You might not answer work calls or respond to emails after 5pm, but you are probably unable to escape the presence of social media. Even after clocking off from work, most of us will spend some time in the evening scrolling through the multitude of platforms available. And that’s not the only time we’ll find ourselves scrolling throughout the day.
Some will browse during their commute, if they have one. Others may take small breaks throughout their work day and glance over their social media, or check their Twitter or LinkedIn feeds during lunch. We scroll just before we go to bed at night, and most grab their phone first thing in the morning. Our phones will even alert us the moment we receive a direct message or we’re tagged in a post.
If you have great content, you want to attract and reach your widest possible audience, you want people to engage with it. Maybe it’s a blog on your own website or your institution or company has featured in an article. Using social media, such as Twitter, can vastly boost engagement and exposure for your content.
In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media; almost half of the planet’s population at the time. Social media is an inescapable part of our everyday lives, so as a business school, university, or business, you should most certainly be using social media, and so should your employees.
What are the benefits of sharing content?
Nowadays, social media platforms are used for so much more than just updating people on what you’re doing or thinking. People use social media as a search engine or to keep up-to-date with the news – before I go to the BBC website or any other news outlet, I often find myself checking what news is trending on Twitter first.
Content is also suggested to us in our social media feeds based on what people we follow are liking and interacting with. This can lead to articles reaching a much wider audience than the publication itself might ordinarily attract – a Forbes article could reach hundreds of readers who regularly read Forbes, but social media has the potential for the right content to go viral. Those hundreds of readers can become thousands if the content is shared on social media at the right time and reaches beyond the publication’s usual audience. Imagine the power of genuine thought leadership when shared in this way.
Encouraging your employees to share your content on social media also unifies a business or institution, showing that everyone is aware of the coverage, proud of the coverage, and is actively endorsing what it is saying.
How to get people to tweet your content
Understanding the benefits of your employees sharing your press coverage and other content is just the first step. Next, you actually need to get the content shared, which can be somewhat challenging. To some, taking the time to write tweets, share, or like content might not seem like a vital part of a company or institution, especially if you have other work to do or deadlines to meet. But being active on social media is so important to building your brand and reaping the benefits.
Here are some ways in which you can encourage employees to share content:
- To prevent employees from feeling as though they are neglecting other areas of work, you can provide them with links to the coverage alongside pre-written posts or tweets. The simpler the procedure, the more likely people are to share a post. If you are expecting them to write the posts themselves, make sure they know how best to use social media to increase exposure.
- Encourage staff to get involved with discussions around how social media is being used by your company or institution. This can help them generate ideas and make them feel like they have a voice in decision-making. Employees might be more likely to be active on social media if they feel more involved in the process.
Social media and your brand
Having your branded messages shared by a large number of people within your organisation adds more dimension to your business and more credibility to the message. Not only are you demonstrating the link between the business and the individuals it is made up of, you are associating your content with different areas of expertise within the business and broadening your social media horizons to their followers and connections.
The whole point of social media is to be social, to engage, and interact. It allows us to join in discussions, share interests, and promote our businesses beyond our own network. A share, like, or comment is an endorsement of both the content of the post and the business itself.
Originally posted December 2016, updated August 2021