• Why Your Employees Are Your MVPs (Most Valued Promoters)

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These days “word of mouth” is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful tool in marketing.

With the overwhelming rise of social media, word of mouth has evolved from a small circulation of opinions, into a virtual, interactive, visual world.

In 2014, people were found to spend an average of 1.72 hours a day on social media, a rise from previous years. In a 2014 study, millennials alone were found to be checking their smartphones about 43 times a day, and on social media an average of 5.4 hours every day.

It’s time to take advantage of their (use of) time and stand front and center while they scroll!

Employees are your Most Valued Promoters (MVPs)

Small businesses can benefit greatly from social media promotion. Being both easy on the budget and simple to promote to local markets, social media can bring your local business from just a door on the corner to the talk of the town.

But how do you balance keeping your business up and running while also making sure that your marketing efforts aren’t swallowed up by all the other noise? Little do you know that your strongest asset is sitting right in your office, or currently standing at the coffee machine for the third time this morning.

Many companies don’t use their employees to their fullest potential when it comes to connecting with customers. However, your employees come face to face with your customers every day. They hear the complaints, the suggestions, and the praise.

They know what the customer wants and what the customer needs. And whether they work part-time or full-time, they most likely have more time on their hands (and fingers) to be engaged on social media than you do. Customers are also more likely to trust the opinions or words of an employee, than those of a manager or owner. As a small business owner these are the things you should be using to your advantage.

How do you harness your employees’ power?

Have an event coming up soon, or news in your industry is currently booming?

Encourage your employees to tweet about it. Then retweet or share tweets that you believe are the best of the best or that your customers would find the most interesting. Encourage employees to share or Like posts from other employees as well. According to Neal Schaffer, a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer, having more employees share content through different lines of exposure can do nothing but help your social media promotion.

Does your company have its own blog site?

Encourage employees to become “celebrity bloggers”. Make it a weekly occurrence with a hashtag that your customers come back to read week after week. As a business owner, you may know a different side of the business that your audience is engaging with that your employees may not realize. Use this knowledge to suggest topic choices. Employees will love the encouragement and it will broaden their own knowledge of your industry as well.

Lets get creative!

Host an Instagram contest for current employees. Have your employees upload a photo that represents something they love about your service or product, or what they love about the company they work for. Make sure they tag your company account and use the designated hashtag when they post. This will show off all the best things about your business, and make sure that you’re being accurately represented and promoted for your customers. Whether it’s something funny that happened in the shop or the featured item on the menu of the week, your customers will feel engaged. Then pick a winner to receive a prize (everyone loves a coffee gift card, or even an extra day off)!

But how do you know if your employees’ efforts are working?

Similar to other marketing or sales efforts, your social media marketing should be monitored and measured. But what are some ways to measure social media efforts?

  • Use an in-store or online survey to find out where customers or visitors heard about your company or current promotion.
    • Get Specific: Instead of just saying “Social Media”, have customers state exactly which social media outlet specifically got their attention. This can help you understand where your employees’ efforts are the strongest and where there is room for improvement.
  • Write down the amount of new followers or numbers of interactions you have on a monthly or even weekly basis.
    • Marking down the dates with highest growth and then comparing them with what posts were made during that time frame can show you what types of content attract the most customers.
  • Connect your campaigns. Do you already have a digital marketing strategy in place? Loop in your social media efforts as well. Compare your spike in followers or interaction with your digital and content campaigns in other outlets. Is there a pattern that you can take advantage of in the future? 

What’s in it for them?

Encouraging employee social media engagement is one thing, but they have to be motivated to do it. Your employees should also be interested in the value of their efforts. Choose a “Brand Advocate of the Month” to add a little friendly competition to the mix. The winning qualifications can be up to your own discretion, based on the amount of likes or shares or the overall creativity of their efforts. This will give your employees something to work towards. It will also show them what has worked, what hasn’t been working and what they should bring into their future posts.

Social media is one of the most influential tools you have at your fingertips. Running a small business can be hectic; learn to use both social media and your employees to their full potential!

Empowering and praising your employees for something that they enjoy doing for your company will not only give you points as a boss, but will create a happier work environment and boost your business! Give your employees something to be proud of, a business they can say they had a hand in making successful.

ThriveHive
ThriveHive
ThriveHive combines easy-to-use tools and expert guidance to help businesses stand out and get found online. Learn more about our guided marketing and advertising solutions here.

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