If you’re a marketer worth your weight in advertising efforts (and we know that’s fluctuating given last week’s holiday and the upcoming celebrations), you know by now the importance of improving your local reach and effectiveness to drive results. You may have your mass reach campaigns, but how are you leveraging all your assets to increase that reach, for example, the ones who put their butts in the seats every day? You need to get your employees to distribute your offline and online campaigns locally, and to their networks. Getting your employees, regardless of department or job function, engaged in your marketing efforts can help you establish, build or improve your online reputation locally and extend your reach to audiences you might otherwise have a hard time reaching. Here are two ways you can get your employees on board to help distribute your message:
Make it easy – you have a blog and business pages for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and any other network you’ve decided to include in your mix. Wait, you haven’t created business profiles on any of these social networks? Stop now, do a couple searches and find one of many 10-step programs for getting these pages up and running. Then come back and finish reading.
OK, now that you have a blog and a social media presence you’re ready to make your employees your ambassadors. Make sure your employees know about your networks by giving them links to like and follow you. Share your RSS feed with them and tell them exactly how they can sign up for email updates on your blog. When you post, update, write, share, or tweet, ensure they have the correct settings to see your information on their timelines. With the changes in Facebook’s business pages especially, they need to modify their settings, unless you plan to pay to promote your posts. (You have to hover the mouse on the "Like" button near the page name. In the drop-down menu select "Add to interest lists." Then create an interest list. When you select that interest list, you will again get all of the posts from the selected page.)
Tell them why – once your employees are following your company and getting your updates, you need to let them know why it’s important to share your updates. You know why it’s important because you’ve read the MarketingProfs stories and heard from HubSpot why your business needs evangelists, but does your finance team know? They need to, and you need to be the one to tell them.
The short of it is that when they share the company’s information, it increases your reputation within their networks in addition to giving you the search benefits you’re hoping for from all the content you’re creating. The backlinks from social networks, traffic to your blog, and the clicks that will be generated are exactly what you need to move further and further up the search ranks. Also, you’re trying to build your local reputation. Guess where your employees live? Unless you’re a purely remote workplace, your employees live near your place of business. This isn’t just about driving traffic for B2C companies. B2B companies need a positive online reputation in their marketplace. Think of this as a way to ‘fill your bench’ when your business expands and get people familiar with who you are and what you do.
How do you engage your employees to spread your message to their local networks and become evangelists? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you’re looking for ways to keep your employees motivated and creative, read our interview with appssavvy CEO Chris Cunningham. If you're after creative ideas for integrating your offline and online campaigns, take a look at our eBook.
Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions. His career has spanned marketing positions in the non-profit, software and utility sectors providing various marketing experiences.You can connect with Scott on Facebook, Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn.