Why is social media important?
Social media is still occasionally thought of as just a place to share cat pictures and life updates but the reality is social media platforms are powerful marketing tools. On average, 15.5 people join a social media platform every second of every day - this equates to a lot of missed connections when social media is not being effectively used.
Having a social media presence as an organization is important because:
- It provides an avenue of contact for customers
- It serves as a platform for organizational updates
- It is a place to share authoritative information and knowledge
- It is a great way to humanize the organization
- It is an effective avenue for driving user-generated content
To use social media effectively, organizations need to do more than simply set-up and abandon a social profile. Organizations need to make themselves visible in industry conversations and engage with their active and potential followers to maintain growth. As an organization issuing digital credentials, a simple ‘congratulations’ on the post of a recipient proudly sharing their achievement will stick in the mind of their peers, friends, and family.
What is social media marketing?
Everything a brand or organization does on social media can be considered a form of marketing. Even if staff updates and industry knowledge are the only type of content posted, the aim is to promote trust and establish authority within the target audience. A social marketing strategy is necessary to use social media effectively and should cover:
- Tone of voice
- Frequency of posting
- Type of posts
- Level of engagement
- Crisis control
For example, an issuer of digital badges that recognizes skills in pet care would create an organic social media marketing strategy that includes:
Tone of voice: Fun & lighthearted
Frequency of posting: 4 x a week
Types of posts: Pet top tips, Brand created blog content, Follower pet spotlight, Staff pet spotlight, Industry news & updates
Level of engagement:
- Regularly comment, like, and engage with posts who mention or tag the brand
- Congratulate recipients that are proudly sharing their latest achievement from brand
- Provide assistance and relevant informative links to followers seeking information
- Repost or share a follower or brand tagged post twice a week
Crisis control: If someone is publicly upset with the brand the process is to ask a manager to reply to the public post and take the conversation to direct message, email, or telephone. Once the query is satisfied and the customer happy, follow up on the original post which should encourage the customer to provide feedback for the complaint handling process.
Even if the organization is already active on social media, it is advisable to create a tailored social media marketing strategy as this helps to maintain consistency between staff changes.
How to encourage recipients to share
Recipients that share their digital credentials to social media often do so naturally as they are keen to celebrate their latest achievement. There are several ways to encourage social media shares from recipients including:
- A secondary CTA in the credential delivery email with the direct instruction to share to social media, e.g “Share digital badge to Facebook” or “Add digital badge to LinkedIn”
- An informative resource about the value of the credential and how sharing to social media benefits recipients
- A step-by-step guide for how to share digital credentials to different platforms
Make engagement a regular part of the social media marketing strategy. This encourages recipients to share as they see others receiving attention and praise from the issuing organization.
Recipients of digital credentials usually share a cross-over of their followers with an organization’s target audience. This is especially the case on LinkedIn, where recipients are most likely to have connected with past and present colleagues, peers within the industry, and industry-thought leaders. Social media shares are a valuable asset in a social media marketing strategy and a cost-effective way to utilize targeted authentic marketing.
When a recipient shares their digital credential to social media, this is known as ‘user-generated content’. User-generated content is the most effective content for building trust between an organization and their audience - 79% of social media users say that user-generated content has a significant impact on their decision to purchase. This compares to brand-generated content at only 13% and influencer-generated content at 8%.
How to provide guidance for sharing
The Accredible team has created helpful step-by-step resources for sharing digital credentials. The resources can be linked to from an issuer resource page to help recipients share, or can be used to create unique organization-generated content for their own website.
We also have a video guide for how to use digital credentials that can be included in credential delivery emails.
Accredible makes it easy for recipients to share their digital credential to social media with one click from the credential page and without the need to grant additional permissions to the platform. The Accredible platform offers one-tap shares to the majority of popular social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, and many more - no matter what social media platform the recipient uses, we will support it.
Without a social presence, organizations miss out on opportunities to connect and be present with their recipients. Begin to grow social presence and audience reach by planning a digital credential social media strategy that includes:
- Engagement with recipients that share credentials
- Regular updates for course, training, or membership opportunities
- Encouraged sharing from the credential delivery email
- Guidance on the value of sharing digital credentials
This will promote trust with a target audience, identify the organization as an authoritative source, and increase online visibility of the organization and their digital credentials.
Research the social share statistics of digital badges by industry and sector in our guide: ‘How Digital Badges Drive Brand Awareness and Referrals’.
In this report, we cover how digital badges drive awareness, referrals, and leads, and offer high-level tips to improve social share rates. Download a copy below.