An employee advocacy program is a marketing strategy used to promote an organization through the social media channels of its own staff members. An employee advocate's job is to leverage their social network to shine a positive light on their company and help their organization reach a wider audience.
For our last #SMTLive Twitter chat, we talked about the benefits and challenges that marketers face when implementing an employee advocacy program. We were lucky to have Cameron Brain, CEO of EveryoneSocial, cohosting this chat to share his expertise on the topic. Here is a brief recap of our discussion.
Why is it important to have employee advocates on social media?
A1: Employee advocates can help give your brand authenticity & show the human side of the organization. People often trust people, rather than a brand voice #SMTLive— Christine Delaney (@cdelaney_1231) November 13, 2018
Basically, every time your employee advocates share or engage with their networks, they’re helping to bring your company’s brand and message to a whole new audience in an authentic way that your traditional marketing efforts could never replicate on their own.
How do you incentivize/encourage participation?
A2.3 - I’ve got to give props to our head of client success @cdhecklinger who does a fantastic job working with our clients to come up w/ sustainable incentives, one of which is social recognition: shout out or a recommendation from an executive. #SMTLive— Cameron Brain (@cameronbrain) November 13, 2018
A2 I've seen some folks leverage leaderboards where the prizes are less monetary, and more focused back on the employee's personal brand.... for example the leader receives an endorsement or recommendation from an executive on their linkedin profile #SMTLive— Eric Fuessel (@foose801) November 13, 2018
Digital gift cards, donations to charity of choice, and shoutouts from execs are great incentives. #SMTLive— Robin Selvy Re (@RobinSelvy) November 13, 2018
An all-employee email/post to an internal messaging board saying thanks for the support. Or retweeting/sharing from exec's social profile. #SMTLive— Robin Selvy Re (@RobinSelvy) November 13, 2018
A2: We encourage participation by highlighting the accomplishments of our employees that show our involvement in the community, show the quality of our organization and/or how we have a great team in our system. #smtlive pic.twitter.com/vtNCC1BaXX— Aspirus (@AspirusHealth) November 13, 2018
A2.2) We also UPCYCLE the employee content. Starts with the employee share, we then engage (which encourages more sharing) and then we showcase that employee-generated content (EGC) on our channels, to encourage more sharing. This strategy also drives BUSINESS OUTCOMES! #SMTLIve pic.twitter.com/wUDwhNo1Fv— Carmen S. Collins ????????♀️ (@CShirkeyCollins) November 13, 2018
What challenges can arise?
Solid point! But then they should reshare/amplify that content that others have already created/posted. It's actually better that way vs. everyone in their own isolated echo chamber. #SMTLive— Robin Selvy Re (@RobinSelvy) November 13, 2018
A3.5 - Also, you need to make sure you’ve got a passionate admin team. These are the people that are going to be responsible for your program on a day to day basis. More than anything they need to CARE about what they’re doing. If you have that you’ll have a big leg up. #SMTLive— Cameron Brain (@cameronbrain) November 13, 2018
Great point! I think a lot of it goes back to creating a positive culture where employees from top to bottom feel invested and passionate about the organization. #SMTLive— Christine Delaney (@cdelaney_1231) November 13, 2018
Want to be a part of an #SMTLive community chat? Join us during our next Twitter chat: RSVP here.