Many business owners are using social media to connect with their target audience, but many neglect sharing their plan with staff. This is a huge opportunity to excel your social media to the next level. My Marketing Gals takes time to meet with each new clients team after we set up accounts in order to get them involved. I thought I'd share our
meeting notes so more businesses can train their employees for added support.
1.) Explain your Social Media Goals and ensure they understand your mission:
- If they are commission sales then they will be further motivated for the company to succeed. Be sure and have a social media policy if staff are creating their own social media 'business' pages and a code of conduct for using their personal pages and talking about the business.
- Non commissioned employees need to understand how a prosperous company has a better chance at job security and is good for business.
2.) Ask for employee/staff support. Oftentimes your staff is the front line for your business. Their interaction with customers is meaningful to your bottom line. Here are a few ways your staff can support your business via social media:
- Ask them to ‘like’, ‘follow’, comment, etc. from their personal accounts. Don't forget to have them list their LinkedIN employer as the official "company" page you set up and have them "follow".
- Have staff send a recommendation. Who wouldn't like seeing a company with happy employees.
- Share (retweet) posts, on your personal profiles.
- Suggest friends/ family ‘like’ or ‘follow’
- Have staff call their friends/family, that have purchased from you, for a recommendation.
- Adjust their email auto signature to include links for social media accounts.
- Note: Not an open door to play on personal accounts during work hours.
2.) Take photographs: Pictures are worth a 1000 words. It's true: people are draw to images. Look at someone in line waiting browse their mobile device. Posts with images are more likely to be looked at. Sure, you may have a professional take portraits and other business shots, but since social media posts are in the moment you may not have that pro on hand for these. Ask your staff to help. (especially if they service on location) When taking photographs be sure to...
- Set camera/phone to high resolution.
- Send large (not small) images.
- In low lighting situations, steady camera on table or firm surface to avoid motion blur.
- Don't get too close (can crop later if needed).
- Take before and after photographs.
- If a customer is in the shot have a quick release form, on hand, allowing permission to post.
3.) Listen for stories. As your staff interacts with customers they should listen for stories and find examples that your target audience can relate to or learn from. These stories or real life examples can easily be turned into an interesting post on your social media that customers will relate to and "like", "Comment", "Share", "retweet", etc.
- How your product/service helped them.
- Perhaps they purchased for special celebration. (50 year anniversary, birthday, lost weight, retired, reached other goal, etc.)
- Dog chewed up, flood, fire, etc.
- A 'what not to do' or misuse of item that your staff is servicing.
4.) Asking for Reviews/Recommendations: People love supporting local businesses and many are glad to help.
- Simply ask for a recommendation.
- Show how easy it is to leave one.
- Urgency is key as people have good intentions but forget. If they have a smart phone ask them to pull up the site and do it now.
- Share how you and your business love feedback so further improvements can be made.
5.) Create a process for your staff to ask for customer participation.
- Discuss timing for when your staff should ask a customer to support your business or give a review.
- Create a postcard, or back of business card, with social media addresses, QR code and simple instructions along with a few benefits that is handed to every person as they leave/purchase. Use signage on the counter, in the washroom or other places customers linger.
- Have a person designated to send all of this information to. My Gals create an email account, for each of our clients, to share with staff dedicated just for this purpose.
6.) Script & practice statements to share with customers. You may even want to role play with staff in a team meeting to formulate your wording. Examples include...
- Were you pleased with our service/product? Would you recommend us to friends and family? We are on facebook, twitter and google +. Would you do me a favor and “Like” / “Follow” us there and write a recommendation or post on your wall about us.
- Can we send you a reminder email in a week?
- Ask for email and permission to add to enewsletter.
- Did you know we have a referral program? Perhaps you can mention us on _______ and earn ______. Your friend will get a discount on their first service too.
- Taking photos? Would you mind if we shared photos on our facebook page? Be sure and “Like” us so you can share with your friends and family.
- Have your company website saved on your smart device and show them where the links are.
7.) Ensure your staff understands how customers benefit from engaging with your business via social medial.
- We will be offering tips, offers, seasonal advice and would greatly appreciate you supporting our locally owned business
- SEND photos, stories, etc. from the field/store to your marketing department.
Having the support of your business is a great place to expand your reach across social media. Keep in mind this should be a voluntary act from your employees. Do not force them to participate. You may want to take time and write some official rules regarding usage of social media at work. Also, schedule time for employees to support their business online and share important links in your company enewsletter.