Content is king, sure. Employees have an extended network that would put the most popular kid in high school to shame, absolutely. Creating content that they will actually share? Not so cut and dry.
It’s nice to think that your employees care deeply enough about your company to become avid advocates overnight, but in the end they are curators and creators of their own content already. And it’s unlikely that company content will trump “Which Game of Thrones Character are You?” on their Facebook feeds.
After all, social media is that messy, emotional, complicated place where we shape the identities of our choosing. We meticulously select our audience members, or haphazardly invite the world to become our personal voyeurs. We put on masks, or take them off. But all the while, we are hyper aware of the content we create, the messages we share, and the conversations we partake in.
So how does company content fit into this world where our identities are at stake? The question becomes one of relevance. Content that complements identities striving to be different.
Creating content that employees will actually share isn't as easy as you'd think via @ScottKenada
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Like-able content. Share-able content. Hashtag-able content.
In the realm of company content then, how do you elevate your employees as much as you do your organization? With theories abound, at Mortar we are experimenting with two primary types of content:
(1) Content that builds them professionally
We’re talking reputation and intellectual clout of course.
As we said, the circus that is social media rests on a backbone of ambitious differentiation. Social media is the trophy wall of the 21st century, the soap box for the connected generation. It is the rally point for protests happening 10,000 miles away, and it is the place we form our identities.
As we progress in careers and in life, finding our voice in the world and having something significant to say can be a pretty big deal.
If online behavior has taught us anything, it’s that enough virtual thumbs up can topple governments. But on a personal level, support garnered online can get all the right heads turned in your direction. Friends, colleagues and even recruiters, give the type of recognition most people sitting at a desk all day crave.
Let’s not be naive about this point, your employees, regardless of how loyal they are now, are thinking about their futures. An employer that empowers its people to build their own reputations, is a smart employer. And your employees will ultimately thank you for it.
Your employees, regardless of how loyal they are now, are thinking about their futures via @ScottKenada
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This is the type of content that will drive conversations and ultimately turn your employees into smarter, more informed and recognized people in their growing online circles.
Who wouldn’t want to share that type of content?
(2) Content they can be proud of
We’re in a lucky position on this one. As a creative agency our employees, on some level or another, all have a hand in creating work that is seen by the world. Work that they have contributed to, poured their hearts into, or collaborated on.
It’s the kind of work they feel proud of and if given the opportunity, are often excited to share.
Knowing the fruits of your labor are not swapped out for a mere a pay check, can provide large incentive for employees to share.
It’s the “Check it out, I was the lead on this awesome project…” kind of content.
If employees feel proud, and are given the opportunity, they'll be excited to share via @ScottKenada
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After all, it’s in our nature to respond to either reward (pay checks) or recognition. Focusing more on the latter means creating more content that recognizes contributions.
At Mortar we’ve created a hybrid model. On the one hand we have a strategy centered around meaningful content that elevates the standing of our employees professionally. But we have also invited the agency as a whole to contribute to the process. We’re a close bunch of passionate collaborators, and an agency-wide content program brings us closer together, creating content we all enjoy.
Ownership and collaboration are the two pillars our strategy revolves around. And already, around 60% of our employees share at least one piece of content per week.