Employee advocacy is one of the biggest trends of the moment, and if you've not yet got on the band wagon, I would highly recommend it.
The key question, however, is what metrics should you be tracking to measure the effectiveness of your employee advocacy program? You can start by measuring post shares, of course, you can measure retweets, Likes, but what are those in the larger scale of things? To maximize your efforts, you need to go a lot deeper than this.
Here are a few KPIs to help measure your program's effectiveness:
1. Number of employees signed up against number of active users
A big part of your employee advocacy program getting your employees on board with the plan. How will you get them to share your content via their own social media channels? Will you educate them on the benefits of sharing your content and explain what's in it for them? Will you provide different levels of training to suit all capability levels? These elements are a must.
You may think that this's no big deal because 30% of the employees that signed up are all posting, and this is great, but unless employees see the benefits right away, they're likely to quickly lose interest. However, with the right training at the start you can forewarn them on the realities of social media - for example that engagement will not happen overnight and why they should post additional content to improve their online personal presence. Without this, employees will become disengaged and stop posting your content.
2. Post engagement
By using a social media collaboration platform to post your content, reports can be easily generated to examine the number of likes, retweets, shares, as well as identify which employees are posting content. By having access to these figures, you can then strategise as to the types of content, topics, and networks that works best for you, and use this as your benchmark when creating content in the future.
3. Website traffic
Google Analytics can help you identify if clicks have led to an increase in website traffic. It is, however, highly important to, in particular, look at the bounce rate. This is the percentage of visitors who leave your website from the landing page. This is an important metric, because the whole reason for sending individuals to your website is to encourage them to research other pages and engage with your brand further to hopefully sway their buying decision.
A bounce rate between 26% and 40% is excellent, but anything over 70% should sound alarm bells - this is extremely high and drastic action should be taken immediately to reduce this. If your bounce rate's high, is there really any point at all in employee advocacy? The answer is yes, as it will increase your reach, but then what's the point if it doesn't lead to anything? While individual campaigns and companies will have differing views on bounce rate and it's relative impact, the first point of action should be addressing your core goals and how your advocacy efforts are building (or not) towards them.
4. Leads generated
This is a metric that's become more of a focus over the past year, with some suggesting that it's virtually impossible to measure in social. But you can't just assume that a revenue increase is because of social selling, there could be a number of factors contributing to this.
One way that you can you measure this is via a social media collaboration platform which records all engagement within your CRM system, such as Salesforce. This way, every post that receives engagement and leads to a sale can be tracked. This enables the brand to determine how effective social media is for generating sales, but it also enables the brand to make employees accountable for their social selling.
5. Brand reach
One of the fantastic things about social media is that it provides access to a much wider target audience, especially when you have an employee advocacy program in place. With this opportunity, you should look to monitor whether an increase in employees sharing brand content correlates directly to you receiving engagement from a wider audience. This can all be monitored on a social media collaboration platform, and also through Google Analytics. That's if, of course, they follow through and click on your link.
I'm sure you'll agree that there are numerous KPIs you could measure to measure the effectiveness of your employee advocacy program, but in my opinion these are the ones you should be paying the most attention to. And remember, employee advocacy will not be effective overnight, it takes time to build up; you need to be in it for the long term.