they’re not already sharing your content on social media. We’ve highlighted some of the most common reasons below, as well as solutions for addressing these issues.

They aren’t active on social media

An increasingly rare problem to have, your colleagues obviously won’t be sharing your blog post on their social profiles if they don’t really have social profiles to begin with. While most people have joined social networks for personal uses, and a growing number have accepted the importance of social networks for business, every company has its hold-outs. These are people who are set in their ways, or can’t be bothered to learn how to use these tools.

This is a problem that goes beyond any one blog post. You want your employees to be on social media for a multitude of reasons: gathering leads or competitive intelligence, staying on top of industry news, building a stronger industry network, being more accessible to clients, etc. If your colleagues aren’t using social media, make it your mission to change that. Don’t wait for them to come on board; they might be too embarrassed to ask for help or feel like it’s too late for them to join. Take the first step by making a formal social media training program available to everyone. This should teach them the value of social networks and walk them through exactly how to use them.

The good news is, if you manage to convince these hold-outs to become active social media users, you probably won’t have a hard time convincing them to share your content. They don’t have any pre-formed habits or thoughts on sharing corporate content that might cause them to resist your prompts. If anything, by asking them to share your content, you’re providing them with a very clear, easy social media task that will help them familiarize themselves with the social networks in question.

They don’t even know about your blog post

“Hey Julie, do you think you could share my blog post with your Twitter followers?”

“What blog post?”

The Office Facepalm

If you’re working on the assumption that your colleagues all read your business’ blog every day, or even read all of their emails every day, you are sadly mistaken. There’s a good chance they’re not sharing your blog post because they have absolutely no idea that it exists.

Thankfully, that’s something you can solve.

Make a point of keeping colleagues in the loop about new content. This doesn’t mean sending a company-wide email every time you post something. But it could mean an email every Monday sharing your content calendar for the week. It could mean a group on Facebook or Slack where you invite your entire company and post all of your new content. If you want to get more granular, it could mean reaching out to individual colleagues who you think would be most interested in a new piece of content. Or maybe you’re creating content that could help your salespeople or customer service reps, and you share it with their team leadership.

At the very least, you should encourage your colleagues to follow your business on social media. In this way, they’ll be exposed to the latest content you share through their own feeds. It’s a lot easier of them to simply retweet or share than it is to ask them to create their own messaging for new content.

They don’t have time to read it or share it

Image by Torrado Online via Flickr
Image by Torrado Online via Flickr

Forget about “pivot” and “synergy,” “I’m too busy” is really the most-used phrase in business today. That’s not to say it isn’t true. In the digital age, employees are wearing more hats than ever before—which explains a certain reluctance to spend time reading or sharing your blog content.

The clear solution here is making it as easy as possible for them to share it. As mentioned above, if you can point them to an existing Facebook or Twitter post that they can simply reshare in one or two clicks, the “don’t have time” argument doesn’t really hold weight any more. At the very least, provide them with social media messaging (including links and images) for the content you ask them to share. By reducing the amount of thought and effort required from your colleagues, the chances of them actually sharing your content will increase exponentially.

In addition to feeling too busy to share your content, your colleagues may feel a reluctance to share something they haven’t yet read. That’s a healthy instinct, since in general you shouldn’t be sharing content with your followers that you haven’t first checked for quality and relevance. To this end, you should always commit to only releasing high-quality content. That’s just common sense. But to reassure those who are reluctant to share without reading, try and describe the content and its value to readers in one or two lines. Share that brief with your colleagues with any prompt to share the content. That simple description could go a long way to easing any concerns about the blind share. Plus, colleagues should know why the content is valuable anyways.

They don’t understand the benefits of them sharing it

To that point, your blog post may be losing a lot of internal support because people don’t understand how their shares actually benefit the company. Like many of the reasons already discussed, this will come to social media education.

Teach your employees the value of their social media support. Show them how a large number of shares right after something is published can help it spread further, or even trend on Twitter. Show them how sharing relevant content on their own profiles will help them grow their networks, earn followers and further their careers.

And don’t just show them some slides or videos. Lead by example. Make sure your own team is always sharing your content. Get your executives on board to share through their personal profiles. Only 52% of companies report that their executives are informed, engaged and aligned with their company’s social strategy. Once your colleagues see your executives sharing your content, they’ll be more inclined to follow suit.

Finally, make sure you share the results of their efforts. If you’ve asked your colleagues to share your blog post or blow up your latest marketing campaign, follow up with them once you’ve gathered the numbers. Show them how many people Tweeted your post and posted it to Facebook. Show them how many page views they helped to drive and how many leads that resulted in. Draw the line between their social shares and the money in your bank account. By making the business benefits a focus, people will recognize the value of sharing content and be more open to supporting your efforts.

There’s no incentive for them to share it

Image by Buzzfarmers
Image by Buzzfarmers

In addition to benefiting the company, people want to know how sharing the content benefits them. That may come off as selfish, but when they’re working on a project with a pressing deadline, it makes total sense for them to prioritize that instead of sharing a piece of content as a perceived favor to you. That is, unless there’s some sort of secondary incentive.

This isn’t bribery; it means giving people another reason to consider sharing your content. Incentives you might consider include:

  • Following them from corporate and executive accounts to boost their network
  • Using corporate accounts to retweet or share the most creative messaging tweeted or posted by one of your colleagues
  • A contest where everyone who shares a piece of marketing content is entered to win a prize
  • Hosting an account take-over, where an employee who consistently shares blog content is given the opportunity to lead social media strategy for a day
  • Keeping track of consistent sharers within your business and providing that information to managers as positive contribution they make to marketing
  • Acknowledging frequent sharers in company meetings

By providing incentives, you offer your colleague an initial reason to participate. That initial experience might prove enjoyable or simple to them, increasing the chances that they continue their involvement. You want them to want to share your content, and this is a way to open that door.

Learn how to grow your social media reach through employee advocacy with Hootsuite Amplify in our upcoming webinar

Extend Your Social Reach with Employee Advocacy

Date: Tuesday, October 27

Time: 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m ET

Register Now