Brand Advocacy ~ 12 min

Leveraging Employee Advocacy: How to Improve Your Company’s Online Reputation

Communication Team, Experts in Internal Communication, Sociabble
Communication Team Experts in Internal Communication

Few things are more valuable to a business these days than its online reputation. Customers and clients increasingly rely on social media and online reviews to evaluate their options, and negative brand awareness can have a crushing effect on sales. 

So what’s the solution? Well, one extremely effective way to enhance your company’s reputation online is with employee advocacy, by encouraging your own employees to spread positive brand awareness across their own social networks with online reputation management. 

The importance of an online reputation management strategy

In the digital reality of today, it’s an undeniable fact: online reputation management is of paramount importance for every company. It plays a crucial role in shaping public perception and maintaining the brand’s image.

In an era when consumers rely heavily on online reviews and social media feedback before making purchase decisions, a company’s reputation online can have a significant impact on its bottom line.

A negative review or damaging post can spread quickly, causing potential customers to lose trust and existing customers to reconsider their loyalty. Online interaction is increasingly seen as a component of outstanding customer service. 

By effectively using online reputation management, companies can not only mitigate the potential harm of a negative review, but also leverage positive feedback to enhance their brand value, gain consumer trust, and drive business growth, thus driving strong business online.

someone giving likes

How to improve online reputation: employee advocacy is the secret ingredient 

When it comes to enhancing positive brand awareness, employee advocacy can be a powerful force in shaping a company’s online reputation. When employees share positive experiences and insights about their workplace on their personal social media accounts, they act as authentic ambassadors for the brand.

93% of consumers trust personal recommendations above all other forms of marketing

This kind of reputation management is particularly impactful considering that 93% of consumers trust personal recommendations above all other forms of marketing. Moreover, employees typically have 10 times more social connections than a company, exponentially expanding the reach of their endorsements and positive reviews on review sites.

The influence of employees on a company’s reputation extends beyond promotion; it also impacts consumer behavior.

According to research, 64% of consumers have stopped buying from a brand that treats its employees poorly. This underscores the importance of fostering a positive work environment that encourages employees to become advocates for a brand’s target audience. 

Therefore, promoting employee advocacy is not just beneficial but essential for companies aiming to boost their reputation and appeal to both potential customers and future talent. Online reputation management is a must in the digital age. To improve your online reputation, and to get better feedback on review sites, getting employees involved is key.

an employee texting to improve online reputation

6 steps to enhance employee advocacy program for your company’s reputation

We know employee advocacy can make a critical difference. But how can a company kickstart an online reputation management program and get employees involved?

Here are 6 proactive reputation management strategies you can use to encourage employee advocacy and start building a stronger online reputation for your brand: 

Give employees the tools needed to be successful advocates

So where do you begin? What is the first step to improve your online reputation? Well, start with the basics. The first and most crucial step to enhancing an employee advocacy program is actually equipping employees with the right tools to become successful advocates.

This not only involves providing them with the necessary training and guidelines but also giving them access to a platform that makes sharing company content easy and convenient. 

Without the right tools, even the most enthusiastic employees may struggle to effectively advocate for their company across social media channels. This is where a platform like Sociabble comes into play.

Sociabble is the leading employee advocacy platform for empowering employees to share approved brand content across their social media channels. Its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features simplify the process of content sharing, making it quick and effortless. 

With Sociabble, employees can become active participants in shaping their company’s reputation, and amplifying brand visibility and credibility. 

By turning employees into brand ambassadors, Sociabble helps companies tap into the powerful potential of employee advocacy, thereby significantly enhancing their brand’s online presence and reputation.

Furthermore, Sociabble allows access to approved information and resources that employees can safely share on their own social media accounts, such as Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook to name a few. Content can be shared in many formats, including images, gifs and even videos, allowing ambassadors to vary their social media posts.

easy to share in order to improve online reputation

Establish clear guidelines on how employees should represent the company online, including what to share and what not to

Once the tools are in place, it’s time to set up the guidelines. The second step to bolstering an employee advocacy program is establishing clear rules for how employees should represent the company online. These guidelines should provide a roadmap for employees, outlining what they can share and what they should avoid. 

They can also include a few tips on best practice and dos and donts. They should also encourage responsible social media use that aligns with the company’s brand values and brand voice.

For instance: employees might be encouraged to share positive experiences they’ve had at work, such as team-building events, professional achievements, or corporate social responsibility initiatives. However, they should be advised against sharing sensitive information like unannounced product launches, financial data, or internal disputes.

By providing specific examples within these guidelines, companies can ensure employees are well-equipped to advocate effectively and appropriately. This approach not only safeguards the company’s reputation but also builds trust and transparency between the company and its employees. 

Clear guidelines for online reputation management equip employees with the confidence and knowledge to become effective brand ambassadors, contributing positively to the company’s reputation online.

ugc online reputation

Encourage employee interaction with customers on social media platforms

The third step to optimizing an employee advocacy program is fostering employee interaction with customers on social media platforms. Encouraging such engagement can humanize your brand and foster stronger relationships with customers

Employees can respond to customer feedback, react to positive reviews, share insights, or simply engage in light-hearted conversations, all of which can enhance customer experience and satisfaction.

However, it’s important that employees are also prepared to handle negative reviews or feedback. Such situations should be approached with empathy and professionalism.

Instead of ignoring or deleting negative comments, employees should acknowledge the issue, apologize if necessary, and assure the customer that their concerns are being addressed. This shows that the company values its customers’ opinions and is committed to improving its services.

