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Employee-driven content marketing flourishes when culture and authenticity are front and center

Every brand needs great content for their digital marketing strategy to work, but that’s only part of the equation. How is your brand sharing that content, and what kinds of conversations is it sparking in the digital bazaar? If good content is the fuel for the modern brand, then social employee advocacy is the rocket that propels your customers into your brand’s orbit.

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In other words, in order to engage stakeholders, you must first engage your employees. And as I lay out in my recent paper for Rutgers Business Review, transforming your workforce into a legion of engaged brand ambassadors begins with a social ecosystem. Here are five signs your ecosystem is producing an engaged, thriving community centered around your brand.

#1: The Mandate Comes from the Top

The “provide and pray” approach just doesn’t work. A majority social marketing initiatives fail because there is little-to-no mandate or oversight on the part of senior leadership. A social governance council (SGC) shows that you’re serious about digital marketing and guides employee efforts with social guardrails.

#2: Social Isn’t a Silo

Research shows that far too many social programs aren’t well-integrated with the rest of a brand’s marketing efforts. What a shame. In a thriving social ecosystem, content marketing is directly tied to upcoming brand offerings and initiatives. This boosts brand visibility, focuses messaging, and shows your audience that all departments are on the same page.

#3: Bringing the Outside In

In a healthy social ecosystem, brands don’t just share; they listen. They know what kind of content their audiences want. They know what kinds of responses their content is getting. And, like Johnson Controls does with its “command walls,” they incorporate social chatter about their brand and industry into the physical workspace.

#4: Conversations, Likes, and Shares

If your employees are excited about the content they’re creating, their communities will be too. Nielsen found that peer recommendations are the most trusted form of advertising on social media. If your audience is sharing your content, it indicates your employees care about producing content worth sharing.

#5: All Aboard the Training Train

There’s a lot more to social engagement than tweets and status updates. Social adoption is an ongoing process. A healthy social ecosystem trains employees on tool adoption, community building, best practices, and much more. As we discovered in our book The Social Employee, brands that focused on training often exceeded their enrollment goals and discovered they had underestimated employee interest in social advocacy. Commit to the fundamentals, and your employees will more than reward your efforts.

To learn more about how the social ecosystem works, read Shaping the Future: The New Social Ecosystem in the current issue of Rutgers Business Review.

To get started building your own social employee-driven content marketing program, register now for Blue Focus Marketing’s video tutorial course for LinkedIn Learning: “Social Employees: The New Marketing Channel.”

 

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