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Tactics to Increase Employee Engagement on Social Media [Podcast]

Casey Hall is the Head of Social Media for Business Communications at Thomson Reuters. On this episode, Casey reveals how Thomson Reuters uses best practices to enable employees to use social media. 

You probably know the Thomson Reuters name for their news business services - but, did you know that they’re also a provider of information for professionals in finance, law and other B2B disciplines? They provide actionable insights from data and information to help their professional clients serve their customers better and find the best answer. Thomson Reuters is a public company with 45,000 employees across the globe.

Initial Goals for Employee Advocacy at Thomson Reuters

The employee advocacy program at Thomson Reuters originated from their social selling program which started about four and a half years ago. Employees realized the benefit of connecting with prospects on LinkedIn, and how it allowed them to see the daily chatter. Thomson Reuters encourages their employees to engage with their network of data scientists, finance, and accounting professionals by sharing the brand’s message. Leveraging their employees’ networks allows them to increase their reach and enhance the authenticity of the message since it’s coming from a real person, the employee.

The employee advocacy program also helps with internal communications. Employees engage with each other and share what’s going on in their part of the organization. The program allows Thomson Reuters to augment their branded social media channels. In today’s world of social media, there's a lot of one to one engagement, and that’s what employee advocacy provides.

Challenges to Launching an Employee Advocacy Program

Casey says his biggest mistake when starting the program was trying to scale too big, too fast. They did see a lot of people sign on in the beginning, but the platform wasn’t getting used. They saw a significant drop in activity which Casey says was related to the fact that they hadn’t quite figured out the onboarding process yet.

With only one shot to onboard employees, they decided to switch to a crawl, walk, run approach. They did so by finding groups of employees who were interested in engaging online and using them as examples to attract future advocates. As people saw the program’s success, other employees wanted to get involved too.

Getting Started and Onboarding Employees

The first step of the training involved for the employee advocacy program is education on LinkedIn. Casey works with Thomson Reuters’ Global Learning Center to work with employees around the world on improving their LinkedIn profiles. The goal is that once they’ve gotten the hang of LinkedIn and start to see results, they’ll be inspired to learn more about employee advocacy and social selling.

The training teaches their employees how to engage, find content, share content and informs them of the guidelines on what’s okay to share. Employees are encouraged to behave as they would in real life. GaggleAMP is the platform used to pre-populate content for employees to make it as easy as possible. There are a variety of content streams that are filled with content from groups across the company. Employees can join any stream that’s relevant to them, thereby enabling them to easily share a post with a single click.

Measuring the Impact of an Employee Advocacy Program

GaggleAMP provides a lot of data on shares, reach, and general engagement. Casey looks at employee engagement as an aggregate channel and compares the data to their branded social media channels. In many cases, the employee advocacy program provides more reach than Thomson Reuters’ branded social media accounts.

A final point that Casey leaves us with is how influential it is to see leadership engaging on social media. It establishes the importance of the program and encourages employees to partake. Tune into the episode to hear more about the employee engagement program at Thomson Reuters. Share it with your friends so they can get in on the employee advocacy action.

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