When it comes to social media, allowing employees to share and post on your B2B company’s behalf sounds a bit scary.
However, in this digital age, employees are on social media, they are talking about the company they work for, and most likely doing so during company time.
Instead of prohibiting the use of social media or blocking it all together, companies should be activating employees to be online.
Traditionally, B2B companies have a team of social media marketers or someone on the marketing team solely running social handles. Yet over the years and with the increase of content online, social media has needed a boost.
This is where activating and encouraging the workforce to get involved in social media comes in. The concept is typically referred to as employee advocacy and is a growing part of marketing for departments around the world.
Before we dive into the reasons activating employees on social media is important for B2B, let’s look at some simple valuable statistics related to social.
- 67 percent of consumers surveyed say they are likely to purchase an item or service they see on their social media feeds
- 76 percent of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands
- Employee advocacy results in a 5x increase in web traffic and 25 percent more leads
1. Employees are the most trusted source of information
In our increasingly connected digital world, a personal and human touch is more valuable than ever. This simply means, content and recommendations on social matter more when they are from actual people.
Sure, corporate social media handles are important and add value, but that same information coming from employees is way more trusted.
For example, Nielsen found that 92 percent of individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations, over other forms of advertising.
That’s huge, and that percentage is only continuing to grow.
2. Advocacy helps boost brand visibility to new people
Many times a challenge for B2B companies is just being noticed, especially if it is in a crowded industry or there are a lot of competitors.
A great way to exponentially reach new audiences is by activating employees to post on social media.
If you think about how many employees your company has and add how many social followers they have (hundreds, if not thousands of connections), your company brand is reaching a lot of new people every day.
Your company’s brand and content now has a better chance of being seen consistently and will be more recognized by outsiders that previously were unfamiliar with your brand.
3. Increases web traffic & leads
As your company’s brand and content is being exposed to new audiences online, there will also be an uptick in web traffic.
Of course, this is also dependent on your company continuing to provide valuable content that is worth sharing and being clicked. If your company fails at providing valuable content, your unleashing employees to sound like a bunch of spammers. You do not want that.
Additionally, that increase in web traffic should also ultimately help boost your lead volume and even improve the quality of leads. Something that is always a challenge for companies, especially B2B.
4. Helps fight algorithm feed changes
You’ve probably seen or have at least heard about how Facebook updated their feed algorithms where fewer brand posts and publishers are now being seen.
While this is great for the everyday user, it can be frustrating for businesses who now have to pay more in advertising to be seen.
Inevitably, there will be more shifts and changes in Facebook and other social platforms that will make the user experience better, but could harm business reach.
That’s where utilizing a strategy where employees share content matters. As these algorithm shifts happen to social feeds, activating employees to share online will help combat this issues and will help your company spend less on paid social.
5. Enhances social recruiting & employer brand
When your company is ready to hire, typically it’s posting the available position on the website, job boards, or using a recruiting agency online.
Instead, employees are now the go-to along with HR in order to spread the open jobs. Additionally, when employees are sharing about their company, posting news, events, job perks, etc. more and more talented job candidates will flood the careers page.
Instead of having to pay to have job listings featured and not having enough candidates, now you increase the odds of your company having more options and better talent to choose from.
Being overwhelmed with too many qualified candidates is a good problem to have.
6. Fuels collaboration & ideation
Employees have some of the best insights to what resonates with their social connections when it comes to content sharing. They also see what other people are posting or interested in the most too.
Because your company workforce as some of the best insights, they should be encouraged to help with collaboration and contribute ideas. Whether the ideas are content related, social media based, or just ways to increase engagement by social audiences.
Outside perspectives that are not from the marketing team also help organizations feel more involved and will be inclined to share more on the company’s behalf as well.
Activating your organizations employees on social may raise a few eyebrows or even make you concerned. But many B2B companies are realizing the importance of this strategy, including a majority in the Fortune 500.
However, as long as your company provides a basic social media policy and opens the door for employees to get involved, you’d be quite surprised at the results.
Social media is not going anywhere and these outlets are direct ways to connect with new audiences and reach targeted prospects.
It’s time your company embraces a social media culture that activates and encourages the workforce to share online.
Todd Kunsman is currently the Head of Marketing for EveryoneSocial and has written content about marketing, social media, and more for numerous publications.