If you want to reach more prospects via social media, you may want to look internally. You could have some sales reps with strong social media followings who could become brand ambassadors. Or you may work with people who have a genuine passion for talking about promotional products. These employees can help boost your reach and engagement on various social media channels, helping increase leads and lead quality.

Devon Gardner, the founder and CEO of Devon Victoria Consulting, Inc., says that employees can be a secret weapon in your social media marketing. However, most businesses don’t even think about including them in their marketing plans. If this sounds like your company, keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today. We share suggestions from Gardner on how to turn employees into social media advocates

1. Educate your team. What do your sales reps and other employees stand to gain from using social media to promote your company? Explain how their engagement can help grow their professional networks and help establish them as leaders, Gardner says. You could also outline how their involvement can impact the business and help them drive leads and sales to achieve their goals. She recommends defining a social media policy that outlines what’s acceptable (and what’s not) for your team to share on social media.

2. Develop a social media kit for your team. This “kit” could include social media cover images and a quick write-up that employees can use to describe their role and your company on their profile. Gardner says the idea is to help employees spruce up their social media channels so they best reflect your brand.

3. Share ready-to-post content. To turn your team into social media stars, make it as easy as possible for them to share content. Consider giving them pre-written posts and images they can share across platforms. Gardner adds that if LinkedIn is part of your strategy, each time you publish a LinkedIn post you can click “notify employees” on that post, or you can use the “recommend to employees” function.

4. Incentivize employees. Think about what inspires your team. Whether it’s praise, prizes or promos, make these incentives a part of your culture. Stay patient and give it time, especially if some your employees aren’t as active on social media. Let them learn the different platforms and keep them motivated with your incentives.

5. Determine your metrics. Before kicking off the initiative, Gardner recommends considering which metrics you want to measure. This may include the number of employees participating, follower growth, messaging reach or engagement, correlated leads and more. Also, ask your team members what kind of content works particularly well for them. Then, work to include more of this content across platforms.

The people on your team may be your greatest untapped resources. They know your business and the industry, and they each have their own network of clients and prospects. Get them more involved in your organization’s social media outreach. It’s good for not only sales, but for PR and HR, too.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Devon Gardner is the founder and CEO of Devon Victoria Consulting, Inc., a boutique social media consultancy located in Denver, Colorado, helping businesses reach their ideal audience online.