A lot of businesses fail to realize that employees that are outside of their marketing department are still very valuable for their marketing strategy. There are multiple ways that you can get them to engage in social media and other activities that get your brand name out there. Here are just a few such ways that you can elicit the help of your employees for the advertorial benefit of your company.
Encourage Social Media Linking
There is an old adage that each person knows around 200 people, so everyone your staff knows could be future customers or potential sales. It makes perfect sense to ask them to link their personal and company accounts. Also, ask them to list where they work on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and to follow your company page as long as they keep clean, controversy-free social media lives.
First, you should show them how. Lastly, and most importantly, you should make it worth their while. Start a rewards program for every time they use a special hashtag on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They can redeem points for special products or services from the company, prizes or incentives. It is hardly any effort on their part, and you will benefit in a big way from the exposure.
With this, you may be worried about feeling like you’re intruding in on your employees’ lives. Because of that, this is definitely something that needs to be completely voluntary. People’s personal Facebook pages may have certain security measures put in place that will make it hard for anything they post to be seen publicly. As long as it can be seen by the company and the multitude of the friends, though, that should be okay.
However, you may want to emphasize the need not to appear spammy and regulate how many times they post company-related things to Facebook for incentive-purposes. As for Twitter and Instagram, though, those forums are kind of a free-for-all and they’ll be at less of a risk of looking spammy. For your company’s benefit, give incentives to those who tag the company, use hashtags and get a certain number of likes.
Company Flyer Contest
You can encourage your staff to enter into a competition to create the best company flyer, and you can do the same as above and offer some sort of an incentive to participants. As usual, some type of reward or form of recognition should go to third, second and the first place winner. Believe it or not, flyers are still effective marketing campaigns for startups and small, local businesses.
These are also really important for your business if you ever have walk-ins or participate at any type of product fair. So give your employees access to certain online software, such as Adobe Spark, so that they can create the most professional flyer possible. This is also a good way for them to expand their skill set and might even look good on your employee’s personal portfolios and resumes.
One idea that you may want to consider doing is to have a monthly flyer contest where the winner’s flyer is put in a special frame in the front office. This may help create a friendly competitive atmosphere while giving you a load of advertising material to work with.
Sponsor Employee Events
Let your staff know that you are happy to sponsor things for them within reason. For example, their kids’ baseball teams or a charity walk or drive that they are involved in. It is a good way to get your company’s name and logo out. Also, it is a way for you to reinforce your commitment to them and strengthen your bond with them, which will strengthen their loyalty.
Their increased loyalty means more fervent sales and enthusiasm for where they work. According to LinkedIn, company sponsorship is sound marketing on its own and can definitely contribute to a company’s success.
Here is a great example of how to do this. First, run a special promotion for a product or service. Next, show your staff how to add a personalized line promoting the special with code and discount for the product or service as an email and text signature. Then, run the promotion for a specified time frame. Finally, once the promotion has ended, give a nice prize to the person who brought in the most sales. It is another perfect way for your staff to help promote the company with a little friendly competition and prize.
Of course, this is an idea that you may want to use sparingly. Your employees will most likely seek out their friends to give them the code in order to gain more sales. This is great! However, if they are doing that too much, then your employees’ friends may get annoyed. Depending on your business model, you may want to only do this once a year as some sort of special exclusive access sale.
As you can see, getting your employees to promote your business isn’t too hard. All you have to do is make sure that they are happy—which will make them want to tell people all about it!