Are you tired of expensive social media advertising, while not getting the results you need?
To really connect with customers, stakeholders, and job candidates, you need a different approach - especially because social media algorithms keep decreasing the reach of your company pages. Social Reach Optimization (SRO) is about boosting your organic reach on social media. How? By asking your employees and other stakeholders, such as local offices, retailers and franchisees to become brand ambassadors. By sharing (authentic) content on their social media pages, they’ll help to boost your (local) reach and visibility on social media. But how does Social Reach Optimization work exactly? In this blog post, you’ll read all about the 7 essential elements of SRO.
1. Create your SRO strategy
To truly harness the power of social media, you need to have a strategy. You’ll also need the help of your ambassadors and their personal or regional accounts to achieve your goals. That’s why your SRO strategy is so important.
Your SRO strategy consists of a few different components:
- Content pillars and topics. These are the basis of your content strategy. They describe what’s most important for your company to communicate about and define what kind of content you’ll be sharing.
- Growth plan. What’s your ultimate goal in terms of activating your ambassadors? Don’t be afraid to set ambitious goals! After all, the more ambassadors you activate, the better your results will be.
- Target groups. Make sure that your ambassador program reflects your target groups and goals. For example, are you writing for social media managers? Then you should consider including your own social media managers for their relevant networks.
- Gamification and incentive plan. Once you’ve onboarded your first ambassadors, you should think about ways to keep them activated and motivated. Incentives can work really well, just like challenges or other gamification elements.
2. Structure your organization with SRO
By implementing your SRO strategy, you create a clear structure for your organization as well. That’s because SRO involves everyone in your organization, to achieve goals for marketing, sales, recruitment, and HR together. SRO also works with different roles to lead the ambassador program, activate colleagues, and create or share content. This way, SRO helps you to become a marketing organization, where every brand ambassador or business partner knows exactly what they need to do to support your marketing strategy.
3. Combine SRO with other marketing strategies
Of course, you’re probably already working with other marketing strategies, like marketing automation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Advertising (SEA), and Social Media Advertising (SMA). How does SRO fit in? Well, it’s the perfect base from which to implement your other strategies.
That’s because SRO provides you with authentic content and stories from every layer in your organization, including relevant photo and video material. This strengthens your marketing results in other areas as well. At Apostle, we also believe that social media budgets will continue to shift to more organic strategies such as SRO, as advertising is becoming more expensive and yields decreasing results.
4. Convince your colleagues to join the ambassador program
For a successful ambassador program, you need brand ambassadors. So how do you convince your colleagues to join? Start by telling why the ambassador program is so important and why you need them to make it a success. Also explain what’s in it for them. For example, sharing their accomplishments will make them feel proud and appreciated by others in their network. They may also like to profile themselves as an expert in their field and strengthen their personal branding. And by sharing authentic stories on social media, they support your recruitment efforts. More colleagues means a lighter workload for them!
5. Start and grow your ambassador program
When you created your SRO strategy, you also included your ambassador program growth plan. In it, you’ve thought about how many ambassadors you want to activate, and over which period of time. When you’ve convinced some of your colleagues to join the program, it’s time to get started with your first kick-off session. Our advice? Start small. During the first kick-off session, you’ll activate your most motivated employees, as well as a few people with important roles in your organization. They will help you to build your first successes, and you’ll grow your ambassador program more easily from there.
6. Keep your brand ambassadors motivated
Once you’ve started, you’ll also need to think about how to keep your brand ambassadors motivated. You’ll have included this in your SRO strategy as well. For example, you may like to use incentives to reward your most active ambassadors. Hand out fun prizes for the posts that generate the most comments, or reward the ambassador that shared the most posts that month. E-learnings, workshops, or other forms of coaching will help boost your ambassadors’ confidence, which will help to motivate them as well. In other words, make it as easy and fun as possible to participate in the ambassador program.
7. Choose the right tool to support you
Really want to make sure your ambassador program is a success? Choose the right software to support you. Dedicated tools for brand advocacy have all the features you need to easily suggest content to your brand ambassadors and keep an overview of your results. For example, Apostle is completely compatible with all aspects of SRO and provides you with easy-to-use features for creating, scheduling, and sharing content.
Get the best SRO results
SRO works for every organization - whether you’re a small business or a large organization with dealers or franchisees. For the best results, we recommend combining a dedicated software tool with the right training and coaching to activate your ambassadors. Luckily, Apostle offers both! So get started with SRO today.