Employees don’t just represent the brand. They ARE the brand. Employee Advocacy lets you showcase that fact.
Too often in this day and age, employees are seen as simply a functional extension of a company. An interchangeable part, you might even say. But the reality is that employees are as much a part of a brand’s identity as its consumers, its products, even its logo. After all, what is a company without employees? Just an empty office where nothing happens. They are the heart and soul of any organization; they are ultimately what gives it a personality and makes it tick. And the mistake too many companies make is not recognizing the important role employees play as brand ambassadors when they connect with the public beyond the company walls. Indeed, they are emissaries, forming a crucial connection with the outside world. They talk to their friends, they share their experiences with their peers—they play a pivotal role in how a company is perceived.
So why would a company neglect such a useful resource? Why wouldn’t a company celebrate the unique talents and skill sets of its workforce? Why not help empower them with employee branding, as enthusiastic brand ambassadors? It does make sense, especially given the challenging events of the past year. Here are some best practices and ideas to consider for the current state of online communication in 2021. In this article, you will learn:
1. Why good content matters
2. The importance of a powerful EA tool
3. The role of an engagement feature
4. Why strong governance is key
5. The necessity of data analytics
Things are different in 2021. Here are facts to keep in mind when it comes to EA.
In some ways, the same general rules and best practices still apply to Employee Advocacy, as they have the last few years. But in other ways, 2021 poses its own unique challenges and considerations. For example:
Marketing budgets have been cut because of Covid. This has been a difficult year for many companies financially, and many have had no choice but to reduce their marketing spend as a result. This should be kept in mind when thinking about the role that EA can fill.
Data privacy is a big issue. New policies for the different social media platforms, as well as GDPR considerations, mean that privacy and data security need to be taken into consideration when forming a strategy and choosing an Employee Advocacy platform. The Google Privacy Sandbox is another factor as well, as it will make advertising more user-friendly, but also impose limitations on what is shown.
Employee Advocacy has a new importance. The two factors above mean that traditional online marketing is going to be more restrictive and more limited. Many of the old techniques will no longer work. Employee Advocay is an effective alternative because it’s authentic, built on real connections built across social networks. It won’t be affected by budget cuts or privacy restrictions in the same way as traditional online advertising, marketing, and public relations.
So what are the Employee Advocacy best practices for 2021 then? Good question. Here are our tips to ensure that your program is a success.
#1: Create good content.
Creating good content is crucial in 2021. People are more mature in these subjects now, they’re accustomed to top-grade material, so personalized, authentic, and good quality content is needed. Take the time to make rich, visually-appealing content of your own, share good content that you find from following the right thought leaders, and don’t be afraid to use curation tools (Sociabble has integrations with Scoop.it and Feedly, for example) to keep a steady stream of quality content coming your way.
#2. Have a good Employee Advocacy tool.
To truly excel at Employee Advocacy at a scalable, company-wide level, you need an effective platform that gives every employee—not just social media specialists—the power to easily create content, easily share content, and communicate with their fellow employees no matter where they are in the world. It needs to have an intuitive and visually-appealing UX, the ability to create targeted channels and custom newsletters, push notifications that work across mobile devices (this is especially important given how many employees are working from home), and a secure chat feature. A translation feature is also nice, and CSM support with launch assistance can make a huge difference.
With an instant translation feature powered by AI, the Sociabble platform makes sharing content easy for international companies.
#3. Have an engagement engine built in.
Sometimes employees need a little encouragement to truly become adept at Employee Advocacy. They need a reason to get involved. An effective EA platform has features built in that are designed to boost engagement, with gamification and rewards. If you can offer real, meaningful rewards attached to a CSR initiative (the Sociabble platform offers Sociabble Trees, for example), even better. They really drive program engagement, and the experience of the past year has made people want to be involved in causes that make the world a better place.
Engagement features like Sociabble Trees help get employees involved and sharing content, while also helping the planet.
#4. Have strong platform governance.
Any international company—or even a national one, for that matter—is going to have local offices and branches with specific local needs. When it comes to administration, your Employee Advocacy platform needs to allow for both global and local administration, to make sure the necessary information and content gets through to the right people, without overloading them. Again, a translation feature can make the sharing of content across different offices and sharing new policies and techniques much easier.
#5. Measure performance with analytics.
An analytics package with leaderboards will ensure that you can monitor the effectiveness of your Employee Advocacy program, make necessary adjustments, and monitor which employees are excelling and which might need a little boost. An equivalent paid media feature (Sociabble offers this as part of its analytics dashboard) allows you to see the amount of money you’ve saved through EA, versus the comparable paid media spend for the same amount of online exposure. Given how tight budgets are as a result of the health crisis, maximizing the return on investment is more important than ever.
Sociabble’s complete analytics package allows you to track the effectiveness and performance of your shared content.
Got it? Good! And if you need a little help, Sociabble is here for you.
When it comes to EA platforms, Sociabble offers all the features mentioned above and then some. From engagement features to mobile notifications to instant translation and analytics, it’s a total Employee Advocacy and Employee Communication solution. We’ve already helped companies like Renault, Generali, and Credit Agricole get their programs up off the ground, and we’d be honored to partner with you and add your company to our growing list of EA success stories.
Click here to receive a free Sociabble demo.