Jim Dougherty

Social Sharing Initiatives: Mobilize your Employees!

By: Jim Dougherty | June 20, 2013 | 

Employees Social SharingMaybe you’ve experienced this: A thoughtfully designed Facebook page, with each painstakingly planned post largely unacknowledged.

Not knowing what to do, you ask a dozen of your co-workers if they have any suggestions about how you could improve things.

Therein lies a huge issue: You have a dozen co-workers who aren’t engaging with your posts.

So many businesses lament the fact that their social media presence is scatter-shot, yet they oftentimes fail to use their own employees for social sharing.

Employee Social Sharing

The value of employee social sharing isn’t just the social proof that a few extra likes or comments garners. It’s the connection to your employee’s connections.

How many times have you eaten at a restaurant or gone to a store because of a recommendation or tie to someone you know? A lot.

That’s the premise of “weak-tie” theory. Weak-tie connections are a phenomenal resource for businesses, PR practitioners or individuals. Our strength is in our (extended) network.

If you buy into the premise (and I hope you do), then I want to share some ideas of how social sharing through your employees can easily happen using the IFTTT (if-this-then-that) trigger-action tool. It’s one of the most powerful tools you can use to amplify your social media presence – and it’s free!

Two notes about working with these IFTTT recipes:

  • I use email as an example throughout this post, but you could easily send a message through Yammer, Chatter, text message, phone call, or almost anything…. (though there’s evidence that email may be most reliable).
  • You’ll need to change the RSS feed to your corporate RSS feed and change the email verbiage to suit your tastes.


There are three ways you can automate Facebook with IFTTT. You can send an automatically generated email when you post new content to your blog, or when you post to Facebook. You can also autoshare Facebook content (be cautious of this depending upon the frequency of your posts).


Because of the nature of Twitter (you can send 1,000 tweets every day), I think it’s completely reasonable to ask people to autoshare content (for instance I do this with Spin Sucks because of the consistent quality of the content).

Here are two recipes to autoshare content either immediately after it hits the RSS feed, or at a prescribed time with BufferApp. (You could easily do both.)

  • Send automatic tweets whenever a new post is published on your blog (RSS feed triggers tweet)
  • Queue tweets in Buffer whenever a new post is published on your blog (RSS feed triggers BufferApp queued tweet)


Google+ isn’t integrated with IFTTT specifically, but it has an HTML share screen you can easily refer people to. As is the case with Pinterest, the lack of automation options doesn’t make G+ any less important.


The options for mobilizing employees on LinkedIn are quite similar to the options for Facebook. Frequent post updates are generally frowned upon, so it makes sense to be judicious about this one if you’re posting frequently.

That said, some of your most valuable weak-tie connections may be business connections on LinkedIn.


Like Google+, Pinterest doesn’t have direct integration with IFTTT, but it is a very important channel especially for retailers. This recipe sends an email with an easily clickable link to “Pin” the featured photo of a post.

I hope this shows you how your employees could help to perpetuate your social media initiatives with the help of automation tools such as IFTTT (also check out Zapier, which is free for five actions, and has more enterprise-level integration).

Everyone has participated in a program where there was employee buy-in versus a program without. Working without buy-in is demoralizing and oftentimes fruitless, which coincidentally also describes many social media initiatives.

If you see the value of social media as a team initiative (or you come to see it), I hope this gives you an idea of how to integrate it easily.

About Jim Dougherty

Jim Dougherty is a sleep-deprived eclectic representing Cincinnati (via his hometown of Seattle). He writes about how small businesses can use social media and technology at Leaders West, an online digital marketing journal.