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Motivating Employees to Extend Social Marketing

By Jeff Bloch, Chief Growth Officer
With Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

Expand your business reach through employees' social media

Part 3 in our series:  Business Growth: Rebuilding Your Business’ Engine for Tomorrow’s Race

(Part 1, Part 2 )

In my previous post I built a case that not only is social media an important, effective and inexpensive marketing platform, but also that your own team can play a big role in getting your message out. I did some conservative calculating to show that a company with 100 employees has the potential to reach 15,000 people via social media. More importantly, the message is delivered by people who are trusted by their networks — in effect, it’s 15,000 personal recommendations.

So every employee, in areas from Accounting to IT, is part of your sales team. But what is their motivation to share your message on their networks?

Team Members “Like” Rewards

Cash or other tangible rewards (Starbucks gift card, bottle of champagne, free weekly “reward lunch,” etc.) are always effective. And be sure to recognize the recipients. Of course, you have to track performance. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to create links that track the point of referral — your IT team will know how.

You can generate some excitement by setting it up as a contest, with weekly graphics showing progress. Consider tracking more than just actual sales or whatever the ultimate goal is — at Decision Toolbox (DT), for example, our team members share client job opportunities on their networks. You can track the number of links each team member posts, the number of times someone actually clicks on each link posted by each team member and other metrics.

Widening the Net

All this applies to stakeholders other than team members. It’s in the best interests of your partners, suppliers and vendors for your business to do well. Let them in on the social network action. It can be a mutual exchange, if you offer to get their message out on your networks, or you can create some rewards. In a future post I’ll take this idea up a notch and write about channel partners.

Whether it’s team members or external stakeholders, you probably can benefit by providing some training around social networking and optimizing impact on different sites. You should have someone on your marketing team (or a consultant) with the social media expertise to provide training. If not, there are people inside or outside your company that would love to help.


Cultural Glue

One of the best motivators is your company’s culture. Team members have a vested interest even without contests and rewards. Working for a thriving, growing company means job security, potential bonuses and raises, and possible career advancement. But those concepts don’t necessarily stay at the forefront of your team members’ minds. Culture does, because it is an everyday dynamic that influences every activity. Cultural motivation is free from the standpoint of your P&L, but it requires an investment of time and effort by company leadership.

DT CEO Kim Shepherd often presents on the importance of culture, and in her book The Bite Me School of Management: Taking a Bite out of Conventional Business Thinking, she urges leaders to create “cultural glue.” In essence it’s a shared sense of ownership and accountability coupled with “exponential energy” — contagious enthusiasm that comes from sharing successes, broadcasting high-fives across the team and recognizing strong performance and best practices.

The Large and Small of Culture

Creating great culture is a significant undertaking; several companies now have Chief Culture Officers. But on a day-by-day basis it’s expressed in small things. To give one example, the tone of emails can make a big difference. At DT, when we “launch” a new search, we send out emails to everyone urging them to share the new opening on their social media networks. Instead of saying, “Please share this link on your networks,” the email says, “Let’s get the word out!” Which would you rather read?

In the next post I’ll share some unique approaches to business development that keep the budget lean.

To learn more about Decision Toolbox, please contact us – we’d love to hear from you!

Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn!

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3 Responses to “Motivating Employees to Extend Social Marketing”

  1. December 19, 2013 at 7:32 am, Using Social Growth Fuel to Rebuild Your Business’ Engine for Tomorrow’s Race | Blog | Decision Toolbox said:

    […] your staff to promote your company’s message on their networks? That’s the topic of part 3. Stay […]


  2. January 14, 2014 at 7:17 am, The Role of Leveraged Growth Fuel in Inexpensive Business Growth | Blog | Decision Toolbox said:

    […] executive courage. Have a look at Part 2 for the importance of leveraging social media, and Part 3 regarding making every one of your employees a part of the sales team through their social media […]


  3. January 26, 2015 at 6:59 pm, said:

    Great article!


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