Employees are your company’s content goldmine

I was invited to facilitate a session as part of Smart-Link’s seminar late last week. 

The topic of discussion was “Social Media Moving Beyond the Marketing Department“, and the key  question was whether companies can use their employees to contribute to their Marketing Departments’ content marketing efforts. 

Attending corporate delegates actively contributed their own thoughts during the session, and this was absolutely enjoyable.

Here are three key stats on the topic of employees and the content co-creation environment.

1. Netizens trust friends more than brands

Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report found that:

0
in 10 people trust information from FRIENDS
0
in 10 people trust information from BRANDS
0
in 10 people trust information from ONLINE REVIEWS

2. Number of South Africans on social media is increasing:

According to World Wide Worx’s South African Social Media Landscape 2014 report:

2 in 10 South Africans are on Facebook.

This number has increased by 40% in the last year.

As at February 2014 South Africa is the second largest Facebook population in Africa after Egypt.

3. Social media access ranks high in employee satisfaction scores

Employees participating in The Best Company to Work For survey ranked the following top 4 factors as key for choosing the best company to work for:

0
Percent for LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
0
Percent for FINANCIAL STUDY SUPPORT
0
Percent For Access to SOCIAL MEDIA at work
0
Percent for Employee SHARE OPTIONS
NOTE: Social media is among the top 3 Best Employer 2013 Scores.

Key takeouts

1.

Access to social media is increasingly becoming part of the reason why your employees are happy at work.

Despite concerns you may have about possible negative impact on productivity, major companies such as FNB are already doing this to some extent.

I am not talking here about recent RB Jacobs’s Twitter booboo, as this personality is more the official face of FNB on social media and not an ordinary employee.

2.

Your employees are most likely active on social media as we speak, if South African Facebook stats are anything to go by.

Why? With data being so expensive in this country, most of the 9,6 million netizens can only afford to be on Facebook if they are employed.

3.

Netizens – our term for online consumers – are most likely going to listen to your employees – their friends – ahead of brand messages from your Marketing department.

The trust differential in some countries is even wider than the global average, as shown by the Forrester’s US research on the same subject.

Weaving the three takeouts above together, it only makes sense to explore the opportunity of getting your employees to participate in your content marketing efforts.

As they say, if your company cannot trust its own employees with brand information, this reflects more on the company than the employees!

The common wisdom is that the company has something to hide, or that the ability to articulate what a brand stands for is lacking; and thus employees cannot be empowered to spread “the gospel”.

In closing

ALL eNitiate employees have been entrusted with contributing in the co-creation of the company content.

We continually find ways to make it fun to participate, including seeking input on monthly themes to assist in providing focus, and publishing of joint blog posts.

We support this with entrenched culture of sharing content marketing best practices under our eNitiate University banner.

So should your company.

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