Acquiring a competitive edge on social media is becoming increasingly complex. Companies attempting to grab a share of the voice are limited by the growing presence of competitors, while minimum bid prices for paid online advertising are on the rise. In order to maintain meaningful contact with target audiences, many companies are turning to employee advocacy, which is an incredibly effective way of complementing paid social media campaigns and increasing the impact of content marketing.
Employee advocacy allows companies to expand their marketing team by engaging all employees in social media communication. And as employee advocates relay company posts on their own social networks, content is viewed by audiences that are far more receptive to what is being shared.
However, employee advocacy is about much more than having employees follow company social network accounts. It involves establishing organizational roles, educating employees about best practices and personal branding, creating engagement incentives and, of course, defining and tracking both qualitative and quantitative KPIs…
When launching an employee advocacy initiative one thing needs to be decided before anything else – who will steer the project? Whatever your company’s animation and engagement strategy, organizational roles need to be assigned in order to streamline communication, balance task management and ensure the longevity of the employee advocacy initiative.
Certain questions need to be addressed when implementing an employee advocacy initiative. What are the ground rules for communication? What type of content and/or language should be avoided, and how will any bad buzz be managed? All this can be covered in training sessions, which do not have to be overly formal but do need to provide information that is tailored to individual departments.
The success of an employee advocacy initiative lies in advocates’ ongoing engagement. This in turn depends on project leads’ ability to animate the employee advocacy platform and provide regular sharing incentives. From a well-prepared launch to gamification initiatives and the incorporation of both curated and created content, animation of the employee advocacy platform is key to success.
An integral aspect of any employee advocacy initiative involves linking advocates’ sharing activity to the diffusion of company content, lead generation and prospect conversion rates. It’s therefore important to aggregate data on the engagement of end user audiences as well as advocates themselves, as this helps concretize the impact employee advocacy is having on bottom line goals.
Employee Advocacy: A Comprehensive Guide
Implementing a successful employee advocacy initiative goes far beyond inviting employees to share company content. Roles need to be assigned, training organized, the right animation strategy put in place and KPIs defined. To find out more about how to achieve this, and to read case studies on how companies such as Microsoft have successfully launched employee advocacy programs, click here to receive a free copy of the white paper Employee Advocacy: The Next Frontier in Social Media Communication.