Do you expect employees to help support your company brand on social media? Why or why not?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. No, Don’t Expect It
Don’t expect it, encourage it. You’ll find that most employees don’t really care for social media, especially when it comes to their businesses. Don’t force them to do it, it’ll show in their performance. Sounds great in theory, but it doesn’t work. – Peter Daisyme, Hosting
2. It Depends on Their Job Role
Marketing employees, especially in a startup environment, should absolutely be prepared to jump on social media and help out the company brand — but only because it falls under the wider parameters of their job role. For any other employee — even in sales — do not require it or pressure them into it. They’ll only resent having to use their personal online space for work. – Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com
3. Create a Culture That Encourages Sharing
You can create a culture in your business that encourages social media participation by sharing successes that have happened to the organization as a result of social media sharing. Most team members at a business want to see their companies succeed. If they feel that their social media support will help their company, they will be more likely to participate. Don’t expect: Coach. – Christophor Jurin, Construct-Ed, Inc.
4. Employees Will Post If They Love the Company
Expecting your employees to tell their social circles how cool you are isn’t cool. Providing an awesome work environment and company mission that your employees are proud to brag about — that’s cool as a cucumber dressed like The Fonz. – Joel Holland, Video Blocks
5. Yes, Team Members Are the Best Advocates
Absolutely. For our company, social media is an essential part of our marketing campaign, which has a direct impact on our overall sales. I am confident that our team members believe in our product and the impact we are making on health and fitness in lives around the world. Therefore I encourage them to utilize social media to highlight our brands and products. – Sean Marszalek, SDC Nutrition, Inc.
6. Yes, But Only When Early-Stage
If you are running a mature business that isn’t necessarily even considered a startup any longer, then not so much. But if you are a small group trying to find any edge you can, then absolutely you should expect every employee to be actively engaged on social media and pushing the brand. Our business revolves around community, and this was key to building that early core of users. – James Simpson, GoldFire Studios
7. We Ask, But Don’t Require
If an employee shares branded content, great. If not, they certainly won’t be penalized. Their personal profile is just that: their personal profile. Sure, some employees will be happy to support the company brand on social media, but we don’t have any such expectation. Requiring an employee to support the company brand on social media is dubious at best. At worst, it’s downright illegal. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
8. No, But It’s a Clear Indicator
Somewhat surprisingly, in both of my companies (both in the social realm), I don’t expect or require employees to engage in social or support the company in that realm. However, much like attendance at networking events and taking classes to improve their skills, employees who do this stand out and make a strong statement about their hard work and loyalty that isn’t missed. – Brennan White, Cortex
9. It’s a Team Effort
While not mandatory, we do encourage our employees to support our company through social media. We are a team, and our company’s success creates benefits for all involved. I also don’t want people around that don’t support what we do. If you’re not proud of our company, then you shouldn’t be working with us. – Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net
10. It’s Encouraged
While it’s not required, we do ask employees to share some items and also hope that they are active in commenting/sharing on their own on a regular basis. Employee engagement helps by increasing our company’s footprint and is also an indicator of employee satisfaction and culture. We’ve found employees’ posts are one of our biggest recruitment tools as they speak to company culture. – Angela Harless, AcrobatAnt
11. Yes, It’s Part of the Culture
We have a unique culture and community at my company. We support employee initiatives (those related to work and those that are not), and we expect similar support for the company’s community involvement, event participation and even social media engagement. You have to make it easy for employees by sending them reminders and adding hyperlink buttons to the company newsletter. – Jason Kulpa, Underground Elephant
12. Yes, Just Make It Easy and Personal
I don’t expect them to support my company, I expect them to celebrate their collective accomplishments. I mean, who wouldn’t be proud when something they’ve built makes the news or posts high-quality content? It’s just a matter of making it as easy and personal as possible. Get team pictures/quotes in articles if possible. Email great shareables to the team. It’s not a matter of duty, but pride. – Manpreet Singh, TalkLocal
13. In Nutrition, Employees’ Every Action Outside the Office Matters Most
At AMRAP Nutrition, everyone has quit their other day job and dedicated their efforts to one very specific goal: solve the “non-food” crisis and issue of sedentary living. The culture we’ve created is engrained in leading by example, so our lives portrayed on social media need to reflect a healthy, happy, active lifestyle. No one will believe we intend them good health unless we live the brand. – Ron Slavick, AMRAP Nutrition
14. Yes, But Leave Sales and Customer Service to the Pros
The bigger your organization gets, the harder it is to control your message. Be sure to educate all of your employees so they align with the overall company vision. However, allowing employees to post on social media about the company can still be dangerous. Make sure they are brand advocates, but any sales or customer service efforts should be left to the employees in those departments. – Joshua Waldron, Silencerco, LLC
15. Yes, 110 Percent
Without a doubt, I think this is imperative. Our company’s success hinges on the performance of our employees. I expect our employees to be as much of an advocate for the company as I am in order for us to all succeed together. – Jayna Cooke, EVENTup