Happiness and hazards of staff engagement in social channels
Engaging in social media is perfectly natural for many of your staff. They are likely to already use it, personally and professionally, and have proficiency across multiple sites and networks. Knowing this, it’s a smart idea for firms to encourage staff to ‘like’ and ‘share’ to grow their audience.
The multiplier effect can be significant. When staff share firm communications that are relevant to them, they can grow their credibility, expertise and following at the same time. Picture this: A staff member has a network that trusts them. They share actionable content, with people in their network that care. Their network may act upon and share your message again (and so on and so forth) – the reach of your message can expand exponentially, as can the return.
While this is an effective way to build your firm’s network and reach, there are hazards involved. I’m not talking about your social media policy and guidelines in this blog, just a few hazards to be aware of when your staff become engaged in your social platforms.
TOP THREE HAZARDS
- Losing control: When announcing a new partner, achievement, service or update, do so through your firm’s social media account. Your staff and partners can share, like and comment from your firm’s feed. This retains ownership and control of the message, and builds value in your stream. It also manages risk, publishing through a channel that you control, plan and support.
- Retaining relevance: Encourage staff to share messages relevant to them, their network and professional interests. Their network will grow tired of them sharing every post and will lose interest. Sharing relevant communications will benefit them personally, supporting them to build their own following and grow credibility and expertise in selected areas.
- Claiming expertise: following on from ‘Relevance’, sharing every posts may be seen to imply that your staff member intimately understands each topic that they are sharing. While it may be perfectly reasonable for a firm to release information across a range of topics, practice areas and industries (as you can draw upon and represent the expertise of your entire team), an individual doing so will seem less believable.
Enabling staff to wisely participate in your firm’s marketing will require training and directing. While you retain ownership and control of your business profile, market messaging and timing, encourage staff to share communications that are relevant to them and their own professional profile.