If you have a business, an employee advocacy program may be the right fit for you. If you are not aware of what employee advocacy is, you should take note. It is when your workforce becomes a promoter for your brand. Although this can take place across various mediums, social media is the one we want to focus on.
Just to give you an idea of its benefits, let’s look at some statistics.
- Content that is shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than when shared by the brand itself. It is all about brand trust on social media.
- 79% of businesses report that they experienced more online visibility after implementing an employee advocacy program. In addition, 65% reported increased brand recognition.
Here are five steps to creating an employee advocacy program for your business.
1. Create a great workplace culture
For so many people, work is about a paycheck. If you want your employees to love more than the money you pay them, you need to invest in developing the right company culture. To this end, you want to build authentic connections with your employees. Let them know their future is important to you by providing opportunities for learning and development. It is also important to show fairness when it comes to disputes and promotions. Doing all this helps boost trust.
Another way to help foster a stronger bond is work at building a connection to the work they do. Not every company is out saving the world but there are ways you can help your employees feel like their work is making a difference. Here are a few:
- Charity – Any initiatives towards giving back in some way.
- Focusing on service to the community
- Helping employees in need
2. Get employees on board
Now that you are starting to produce a positive environment, you need to get your employees on board with becoming advocates for your brand. Here are some ways to get them on board:
- Explain the benefits: Aside from building their own personal brand as a leader within their industry, they may also see more recognition at work as well as a promotion.
- Recognize a job well done: Employee engagement is most definitely tied to recognition of work. There are a few different ways you can show appreciation to your employees. Giving them a shout out during a meeting or do an “employee of the month” program. Of course if you wanted to offer up other things like bonuses or gift cards, those would be received well too.
- Turn to your employees for ideas: Let them come up with some ideas for incentives.
- Pick something interesting for them to promote: This could be a new product or an upcoming event.
- Be enthusiastic: In order for your employees to be pumped about sharing your content, you need to show enthusiasm.
3. Come up with goals
In order for your employee advocacy program to be successful, you need to set up some well defined goals. If you are trying to boost awareness around your brand, you can request that your employees share more posts about your brand. If you are having a product launch, you can create some content around that product for them to share. Some additional goals can be, increasing website traffic from your social media channels, boosting organic reach etc.
4. Create social media guidelines
It is essential that you come up with posting guidelines for your employee advocacy program. By doing this, your employees will:
- Have a clear idea of how the message should be communicated
- What tone to use
- When to post
- Where to post
- How often to post
- How to go about responding to comments
Not to mention guidelines will help keep your brand out of trouble with respect to legality and security risks. You also want to ask for input from your employees so that they feel more a part of the process.
5. Come up with social media metrics to track
In order to know if your employee advocacy program is working and on the right track, you need to track certain metrics. Here are some key metrics to look out for:
- Who are your top contributors? Who is posting the most and who is seeing the most engagement.
- What are the organic reach levels? How many people are seeing the content being shared.
- What type of engagement are they receiving? Are people responding with clicks and comments? If you are posting to multiple platforms, be sure to look at each platform individually.
- What does website traffic look like? Did you see an uptick from their posting and sharing of your content?
You don’t need a special analytics tool for this. Whatever you use to track your other social media efforts will do. Just be sure to track these metrics so that you can adjust your employee advocacy program efforts accordingly. Lastly, don’t forget to share the results with your employees!