How to Encourage Employee Generated Content

How to Encourage Employee Generated Content

If you are running a business that employs even a single person other than yourself, the best way to ensure a consistent brand voice is to appoint an online content manager. An online content manager is a person that creates and enforces a policy that guides online interactions your company has with the public.

A well designed policy should include guidelines for how your employees should present themselves when representing your company. The reason this is important is because employee interactions add significant value to your online company brand. Encouraging the right type of interactions can have a strong positive effect on customer engagement.

Employees: A Valuable Online Resource

Whether or not you want it to be true, your employees are the public face of your brand. If you create a policy where they largely remain unseen, your customers will take note of this fact and it will probably reflect poorly on your company. If instead you give them freedom to interact with your customers, employee generated content can easily be one of your best content marketing resources.

Blackberry understands this so well that it actively turned employees into company ambassadors. The company determined that enthusiastic, engaged employees boosted revenue, helped create jobs, and even increased stock prices.

These benefits alone would have been worth investing in employee satisfaction. But Blackberry also benefited from employees sharing that enthusiasm with current and potential customers in a way that seemed authentic.

Unleashing the Horde

There are three steps to unleashing the horde and getting employees to create content marketing independently. The first two steps, hiring an online content manager and motivating your employees have already been covered. The final step is giving them the tools they need to engage your customer base.

In terms of technology, these tools include things like moderating authority, or at the very least, a company affiliation tag on your forums. For something like Twitter or a blog, it may include access to post under the company name, or at least an easy mechanical way to submit suggested posts.

How to Encourage Employee Generated Content

Additionally, all employees should receive basic training on best practices for interacting with the public while representing the company.

Best Practices

1. Forums

Forums are an excellent place for employees to have really good discussions with customers. Forum discussions are often on topics that your employees are very familiar with, and employees, like most normal people, like to discuss their accomplishments.

While they should generally avoid revealing inside information, you will want to occasionally give them permission to provide information about an upcoming product or service on the forums. This is highly effective because it makes the employee feel privileged and it excites your more dedicated customers.

2. Social Media

Social media, including Twitter, offers an excellent platform for sharing visual media and glimpses into how your company operates. Encourage your employees to share images of their workplace, the view from the office, their favorite restaurant, or even their cat on company social media accounts.

Similarly, amusing anecdotes about their day or the office are a great way to interact with customers. It may not have anything to do with your product or service, but it is effective in increasing engagement with your customer base because it adds a human face to your workforce.

3. Blogs

There are two great ways for employees to interact with your blogs. The first way is through comments. If an interesting employee comment appears early in the comment section of a blog entry, customers are more likely to get involved in a lively discussion of that entry.

The second way is through the blog entries themselves. When an employee writes a blog entry without any prompting, it is likely to feel more organic than most other blog entries. Customers are likely to recognize this and respond positively, especially if employee enthusiasm is reflected in the blog entry.

Untapped Potential

Your employees are potentially one of the greatest sources of content marketing for your company. As long as you provide easy-to-follow guidelines, and the appropriate digital resources, employees will increase customer engagement and add a much more authentic face to your online content marketing.

Taking advantage of this untapped potential requires a good relationship with your employees and a fair bit of trust on your part. But if you are successful in tapping this resource, just like Blackberry, you will have created company ambassadors that are regularly producing compelling employee generated content.


Article by

Mickey has degrees in linguistics and logic from a top 25 university. He has been writing online for the approximately five years, specializing in gaming, hobbies, and media. He has never missed a deadline. Quality and speed are equally important to Mickey and he'll never sacrifice one for the other.

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