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Jess Hodkinson, B2B Content Strategist & Editor

Jess Hodkinson, B2B Content Strategist & Editor

The most common way of distributing company news is either via internal eDMs, media releases or frequent posts on LinkedIn. Although this is live and direct, new research from LinkedIn has revealed that content performs better when employees share company content with their own networks.

LinkedIn evaluated over 2800 active companies, each with at least 2000 employees and looked for instances where employees had shared the same piece of content that their company had shared. When comparing the click-through rates, results showed that employees received 2 x higher CTRs from their shares compared to the company shares.

But why does this matter?

Well, 74 per cent of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision, and it is the primary factor behind why people choose to buy. Whether your company is looking to sell products, improve content marketing, tempt new recruits or work on lead generation, it appears that the best way of doing business is turning to those within your business.

Here are some ways you can encourage employee engagement in the workplace

– If you have a company blog, allow members of the team to share their thoughts and words of wisdom (just like I’m doing here). This will not only make employees feel engaged and part of the business, it also allows you to demonstrate the collective knowledge you have within the team. Individuals will be keen to share their posts among their personal and professional networks.

– If you have a piece of company news going live, share it with the rest of the team first. People often feel proud to be part of something bigger and will usually talk about this among their peers.

– Encourage employees to get involved with events and networking sessions, as they will learn from others but also represent the company. Live tweeting is also an option if you have a company Twitter handle.

– Make it easy for employees to share content by starting a collaborative working document that you can fill with popular topics and food for thought.

– Select a leader for employee advocacy. Maybe there is someone in your team who is very passionate about writing on behalf of the company and would like to educate other employees on the benefits of sharing and building professional networks?

However, let’s not forget that an employer should encourage employees to share company updates and brand messages, while also taking responsibility and supporting each person to do so.  For example, if an employee decided to position himself or herself as a thought leader, a company should show encouragement and share the post through channels associated with the business.

Andrew Hutchinson, head writer and moderator at Social Media Today, recently wrote a blog post on the topic, and I reached out to him for a second opinion. Andrew told me to look at Disney’s core purpose statement which is ‘to make people happy’. It defines everything they do, what they instil in their teams from the top down. There is a purpose that each employee can align with and apply to their day-to-day work.

“The biggest tip I can give on employee advocacy is to consider things from their perspective. Too many brands – big brands, in particular – lose touch with what their employees are doing, what they’re experiencing day-to-day and, subsequently, what motivates them. One of the best ways to do this is to establish a definitive brand purpose – and not an HR-defined mission strategy. This should be one which takes into account why your business exists, as opposed to what you do”, Andrew says.

Sharing employee content isn’t just something that should be encouraged within larger corporations either. Whether your company is small or large, or even if you are working for yourself and representing several clients, your voice is important in the social media world.

Nina Hendy, founder of The Freelance Collective, has been freelancing as a business journalist and wordsmith for several years and this is something she feels strongly about.

“The social media channels used by freelance talent is often assessed by potential employers, so it’s important we’re taking part in these conversations that matter to the industry we work in as a freelancer.

“This includes sharing the work you’ve been involved in for employers, and supporting your employer’s social media messages by commenting and sharing links where appropriate”, Hendy says.

So when it comes to sharing company content, there are a lot more options than simply sharing an announcement from the CEO or publicising a job application and hoping that potential candidates click and apply.

Have you thought about an employee advocacy program? Share your thoughts below.

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