Employee advocacy, which encourages your employees to share the message about your business on social media, is a hard sell because not everybody wants to mix their professional lives with their personal ones. Forcing your employees to advocate for your business would cause them to sour on your company. But not enforcing them to join your employee advocacy program prevents your business from maximizing its online visibility.
The answer is somewhere in the middle—you want them to want to advocate your brand without making it feel like a chore for them. Below are the employee advocacy strategies you should consider.
Establish an Irresistible Company Culture
First, you must set up a list of attitudes and behavior that everybody in your organization must abide by. Having a transparent company culture that is aligned with your business objectives and brand gives your organization an identity that employees can identify with and latch on to.
At the same time, you can attract new hires who share the same ideals as your brand to a tee. This way, they will be more than happy to advocate for your business on their social media.
If you don’t have a company culture, you can start by profiling your current employees and building stronger relationships with them. Knowing their core values as human beings gives insights into the business you have. From here, consider how you reduce employee churn and build a community within your organization. By retaining as many employees as possible, you can quickly establish a culture that everybody will observe.
One of the best ways to do this is by upskilling employees. Provide them with all the resources and information to succeed at their jobs. Get your high-performing employees and managers to take them under their wing so you can inherit their positions in the future.
Once you understand your employees better, you must connect them to a purpose that ties back to your company goals. Getting them aligned with your objectives allows them to give meaning to their work in your organization, reflecting back to them as people.
Having all these things together sets the tone for the employee advocacy strategy you plan to launch for your business.
Set Goals and Boundaries for Your Employee Advocacy Strategy
Next, you must define what you wish to accomplish through your advocacy program. It’s all about consistency and alignment with your brand. You want to associate your program with what your brand is about, which points back to your company culture.
Ultimately, the program aims to generate new customers and attract like-minded people to work with your organization. This is achieved by getting employees to post social media updates that shed your company in a particular light.
Below are the posts your programs should encourage employees to share:
Latest project each employee is working on
Images of company swag
Company news and blog posts
Depending on your program’s current goals, you must encourage employees to share certain posts online to meet them.
If you want to start a content writing business as part of your brand, get your employees to share your team’s latest blog posts. Then mention that they can apply for a writing job if they can write something similar. At the same time, there are things that your employees shouldn’t post about work. For instance, posting your company clients with whom you’ve signed NDAs is a big no-no.
While you want employees to be creative with how they advocate for your brand, you must also set some ground rules.
Monitor the Results of the Program
Once the program is up and running, you want to check its status and how employees are doing with it.
Seeing how they respond to the program is crucial—the lack of advocacy and the underwhelming results are indicators of a program that needs rethinking. This allows you to improve your program to get more employees to join or generate more sales.
Below are metrics that you must measure in your program:
Percentage of employees sharing your content – Depending on the platform you’ll use (which we’ll get into later), you want to make employee advocacy easier by creating different content types for them to choose from and share on social media. A higher share rate means they enjoy the content you’ve created for them to share. If not, you may have to provide better content in your program.
Activity – How often they work on your program indicates its quality. Fewer content shares and number of times logged in to your employer’s advocacy platform means that it’s not engaging enough for them to join and stay active.
User engagement rate – Arguably more important than the number of shares the content has is how users received them. The more likes, shares, and comments it receives, the more you should create this typeF of content for your program moving forward.
Employee net promoter score– Integrate this metric into your program to help you assess whether the program (or even the organization as a whole) is doing a good job engaging its employees with its culture.
From here, you should know better what factors to tweak in your program to get better results.
You must reward employees who have been your best-performing advocates. The rewards prove that you value the people who champion your brand outside of the office. Also, they encourage other employees to do a much better job with the program, especially if you’re giving away rewards that could benefit them.
Below are ideas on how you should incentivize your program’s advocates:
Rewards that tie with the winning advocate’s hobbies, i.e., extended gym memberships to fitness buffs, a supply of food for pet owners, etc.
Vouchers or coupons from popular retailers and marketplaces.
A paid course or training program to help accelerate their career development and growth.
Give away products you’re selling for free.
Upgrades to tools they’re currently using, i.e., LinkedIn Premium, to help make building a much better professional network.
If you feel your program isn’t up to expectations, you may need to build a better community for your organization. Launching a team-building initiative like scavenger hunts is a great place to start. These may not cost a lot, but they go a long way to show employees that their hard work is acknowledged and appreciated.
Use an Employee Advocacy Strategy that Best Supports Your Objectives
Instead of using multiple sheets and documents to keep track of your employee advocacy, you need a tool to streamline the program. The platform combines all these tools in a single dashboard. It can also automatically collect data and monitor the activity of your employees so you can focus on the big picture.
Below is a shortlist of tools you should consider using to run your entire employee advocacy program:
Everyone Social – Make employee advocacy fun and easy by setting up content pieces for your employees to share with a click of a button or encouraging them to create their own.
Sociabble – Aside from employee advocacy, you can reach out to workers in their preferred online channels, boost your team’s lead generation efforts, and encourage prospective employees to apply.
PostBeyond – Launch and measure your employee advocacy program and social selling campaigns to build upon your campaigns and continuously reach out to your audience.
Smarp – Allow employees to receive personalized content suggestions about your brand to share across their social networks.
The key to an effective employee advocacy strategy is to encourage as many workers to participate in the program and help spread the message about your business, whether it’s recruiting new talent or generating leads and customers. Either way, the steps above should help you formulate a strategy that will achieve the objectives of your employee advocacy efforts.
Want to know how Engagedly can help with effective employee engagement? Fix a quick demo with our experts.
Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer for hire who specializes in the digital marketing field. His work has been published on SEO and affiliate marketing-specific niches like Monitor Backlinks, Niche Pursuits, Nichehacks, Web Hosting Secret Revealed, and others.
Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.