Remember, every interaction on social media is a chance to showcase your company’s commitment to customer satisfaction and its ability to handle criticism gracefully.

By encouraging employees to interact positively with customers on social media, companies can significantly boost their online reputation and build stronger relationships with their audience.

Use analytics to track employee advocacy efforts and measure success over time

At the end of the day, it’s all in the numbers. Analytics play a pivotal role in tracking and measuring the success of employee advocacy efforts over time. They provide quantifiable data about reach, engagement, and overall impact, which are key metrics in understanding how effectively employees are advocating for the company. 

For example, tracking reach can show the extent of your brand’s exposure through employee networks, while engagement statistics can reveal how audience members interact with the shared content.

Moreover, analytics can also help gauge the influence of employee advocacy on a company’s positive reputation online. By measuring variables like sentiment analysis, direct and indirect feedback, and changes in follower counts, companies can assess whether their reputation is improving as a result of their advocacy efforts.

This is where Sociabble analytics becomes invaluable. As part of the Sociabble platform, it comes with comprehensive, real-time analytics that help companies monitor all these aspects. It tracks individual and collective employee performance, providing insights on who the top advocates are, what type of content resonates most, and how these efforts are impacting the company’s reputation. 

With Sociabble analytics, companies can not only measure the effectiveness of their employee advocacy program but also make data-driven decisions to continually improve it, and thus the brand’s reputation as well.

analytics dashboard to monitor online reputation

Ask employees for feedback on their experience as an advocate so you can improve it

The fifth step to enhancing an employee advocacy program is encouraging upward communication by asking employees for feedback on their experiences as advocates. This is crucial as it ensures that the program remains effective and relevant, and continues to meet the needs of the employees. 

It also demonstrates to employees that their input is valued and considered, which can boost morale and engagement.

Feedback can provide insights into what’s working well in the program, what could be improved, and how employees feel about their role as advocates. This information can be invaluable in fine-tuning the program and making it more successful over time.

Sociabble makes this process effortless with its built-in survey feature. Companies can use this tool to quickly and easily gather feedback from employees, right within the platform. Employees can respond at their convenience, providing honest and valuable insights that can help shape the future of the company’s advocacy efforts. 

By actively seeking and responding to employee feedback, companies can continually improve their advocacy programs, leading to stronger employee engagement and a more positive online reputation.

survey feature to enhance online reputation

Foster a culture of collaboration between departments

The final, yet perhaps most significant step in creating a successful employee advocacy program is fostering a culture of collaboration across all departments.

Employee advocacy should not be confined to a single team or department; instead, it should be a company-wide initiative that unites everyone towards a common goal of enhancing the brand’s online reputation.

When employees from different departments collaborate, they bring diverse perspectives and ideas to the table, enriching the advocacy program. This cross-departmental collaboration can lead to more comprehensive and creative strategies for promoting the brand and engaging with audiences.

For instance, marketing can provide engaging content, sales can offer insights into customer preferences, and HR can offer guidance on employee engagement strategies.

Fostering such a collaborative environment also boosts morale and creates a sense of unity among employees. When everyone feels they are part of a shared mission, they are likely to be more invested in the success of the advocacy program. 

By encouraging interdepartmental collaboration, companies can ensure their employee advocacy program is robust, innovative, and effective in enhancing their brand’s reputation.

EDF: Using Employee Advocacy to Communicate its New CSR Policy

EDF is first and foremost a producer of electricity, with responsible energy produced in France at 97% CO2-free, with an energy mix combining nuclear and renewable energies: hydroelectric, solar, and wind. The company has 160,000 employees worldwide and 130,000 in France, where it supplies 30 million customers with power. 

With corporate social responsibility in mind, the company wanted to put forth a renewed effort to attract customers and talent who would join in the fight against global warming. And employee advocacy offered an effective way of achieving this.

EDF reached the conclusion that the Sociabble platform was the perfect tool to realize their employee advocacy goals. The campaign began as a collective effort that was initiated with the Human Resources Department, the Innovation Department, CSR and Strategy Department, and of course the Communications Department, not to mention their 130,000 employees. 

The idea was to rely on the many networks of EDF employees to spread their commitment to fighting climate change, and to find like-minded prospects for job openings.

With the help of the communities of ambassadors, they communicated regarding the solutions offered by EDF at all levels: nuclear with low CO2 emissions, renewables, and all the additional services they provide: building renovations, heat pump installations, and more.

The program was officially launched in July 2021.

Nine months later, it had 1,500 ambassadors, all serving as active members, curators, and “sharers”.

This figure is four times higher than the number of ambassadors of their previous program. 

Just over 15,000 pieces of content have been shared from their Sociabble employee advocacy platform, and in just 9 months, they achieved a reach of more than 10 million people on social networks–proof that everyone can exert a positive influence when the entire company comes together.

Sociabble as the leading tool for an effective employee advocacy program

If you’re ready to leverage the enthusiasm of your own employees to improve your online reputation, then you’re ready for Sociabble.

A total employee advocacy and employee communication solution, it gives you the tools you need to create and distribute content, while empowering employees to share it effortlessly across their networks.

It’s available on mobile, so everyone can get involved, and it offers a complete analytics package to measure your program’s efficacy and make adjustments.

We’ve already partnered with industry leaders like Renault Group, Coca-Cola CCEP, Primark, and L’Occitane, and we’d be happy to discuss ways we can help your company achieve similar results.

Just click here for a free personalized demo.

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