Can you ask employees to do social media marketing after hours? Here are some suggestions to encourage engagement.
Open Sessions. At least once per month, schedule an open session -- in-person, in a conference room, or virtual, via a Web conference -- for any and all employees to discuss what's working and what's not regarding the social enterprise. This should not be a meeting to discuss the company's social media marketing strategy -- though of course, if certain employees express an interest in sharing opinions on this topic, that's OK. Instead, ask employees how they can help the company become more social, or for starters, how they can help their department embrace the concept and bring more efficiency to the company.
Sticking to Policy
These strategies also serve another purpose: compliance. When employees learn that their tweets or updates are on view, they may think twice about posting potentially questionable content. This is perhaps the best way to train for social media, as behaviors will be completely visible.
Of course, they might decide to withdraw from social network activity altogether -- or put their pages or channels on lockdown.
But the reverse might occur, and many employees will feel empowered -- and actually get excited -- knowing that their social network activity is being shared with their coworkers. Offline conversations can take place and whether they lead to new business opportunities or perhaps a new participant in a 10K run, the company will communicate more effectively.
The New Reality
Many times company size and age (i.e., years in business) affect the culture and willingness to carry out such off-the-clock social marketing activities.
In smaller companies with a younger staff, tweeting outside of the office and snapping photos on Instagram are considered normal -- and sometimes those who don't are considered the outliers. In fact, in some companies, it's considered mandatory, as startups need as much marketing help as they can get -- and everyone needs to pitch in.
But in other organizations, to get the more "non-social" employees on board, collateral benefits and a business case for employees must be presented.
"Change management" is the catchphrase these days, as companies of all sizes with employees of all experience levels are realizing the need for employees to embrace social as part of their daily work and personal lives.
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