How to Build a Peer Network to Increase Your Social Reach
Want to learn how to get your content seen by more people?
A network of social advocates will help you amplify the reach of the content you share.
In this article you’ll discover how to build a network of peers and fans that will help your business.
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#1: Decide What to Share With Whom
The purpose of a social advocacy program is to have a network of people ready to share your content to expand your overall reach.
To start, you need to decide what you want your network to share. It helps to begin with a goal in mind. Here are a few possible goals:
You want to promote your brand so your business stays top of mind with prospects. Push only the strongest content possible out to an advocate network of employees a little less frequently. For cues on what content to deliver, take a look at the original content you’re currently creating and see what your target audience responds best to.
You want your business to be a recognized source of thought leadership. The content you deliver to your network of advocate employees should be a daily mix of original and third-party content that will keep them engaged in industry discussions throughout the year.
Because consistency is key, you need to figure out how often you can push content to your social advocates. At the beginning, your core marketing team will provide all of the original and third-party content for advocates to share, so keep their bandwidth in mind. Then once the program is fully up and running, you’ll be able to deliver more content.
#2: Make It Easy for Advocates to Share
There are two ways to deliver the content you want shared to your social advocates:
The first is easy and free. Simply post the content on your brand’s channels and then email links for those posts to your advocate network. In the email, ask advocates to share the content and add their own spin to personalize it for their unique audience. You can also include sample tweets or social posts if they need more guidance. While this method is fairly labor-intensive, it has the benefit of naturally increasing engagement levels for your main channels.
The second route is to consider using an automating service like Circulate.it. Load your links into Circulate.it and it will automatically deliver an email to your advocates on the days and times you choose.
People receiving the email can share your content to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Circulate.it even schedules the shares for the best time of day so your advocates’ posts don’t all come out at the same time.
#3: Expand Your Content Discovery Team
After your internal team members have seen how this process works, you can invite key people to take on a larger role. Ask them to find links to third-party content similar to the content you’re already sharing. Make it clear that each new team member is responsible for submitting a minimum number of links per day, which helps to maintain a steady flow.
You need to create a submission process to vet the links your new team finds. It can be as simple as asking team members to email you links as they find them or load each link to your automated delivery tool for review.
This tactic generates a lot more third-party content to share. It can also strengthen the content posted to your main social channels to the extent that you can segment content for delivery to different social channels.
For example, if your LinkedIn channel is mostly for lead generation, ask a group of discovery contributors to focus on that content category just for that platform. If Facebook is where you share stories about employees and customers, assign a group to focus on that.
Don’t forget that your discovery contributors are also your best source of feedback for this process, so use them as a focus group. Ask them how often you should be delivering content to advocates, and whether the content you’re sending is really what they want to share. You have to be your own quality control.
#4: Scale Your Advocate Network
Once you have your first batch of contributors in place, you can look further afield for advocates:
- Do you have other departments in your company you can reach out to?
- Are there industry influencers who might want to be involved in your advocate network?
- Do you have any loyal followers on your current social channels who consistently share your content without being asked?
Invite these people to take advantage of the content you curate by signing up to receive and share it.
The larger your advocate network is, the larger the exponential reach of the content you’re asking your advocates to share.
Most social media managers use a mix of brand content and content from other sources on their channels. The more discovery contributors you have, the more original and third-party content you’ll have for your core social channels as well.
Use the steps above to start your own advocacy program, and you may never have to find outside content again. You can simply curate it from your contributors!
What do you think? Are you interested in creating an advocacy network for your business? What benefits can you see? Are there any drawbacks? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.