On an average, the employees of any company have 10x the connections of the brand's official social channels. If companies are able to generate a certain amount of visibility through the social channels they own, it's safe to say that that visibility could be exponentially increased through the addition of their employees' social channels. This is why establishing a good employee advocacy system can deliver significant benefits to a company.
The elements of employee advocacy
Employee advocacy is a pretty straight-forward concept - you activate your employees on social media, getting them to share brand-related content in order to amplify your brand's voice. For consistent performance you need motivators, and to monitor results you need indicators. This can be done in two ways - manually, or using tools.
If you go down the manual path, you'll need to track progress and manage the show by yourself. Which is why tools are generally the preferred option.
Four great employee advocacy tools
Elevate is the built-in employee advocacy system on LinkedIn and it lets you share curated content across the massive, professionally-focused social platform. Being built-in allows this tool several advantageous features - for instance, the ability to directly correlate your marketing efforts and the number of views your company profile has.
Apart from this LinkedIn Elevate functions like most other employee advocacy tools. It uses LinkedIn's news feeds - Pulse and Newsle - to curate content specific to your needs and allows you and your employees to schedule and share this content across LinkedIn and Twitter. Direct access to professional networks makes Elevate a great way of influencing not just customers, but also potential hires and possible partners.
The first thing you notice about DrumUp is the minimalistic, intuitive design. Everything is just where it should be. As the admin of an employee advocacy account on DrumUp, you can share custom or curated posts on your company stream, giving your employees easy access to it. Admins can also make quick shares from a customizable content library reserve.
To encourage employees to share from the content stream, the app has an inventive point-system and leader-board. The tool is also equipped with analytics tools that are able to track each employees' activity and measure which content performs best.
Also an application for social media management (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter), DrumUp's Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning based algorithms are written to drive intelligent curation of content based on keywords that you set. This makes the app great for tracking content from your industry.
As a big proponent of "People Powered Marketing", Dynamic Signal has incorporated innovative ways of doing just that into their platform, "VoiceStorm". The application gives extra importance to employees and is build to get them to engage with it. For instance, you can send out surveys, quizzes, and other fun, interactive activities to stay connected with your team members. Voice Storm's seen some exciting additions in terms of employee messaging and motivators, including the ability to send real-time notifications and reminders. Another cool feature is the personalized invitations where employees can add their own thoughts to event invites, stepping up the personalization factor.
The tool also has extensive analytics that supplement each of the features packaged into it.
As an application that's created to collect employees' professional stories and turn them into as assets, Brand Amper has a unique approach to brand advocacy. Also referred to as a branding platform, this tool works on the principle of bold and complete transparency. Brand Amper has studied approaches to transparency and advocates an employee-centric approach to get an accurate image of any company out there where it matters. The ultimate goal is to facilitate candid shares by employees, on a digital platform, in order to build both the employee's professional image and the company's employer image. The stories highlight what's true about a company and work as means of reaching potential recruits.
One of the most interesting aspects of this tool is their implementation of a great method of capturing a company's employer brand to be displayed on digital and social media.
How to build a successful employee advocacy program
1. Set your goals: Figure out the specifics of what you want to create with employee advocacy.
2. Keep your brand's identity consistent: It's important to ensure that your employees' brand shares follow a certain tone that you set. Decide and reinforce how you want them to represent the company.
3. Establish metrics to measure results: Massive activity demands justification. Make sure to closely assess the numbers.
4. Be the right amount of flexible: Give them choices, and of course they've got to have personal shares, but set firm guidelines for brand related shares (do's and don'ts, words to use and not use, etc.)
5. Make it fun: Keep your motivators, incentives, and spirit up and running. Remember that it is a team effort, so you've got to make it fun for everyone.
It doesn't matter if your company's young or seasoned, your employees stand for what you are in the world, especially in a world where existence is digital and noise levels are high. If you aren't harnessing the viability of your employees' voices, you're certainly missing out on a considerable opportunity.