The Most Under Utilized Social Media Resource: Your Staff

If you aren’t using a social media guide who recommends that you tap into your existing staff for social media impact, you may be with the wrong guide. One of the first things we do for a new client is evaluate their existing resources. Nine times out of ten, they are overlooking their greatest asset in social media: their staff. This has a long lasting negative effect on their prospects in social media, and it also means they are missing out on a great way to encourage employee loyalty and longevity at the company.

One of the benefits of social media as a medium for business communication and the promotion of artists, musicians and more is how cost effective and far reaching it is. Increasing your social leverage leads to a variety of tangible and intangible benefits for any company. It’s easy to see the external benefits, such as increased customer satisfaction, improved customer service, benefits to how your customers and potential customers perceive you, indirect sales, the ability to drive traffic to your web site or to the web sites of your company’s favorite causes or collaborators, corporate growth potential and so much more. It is harder to see that part of the cost efficiency lies in finding ways to use what and who you already have within the company to the fullest.

If you are a firm with a massive staff load in the tens of thousands, or a legal firm, government body or hospital with special privacy concerns, then yes, you should hire one person to handle your social media campaigns. Those scenarios require more focus than the average company. If you have a company with a few thousand employees, a medium or small company, or are an entrepreneur running a micro business, you should start to look at your entire staff as your marketing and social media department.

It is common business practice to monitor or restrict time spent online, to throw road blocks up against social sites like FaceBook, MySpace and even LinkedIn. My question to every company is why limit your business and your employee growth in that way? Blocking your own success at the firewall is not going to get you anywhere. All employees have down time. Everyone gets a little bored at work sometimes, even the busiest CEO or freelancer. Why not tap that down time and boredom? With the proper training and a few simple guidelines worked out with your employees, your legal or management team and your social media consultant, every moment of boredom could be turned into fun for your employees and indirect inbound marketing for you.

Every person has a network. Whether they are talking to their network about plans for the weekend or about you, your company name and link shows up in the work section of every social profile they have. This means that every interaction could be drawing eyeballs to your business. With a little training on how to effectively add in references to your company, to offer assistance appropriate to their position in your company, and other options, you could have your company’s online presence amplified to reach the networks of every employee (and their networks’ networks) in a very short period of time.

With that kind of social leverage at your fingertips, why aren’t you using it?

  • Brendan

    Even with a start-up (about 10 employees) we’re encouraging everyone to get on facebook, twitter, and linkedin just to spread social media awareness about our company and iphone application “zhiing.” I was actually linked to your article from twitter!

    Follow our CEO (@jonziskind) or our “marketing dude” (@grant_at_zhiing)

  • Brendan

    Even with a start-up (about 10 employees) we’re encouraging everyone to get on facebook, twitter, and linkedin just to spread social media awareness about our company and iphone application “zhiing.” I was actually linked to your article from twitter!

    Follow our CEO (@jonziskind) or our “marketing dude” (@grant_at_zhiing)

  • I agree. Only thing is can you really ask your staff to sell your company in their off time via their personal networks? They may do it already, but where is the line to being able to push a employee to do so?

  • I agree. Only thing is can you really ask your staff to sell your company in their off time via their personal networks? They may do it already, but where is the line to being able to push a employee to do so?

  • This article does not encourage employers to push employers to use any of their time to purposely shill for work, on or off the clock. It does encourage employers to embrace the organic processes of social media and the natural promotion that occurs (passive marketing) when someone associated with a company is allowed to grow their online presence without fear of extreme repercussion. This combination of passive marketing plus engagement marketing techniques being implemented in a company is the untapped powerhouse your employees can bring to the table.

  • This article does not encourage employers to push employers to use any of their time to purposely shill for work, on or off the clock. It does encourage employers to embrace the organic processes of social media and the natural promotion that occurs (passive marketing) when someone associated with a company is allowed to grow their online presence without fear of extreme repercussion. This combination of passive marketing plus engagement marketing techniques being implemented in a company is the untapped powerhouse your employees can bring to the table.