A company’s greatest asset is its employees. But with heightened competition in today’s marketplace, it’s becoming difficult for companies to cut through the noise and empower their employees.
Some are turning to employee advocacy programs to solve this growing problem. In fact, interest in employee advocacy has grown 191% since 2003.
While employee advocacy is gaining interest, the majority of companies don’t leverage their employees as brand advocates. In fact, 83% of companies have not launched an employee advocacy program.
Our very own Chief Growth Officer, Peter Prodromou, holds years of experience working with brands to build employee advocacy for long-term results. Most recently, he spoke at GaggleAMP’s AMPlify Conference, where he took a deep dive into applying employee advocacy as a competitive advantage for brands. With his insights and our outlined techniques, you’ll be equipped to turn employees into brand advocates.
What Is Employee Advocacy?
Employee advocacy is an approach that empowers your employees – encouraging them to become fans and promoters of your brand. They can do this by actively sharing news about your company, recommending products or services to their friends, posting new content to their social profiles, or acting as spokespeople for the brand at networking events.
“With employee advocacy, you’re taking your most trusted asset – your employees – and leveraging them to distribute company content with authenticity,” says Prodromou.
But it’s crucial that your employees know what they can share and how to promote your brand. It’s your job to provide them with the tools and knowledge to do it effectively.
How to Implement Employee Advocacy
Keep the Benefits Tied to Your Employees
It’s important to inform employees of the benefits they will gain by sharing your company’s content. For instance, if their thought leadership gains more exposure, this has the potential to lead to more recognition in the industry. In fact, 86% of employee advocates say being involved in social media has positively impacted their career.
By inviting employees to write blog posts or other marketing collateral, they’ll be able to showcase their knowledge, while simultaneously promoting your company to a greater audience pool.
Keep in mind – employees’ social posts generate eight times more engagement than posts from their employers, so be sure employees understand the positive impacts of sharing on social.
Educate Employees and Set Guidelines
You can’t just publish a piece of content and expect your employees to know how to share it effectively. Some individuals might not know the best ways to promote content on social or digital channels, so it’s crucial your company prepares them for this initiative.
Hold an onboarding session to set clear guidelines for your employees and talk about social media best practices. With every employee referring to these guidelines, they will feel prepared and in-tune with what is appropriate to share about your company.
Create Assets in Advance
Once you’ve set clear guidelines for how to share content, you need to provide your employees with prompts to get the job done. This means creating assets in advance, such as visuals, videos, infographics, and other forms of content that are fit for various channels.
While some individuals might prefer to share on Facebook, other employees might feel more comfortable on LinkedIn or Twitter. This means it’s essential that you create assets for every channel, with different size dimensions and content styles in order to help employees share content on the channel they prefer.
By keeping your assets adaptable to various channels, your employees will have an easier time sharing on a regular basis.
Incentivize the Initiative
You can prioritize employee advocacy all you want, but you need employees to participate in order for it to be successful. While keeping the benefits tied to them is important, you should also offer incentives through gamification – whether it’s free lunch with the CEO or swag bags. This will help to establish long-term engagement with the employees who are choosing to advocate for your brand.
Create a contest to see who can gain the most likes on a post, or which employee uses a hashtag the most in a month. By gamifying the experience and rewarding them for their wins, employees will feel enticed to actively share your company’s content.
Measure Your Efforts
Without measuring your efforts, you’ll never know how successful your employee advocacy program is. Therefore, keep track of your goals and KPIs from the start to ensure you create trackable benchmarks for your employee’s efforts.
From clicks to referrals, KPIs can vary for these programs, so be sure your team is aligned on your goals from the start. Capturing a holistic view of where your team did well and where they can improve will allow you to iterate on your strategy for future advocacy efforts.
Push for Advocacy
Employee advocacy is an invaluable way to grow your business and improve your company culture for the long-haul. It has the potential to increase your organic social reach, improve employee retention, and boost your bottom line. Up to 64% of companies with formal employee advocacy programs credit advocacy with attracting new business.
By ensuring that your employees are satisfied and engaged, you will have turn individuals into advocates who are prepared and willing to promote your brand.