Employee advocacy, like brand advocacy, is another way to promote your business without singing your own praises.
In a nutshell, it is the promotion of a business’ products, campaigns and culture by its workforce, usually through social media. This can help boost brand reputation and make recruitment easier.
Your employees already have social media profiles and may well be promoting the business independently if they’re passionate about their work or want to position themselves as thought leaders.
But, introducing an employee advocacy program standardises the process and makes it easier for them to share content. In fact, research shows that 58.8% of employees in a formal employee advocacy program spend more than five hours a week socially promoting their employer than those who are not (Hinge Marketing).
This potential means that businesses are increasingly implementing a formal employee advocacy program, and one that particularly interests me is Adobe. Their Social Shift Program exists today because Head of Adobe’s Social Business Center of Excellence, Cory Edwards, discovered that a single employee’s social media activities drove more revenue for the company than its own social networking accounts did.
So, how do you use employee advocacy as part of your social selling strategy?
Getting the ball rolling
Setting out a strategy will help ensure your program runs smoothly and it’s best practice to follow these steps.
- Define your objectives
Set clear, timely goals that will allow you to analyse if your efforts are working. This will also make it easier for participating employees to understand the purpose of the program.
- Involve the leadership and get their buy-in
This is a crucial step and without it, the rest of your strategy won’t work effectively.
- Highlight the benefits
Demonstrate to employees what’s in it for them – you can offer rewards and incentives for the top advocates but also highlight that their involvement will bolster their personal brand and employability.
- Train participants
Provide employees with the necessary technology to be an advocate and onboard them with some (not overly strict) brand guidelines and best practices.
- Reveal admin personnel
This gives employees a point of contact for queries. The admin will oversee content activity and give employees a real person to relate the activity to.
- Launch, optimise and repeat
Launch your program with some curated content ready for employees to share. Like anything new, you might encounter problems, but this is where analysis and adjustment take place to make sure the program continues successfully.
To find out more, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call a member of the team on 01926422002 to discuss your social selling strategy.