Brand Storytelling, Content Marketing, Employee Recruitment, Employer Branding, use case, Human Resources
How employees contribute to Roularta Media Group's online content strategy
Social Seeder’s customers are in different industries, ranging from SMEs to big corporations, all with different approaches. They do, however, have one thing in common: they all want to build a community of brand ambassadors that can improve their online presence.
Roularta Media Group is no different. With its core business in the print & online media industry, this Belgian multimedia group started an employee advocacy program in 2017. The goals were clear. First of all, strengthen Roularta Media Group's reputation as a nice place to work. Secondly, give strong brands more visibility and build brand love from the inside out. We talked to Katrien De Nolf, HR director at Roularta Media Group, about how they set up the program and how it's going in the meantime.
How Roularta Media Group started with employee advocacy
With more than 1,200 employees and a total turnover of 300 million euros, Roularta Media Group is a market leader in radio and television, magazines, and local media in Flanders. Katrien De Nolf explains that this was a sound basis for an employee advocacy program in itself: "We have well-known, established brands that our employees love working for. There's a sense of pride that comes with that. We were looking for a way to propagate that pride to the outside world. Thanks to our internal Innovation team – which functions as a crossroad of digital and technological innovation at RMG –we’ve learned about Social Seeder, it was eye-opening. We immediately realized that this might be the platform we could use to have our people easily voice their passion about working for our company and its brands."
Roularta Media Group communicated about the launch of the employee advocacy program widely within the organization. They first invited employees to workshops in small groups. The goal was to explain the program to people and excite them. Katrien De Nolf says:
"We didn't focus on the system. People are generally afraid of systems. We concentrated on conveying how employee advocacy has its place in our vision and mission."
A small group of about 40 power ambassadors who were eager to share their love for Roularta Media Group emerged from the workshops. They received a weekly campaign through Social Seeder that they could share online. "Social Seeder is very easy to use. Virtually no explanation is required to share campaigns. However, we got tips and tricks from Social Seeder's Customer Succes team that helped us develop our program. For instance, Social Seeder advised us to include the results of previous campaigns in every new campaign we send. We now copy results from the dashboard every time we send a campaign. By systematically sharing the number of shares and clicks a campaign triggered, employees see how they create impact."
Besides sharing results with employees, Roularta Media Group also incentivizes occasionally. Once they rewarded a top ambassador with a bottle of champagne, for example. And the HR department sometimes foresees a token of appreciation, out of the blue. Around Christmas time, everyone enlisted as an employee advocate received one of their magazines with a thank you note. But Katrien De Nolf recognizes that some incentives are less tangible: "When we need to fill a vacancy, we often send it out through Social Seeder. Colleagues like it if they can help each other out, even if they are on other teams."
How the employee advocacy program grows
The number of brand ambassadors within Roularta Media Group has grown steadily to about 200. To ensure growth, HR sends out an internal promotional email two times a year, to get people excited about the program, reminding them that they can still enroll anytime to share their love for their brands. Roularta Media Group also pays a considerable amount of attention to onboarding new employees. Onboarding implies the process in which they help new colleagues familiarize themselves with their job and the organization. As new employees are generally very excited about starting, Roularta Media Group now invites them to register as a company ambassador as a part of the onboarding process. Usually, they enroll immediately. Katrien De Nolf: "We will probably do a session on employee advocacy in our Roularta Academy soon. Roularta Academy is a monthly themed webinar where we involve employees closely in the ins and outs of our company and provide deeper insight into our sector and relevant topics.”
Reviewing the employee advocacy program and the Social Seeder campaigns
Every six months, Roularta Media Group reviews the program. They take a deeper look at the analytics to determine what employees love to share. They evaluate top campaigns and look at optimal days/times for sending content. They also verify the genre of content that scores well. Based on those conclusions and Social Seeder's bi-annual suggestions, they adjust their strategy and content calendar." Now, employees actually email us to provide content! We include this in the planning as much as possible, but sometimes there is a waiting list. Determining which content to share might be the most challenging aspect of our program. We have enough content, that's for sure. But we focus on content that is interesting to our external audience, and we want to make sure we have enough variation in content. We want to highlight different brands, share different formats. We distribute corporate news and vacancies too. We strive for a well-balanced content mix. As social media needs to be teasing, it's also a priority to find a killer intro and a great image with every campaign."
Social Seeder has become an essential part of Roularta Media Group’s corporate communication. The biggest win of the program is increased employee involvement. Even though employees don't share every campaign they send, Katrien notices that people read them all.
"Employees seem more aware of what is going on within the company, across business units. They feel like they are all part of a broader framework and work towards a common goal."Therefore, the ultimate goal for Roularta is to have every employee involved in the program!