Has employee advocacy not been a part of your organizations thoughts in 2017, then 2018 might be the year to start thinking about it. In this article we have gathered 9 tips on how to ensure a successful startup of your employee advocacy program.
It is no wonder that employee advocacy is one of the big buzzwords these years. By activating employees, you can enhance the reach of your company’s posts, and reach people you wouldn’t before.
Get management on board
- Create an understanding of the importance of employee advocacy, by emphasizing the low costs and increased ROI. It has a much larger organic reach
- Present how employee advocacy can increase the commitment in general, which can result in increased commitment to the company and thereby your goals
- Show them how it will lead to increased revenue for the company in the future
The management should also be a good example to the employees regarding usage of social media. It is important that management itself are represented, on for example LinkedIn, and thereby comply with the company ambitions.
If you want to succeed with your employee advocacy program, you will need a clear strategy and goals. There are no right answers according to goals, but it could include:
- Increased visibility
- Increased website traffic
- Increased social actions (likes, comments, shares etc.)
- Lead generation (emails, meetings etc.)
- Conversions (registrations, sale etc.)
- More qualified applications
This does not necessarily mean that you should set specific goals for when, and how much each employee should generate or share, but let it be an indication of what is expected for it to be a success.
Obviously, goals must reflect what the overall purpose is. There is a big difference whether the purpose is to attract employees, position themselves or create sales.
Create a SoMe-policy
Due to the fact, that it is the personal profiles of your employees that is being used, it is important to develop guidelines on what is expected on social media. It doesn’t have to be a strict set of rules, but simply some “do’s and don’ts” for the use of social media in a professional context.
Leader for your ambassador team
Next step is to find one or more leaders, who are qualified, and wants to join the program. Some responsibilities for the leader could be:
- Create interest around the employee advocacy program
- Share ideas and spar with the employees
- Collaborate with the employees and bring new ideas to the table
- Keep an eye on how the employees are doing
The ideal leader for your ambassador team, should be able to both engage, motivate, lead others and be strongly represented on social media.
In order to succeed, the employees should feel involved and responsible. Instead of rolling out the program to all employees at once, you can start with the employees who have shown that they are interested in participating. Choose some from relevant departments – preferably from different locations in the organization. The most important thing is that your ambassadors are motivated. It won’t be successful if you push them into doing things.
There is a big difference in how employees use social media, and many might don’t know how to use them in a professional way. Because of that, there is a task in educating and training employees in how to use, for example, LinkedIn. This kind of training could include:
- Tips and tricks for the personal profile, and how to build relationships on social media
- Techniques for personal branding and influencer marketing
- The opportunities with sharing your own and others content
- Sharing knowledge across the team
- Social Selling
Recognize personal development
To ensure engagement and motivated employees, make sure that you reward and recognize them on a regular basis. Create a place where you can share stories of success, and possibly showcase the results from the employees of the ambassador team. For extra motivation, consider contests, where the best employees are rewarded.
Next step is to make relevant content for your employees to share – both articles, infographics, video, podcasts etc. When working with enriching content for the ambassadors, here are some tips:
- Use a “hub” or a place, where the employees easily can find and share approved content
- Give your employees specific links, pictures and maybe some inspiration on what to write in their posts
- Inspire by showing examples of social media post’s
- Invite key employees to participate in content planning
- Allow employees to contribute with content that can be shared.
It is very different which content is relevant, when talking employee advocacy. It could be anything from news regarding the company, enriching articles, employee stories, reports, job postings, case studies etc.
It can’t be said enough – measuring the effect is important. If you want to ensure effective employee advocacy, you must measure and communicate the results to the employees.
Based on the purpose of the program, a plan is set for which KPI’s you want to measure. Make sure to focus on results that can motivate employees to continue the good work. Another important reason to measure, is to get to know where there is room for improvement, and thereby an opportunity to regulate in the future.