Social media has become an increasingly essential component of any professional services firm’s marketing plan. As more AEC firms begin to implement social strategies, many are faced with a common problem: How do we get our employees to become brand advocates for us on social media?
Here are 5 steps to help lead the way:
1. Develop a social media marketing strategy.
There is a right way and a wrong way to set up your firm and your employees on social media platforms. To get everyone on the same page, start by creating a social media strategy for anyone that will be posting on your firm’s social networks or their own pages. A strategy is necessary to know what social networks to focus on, what kind of content individuals will be sharing, how often to post, what tone and voice to use, and what the ultimate goals are for your firm.
This post provides more insight into implementing social media advocacy as part of a social media marketing strategy for your AEC firm.
2. Determine expectations for social media participation.
Remember: employees will be using their personal social media pages to advocate for your firm and share its content. Unless their job title requires social media participation, it might be difficult to enforce engagement.
Set expectations accordingly. Some questions to consider include:
- Who should participate?
- How often will employees be expected to post?
- What kind of time commitment will engagement require?
- What is required, what is expected, and what would be nice to have?
3. Provide education and training.
Getting social media buy-in can be an obstacle for a number of reasons. Some employees might not fully understand the benefits that social engagement offers both to the firm and for themselves. Some feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. And others just aren’t comfortable with it.
Providing hands-on education and training will overcome many of the objections you’ll hear. In the end, your employees will be representing your firm and your brand, so you want to make sure the underlying voice is consistent. Get them up to speed on your social media strategy and your expectations for their social media participation, and train them on how to properly engage across relevant social networks.
Most networking these days is through clients researching information online. When someone wants to find out about the services you provide, research shows 63% of prospects will turn to Google to get more information about your firm and expertise and 60% will turn to social media.
More and more, business is being done virtually, so your firm probably won’t have as much face-to-face interaction as you may have had in the past. Employees’ individual social media pages is your new face-to-face interaction, so getting buy-in is essential and has far reaching benefits.
4. Keep it simple and manageable.
A key to successful employee social participation is to make it simple and time efficient for them. A few ideas to keep the process organized and manageable include:
- Creating a social calendar (another element of the social media strategy) can be set up so that certain employees will participate and know when and what to share on social channels.
- Making step-by-step instructions for how to share on each social network.
- Providing sample blurbs that employees can use to share firm content.
- Sending out emails to employees with instructions on the latest blog post or content piece your firm has published and the link on your website.
5. Implement and monitor
Once employees have had appropriate training, each individual should set up their page with their picture, bio and other necessary information to complement your firm’s overall company page created. For AEC, in particular, posting employees credentials and projects they’ve worked on is a huge plus and benefit. Now they’re ready to get to posting.
Once your firm and your employees start to post, make sure they keep an eye on their social media notifications and respond to any comments for continued discussion. Having a designated person on staff that will manage social media implementation and monitor engagement will be a huge help in getting everyone excited and focused.
Social media is just another way of networking in the future so getting your firm and employees familiar with it now will only benefit your growth!
- Download our latest free research report, Understanding Employee Advocacy on Social Media to see how the most successful firms are approaching employee advocacy.
- Our Social Media Guide for Professional Services is designed to give you everything you need to know to build a comprehensive social media strategy for your firm.
- And dive deeper into LinkedIn with our LinkedIn Guide for Professional Services Executives.
How Hinge Can Help
Social media marketing should be a core component of your firm's overall strategy. Hinge’s Visible Firm℠ is the leading marketing program for delivering greater visibility, growth, and profits. Based on 8 years of research into high-growth firms, this program gives firms like yours the practical tools and approach used by industry leaders.