Today, search engine optimization, or SEO, is arguably the single most important aspect of marketing your business.
Although you probably use an internet marketing or SEO consultant (or have an in-house team), you have another valuable opportunity to boost your company’s position in the search engines — and it’s right under your nose.
Your employees are online all the time, as a part of their jobs and in their personal endeavors. If you invite them to become online advocates for your company, you can increase your social reach and boost your SEO.
Even more important, this is a perfect way to engage your team members in the company’s growth and success.
Turn to Your Employees to Help Boost SEO
Your employees are a resource with enormous potential. Each one has his or her own social network — and you might be surprised how big their reach can be. Imagine each of them acting as a brand ambassador with the potential for organic reach on social media. You can’t buy marketing opportunities like these.
Whether you know it or not — and whether you like it or not — your employees are on social media all day. A study from the Pew Research Center indicates that almost 70 percent of employees say they regularly check social media at work — regularly.
Rather than try to crack down on social media use in the workplace (it doesn’t work, BTW), turn this ubiquitous activity to your advantage by empowering your employees to express themselves through brand advocacy.
Employees Want to Advocate for Your Company
Lest you worry that you will be taking advantage of your staff by inviting them to be brand advocates, consider this: Most employees are proud of where they work and they want to contribute to the company’s success. In fact, research shows that 33 percent of employees already share positive information about their employer online without any prompting by their bosses.
The more engaged your team is, the more they want to contribute to the company’s success. Engaged employees know that, when the organization succeeds, they share in that success and benefit as a result.
Cultivating employee engagement is an industry unto itself, but the heart of engagement lies with effective communication from the top down.
The Importance of Communicating with Your Team
Do your employees know what your company does?
Before you answer, consider a recent study on employee activism that asked participants about communication with their employer. The percentages shown below indicate how many participants were in agreement with the statement.
I know enough to explain to others what my employer does….. 42%
I understand my employer’s goals………. 37%
My employer does a good job of keeping me informed……. 25%
Now, are you sure your team knows what the company does, and why you do it? Maybe it’s time to go back to the basics and open the lines of communication with your team.
How to Engage Your Team and Develop SEO Advocates
The opportunities for your team to become social media brand advocates are virtually endless, but we have a few ideas to get you started.
- Provide your team with details about company social media accounts, and invite them to interact by liking, sharing, commenting and tagging.
- Invite your employees to create microcontent. For example, have them submit a question and answer that might be appropriate for your company FAQ.
- Encourage them to take and post selfies on the job, at company functions and volunteer events. You can even give them hashtags to use, like #TeamBeLocally
- Set up team social media accounts (separate from the company’s official profiles) and allow them to create their own work-related social communities.
- Invite them to share industry-related articles they may encounter on company social profiles.
- Set up a blog and invite employees to write guest posts. (Include links to your company website for bonus SEO points)
- Invite them to write about the company on their personal blogs, then share their posts on company social media.
Bear in mind that you don’t want to sound like you’re giving your staff more work to do. Emphasize that this is simply an invitation to engage with the company in a different way.
Setting Boundaries with a Social Media Policy
If you’re nervous about employees blurring the line between personal and business activities online, you can take some proactive steps to avoid problems.
Be sure that your social media manager is monitoring all online mentions, comments and other activity regularly. (This is important for all activity, not just that of your team.)
Establishing a social media policy is a great way to set boundaries and help your employees stay consistent in their messaging. You could even include your official company logos for your team to use if they have the opportunity, as well as a list of your SEO keywords and key phrases.
Encouraging your team to be advocates in the social media world is a great way to engage them while leveraging the benefits of their networks. Don’t be afraid to have fun with this, and who knows, you may learn a few new social media tricks yourself!
Be Locally SEO provides professional internet marketing services to businesses in Utah and throughout the United States. Give us a call today if you would like help growing your business through SEO and online marketing, pay-per-click, and content strategies.