While large companies often have fatter budgets and can purchase visibility on social media, I'm really surprised at how few companies enlist the power of their employee-base to assist. We had a great conversation about this with Amy Heiss of Dell, who walked through the incredible results their organizations were achieving through building out an effective employee social advocacy program.
As we speak to clients about employee social advocacy, I often repeat an alternative story that Mark Schaefer shared regarding an international company that has hundreds of thousands of employees. When they published on social media, they had a handful of likes and retweets. Mark asked (paraphrased), “When your own employees aren't passionate enough to read and share your content, how do you think your prospects and customers are viewing it?”. It's a solid question… employee social advocacy isn't simply about sharing, it's also about caring.
Other organizations I've spoken to are hesitant to enlist the assistance of their employees, some even developing policies against it. It absolutely blows my mind that a company would restrict its most expensive and prized talent and stop them from sharing their knowledge, passion, or even their opinions. Of course, there are exceptions with highly regulated industries, but show me an industry that's regulated and you'll still find effective programs that are operating within the constraints.
Still, other companies are populated with employees who feel no obligation to assist in promotion of the company. In those cases, I'd have to take a deeper look at the culture of that company and what kind of employees I'm hiring. I couldn't imagine hiring an employee who didn't want to promote their work. And I couldn't imagine being an employee and not being proud enough to promote my team's efforts.
Employees are now playing an increasingly vital role in organization's content marketing efforts. With the sharp decrease in organic reach on social media and dramatic increase in content volume, the race to get people's attention is more competitive than ever and employees have become key assets as trustworthy social media brand ambassadors. In fact, A company with 20 employees with greater than 200 people in their network can produce four times the awareness on social media.
What is Employee Social Advocacy?
Employee social advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its employees on their personal social media networks.
10 Steps to Build an Effective Employee Social Advocacy Program
- Invite your staff to join your new employee social advocacy program voluntarily.
- Create social media guidelines and educate employees on best practices.
- Complete the onboarding process for the employee advocacy tool you will be using.
- Determine your business objectives and key performance indicators for the program.
- Create an employee advocacy team to manage company-wide efforts and appoint a program coordinator.
- Launch a pilot program with a small group of employees before extending it to the entire organization.
- Curate and develop a variety of fresh and relevant content for employees to share with their followers.
- Determine if content and messaging are to be pre-approved by the program's coordinator.
- Monitor the program's performance and reward employees with incentives for their support.
- Measure the return on investment of your employee advocacy efforts by tracking specific KPIs.
To illustrate the importance of this strategy as well as the impact, the folks at SocialReacher have developed this infographic, The Power of Employee Social Media Advocacy, that illustrates what it is, why it works, how it works, and its results for the organizations that are effectively deploying employee social media advocacy programs. Be sure to scroll through to see the great explainer video on SocialReacher!
SocialReacher is a social media employee advocacy tool that empowers your company’s employees and collaborators to be social advocates for your brand. Boost your company’s social media presence, amplify its reach and build credibility by engaging your team to share and promote corporate content. Your employees are the best brand advocates you can have. If they believe, the rest will follow suit.