As a financial institution, consumer trust is your currency, but building that trust (and converting it to sales) involves more than creating and deploying a few TV and radio ads. Rather, it’s about starting a two-way dialogue with your customers — and as we discussed in part one of our “Calculating Costs” series, your employees are the perfect conduit for doing just that.
According to LinkedIn, employees have, on average, 10 times more first-degree connections than a company has followers, and the content they share from their personal accounts earns twice the engagement of company-shared content. What’s more, the same LinkedIn study found that "leads developed through employee activity on social media convert seven times more frequently than other leads."
Yes, employees are a powerful channel for publishing branded content, but they shouldn’t own the responsibilities for creating, scheduling, and deploying social content at the brand level. Instead, think of your employees’ social networks as publishing end points for owned media. It’s really no different from having them byline content for your blog — but with social selling, there are significantly more opportunities for extending your reach, humanizing your brand, and elevating the status of your employees.
Here’s how you can manage the social media activity of employees at scale and ensure alignment with the overarching brand.
1. Circle the wagons. Link employees’ personal profiles to your brand’s hub in Gremlin Social. Our platform will create a set of boundaries so that every single post you schedule and publish on employees’ behalf aligns with your brand values, incorporates approved language, and follows compliance best practices.
Your marketing department should also segment employees within Gremlin’s system by parameters such as role, region, or whatever metric makes sense for you. As a result, you’ll be able to distribute content that’s most relevant for that employee’s audience, maximizing reach and impact.
2. Map out an editorial calendar. Even the most engaging posts won’t move your bottom line if you publish only sporadically. The best way to ensure social content is deployed at a regular cadence is to map out an editorial schedule. We suggest mapping out three weeks of content ahead of time. This will supply you with a nice buffer of pre-approved, compliance-friendly content while still allowing you to shift your content strategy as needed.
Additionally, we recommend following a 4-1-1 formula for content: For every four industry-related posts you publish online, post one personal story and one relevant company update. This keeps everyone focused on the goal of being a consistent, helpful presence on followers’ feeds.
3. Post according to audience engagement. Once you’ve set up your library of content, schedule your posts according to when and how audiences want to engage. This varies from platform to platform. For example, data from HubSpot shows that you can get the most engagement on LinkedIn posts when you publish them in the middle of the week (between Tuesday and Thursday), either early in the morning, during the lunch hour, or at dusk.
Frequency matters, too. For example, Track Social found that tweeting more than five times per day can cause response rates to drop. At the end of the day, your audience is unique, so start with these general guidelines, then adjust your strategy according to your specific engagement metrics.
4. Keep employees involved in the process. Though your marketing team ultimately owns the process of creating, scheduling, and publishing on behalf of employees, it’s still important to keep your employees looped into strategy and scheduling updates. Make sure that they’re aware of the posts that are being deployed across their networks so they can prepare for customers’ questions or concerns. What’s more, by keeping employees in the loop on your social media marketing, you’ll give them a bigger stake in the company overall, boosting engagement in the process.
Your employees are some of your most valuable marketing mouthpieces, and you should be leveraging their larger network to build trust with consumers. However, it’s critical that your marketing team owns the strategy at the brand level, publishing on employees’ behalf.