The rise of employee advocacy in the digital marketing industry is no longer surprising news. Along with its well-curated bells and whistles, comes its reputation as a valuable medium that could skyrocket your brand and company’s status up to the stratosphere. Many marketers point that if you want to build your brand, you better start it within the confines of your four-walled empire – start with the employees.
But just how many companies take this advice to heart?
Employees are no longer just workforce component. They’re now one of the mediums that will help you extend the reach of your brand. With over 2.80 billion active global social media users today, it only makes sense to persuade your employees to promote and share updates about your brand in their social media networks.
The Social Power
When you’re empowering employees on social channels, you’re also creating brand ambassadors with significant potential. Of course, making your employees as your brand advocates is highly beneficial to your business. In fact, 64% of employee advocates commend Employee Advocacy for developing and attracting new business while 45% credits their revenue streams to it.
Suffice to say; Employee Advocacy is now a force to reckon with in many digital marketing campaigns. You need to encourage the employees to participate which can sometimes be challenging. But it’s often the execution that’s the hardest. It’s the part where most marketers fail to transcend accurately.
To avoid falling into the pit of failed Employee Advocacy campaigns due to improper execution, here are the following guidelines that you can abide by.
1. Build a Solid Context
Every successful Employee Advocacy campaign begins with a solid background. To create a stable and long-term initiative, a strong and united belief among the participants must be present. Remember, that genuine advocacy is a driving force behind social shares, and it’s not something that you can buy or force.
You need to instill a “want” in your employees. They need to be real brand advocates which start by answering the question “Why would I promote my own company?” If the employees can answer it with honesty, then they’re fit for the task.
Below are other ways you can get your employees participation.
2. Set Specific Plans, Goals, and KPIs
To get the most out of employee advocacy and to stay focused on outcomes, it’s imperative to have specific goals, plans, and KPIs.
You need to be clear with the following;
- What are the goals of your Employee Advocacy programs?
- How will you measure your results and monitor the participation of your staff?
Set the following measurable goals;
- Improve web traffic.
- Expand leads.
- Reduce marketing expenses.
- Boost event registrations.
3. Introduce The Concept To Your Employees
Add the idea of Employee Advocacy to the employees in an exciting way. If possible, ask for your community leader’s help to evaluate the best method to explain the idea to your employees.
Below are the things you need to adhere to when you introduce Employee Advocacy to your employees.
- Disclose your social media goals and ideas with the employees.
- Share the responsibility of representing the brand.
- Ask for their comments and feedback.
- Make your campaign launch inspiring and exciting.
4. Facilitate An Interactive Training Or Workshop
Training or workshops will render you an orderly start so that you can hit the ground running. It also impedes possible blunders. Thus, training is indispensable, to inaugurate a productive program.
If you neglect or take training for granted, you might face the following outcomes;
- Poor productivity
- Slow growth
- Irreversible mistakes
You can avoid the outcomes above if you have an exhaustive and well thought-out training program. It’s also ideal to prevent employee advocacy hang-ups because once you start, correcting mistakes and procedures will get messy.
Don’t forget to make a summary of the key points of the training sessions then send it to your employees. It will serve as a reminder on how to participate in an Employee Advocacy campaign.
5. Appoint A Representative For Your Employee Advocacy Campaign
When you set everything and check mark all the pre-launch checklist, the next thing to do is find a leader. It’s difficult to convey your ideas to a large group of people that’s why you need to appoint a spokesperson, a representative.
Choose someone who can;
- Deliver your ideas with your employees.
- Catch the interest of his or her office mates.
- Help you comprehend your employees’ take on things.
- Work with other people to spin fresh stories and ideas for Employee Advocacy campaign.
- Look over the social communication within the team.
- Propose relevant improvements and changes to your Employee Advocacy campaign.
No matter what your goals are, always choose the person who will guide your employees and stand with them rather than boss them around. Employee Advocacy functions from positivity, goodwill and requires a candidate who fits in that part.
6. Launch A Pilot Run
The adoption pace of Employee Advocacy among companies is becoming quick. Most of these businesses prefer to skip a preliminary run and directly launch a large scale campaign. The downside of this action is that it only produces a low employee engagement.
Hence, you need to create a pilot with rooms for experiments and tests different kinds of internal communication systems and content before you settle down on the most doable format.
For a multinational organization, it’s advisable to try Employee Advocacy on one branch then gradually expand, that is, if you’re confident about the KPIs you see. As for smaller organizations, you can start with one department before involving the rest. It’s always a wise move to test a certain procedure before locking it down.
Employee Advocacy is no longer a new buzzword, but due to the presence of social media, it easily becomes a powerhouse in digital marketing. And through the application of the right strategies and technologies, tapping into your employees’ network make it possible to leverage the reach of your social media messages to greater heights.
On one hand, an Employee Advocacy campaign will not work and will only lead to publicity blunders if it doesn’t have the right foundation. It heavily depends on having active and sincere staff, and an excellent blend of corporate culture. Remember that, at the end of the day people will not volunteer to endorse a company unless they genuinely feel valued in the first place.