Social employee advocacy – Why it works and how you can implement it

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This is a guest post from Disha Dinesh, who is a Content Writer at Godot Media.

The concept of advocacy has been present in varying forms right from the times of traditional marketing and certainly existed through the initiation and take off of social media. However, the onset of tech based advocacy platforms to manage employee advocacy programs for social media is relatively a more recent concept.

What is a social employee advocacy program?

A program that encourages employees to represent their company on social media by sharing curated content (promotional, branding or industry news based content) on their social media accounts can be referred to as a social employee advocacy program.

To understand the implication of an employee advocacy program let us explore case studies of two prominent companies.

Case reference #1: Adobe is one of the best examples for employee advocacy that has experienced a measured increase in sales. In 2013, Adobe’s head of the Social Media Center of Excellence was exploring methods to boost company sales with social media activity when he happened across Edelman’s Trust Barometer report.

Post implementing their employee advocacy program, Adobe has consistently ranked among top companies with the most employee recommendations on social media on SocialLook’s Leaderboard.

Case reference #2: In 2016, a multinational IT company was stuck with limited visibility and low shares on social media (from their official brand accounts). Varied formats and formal requests to get employees to share had failed and they were on the look out for a new solution.

Post application of DrumUp’s employee advocacy platform the company saw 62 shares per employee per month and 1.4 million content impressions.

Why employee advocacy works

1. The numbers add up

Let us consider a medium company with 200 employees. The company has got three social media pages – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and has a total of 5000 followers on all of them put together.

The company’s reach: 5000

The company’s employees have an average of a 1000 followers each on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter put together. He employees’ reach: 200,000, forty times amplifying the company’s reach.

2. Employees are influential on social media

According to research conducted by Nielsen, 90% of social media users trust their connections more than they do brands on social media or on any other media for that matter.

Also, of all the spokesmen that a company could have, employees are hands-down the most trusted.

Edelman Trust Barometer

Your brand message being delivered by your employees has a much greater chance of landing an impact than when sent out of your brand accounts.

3. Direct contact with buyers on social media

80% organizations believe that their sales teams perform better with some form of social selling in the mix.

The missing element in social media sales is direct contact with the sales executive. With social employee advocacy, your sales team can become heralds of important product/service info on social media. By doing so your sales personnel are not only positioned as authority on that informative, but can also be perceived by other social users as people they can approach for even more information.

How to implement a successful employee advocacy program

1. Employ a reliable employee advocacy platform.

In addition to the platforms mentioned in the case studies, you could also use LinkedIn Elevate, Kredible, Commun.it or EveryoneSocial.

Important features: easy sharing with employees, gamified tracking of shares, engagement anaytics (for employees and the posts, both).

2. Conduct an initiation seminar for your employees with lessons on social media etiquette and using the employee advocacy platform that you choose.

Share with them a set of guidelines that prevent untoward incidents on the internet while also enabling them to make the best of social media for your company and themselves. Some of the platforms mentioned above allow you to enforce guidelines as part of the program you create.

3. Appoint an official to manage the entire program and communicate between management and the participating employees.

The person you appoint must be high spirited and capable of keeping participants motivated. Of course, you’ll need additional motivators in terms of exiting incentives and recognition for the best participant.

4. Run a pilot program before you implement it company wide.

Test the types of content that are shared by employees most and engaged with most on social media.

Test the best times to post and the visuals that work best with your text.

5. Monitor your performance from kick-off so you can refine your content for better effect.

Most of the platforms mentioned above have built-in analytics for that purpose.

The most important thing to remember is never to treat employees like advertisements and to manage the program like an activity for all-round benefits. By converting the program into healthy team effort to push your company forward, you will not only experience an improved result on social media but also improved job performance in your work space.

 

This is a guest post from Disha Dinesh, who is a Content Writer at Godot Media.

 

Author bio:

Disha DineshDisha Dinesh is a Content Writer at Godot Media, a leading content agency. Her interests include social media and content marketing. When she’s not writing, she’s on the hunt for social media trends and inspiration.

Image via freepik.com

 

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