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EDMONTON, AB Aug 21, 2015/ Troy Media/ – Business executives often want the secret to “going viral” for their brand when it comes to social media.
Yet, the concept of viral marketing is nothing more than “influencer marketing,” says Olivier Taupin, who owns 100+ groups on LinkedIn with 1.4 million members. “There’s confusion about first steps, though,” says the social media expert. “People are doing tactics before setting up their distribution networks.”
A social media influencer can be defined in two ways: First, by the number of followers the person has on social media. Second, by the expertise demonstrated on their subject.
The list of networks – each with its own personality, rules of engagement, and secrets to discover – now count over 800. More are added weekly. LinkedIn and Twitter are the two networks we favour for C-Suite business in addition to requesting permission from employees to engage their personal networks on Facebook.
To begin establishing your social media distribution network, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: find the influencers among your employees. These individuals could be authorities in a variety of subjects on Facebook and have major accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter. You will never know unless you carry out a social media audit to discover how your employees participate in their networks. Also think about reaching out to customers, partners and sponsors who have the potential to become company champions.
Step 2: send a letter to all employees asking for help, explaining how their contribution benefits everyone. Employees benefit by increasing their social influencer score for their own careers. Imagine the reach sparked by your company if 1,000 employees tweeted favourably on the arrival of a new vice president, launch of a new product or results of a community event hosted by your company. Think about the powerful reach when everyone retweets!
One way to find your influencers is to check for Klout scores. Klout is a number between 1 and 100 that represents social impact. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout where the ideal score is above 60.
On the company side, an organization benefits if employees agree to:
- Use their personal Facebook accounts from time-to-time to like, share and comment about their place of work. Of course, this is delicate ground and all privacy settings must be respected;
- Re-tweet, favourite, and comment on Twitter,
- Like, share and comment their company’s LinkedIn updates.
Step 3: grow your distribution. People expect brands to talk with them rather than at them. They no longer expect brands to sell to them, but to entertain and inform them. In every case, the CEO connects with key employees.
Here’s 10 additional tips:
- On Twitter, all employees are encouraged to follow each other. Otherwise, people view you as a broadcaster who doesn’t really want to hear back from anyone. Networks are about engagement;
- Company champions are invited to like the company page on LinkedIn and Facebook;
- Encourage participation in industry conversation. This increases the chance that your Tweets will be seen – and that people who see it will follow you and become customers;
- Everyone is invited to use the #company and #division hashtags published on Twitter bios to make it easier to like, comment and share;
- LinkedIn does not fully support hashtags. Therefore, Olivier recommends creating a unique handle with a key word for participants in this professional network;
- Annual general meetings give ample opportunity to recognize outstanding employees and important sponsors that lead to finding new customers;
- Establish a private group on LinkedIn and Facebook around interests of the company. Rather than using the name of your financial investment enterprise, create a group around retiring with wealth;
- Ensure your company is registered on LinkedIn. Otherwise, employees cannot like the company page;
- All participants are encouraged to get 500 connections on LinkedIn. Unit heads help their employees to identify potential contacts;
- Above all, employees are reminded they are not being judged. However, they are asked to respect company social media policies by not posting personal comments on company time.
The lines have blurred between offline and virtual life. This means there are many new opportunities to enhance your company by involving employees and champions as you grow together.
Communications strategist Sharon MacLean owned and published a print business magazine for 21 years. She now works to assist clients in digital marketing.