We launched the SocialCPAs 2012 Social Media Survey a few weeks ago and the feedback has been fantastic! One of the survey questions asks, “What is the one question that you would like answered about social media?”
We have received some very intriguing questions and have asked a few social media experts to help us out! The post includes a question asked by one of the survey participants and the responses from our group of experts.
If you haven’t already done so, please complete our survey. Who knows, maybe your question will end up on our blog!
How are companies getting buy-in from staff to share and promote the company’s social networking pages, sites, etc.?
Rita Keller, President, Keller Advisors, LLC
“I always encourage CPA firm leaders to get the younger team members involved and not to micro-manage them too much. I also suggest that they form groups or a task force so that it doesn't all fall on the shoulders of one person. Also, having a part-time marketing coordinator (admin level) who is young and experienced at social media helps - they can be a huge help with keeping the firm's "career" activities featured.”
Becky Livingston, President & Creative Leader, Royal Apple Marketing
“This is an ongoing problem with many challenges. The first place to look when staff is not sharing content is the firm’s social media policy. Regardless of the legality of the policy, if it states that employees are not to engage in social media activities in relation to the firm’s brand, etc. why would they? If that is not a hurdle to overcome, below are additional tips:
- CEO/Partner Approval and Engagement: Without leadership’s buy-in and engagement, it may be considered a farce.
- Identify A Leader: This person is a motivator, trainer, and coordinator that is responsible for the day-to-day social media efforts. If left unattended, without structure and a leader, social media will undoubtedly fail.
- Educate: Share the how, when, why, who, and what with the staff. Teach them about social media, the firm’s policy, and ask for champions to help out. Creating a focus group of “elite” users works well.
- Engagement: Create a cross-functional, multi-level, social media group prior to social engagement. When staff is included prior to a project launch, engagement tends to be higher. For example, there may be a budding blogger on your staff. Engage that person to help with content creation or guest blogging.
- Inform: Create a digital company newsletter to share the successes, highlight activities, share news, and best practices. Special mentions go a long way with people. Share leads and sales increase numbers and attributions. Post positive customer testimonials or comments. And most of all, ask and answer questions!
- Create: Create a social media policy that allows for staff engagement, outlines the escalation process, identifies the do’s and don’ts, as well as provides information about policy violation and repercussions.”
Eric Majchrzak, Marketing Director, Freed Maxick CPAs, P.C.
“I recommend working with people who want to participate, not with those who need to be forced. Buy-in happens through motivation and inspiration. Highlighting social media success stories and case studies within the firm helps to encourage participation. Buy-in also happens with real-time demos that show staff where important communities are online and how they find them. Also, showing staff examples of business owners and decision-makers asking their network for accounting firm recommendations, tax advisor recommendations, consultant recommendations, etc. They are all over Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms like Google+, Quora, etc. They just need to see it to believe it.”
Andrew Rose, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Naden/Lean, LLC
“This has not been easy. We have two or three staffers who are fairly social media savvy – they have been a benefit in Google+/rankings. I am preparing to hold a 3 hour social media training class here to hopefully get more engagement, it will be a workshop, so I expect that the engagement level will rise after that (bonus, they get CPE for attending).”
Barry MacQuarrie, Social Media Consultant, KAF Financial Group
“It all starts with training. It is extremely important that firms provide training that includes best practices for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and blogs. The instructor should be able to identify the partners and staff members that just “get it”. Concentrate your efforts on this group and provide them continued coaching and support. Celebrate the first time one of them uses social media to generate a lead or land a client. Others will become curious and want to learn how they can get involved with the firm’s social media efforts!”
Jennifer Wilson, Partner & Co-Founder, ConvergenceCoaching, LLC
“Companies are gaining buy in from team members to share and promote their social media pages in a number of ways including (a) sharing the firm’s overall social media strategy and goals, (b) conducting in-depth training on the social media applications for all team members to ensure an understanding of the possible business uses and ways to leverage firm resources and content to benefit their personal networks and (c) tying social media use to a specific ROI for the individual team members, including broadening their own personal network when they link to company contacts and pages. Firms must be careful not to attempt to mandate any specific “personal page shared for business use” but instead must make it clear how the individual and their network will benefit by being integrated to the firm’s content and pages.”