It’s well known that audiences respond better to content from their peers compared to content from brands. At your company, you likely have a plethora of subject matter experts with rich social followings interested in topics that your company is directly involved in.
If life was easy, you could ask your SMEs to share your content, they would, and in turn their audiences would engage with your brand—but it’s more complex than that (and for good reason).
In this #ContentChat community conversation, we engaged in a free-form discussion about engaging your internal SMEs to share content on social.
Q1: What is the current state of your company’s social sharing of your brand’s content?
For some, sharing of branded content appears to be on the decline. That said, it’s key for companies to also share content that isn’t branded but is still relevant for their audiences.
A1: Across my clients, I see a significant decline in the amount of social sharing of brand content. Even the most employee advocacy-focused companies seem to be struggling right now. I think it may be due to social media fatigue. #ContentChat https://t.co/1RrBpCw1e3— Erika Heald | Content Strategy (@SFerika) December 10, 2018
Can definitely see this, but I think the key is not sharing strictly your own content, something a LOT of brands and businesses tend to do. Sharing content that’s not branded that’s relevant to audiences is huge – it comes across as more genuine and not salesy. #ContentChat— Patrick Delehanty (@MDigitalPatrick) December 10, 2018
You think this is a world wide trend? #ContentChat— Tod Cordill (@todcordill) December 10, 2018
I am only working on social for U.S. clients. However, I have solopreneur friends outside of the U.S. who are definitely taking some social breaks so it very well may be. #ContentChat— Erika Heald | Content Strategy (@SFerika) December 10, 2018
A1: I’d say our social sharing is fairly low right now – but that’s somewhat of our own doing. We don’t ask our employees to use their personal social accounts to share business-related things unless they want to. #ContentChat— Click Ctrl Marketing (@ClkContrl) December 10, 2018
For others, their brands and audiences are more eager to share content.
A1. Our organization (a publisher) does a good job (phew) of sharing content. Individuals are sometimes encouraged to but I don’t think they see strong returns, which can be disappointing. Broadcast posts are less compelling than posts to foster engagement. #contentchat— allison ryder (@allisonryder) December 10, 2018
A1: Fortunately many of our staff and our members are heavily engaged and invested in the nature of our content (hello, science!) so they will often share, particularly on Twitter and LinkedIn. For meetings and events we’ll also share recommendations for sharing. #ContentChat— Caitlin Kinser (@caitlinmarie89) December 10, 2018
A1: We like to have our team members share our social content with all their friends and followers – not to be the voice and not to engage our followers on socials but to share or retweet etc #ContentChat— Bernie Fussenegger 🐝✌️the7️⃣ (@B2the7) December 10, 2018
There are some things that companies can do to combat low posting or engagement, such as sharing a social media suggestion email.
A1 Every week we send an email update that includes social sharing suggestions. No consistency in what, where, or when people will share, tho. #contentchat— Martin Lieberman (@martinlieberman) December 10, 2018
I have found that emails like this are consistently a solid way to make folks aware of the content the brand has available to share without being pushy. #ContentChat— Erika Heald | Content Strategy (@SFerika) December 10, 2018
I’m also on a local board for a non-profit and going to suggest this idea for them to send something like this to all their employees and board of directors each week to help them get their social message out…thanks for the idea!!! #ContentChat— Bernie Fussenegger 🐝✌️the7️⃣ (@B2the7) December 10, 2018
If you try something like this (like Bernie is going to), create content suggestions that are flexible and easy for people to personalize.
Totally agree! Avoiding the click to share option means extra incentive to help our team make generic copy we provide their own when they’re sharing 📣 #contentchat— Right Source (@rightsource) December 10, 2018
Many non-marketing people on social media don’t understand the value of customizing social posts and adding relevant context. They just want to share something. #contentchat— Martin Lieberman (@martinlieberman) December 10, 2018
You don’t have to solely rely on email to get the word out. Use tools like Slack to share social suggestions, or Buffer to facilitate the posting.
A1: We’re investing more into tools that help us consistently share branded content, like @buffer, and also having team members share content on relevant platforms like LinkedIn / Twitter as well. We’ve seen great results from it! #ContentChat— Patrick Delehanty (@MDigitalPatrick) December 10, 2018
Employee advocacy solutions can also be your new best friend.
A1. We publish content weekly and send an email to the entire company with easy-to-share social links and suggested copy. Currently seeking out employee advocacy tools to help our efforts! We’ve demoed a few, but all ears if anyone has recommendations! #contentchat pic.twitter.com/sYvwbCudZ2— PathFactory (@pathfactory) December 10, 2018
One partner company I worked with used @EveryoneSocial for employee amplification. Their comment: “It allows messages to be pre-programmed, makes it easier for employees and also keeps posts on message.”— Tod Cordill (@todcordill) December 10, 2018
I have no experience with it myself, however. #ContentChat
Even with the best tools, there are some other pitfalls you may run into. We’ll dive more into how to address these in the next couple of questions.
Agreed. Atho we struggle to:— PathFactory (@pathfactory) December 10, 2018
a) encourage employees to find their own voice (suggested copy feels canned, esp if everyone is using it)
b) Get employees motivated and excited to actually share since they are so busy in their day-to-day
c) Track who is sharing what#contentchat