Ok, picture this…
Your company receives fantastic news!!!
The press release is crafted, released, and, as the tremendous marketing guru that you are, you forward this great information to all of your company’s employees for them to shout from the rooftops!
… then, crickets.
Your exciting news does little to motivate your team into sharing with their personal social networks, a far greater reach than the one, singular channel your company runs on.
And that’s the thing.
Your brand has only ONE channel on any given social stream
Unless, of course, you’re a behemoth enterprise company diluting your way into a multiple personality disorder.
The number of channels through which a company’s employees can reach, however, is significantly more diverse and potentially more powerful. Not necessarily in sheer numbers, but by the likelihood of being trusted and seen.
According to the recent 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer, employees rank HIGHER in public trust than a company’s PR department, CEO, or Founder. Your company needs it’s employees to be socially successful, er… successful at being social.
In fact, there’s no more powerful social curator for your company than an enthusiastic employee. The people who love their job WANT to talk about the company, what it’s doing, and how it’s making a difference. They WANT to brag about the company they’ve identified themselves with.
Your Coworkers Have a Powerful Voice
So why, then, has your company ended up with all of the deadbeats?
You’ve begged, pleaded, and maybe even bribed. And short of paying off a number of individual’s mortgages or selling your soul to get their help, how do you incentivize fellow employees to embrace your social mission?
The power of social is relationship. And chances are, you don’t have as much invested in your fellow employees as you think you do.
Sure, you’re great in the virtual world. The regions of fiberoptic outside your four walls may be your wheelhouse. But here, in the office, you’re probably feeling a little small and fatigued.
Your co-workers are not obligated to share anything from you
If you fail to remember this aspect, you’ll be perceived as that narcissistic son-of-a-bitch, always talking about yourself, YOUR thing, and never caring about others or listening to what they have to say.
Nobody likes that guy at the cocktail party…
nobody likes that guy at work…
no one likes that guy…
“To have friends you must first show yourself friendly.”
~ Jewish Proverb
Recently, a community manager asked me what she could do to help her co-workers “play their part” (a really charming attitude). So I kindly asked her, “Have you ever thought of using social to reach them?”
“Well, of course, I tweeted them the links over and over… and still, no response.”, she snapped. I could feel her impassioned frustration, but that’s not what I meant.
I went on to ask her, “When’s the last time you had lunch with any members of your company’s engineer, design, or financial team members?”
She said, “never”.
And herein lies the fact many social managers struggle with: connecting internally is the same as connecting externally.
No one enjoys feeling obligated or coerced into anything
Simply barraging someone with content will never get them to like you or your message. Even if it’s a co-worker who loves their job. They just don’t like being harassed.
Everyone loves being valued and appreciated.
How to win over your coworkers, expand your company’s social reach, and still love people in the process:
1. Have coffee or lunch with other members of a team within the company.
Get to know them, learn what’s happening in their world.
2. Ask questions about successes in their department.
Everyone wants to feel heard and understood.
3. Later, post a shout out about specific individuals of this department, thanking them for their creativity, brilliance, and/or hard work.
Celebrate with them, rewarding their contribution and value.
4. Continue interacting with members of each department and develop relationships.
Life is all about relationships… so is social media.
5. Retweet, share, and re-post fellow workers posts when possible.
Sow the seeds, model how it’s done.
6. Be patient, check-in periodically, mutual trust and respect grows.
Everything takes time.
7. THEN… ask co-workers, very nicely, if they would, occasionally, share company content.
When they do, thank them openly as often as possible.
You CAN inspire your co-workers.
It may look a little different building a community within your company versus one outside, but the principles are quite similar.
Be friendly, listen, and show value… and get those lunch plans coordinated.