A brand’s employees can be its biggest fans, which is why some businesses are choosing employee advocacy programs. Employee advocacy occurs when staffers use their personal social media profiles to share company news, blogs, job postings and more. Employee advocates are, after all, most experienced with your brand and can therefore leverage their knowledge and passion for it to sing its praises.
When successfully implemented, employee advocacy programs help organizations increase reach, attract high-quality referrals and build authenticity. Discover tips on running an employee advocacy program, as well as five easy steps to get your own program up and running.
Running an employee advocacy program
According to one study, one in two employees already post messages, pictures or video about their employer on social media? Of those, one in three do so without any encouragement from the company. Just imagine the possibilities if an employee advocacy program were in place. Find out how with these five steps:
- Build a culture worth sharing: Employees aren’t likely to talk about a ho-hum workplace on their personal social profiles. Build a culture worth sharing by providing opportunities to have fun and socialize. Organized team outings or get-togethers build camaraderie and make work more enjoyable. Ideas include a company cookout, a round of mini golf or tickets to a sporting event. A small prize for participation, such as a selfie stick or remote key tag, not only says thanks for coming, it also encourages picture taking (that hopefully captures moments to later be shared).
- Train: Before beginning an employee advocacy program, make sure your company has a social media policy in place. Cover the basics of acceptable online behaviour, outline how you’d like your brand represented online and provide examples of posts that align with your company’s values. Incorporate social training, including social media best practices, in your onboarding process. Accompany training documents with a thumbs up sticky book so trainees can easily flag important information.
- Set clear goals: A clear goal helps align your employee advocacy program with company objectives. Examples of specific goals include: Increase your Facebook® fan base 10 percent within 6 months time. Or, earn a trending topic spot on Twitter®. Whatever the goal, incentivize employees to help you get there. An organized team outing or gift, such as a power bank or Bluetooth® ear buds make nice rewards for accomplishing a goal.
- Make sharing easy: Employees are doing your organization a favour when they share its content. Make it easy. Provide pre-approved content that employees can simply cut, paste and post. And, make sure the content you’re providing is worth sharing.
- Measure: What matters gets measured. Meaningful employee advocacy program key performance indicators (KPIs) include: the number of employees participating; posts, clicks, comments or conversions; and increases in reach or influence. Use your measurements to refine and perfect!
Remember, your employees know your company best. And, if they’re so inclined, employee advocates may boast online about how much they enjoy working at your company. Follow these five steps for success with employee advocacy programs. And good luck! For more on the topic, check out our Blue Paper.