Every organization from General Motors to your local bakery has it’s ambassadors; from paid employees and business owners to volunteers and happy customers. All are likely active on social media, and thus have unique followers, connections, and likes. These ambassadors are like social micro media, potentially allowing you to boost your social media presence of news, videos, blogs, and other content. To do that, your ambassadors only need to share that content. Before that happens, your organization has to ask itself: Which social media sharing tool is best for my market?
The first question to ask is even simpler: Do you actually need a social media sharing tool. Sharing content is easy, I don’t need someone else to tell me that, right? All that’s being accomplished is for ambassadors to “like” my posts, or something as simple as that. Unfortunately, reality is a bit more complicated….
Do you actually need a social media sharing tool?
Many people aren’t as likely to “like” or “share” as we’d all hope. People simply forget it, it takes too much time, or a simple distraction kept even an interested reader from sharing. So, deploying a social media sharing tool needs to result in convenience and a quantifiable increase in exposure over what would be possible by asking each and every ambassador to “like and share”. Three types of social media tools qualify in meeting these requirements.
Social management tools which manage multiple persons social accounts from a single master dashboard, such as Hootsuite or Coosto. For these tools to work, ambassadors share their login credentials giving the master account access to post on their Facebook, twitter or other social accounts. Practically speaking, these tools outsource sharing completely, and don’t see the effects of the tool until posts have already been made.
Employee advocacy tools that enable the master user to curate a list of “approved” content to share, which ambassadors can pick and choose from as they please to post on their own social media. Examples of these include Bambu, Everyone Social, and Oktopost.
Crowdspeaking tools used to attract ambassadors. Via native social APIs, these provide the marketing team with access to the ambassadors social media, allowing for independent posting. PostSpeaker and Thunderclap are two crowdspeaking apps currently available. While Thunderclap authorizes persmission for a single post, PostSpeaker can enable a series of posts, or automatic posting based on the ambassador’s permissions.
How to choose the most suitable social media sharing tool?
To find out which of the three types of tools suits your business, we’ve composed a set of criteria to help your choice.
1# Who are your ambassadors, and how many do you want to share your message?
There’s a big different between an ambassador clicking on the “share” button, and a marketing team posting on their behalf. As an ambassador, there’s also a huge different if you had to share your login information with that marketing team, or if you’ve simply given an easily revocable permission to your account. If your ambassadors are all closely affiliated with your business (employees), they probably won’t have a problem sharing some of their social media login details. However, if you have dozens or hundreds of ambassadors, they likely aren’t as strongly affiliated with your organization, and may hesitate to share their full username and password details, particularly if they aren’t well acquainted.
2# How much time and effort is allowed?
If you want your ambassadors to contribute to your social sharing efforts, you’re asking for more of their precious time beyond simply clicking a “like” button. If your ambassadors want to take the time to add to your message, employee advocacy tools might be your best solution to ensure consistent messaging.If your ambassadors are willing to share, but think it’s too much work or don’t have the time to dedicate to this effort, a better strategy is to automate their end of the sharing process. The same applies to those ambassadors you want to utilize purely as massagers, and simplify their sharing process. For these users, a crowd speaking tool is the preferable option.
Another important factor is how many messages you intend to send. If you want to send a series of messages or have serial promotors, it may be useful to have your ambassadors share a continued series of messages, a function available through PostSpeaker.
4# How fast do you need to share?
If you want to publish something fast, but still need to recruit ambassadors, you don’t have much time to put out anything that will get much exposure. If you don’t take ample time to recruit good ambassadors, reacting to current events is difficult. This also applies if you give your ambassadors time to assess your content and personalize it before sharing. If all your ambassadors are ready to go with short notice, your company’s social presence can react quickly when needed.
5# How personal should each share be?
When your ambassadors use an employee advocacy tool, they’ll be deciding when they want to share your content. This might mean your message gets spread out over time. However, at times prudency is key to successful reach in a social campaign. If you need to send a message through all your ambassadors at once, or at a predetermined time, don’t rely on them to post your message when you want! Do it for them with a social media management or crowdspeaking tool.
6# How do you calculate reach?
When you prepare a set of defined messages with an employee advocacy tool, you won’t always know how often they will be shared. Crowdspeaking tools give your team the certainty that your ambassadors will share, which allows you to calculate the potential reach by combing all followers, likers and connections.
7# How much do you want to spend?
Once you’ve decided which kind of tool meets your needs, it’s time to make a price comparison. Most tools work with a monthly subscription fee based on volume. More important than minor price differences is an important question: How many man-hours will each tool save, and what’s the extra social media reach benefit?
Final considerations: the first step
Based on the criteria described above, your team can make an assessment of which kind of tool fits your business. The key questions here are: What do your ambassadors want? Who are your ambassadors? What’s the real drive to actually share? Are they willing to co-create? How much time and effort are they willing to put into their ambassadorship? Do they want to authorize you on their accounts or not? We can’t answer these questions for you, but these answers will save your social media strategy.