Work and life are blurred in lots of ways. Social media is part of that.
I used to work in a bike shop. You know what I had a lot of? Bike stuff. You’re surrounded by it, you know more about it than anyone, you’re excited about it, you get a discount. You’re going to spend your meager income on bike parts and eat Ramen noodles to make up for it. In my case this was decades before the dawn of social media, but if I were 19 and working at a bike shop now, I’d be taking my interest in the newest, coolest carbon fiber bits and pieces to Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat.
More recently I worked in the land of lawyers. The idea of employees posting about their employers’ products or services on social media makes lawyers’ heads explode. One simply cannot control what they might say! Not a few conferences have been convened just so lawyers can discuss how to prevent such terrible things from happening.
Seizing the Opportunity
We all know that social media in its many manifestations is a deeply powerful tool for commerce of all kinds. People respond to other people, and particularly to recommendations by others they identify with. And a company’s employees are the people best positioned to advocate for its brand, experiences, solutions. They are also by far the best people to advocate for others to come work at the company. Labor markets are tight and employment brands matter.
So how do we manage the messy, risky space of employee social media engagement? I had a great conversation on Commerce Code a few weeks ago with Mike Garsin of Brand Networks, a DCA member. Brand Networks has worked with Walmart to make it easy for their associates to post on social media in a way that manages brand consistency and captures the value of employee advocacy.
So – there are companies that provide solutions here, but leaders still have to keep their eyes on the ball when it comes to something as fundamental as this. Employees engaging with the brand on social media touches a lot of critical areas for the company. So – what questions are leaders asking when it comes to activating employees on social media? Here are a few starters.
Questions DCA Members are Asking
- What’s our “baseline” – how much employee activity/advocacy do we have now? If we don’t know what it is, how do we figure it out?
- How do we identify the constructive messages we want to amplify? What are their characteristics?
- How do we make it fun? (Is it fun already? And if not – why not???)
- What platforms do we start on? And how can we stay agile to shift platforms as the social media landscape shifts?
- Is it possible to sell too many subscriptions, or is our fulfillment capability unlimited?
- What’s the positive impact potential if we get employee social media advocacy and enablement right?
- What’s the worst thing that could happen if we get it wrong?
Related DCA Resources