Whether you like it or not, your employees are using social media on the job. According to a recent survey, 77% of employees use social media at work. My guess is that the other 23% are lying…

So, what can we do about that?

When the popularity of social media began, many employees blocked social media sites in fear that employees would waste time. Obviously, that didn’t work. But, what if, rather than trying to prevent people from engaging in social media online, we embraced it? What if we encouraged employees to use their time on social media to speak on our brand’s behalf?

3 Simple Ways to Leverage Your Employees’ Social Media Influence for Marketing

Here are three ways your company can begin to embrace the idea of leveraging your employees’ social media influence for marketing purposes:

1. Make it worth their time.

You never want to force people to share content on social media. That’s a great way to create instant resentment. Instead, think of other ways you can answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

The best way to do this is by demonstrating the benefits of sharing content about your company or industry via social media. For example, sharing testimonials from sales representatives who have seen an increase in business, since sharing content is a great way to promote social media sharing among your business development team.

2. Identify and leverage existing social media champions.

More than likely, there are individual employees in your company who naturally understand how to effectively use social media. They might not be on your marketing team, but everything they post on Facebook gets a significant amount of interaction. These people instinctively understand what works and what doesn’t, when it comes to sharing ideas and content online.

Harnessing their influence is a great way to create a culture of social media sharing for your company. This might include creating a social media task force or allowing employee influencers to coach others in your company on how to use social media for business.

3. Make it easy for the rest of your employees to share.

Most people won’t instinctively think to share content on social media, either because they’re too busy, or they don’t know what to say. The best way to overcome this obstacle is to provide them with recommended content that they can easily copy, paste, and publish on their social media accounts. Include a note with each recommended post that explains why the content they are sharing is important.

The truth is that many of your employees have influence in circles you might never reach. Allowing employees to leverage that influence to elevate your brand can make a tremendous difference, not only for your bottom line but for their happiness as well.

What are some ideas you’ve put in place to create a social media culture at your company?