Question: What is your top tip for encouraging employees to contribute to your company’s branding efforts on their own (like guest blogging, etc.)?
Gamify the Process
"After many failed attempts to encourage spontaneous contributions, we decided to gamify and offer incentives. Internally, we created a system of perks and rewards based on the quality of retweets, the amount of shares on a blog post, etc. At the end of a predetermined period, the employee with the most points was awarded a prize such as a mini iPad or some other cool gadget."
Give Employees Credit
"I see this happen a lot: junior members never get credit for content they write. Make sure you help all team members build a body of work; it builds credibility for the entire team!"
Offer Them Incentives That Benefit Their Work
"We encourage employees to participate in our social media by offering up incentives that will benefit their accounts. For example, we do a 'Feature Friday' on our social media channels that promotes one of our venues. Our sales representatives love this because it makes their accounts/venues happy."
Collaborate With Employees
"Help employees feel connected with content by sharing it around in office-wide emails, letting them pitch different story ideas and writing about what matters to them. If employees feel connected with the brand messaging, they are much more likely to share on their own social media or write for the company blog."
Re-Share Their Content
"At times we monitor what our employees share on their blogs or personal accounts when it comes to work-related posts. Based on the content, we may re-share it on our main company's social media outlet. Their posts now reflect the company's message. The potential to have their content re-shared and spotlighted gives them additional incentives to incorporate the company brand in their social posts."
Help Them Explore Their Passions
"At One Month, people often come up with great ideas for blog posts without even realizing it. 'I just did this cool thing,' is a great indicator that something could become a blog post. Try to identify those moments and respond with, 'That should be a blog post!' Connect them with the right person internally to make it happen and develop the idea. Eventually it will become part of your culture."
Make It Competitive and Celebrate Contributions
"We recently ran an Instagram competition where the person who received the most 'likes' was awarded a generous gift card. Our team was fighting tooth-and-nail to win, which produced great content and was a lot of fun."
Reward Participation But Don't Require It
"I'd love if every team member wanted to contribute to our blog, to guest blog and to write for social media. I encourage it and give them the time they need to do a great job. But I'm also aware that writing and promotion aren't for everyone. If an employee is awesome at their job but hates writing, then so be it. Everyone contributes their best in their own way."
Align Interests and Promote Individuality
"Encourage employees to create their own unique brand, then promote theirs and they'll promote the company's. The key is to align the goals and interests of your employees with the company's and vise versa. Your employees are not robots; they're unique and show that through their social media posts. But as long as they share common goals, they'll willingly help your company's branding efforts."