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From Employees to Ambassadors: Building a Strong Social Media Advocacy Program

Employee advocacy

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March 25 2024 - When needing brand advocates, companies frequently consider outsiders like social media influencers. While this may be the case, keep in mind that your employees are familiar with your business and have the ability to give your brand's reputation a distinctive voice. Therefore, your employees are your best brand ambassadors.

There are several advantages to employee advocacy for the company and the employees. And your people may be already talking about their jobs on social media.

Giving them a voice and encouraging them to share your content on social media can increase your organic reach and build a dynamic community that people will trust and engage with immediately. Doing this will transform your employees into brand ambassadors and "social employees" who use social media platforms for external engagement and teamwork.

What is Employee Advocacy?

Employee advocacy is when employees are endorsing their employers or organizations. Although this advertising can take place offline or online, nowadays, social media is the most popular and efficient platform for doing this.

Employees engage in social media advocacy when they share company content on their personal social media accounts. It covers everything, from job advertisements and blog posts to industry information and new product launches.

Employee advocacy can increase a business's organic reach through its messaging. It can bring in new business because individually shared content from employees has a higher conversion rate than branded messaging among their immediate network. It also enhances your standing as an employer of choice.

How to Build an Employee Advocacy Program on Social Media

Set Your Goals

Creating a solid foundation of employee advocates starts with this. Consider the potential benefits of publishing content on social media, such as gaining more followers, receiving more applications, hiring people more quickly, etc. Talk to the different stakeholders in your marketing, sales, and hiring departments to establish clear KPIs and allowable error margins.

After that, choose the channel for the material based on the KPIs you have researched. For example, LinkedIn is best if your employee advocacy program focuses on recruitment KPIs. However, Twitter can be a better option if you provide think pieces relevant to spark interest. At this point, you may also start tracking the program's results by implementing a social media analytics platform.

Identify Employee Advocacy Leaders

The people who are already social media superstars should be the true leaders of your employee advocacy program, despite the temptation to name members of your executive team as program leaders.

Focus on who utilizes social media naturally rather than on title or rank. This person may be the one building a brand on the platform, the one sharing industry material organically, the face of your firm with numerous social media connections, or the one passionate about the field.

Provide them the authority to contribute to developing your employee advocacy campaign. Involve them in goal-setting, communicating campaigns, and creating incentives. In return, they will help you discover resources and tools employees are most inclined to share and use.

Then, before deploying your program throughout the entire organization, collaborate with your advocacy leaders to find suitable beta testers. They can offer frank criticism and serve as a guide for your employee advocacy program.

Market the Value of the Advocacy Program

Your employees must believe participating in your employee advocacy program will benefit them. It will comprise both monetary incentives and non-monetized benefits like workplace recognition. Interestingly, non-monetary incentives might sometimes be more successful than monetary ones.

Moreover, integrating social gamification into your employee advocacy program can yield significant advantages. Not only does it boost morale among employees, but the promise of being rewarded also motivates them to keep sharing company content. This, in turn, can amplify your brand's visibility, expand your reach to employees' extended networks, and more.

Provide Training

It is not reasonable to expect employees to succeed without providing them with social media best practices training or support. Ensure to give self-service learning opportunities for employees and a few in-person training sessions for those who would rather have a more hands-on demonstration when you launch your advocacy program.

Onboard Influencers

When you are ready, it is time to onboard chosen (and motivated) employees into your advocacy initiative. Explain thoroughly your KPIs, outline their function within the process, and demonstrate how their input benefits the business. To tailor your content collection to their interests, find out what interests them. Doing this will ensure that participants are not just pursuing rewards but are engaged in the material.

Create Informative and Engaging Content

Content is the backbone of every employee advocacy program. Superior content will inevitably attract more attention and increase conversion rates for both applicants and clients. To build the ideal library, consider your influencer's preferred content sources. To deepen the connection, you may also ask the influencers to be the authors of this content. Then, you can post these materials on social media to amplify your voice and theirs.

Bottom Line

When it comes to building an effective social media strategy, employee advocacy is a powerful tool. You can reach a wider audience than your own by encouraging your staff to share company material on their networks. Investing in these initiatives expands your audience and allows you to learn from their interaction with the content they share. An integrated approach to employee advocacy can be wise for any company trying to expand its reach across many channels in the modern era.

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