How to encourage employee engagement on LinkedIn.One of the strongest signs of a healthy workplace and thriving business is employee support and engagement. Often that engagement and loyalty is taken to social media, today’s conversational commons for discussion that ranges from politics to kittens.

On-the-ball businesses know that positive employee activity on social media, just like customer testimonials, fares well for overall brand appeal, engagement, and follower growth. In a best-case scenario, a strong social media game will lead directly to sales.

For B2B brands, LinkedIn is the place to be if you’re looking for activity to translate to ROI. But for a lot of organizations, large and small, stimulating employee interaction is no easy task.

Take these five steps towards empowering your team to be active on LinkedIn.

1. Social Media Policy

First and foremost, a social media policy is a complete must-have for any business—whether you’re actively encouraging social media use or not. This document, instituted and enforced by your HR department, will outline how your organization and its employees should conduct themselves online.

It will not only summarize your messaging in order to promote consistency, but it will also protect your business from potentially damaging situations that could put your brand’s  reputation at risk. Don’t let the fear of negative commentary inhibit your business from being active on social media, but do have a solid plan and protocol in place.

2. Generate Content

After you’ve laid the ground rules for a healthy environment in your policy, it’s time to start thinking like a marketer. What are you looking to achieve on social media? What types of content and subject matter will support those goals? Now, how can you create that content to support your team?

Get started by working with your marketing department or agency to draw up a detailed content calendar that will help keep you organized, on track, and held accountable. Include a publishing schedule, suggested topics, and mixed media (such as video, images, and SlideShare presentations).

3. Have an Active Company Page

If you talk the talk, you must also walk the walk! Your company page should not only be completed in terms of information and imagery, it has to also be consistently active. This demonstrates a precedent for the employees you’re looking to inspire. Put that content calendar to work by publishing your own content regularly. This makes it easy for employees to get their feet wet by simply sharing content from your page that they see in their news feeds.

Give your company engagement plan a boost by advertising with sponsored content or giving Premium access to your sales team and ambassadors. This extra lift could spark initial activity which you can then foster into a pattern of interest.

4. Provide Regular Education and Internal Engagement

Once you’ve got the content strategy, institute a plan to regularly educate and distribute content to employees. This can start from an employee’s first day at the office by incorporating a brief information session about the social media policy into the onboarding process. Explain clearly what the company’s goals are in social media use and what the employee can expect to get out of it as well.

Stay in touch with employees by distributing your content through internal e-newsletters or other means of company news. Make the information easily shareable by including a “Share This” link and social icons in your communications.

Want to go one step further? Start an incentive program that rewards active employees for positive engagement.

5. Evaluate Performance and Growth

Like any marketing effort or campaign, it’s critical to evaluate performance by exploring your analytics dashboard (LinkedIn, Google Analytics, HubSpot, etc.) on a regular basis. Before you even start instituting your plans, set SMART goals that you can easily refer to down the line and change as needed.

The most valuable thing you can get from your analytics is insight into what is working and what you can do better. Your marketing team or agency can help with this analyzation and in making recommendations for modifying your social media strategy moving forward.

Also, let your employees know how they’re doing! Did you see improvement? Notice concerted efforts from specific departments or individuals? Let them know how it’s impacting your company’s digital presence and thank them.