If you are looking for a way to implement an employee advocacy program at your organisation you have come to the right place. In this post, we have packaged basic questions and some tips to improve your chances of success.
What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy is the promotion of a brand by its employees.This promotion can be done in many ways but nowadays the most common channel is social media.
It can be used in an effective way for both small businesses and large corporations. However, it is often overlooked by organizations, even though there are lots of benefits attached to it.
Additionally, your employees might already have a quite big network of connection with whom they can share content about your organization.
The average user has:
- 338 Facebook Friends (Source: Pew Research Centre)
- 707 Twitter followers (Source: The Science of Social Sales)
- 930 Linkedin connections (Source: com)
Keeping these numbers in mind, the potential reach of an average social media user would be around 2000 people.
How to create an employee advocacy program
Sometimes it’s hard to know what will make people excited to get them talking about your brand on social media. There are only guidelines that can be used to encourage your team to promote your brand online. We give you 5 of these guidelines for a successful advocacy program.
1. Set clear KPI's.
Just like in everything you do, start by establishing clear goals. This way, it will be easier for you to focus your effort on you want to achieve. KPI’s are not just metrics but keys you’ll rely on to see how your plan is performing.
So first of all, set some objectives:
- What do you want them to share?
- What is the target audience?
- Do you want to focus on awareness, on conversion…?
- What is your timing?
2. Trust your employees and give them online freedom.
Your program will work better if your company has a transparent online culture.
Trust will motivate your employees to share and encourage genuine conversations. It will also show your employees that you trust their judgment.
It’s not possible to force employees to share your updates with their personal audience. One of the big benefits of employee advocacy is that people will trust your employees more than they trust your brand, as long as they have the freedom to share your content out of their own will.
3. Create some social media guidelines, so your employees know what is expected of them.
This is just to be sure that your brand’s message is communicated in the right way. You should not aim to control your employees' online behaviour, but some clear guidelines will help your employees communicate your organisations message in a better way.
Setting guidelines around polite online behaviour will help you avoid confusing messages or inappropriate behaviour when your product is involved. Just make sure that you provide employees with the resources to respond to any question in a proper way.
Additionally, three of the main reasons why employees don’t share the organisations content are that they:
- Don’t know if the company wants them to share
- Don’t know what they should share
- Are afraid to share the wrong thing
Sharing your guidelines with your employees will help you avoid these problems and encourage your employees to share more content about your brand on social media.
4. Measure and communicate the results.
You need to measure and communicate results of your program. As useful and rewarding as it can be, it is easy to lose track of what is happening if you don’t have the right tracking system in place. And, tracking the performance is only the way to tell if it’s working or not.
It is also important to communicate the results with your advocates. This way, they can see the impact of their efforts.
There are many metrics you can track so it’s important to track the ones that are most relevant to you. Remember the KPIs that you established at the beginning and always keep an eye on those analytics.
Normally, the most representative metrics of an advocacy program are:
- Number of active ambassadors
- Reach on different social media channels.
- Website traffic coming from the employee advocacy campaign
- How many signed up against actual active users.
If the goal of your advocacy program is to increase sales, you might also want to track the revenue generated through your advocates, by tracking your URLs.
5. Choose the right tools.
A tool dedicated to employee advocacy will make it a lot easier to set up your program and measure the online performance. It’s also an easy way for your employees to share your content and connect with each other.
If you are looking for a tool to implement or improve your advocacy program, make sure it has the ideal mix of features to answer the needs of your program.
The most important features are generally:
- An easy way to recruit new advocates
- Segmentation tools
- Easy content sharing system
- Employee engagement features
- Customisable branding
- Multi-language options (for international organisations)
- It can be beneficial for small companies and big organisations
- Set clear KPI's and measure the right results
- Communicate the results so your employees can see the impact of their efforts
- Trust your employees
- Create online guidelines
- Choose the right tool