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With 71% of consumers spending more time on social media, it’s no wonder brands are struggling to maintain their social media presence and feeling more pressure to consistently churn out relevant and creative content.

Organic engagement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is declining compared to years past. From the increasingly competitive landscape that makes it more difficult to reach target audiences without ad spend to emerging platforms shifting audience expectations and the modern user experience, it’s never been more critical to publish thoughtful and diverse shared media content.

While there are plenty of reasons to feel stuck, there are small steps digital marketers can take to strengthen their strategy and support growth. What’s one sustainable campaign? Featuring your employees!

Refreshing Your Social Media Content Mix

Social media looks and performs best when it’s humanized – and featuring your team’s achievements and expertise can not only increase engagement, but also reduce audience fatigue, broaden brand awareness and provide a direct look into the heart and soul of your brand.

When you think about the percent of your followers who would be pleasantly surprised to see an employee birthday or work anniversary post – the employee, the employee’s personal and professional network, your other employees, company partners, donors, clients, etc. – the opportunity to expand your company’s reach and engagement on any given social network is clear. It’s human nature to stop and look at a familiar face (especially when it’s your own).

The likes, comments and shares from these followers who are familiar with your featured employees will help each platform’s algorithm work in your favor, creating a ripple effect to reach more of your followers along with those who aren’t following you. When the algorithm is on your side, you can achieve more targeted goals.

Employee Spotlights Amplify and Enrich Company Culture

On top of boosting on-platform engagement metrics, spotlighting your employees provides your  external audience a behind-the-scenes look at the culture your company has built while further enriching a culture of recognition with your own team.

External Audience (Non-Employees)

Every brand’s audience is unique. However, these three segments are all critical targets to consider for employee recognition content: prospective customers, current stakeholders/customers and prospective employees. Depending on the group, your content can:

  1. Let prospective customers assess how your businesses align, while helping them understand and connect with your organization’s talent on a more personal level.
  2. Keep current stakeholders and customers in the loop, especially when it comes to promotions, new team members and other announcements that may affect them. This also allows them to celebrate those they work with and get to know employees they don’t.
  3. Use company culture to appeal to prospective employees. Company culture now has as much, or more, value to a prospective employee than a job description. Seeing how and when employees are valued and uplifted can dictate whether a potential hire chooses you or someone else.

Internal Audience (Employees)

With so many companies across various industries struggling to retain employees, it’s never been more important to invest in your culture and express sincere employee appreciation.

82% of employees report they’re happier when they’re recognized at work.

Celebrating your employees’ specific contributions on a public platform like social media tells them you pay careful attention to the work they do to move your organization and/or clients/customers forward and that you’re proud to have them on the team. Small sparks of recognition can ignite weeks, months or even years of loyalty.

How to Bring it to Life with Digital Design & Free Templates

Once you have identified your prospective audience and goals, it’s time to craft spotlights that communicate your brand story while highlighting the people that power your team.


Consider your company goals and overarching brand story and use that as a launch point for crafting questions that will lead your subjects to sharing an experience or insights that will help authentically narrate this story. Instead of sending a long list of prompts, ask a few of the right questions to get more detailed and compelling responses to use in your promotions across social. For example, if your goal is in the realm of sharing your company’s culture to prospective employees, be culture-specific in your prompt:

What makes working at [company] unique?

When it comes to positioning your employees as subject matter experts (SMEs), having prompts that encourage them to share specific examples from their career can inspire them and ease the uncomfortable nature of humble bragging about their expertise.

Share an example of a solution, idea or approach that you champion or would like to champion in your daily work.

Considering your audience, going industry-specific in your prompts can lend opportunity for your subjects to show your company is attuned to industry trends and reinforce expertise within your team.

What is the hottest emerging trend(s) in your industry – and how does this translate to your work and our customers?


Creating a form for gathering information will streamline your outreach, expedite the approval process with internal and external stakeholders and make it all easily repeatable. Here are some things to consider when creating your process:

  • Prepared questions and prompts
  • Target wordcounts for your responses
  • Provide your subjects with previous examples
  • Submission of a headshot or photo to use in creative assets


Once you’ve gathered all your assets, it’s time to bring it to life with creative. If you’re working with a creative team, the assets you’ve gathered above will make it easy to provide them everything they need to get started. If you don’t have a creative team, we have a solution – download this full suite of free templates, including a checklist to help you get started on spotlighting your people on social.


Download Free Employee Spotlight Templates

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The creativity does not stop there. Once you take the first step to incorporate team features into your social media content mix using graphics and quotes, there are many ways to continue enhancing and diversifying this strategy by leveraging video, animations and candid photography. By keeping your approach fresh, you can stop the scroll and avoid audience fatigue. Here are some of our favorite examples of employee spotlighting:

Interested in exploring additional opportunities to refresh your social media strategy? Subscribe to our Thoughts From the 313 newsletter to receive updates and insights straight to your inbox.

Kaiti Horn is a Senior Integrated Communications Specialist – Digital and Lily Stotz is Associate Art Director at Franco. Connect with Kaiti and Lily on LinkedIn.