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Getting Started with an Employee Advocacy Program

This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Getting Started with an Employee Advocacy Program. Our panelists were: Susan Emerick the Founder and CEO of Brands Rising, Robert Nolte the Vice President of Business Development for Everyone Social, and Heather Dopson a well-known thought leader in social business strategy and employer social empowerment. This webinar was sponsored by Everyone Social who will also be hosting a special Employee Advocacy Summit on September 15 in Atlanta the day before the Social Shake Up Conference.

Susan set the stage with some tips and stats on getting started with employee advocacy. One of the stats Susan showed was really well received by the Twitter community and that was: 52% of people find regular employees as a credible source for information about a company. This is in contrast to some of the Edelman Trust Barometer research that shows a lack of distrust coming from company news. Susan also suggested you find an internal champion or better yet “Be the Champion”of your employee advocacy program/

Rob then discussed why companies are investing in employee advocacy programs and more importantly what’s in it for the employee who participates. 4 factors seemed to be key to employees who participated: 1) all appropriate content is sourced for them, 2) there is one place for content sharing, 3) sharing can be done via multiple channels 4) and most importantly – they can build their own brand and establish thought leadership.

Heather took over and give us an inside view of how Infusionsoft made a case for employee advocacy and how they launched a program from the bottom up. Some of her tips were to establish social guidelines or as she called them "guardrails" for the employees so they know what they can and can’t do (thereby eliminating any "fear factor"). She also recommended taking a hands on approach to helping individuals build their brand – this factor really seemed to keep the participation level high – which is always a concern when launching a program like this.

Now, if you have ever been on a Social Media Today webinar before, you know they are very “participant-driven” and we love to ask your questions of our panelists. Many of the questions from our audience revolved around topics such as: How to sell an employee advocacy program into senior management? How to get started with an employee advocacy program? How do you determine that your employee advocacy program is a success?

If that piqued your interest, you will want to hear the replay of this webinar, so please click on this link. Otherwise we hope you will join us on another Social Media Today webinar! The next webinar is on Transform Events into Meaningful Experiences: Lessons in Real-Time Marketing, signup for it or just view the schedule of upcoming webinars here.

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