6 Signs that Your Social Media Strategy Needs an Upgrade
Since 100% of B2B decision-makers use social media for work, social media marketing is a big deal.
But the world is changing. It has become increasingly harder for companies to stand out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. More companies and more people continuously join the networks, increasing the number of posts sent every minute. To get noticed, companies have to consistently deliver relevant content and find ways to reach more people. And, to reach more people, companies often have to pay.
The answer to your problems is to alter your social media strategy. Expand beyond one corporate account. Empower your employees – actual human beings who do not have to pay to play. Have them build trust with buyers, reach more prospects, and drive sales. That’s where employee advocacy comes in.
Here are six signs that your company needs to upgrade from a branded social strategy to an employee advocacy strategy.
1. Advertising is your primary way of reaching new audiences.
In the golden age of social media, you could grow your audience organically. Now, with social reach on a downward trajectory, marketers have to pay to play, and it isn’t cheap. In the U.S. alone, social media ad spend topped $8.5 billion in 2014, and it could reach $14 billion by 2018.
That’s a lot of cash. And here’s the thing: paid promotion does not help your brand reputation. Less than half of social media users actually trust ads on social media. They do, however, trust your employees, and your employees can reach just as many – if not more – people. And they can do it organically.
2. You spam your followers with sales pitches.
Social media users are savvy. They don’t want to receive hard pitch after hard pitch. At best, they ignore your pitch-slapping, and at worst, they unfollow you – never to hear from you again.
Think about it this way: Most people wouldn’t walk up to a stranger in a happy hour and say, “I don’t know anything about you. But I work for this company. And I would really like to sell to you.” And then repeat that message over and over and over.
Instead, your buyers want to digest content that is relevant to them, and not every person on social media is ready to buy. People want to learn. They want to discuss. They want to be entertained. They want to feel like they can trust you.
When you have humans behind your marketing messages, they can get to know their followers personally. They can build a 1:1 relationship. Through that personal relationship, your advocates can nurture customers, patiently, over time, and move them through their purchase journey.
3. Social media exists in a silo.
Marketing is in charge of your social media strategy. All other customer-facing departments do not have any say. Your sales teams and customer service teams – people who deal with your customers on a regular basis – do not get to have any input.
What you need to do is align your customer-facing teams, build a centralized content library, and empower your employees to share your content. If you don’t, your content will go unused. 70% of B2B content on the internet is wasted.
4. You’re struggling to create enough content at scale.
Consider HD Vest, a company that provides broker/dealer operations and office support for independent financial advisors across all 50 states. Many of their financial advisors are CPAs and tax professionals, who want to stand out as thought leaders and generate new business.
With over 4,500 independent financial advisors, there’s no way that HD Vest could write and publish enough content to keep their advisors happy. They needed a platform that could provide them with new, fresh content on topics like wealth management, retirement planning, and economic updates.
A good employee advocacy platform will supply you with a scalable content that is proven to increase engagement and drive sales. As your company grows its products and workforce, the platform will be able to grow with you.
5. Engagement is nonexistent or inauthentic.
Communicating with a corporate social media account is awkward. As the follower of a brand on social, you understand that there’s a human speaking with you. (Someone has to be typing those messages!) But the corporate social account does not have a face or a name, and many times, brand messages are automated.
By empowering your employees to advocate for your company, you remove that level of awkwardness. Your potential buyers can communicate directly with other humans when you enable your employees to act as marketers.
In fact, your employees can be quite persuasive. Recommendations from other people is the most trusted form of advertising.
6. You are not empowering your most valuable influencers.
To reach more people and to lend credibility to their brand, many companies turn to influencer marketing. They identify influencers in their industry. They market to the influencers to increase awareness around their brand. They market through influencers to spread their marketing messages.
While influencer programs can bring results (often at an extra cost), don’t forget that your workplace is full of influencers who are already on your payroll. Your employees are your most valuable influencers. They are smart and passionate about their work. They have their own networks of people who trust them. They are capable of sharing your company’s messages, and many of them (50%) are already doing it.
In fact, your employees can reach many more people than a single corporate account. Studies have shown that they can reach between seven and ten times more people than your company.
Are you ready to learn more?
Download our newest ebook on employee advocacy.