To view employee advocacy as a means of content amplification alone is to neglect the potential it has to transform communication within the enterprise. It is also to miss the point of what employee advocacy should mean for individuals. The fact that employees share content on their own social network accounts is a by-product of great user experience on the platform, coupled with an overall sense of pride in the company and a desire to share this externally.
Take either one of these two factors out of the equation and an employee advocacy program will not succeed. In this post we will examine the first of the two – here’s our recipe for a great user experience on an enterprise employee advocacy platform.
1 – Start by Blending Global and Localized Brand Content
For users, one of the key benefits of an employee advocacy platform is being more in touch with what the brand is communicating about at both a local and a global level. Beyond corporate announcements and branded marketing campaigns, this can include the social media accounts of senior management, communication about the company’s involvement in social and environmental initiatives, or events taking place in different areas of the business.
Having access to a single platform on which they can easily access insights into company activity beyond their own role, location and department is a crucial element of user experience, and should be a driving factor when the organization of content on an employee advocacy platform is being defined. Scalability is key – for more on this topic, discover how Microsoft combined global and localized channels to tailor content for employees in over 40 countries.
2 – Meanwhile, Prepare Internal Communication
On Sociabble, external sharing can be deactivated for certain content feeds, allowing administrators to create dedicated channels for internal news and announcements. These channels can include content aggregated from enterprise social networks such as Yammer, as well as content created from scratch on the platform. For more information, see Beyond Amplification, Here’s How Employee Advocacy Boosts Internal Engagement and Communication.
3 – Add Third-Party Content to the Mix – Moderate Where Necessary
From a user point of view, a huge added value of an employee advocacy platform is having easy access to third-party content which, though not necessarily linked to their job specifically, is nevertheless relevant to their line of work and of interest to them as an individual. Examples of great third-party content sources include the social media accounts of industry-specific magazines and publications, as well as those of independent commentators, influencers and entrepreneurs – people whose thoughts and ideas will serve as valuable insights for employees themselves.
The addition of third-party content is all about drawing in ideas and points of view from outside the company; insights that users will want to read about and, as a result, share with their own social media connections. An additional benefit of doing this on an employee advocacy platform is that content can be moderated, and users therefore know that everything that is available is approved by their employer. For more on this topic, see Employee Advocacy: Why Company Content Alone Isn’t Enough.
4 – Season with User-Generated Content
Inviting users of an employee advocacy platform to submit their own content is an excellent way to drive collaboration, instill a sense of involvement, and showcase the stories (however big or small) taking place on a daily basis within the company. There is a wealth of possibilities when it comes to user-generated content (UGC), but examples include articles imported from elsewhere on the web, best practices shared with colleagues, photos and videos taken at events, or ideas designed to get a discussion going.
All this is an invaluable element of user experience, as employee advocacy shouldn’t be a one-way street (whereby employees access and share content), but rather a two-way exchange (whereby employees also bring their own ideas and insights to the table). Everybody wants to feel a part of something, which is why having the possibility to create as well as to share content has a massive impact on user experience.
5 – Spice Things up with Gamification
Everybody loves a competition, so injecting a little fun into an employee advocacy program has a big impact on user experience. When there are points, prizes and top leaderboard positions up for grabs, the result isn’t just employees who create and share more content – it’s healthy competition that pushes collective performance and sustains a feel-good factor, however business-focused the content being shared may be.
Who says serious business can’t be good fun? See Employee Advocacy: 4 Ways of Optimizing Gamification for more on this topic.
6 – Serve with Individual Performance Metrics
User experience on an employee advocacy platform is incomplete if individuals have no visibility into the impact their participation is having – they, as well as platform administrators, need to be able to see the benefits. How many clicks have their posts generated? Are they becoming more visible on social media? Have concrete leads arrived as a result of something they shared? Is the engagement generated among their own connections increasing over time?
On Sociabble, employees have access to a personal user dashboard complete with their activity log, social media engagement metrics, Social Selling Index (SSI) and Klout Score. And thanks to the Sociabble link shortener, they can identify leads that are generated as a result of their sharing activity. Some of these metrics are more pertinent for social sellers than they are for other employees. However, having the ability to track – and therefore improve upon – their own performance is a real incentive for all users.
Food for Thought: Is A Sharing-First Philosophy Short-Sighted?
There’s a great deal more to employee advocacy than content amplification. When fully embraced, it’s an initiative that enables employees to be more informed about what the company is saying (both internally and externally), to interact and collaborate in a more streamlined way, to easily access pertinent industry content, and to use all this information to develop their own professional profile and business activity on social media. While sharing activity remains a crucial KPI, it is dependent on other elements of the user experience that determine whether employees are ready to share in the first place.