Before tools like Facebook or Instagram, companies would spend hundreds of thousands in marketing through ads to get your attention on their products. As brands move directly to consumers with social media, it is simply a matter of investing more time and a lot less money by implementing programs that boost social media advocates within the company. So what are employee social advocates, and why are they so important for your business?
What are Employee Social Advocacy Programs?
A social media employee advocacy program is a custom-built system to increase employee social engagement to help improve company’s sales and marketing efforts. Well-structured employee advocacy programs are successful when everyone is aligned on business objectives and employees go beyond their immediate responsibilities to contribute to the social development of the company.
Why Do Companies Need Employee Social Advocacy?
Lack of employee advocacy is often a glaring hole in a company’s marketing strategy. Employee social media advocates give you reach, trustworthiness, and authenticity. Companies can take advantage of social advocacy in the following ways.
- Social advocacy can increase SEO and traffic to the company website.
- Studies show consumers will listen to individuals more than brands.
- Employee advocacy can expand content distribution by 8-10x or more helping your company reach a much larger audience.
What Makes an Effective Social Advocacy Program?
Great Culture: Giving employees an influence in sales and marketing efforts of the company creates a stronger corporate culture rooted in trust. It’s about sharing your goals with employees and continuing your brand culture of transparency. Show them they’re making a positive impact for the business.
Consistent Guidelines: Strong participation matched with company guidelines encourage even more participation to follow.
Variety and Options: You must allow your employees to choose the role that fits their skills and interests and gives them opportunity to become thought leaders and grow their own sphere of influence. Don’t ignore employees’ personal brand or rely too heavily on incentives.
A Platform: There are plenty of tools employees can use to share their brand (like Hootsuite). Software can help individuals of a company easily share content with employees (and vice-versa).
Measurable Metrics: It’s important to observe what works and what doesn’t in your social media programs. Figuring out which actions, messages and channels need to be improved can significantly affect the overarching objectives of your business.
An “All-Star” Advocate: Start small, with a few highly dedicated set of individuals, then use their success to bring new employees on board. Molding the rules for strong employees who use social media on behalf of the brand can ensure successful outreach.
Coaching: Build a system of counsel, and allow employees to accept continuous feedback from others while keeping employees up to date on any changes in the use of social media.