When Employees Back Their Brand as Social Media Ambassadors

Written by: Disha Dinesh

The perfect business plan is the one that writes itself with little support from you or external factors. Essentially, it is leveraging available resources and filling all the right gaps in your market – from production and marketing perspectives.

Your organization has untapped social capital in its employees. Did you know that your employees could boost your social visibility by up to 561%?

Think about it. Say your brand has 3,000 connections on social, and your employees 500 each. If you have a 1,000 employees you could potentially have 500,000 views on social. For example, see how Adobe fared on their attempt at social media advocacy.

How to initiate and implement an employee advocacy program

Requirements are three-fold: your employees cooperation, great content and a platform to manage the program.

  1. Begin by creating excitement for the program

    excitement

Enthusiasm is an important factor for the program to succeed. This is simple enough to create considering the benefits that employees could get from participating in the program.

  1. Access to high-quality industry related content
  2. An opportunity to build a reputation on their social profiles
  3. Means to build relationships with important people in the industry

Of course, you’ll also have to add incentives or other motivators to keep employees engaged. In fact, employees employee advocacy is an excellent means of recognizing and engaging employees, and engaged employees also perform better at work (research by Talent Cove).

  1. Choose an employee advocacy platform to manage your program

Here’s what that program must have:

  1. A gamification process (points and a leader board) so your employees can view how they are performing in comparison with their peers
  2. Provision to upload custom posts and curate industry content to share with employees with ease
  3. Easy scheduling of content from employees’ dashboards
  4. Analytics to measure the progress of your program
  5. Effortless management of the entire program from the admin dashboard

The most challenging aspect of an employee advocacy program is the consistent involvement necessary from your employees’ side.

As far as popular platform’s go, DrumUp employee advocacy platform has self executing broadcast of company and news feeds to employees accounts which saves you tons of time. Kredible helps you optimize yours and your employees’ social profiles and Brand Amper is an interesting app that lets you collect employees’ stories for social media. Cirulate.It is great in running an employee advocacy program via email. LinkedIn Elevate is the right choice for a brand with a strong presence on LinkedIn.

  1. Elect a community manager for intercommunication and efficiency

    manager

The program manager has to be a great team player. You don’t have to choose senior management for this role, a people’s person who can work with everyone should be your choice.

His/her duties will include:

  • Overseeing of the program and participation
  • Communicating employees’ concerns to you
  • Keeping the program upbeat and exciting
  • Organizing monthly meetings to reward the best participants
  1. Provide employees with necessary training

Employee advocacy requires skill in social media marketing and basic knowledge of how to use platforms to their maximum potential. Arm your employees with that know-how and see how they can surprise you with results.

Have short seminars on – why employee advocacy is necessary, the kind of content to post, how to best represent a brand on social media, social media best practices and social media red flags to avoid.

  1. Run a pilot before you go company-wide

These factors contribute to employee advocacy success and therefore, must be tested for optimization:

  1. Content that you share (must gain popularity among employees and on social media)
  2. Time of posting
  3. Frequency of posting

Finally, remember that your employees aren’t billboards. Treat them as partners in marketing, trust them with decisions and provide them with everything the require to wholeheartedly participate. If you’ve set a strong context and given them sufficient training you will find that you have created an invaluable marketing system.

Author bio: Disha Dinesh is a Content Writer at Godot Media, a leading content agency. Her interests include social media and content marketing. When she’s not writing, she’s on the hunt for social media trends and inspiration.

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Andre Bourque (SocialMarketingFella) is Editor Emeritus of Technorati.

He covers emerging trends and news in social, mobile, cloud, and related technologies.

Based in San Francisco, he can be contacted via his social channels and at: andrefbourque@gmail.com

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