You’re creating something special when you set out to craft a piece of content for your company. You’ve spent your whole life collecting information and sharpening your insight, and through content, you’re putting it out there for the world to see (and engage with, if you’ve done your job well).
But that special insight will fall short if you aren’t maximizing your content to its fullest — and that means not only sharing it out yourself, but also enlisting your team to distribute it.
Getting your whole team on board to share content can seem like one of the hardest parts of this process, which is a little ridiculous because sharing content only takes a couple of minutes out of someone’s day. But your team members can’t help you if they don’t know they need to, no matter how little time it takes.
A report by Bambu by Sprout Social found that nearly 22 percent of people don’t know whether their company wants them to share content; others aren’t sure what they should be posting, and even more claim that they don’t have the time. I call b.s.
These excuses are invalid because the bottom line is this: When you help your company share content, its reach expands substantially, and your efforts can meet with more success.
With that understanding, we’ve discovered an approach to encouraging our fellow team members to spread the love and share our published content. Here are four best practices I use when I need all hands on deck:
You don’t want to hear an audible groan throughout the office after every share request you send, so choose your battles wisely. If you’re anything like our content marketing team, you’re publishing content consistently, sometimes multiple times in one day. Asking your team to share every single piece of recently published content will become tedious on your part and overwhelming on theirs.
Send a companywide notice to share content only when it’s crucial for as many people to be involved as possible. To determine which content falls within the crucial zone, I make an internal checklist. If the content meets at least one of these criteria, I know I’ll need some extra help distributing it:
You work with your fellow employees every day, so ask yourself this: How does everyone like to communicate? Does your team love or loathe email? What about your internal chat platform?
Determine which method works to reach everyone, and stick to it for consistency. If you’re like us and use Slack for content, create a “#share” thread for articles that need attention. Paste the link to the article in the thread to notify your team that it’s OK to share this piece on their social accounts.
Personally, I like to go the email route. Because our company doesn’t make mass emails a regular thing, I find that when I do send an all-staff email for help sharing a particular article, everyone knows I mean business.
It’s your job to make it so easy for your team members to share content that they have no reason not to. Don’t get lazy with this step — it isn’t enough to simply send a note with a link to your article, begging co-workers to “Please share this!!!” What do you expect your teammates to do with that? Just share the link? How will they know the strategy behind the piece or what keywords or hashtags to use?
I like to include at least three different tweets for our team to choose from and copy and paste as their own social updates. Your tweets should include the proper mentions to highlight the author or publication, strategic keywords and hashtags, and images when possible to boost engagement. Check out this sample email to get an idea of what I mean:
We need your help! [CEO's name here] is currently attending [event name here]. We just published a blog post on the event, and we need everyone to share it out to their networks for the most exposure possible! This will help us capitalize on this event as much as we can, and it could get the attention of some key influencers in the industry.
(I would normally provide at least three sample tweets here for people to easily copy and paste to Twitter. Below is a real tweet of ours to let you know what these typically look like. It highlighted the Inc. 5000 Conference as it was going on.)
You’ll notice I began with the reasoning behind why I’m reaching out in the first place. This helps everyone understand why their involvement is valuable, and it makes them more likely to share. Your team is doing you a favor — acknowledge that by taking the time to explain both the “what” and the “why.”
Say what you want about emojis and using them in professional messaging, but I love ’em — and I see higher engagement when I include them in my emails.
Face it: They’re fun, and you sometimes find a hidden gem you never knew was in the emoji bank (like this guy 🚣🏻 — where has he been hiding?). Emojis allow you to be creative, add a little bit of personality to your communication efforts, and bring excitement to people’s day. If you haven’t already, get on board the emoji 🚂 !
If you’re designated as your company’s “sharing liaison,” these best practices should help you boost your results and get your team engaged in the content distribution process. Of course, every team works differently, so if you’ve found an alternate method that works for you, let me know in the comments!
Natalie Slyman is a content marketing and social media professional. She enjoys reading her favorite blogs, perusing Instagram, and talking about her cats (even when no one is listening).