Whether you work for a large or small business, in B2B or B2C, or are just interested in growing your marketing and sales network
, you may have faced a common issue: You're on board with social media, but your employees are not.
Many organizations have policies that include all the ways employees may not use social media in connection with their brand, but how can you take the fear out of social media and encourage participation?
As with any new task, many employees associate a reasonable amount of fear, doubt and uncertainty with Twitter. How can you help your staff overcome this? Make it as easy as possible for them to participate and engage. Here are five tips:
1. Cover the basics
Before you teach employees about best practices on Twitter, get to how familiar they are with the site. Some basics that are important to cover include:
- Do your employees have Twitter handles?
- Do they need help setting up their accounts?
- Do they know what spam looks like?
- Do they know what a good follow/follower ratio is?
- Do they know how to retweet?
- Do they understand character limits?
Here are some general best practices for retweets:
2. Provide lists
Put together a list of Twitter users for your employees to follow to jumpstart their Twitter experience. You may want to create some lists that include the following groups of individuals or companies:
- Industry influentials
- News and media sources
3. Encourage consistency
I recommend you select a number of tweets, retweets or interactions you would like your employees to send or engage in weekly. If it's unrealistic to ask them to interact each day, suggest they set aside five-10 minutes two or three days a week to find something interesting to share with their followers.
A tactic as simple as finding a news article related to your business and sharing it on Twitter can be a one-click process.
4. Recommend tools
Remember to think about ease of use. Provide free tools to your staff that allow them to instantly post, schedule posts, and monitor activity on Twitter. Some tools I recommend include:
HootSuite is very user friendly and provides a great scheduling function so you can send tweets throughout the week. You can also view your home feed, Twitter mentions, and sent tweets in an easy-to-read format.
5. Review event best practices
If your organization will participate in, host, or attend any events, there is a prime opportunity for your employees to spread the word and provide live coverage of the event. Prior to the event, you should determine:
- The event hashtag—if there is one—and share it with your employees. Explain the best way to use it.
- The Twitter handles of the speakers and vendors who will participate in the event.
During the event, encourage your employees to tweet highlights from sessions or speakers and track any mentions of your brand.
While Twitter is just one of the many ways you can encourage employees to be advocates for your brand, it is a start. Remember: Always start small and ensure you provide as much direction as possible to get your staff on the right path.
Ashley Zeckman is the marketing manager for TopRank Online Marketing where a version of this article originally ran.