By Alaine Anderson, Digital Strategist and Implementer at Joining Vision and Action

I recently read an article discussing how to motivate staff to give you content for social media. This struck me as the perfect opportunity to share how I’ve motivated our own JVA team to boost our online content.

As someone in charge of social media, your duty is to keep up the brand image and pay attention to the community you work with. You know you need content, but you’re only one person with one view of what good content is. This is where your team comes in!

Generating content can definitely be challenging, especially in a small organization where everyone wears multiple hats and there isn’t always time for them to think about social media. Often I was (and maybe you are) plagued by no responses or the dreaded, “I’m too busy this week” email. So, here’s my advice in five simple steps.

1. Get upper management on your side.

This sounds a lot scarier than it is. Depending on how your organization is set up, you may have one or several managers, but no matter what the number is, the leadership of your organization is a powerful asset to have on your side.

Create a dialog around your role and how utilizing the team is crucial to the success of your social media accounts and website.

Enlist management to help elevate the team’s awareness by making an announcement at a staff meeting, including them in emails to staff, etc. Also, once they are aware of the impact, or “are picking up what you’re putting down,” so to speak, they can be copied on emails as an extra nudge when needed. This helps demonstrate that it isn’t just you asking for the content, it’s part of the overall organizational strategy … and expectation.

2. Show your results.

It’s one thing to say that you need it and another thing entirely to have proof of the effectiveness of good content coming from the team. This can be as simple as pulling two posts—ne from an external source that’s relevant but bland and absent of personality or connection, and one that features a team member arm in arm with a client at a community event. One is bound to do better than the other, if you get my drift.

Showing the successes of this type of content is an easy way to inspire the team … and help them remember to take pictures at an upcoming event.

3. Follow up.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s not easy to keep social media in the front of your mind, especially when it’s not directly listed in your position requirements. People will forget and forget often.

If someone says they are going to an event next week, try emailing them a day before and say, “Hey, I remembered that there is XYZ event coming up tomorrow. I’m sure our online audience would love to see and connect with the event, so please do remember to take some photos while you’re there and share back with me. Thank you!” They will appreciate the reminder, and it gives you one more point of assurance that content will be coming in. If they still don’t remember, try again next time!

Following up also means bringing it up at meetings, not once, but frequently. As this study shows, it takes seven repetitions or more before information solidifies in someone’s mind. You’ll need to really grind the reminders in so that they’ll be thinking about it when you aren’t around.

4. Always say THANK YOU!

Manners. Matter. People. Building up your reputation for positivity and appreciation when people complete a task is crucial to continued success with “making asks” of your team. People are more willing to help you when they know you recognize the impact and appreciate their help in the first place. The simple phrase “you catch more flies with honey…” can be applied here, too. Be kind and grateful. They don’t have to help you; all the better if they want to.

5. Make it easy to collect.

As any good marketer knows, the fewer steps to a goal the better. Most people are usually happy to help, but if it takes more than one step to send you information, people aren’t going to be as willing to contribute.

Find a system that works for your team, a “content aggregator” of sorts. For the JVA team, I have them start all of their content-related emails with the same subject line; that way I can sort the social media content from the rest of my emails. This also is easy for them because email is a medium they use frequently.

Best of luck collecting content! Comment below what has worked for your team or feel free email me with questions.