In this blog, we discuss employee advocacy programs which are an absolute must for companies using social media to promote their brands. Your employees are your brand ambassadors, and there’s no one better to promote your company and maximise the reach of company posts. Read on for the how…
What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy is the promotion of a business by its employees. It’s an invaluable way for companies using social media to market their brands. It’s been shown that people are 16 times more likely to read a post about a brand that a friend has posted – rather than a post by the company itself.
Company posts shared by employees not only become more credible, but their reach also grows exponentially. Imagine a business of only 100 employees, each of which has 200 friends, on two different social media platforms. If the employees share the message on both platforms, it will reach 40 000 people in the first instance! And, if the content is good (especially entertaining), the employees’ friends will share the message again – and their friends again…
Here’s how to create an employee advocacy program in 5 steps:
1. Set the scene
If you’d like your employees to be brand ambassadors, they’ll need to love their jobs far more than their salary. So, you’ll need to create a unique, caring and positive company ethos that sets the scene for a healthy interactive culture which could include:
• gratitude (for clients’ business and employment)
• social inclusivity
• encouragement of self-development and care
Who wouldn’t want to base their company culture on these tenets?
2. Get the ball rolling
Once you’ve created a truly happy company culture, you can get going and ask your employees to start advocating on your behalf. You can motivate them by reminding them that the better the business does, the more opportunity there is for career progression.
When they do start sharing company posts, it’s essential that you recognize their efforts. An ‘advocate of the month’ prize may seem a little outdated, but it works. You can also ask them what kind of incentives they prefer. The more your employees participate in the decision-making process, the more successful the program.
It’s essential to make advocacy easy. There are some excellent phone apps available which make participation across all platforms seamless. And do remember, it’s not good business practice to enforce participation or to be prejudice against employees who don’t want to join in.
3. Give guidance
A social media policy doesn’t only have to protect employers and employees from breaking the law; it also needs to include communication guidelines. Your employees need to understand and use the correct brand voice and should know how often, and when to post. They also need guidance on how to manage comments and when to refer the messages back to the company social media manager.
4. Lead from the front
One of the barriers to the success of advocacy campaigns is the lack of participation from senior management. It’s essential that management lead from the front, share the company posts and comment on the content. It all comes down to establishing a good habit, committing a small daily amount of time, and having fun!
When senior management leads from the front regarding advocacy, it also helps to align the social media strategy with key business objectives continually.
5. Track the right metrics
Once you’ve got the program up and running, it’s essential that you measure the results.
Here are some metrics worth tracking:
• Which advocates are generating the most engagement?
• Organic reach – how many people are seeing the content shared by your employees
• Engagement – how many people are liking, linking, leaving comments and re-sharing content
• How much website traffic did the content shared by employee advocates drive to your website?
It’s important to report back to your advocates to inspire them and to continue to incentivize them.
Killer content: A must
There’s no point in creating an advocacy program if you don’t invest in creating extraordinary content. Your employees will only participate if they love the content and are proud to share it. FinCommunications has pioneered a new fresh style of financial writing that’s both conversational (sometimes even entertaining) and factually correct. It works! Our readership and engagement stats speak for themselves.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for financial content that your employees will be proud to share.
PS: We’re also establishing a new business – FinSubscriptions – which will provide the opportunity to subscribe to financial articles that are topical, relevant and superbly written. Watch this space! We’re due to launch in February 2019.