Companies are used to offering professional training and development programs that help employees to progress within the organization and beyond. This now stretches into the online sphere. It’s in companies’ best interests to help their workforce develop a strong professional image on social networks. This is where an employee advocacy initiative can play a major role.
As Jules Schroeder explains in this article for Forbes, “the content you share represents who you are and what you stand for – it is your digital footprint”. The advantage of an employee advocacy program is that it allows you to combine the aggregation of brand, third-party, and employee-generated content with the provision of dedicated training. Ultimately helping your employees to position themselves effectively on social media.
Why Engage in Thought Leadership Activity?
Developing a professional presence on social media is increasingly important, regardless if an individual is looking for a new job. It is a mark of confidence, as well as a sign of someone who’s work is enjoyable and engaging. It’s also a great way of interacting with new and existing professional connections who, further down the line, may provide gateways to new opportunities. Futhermore, thought leadership applies to all industries; it can be a software developer sharing a report on big data, or an architect blogging about ambitious projects.
Sharing interesting content, making insightful contributions to online discussions, and forming opinions on relevant subjects are central to thought leadership. What’s stopping many individuals from doing so is limited access to varied, relevant content, or they are not actively encouraged to do so by their employer. In many cases, both are true. An employee advocacy platform provides the ideal environment in which to foster thought leadership activity among employees.
Employee Advocacy Programs Helps Foster Thought Leadership
An employee advocacy platform gives individuals access to company news, which they can share on their own social network accounts. By centralizing all brand content on a single platform, companies make it easy for employees to access the latest news and great workplace stories wherever they are. As well as sharing content that showcases their own work, such as an event they helped organize, employees can stay up to date with and engage with all workplace activity – by sharing the announcement of a new client in another country, for example, or communicating about fellow teams’ achievements.
A Multifaceted Approach
In the same way that sharing company news is just one element of effective thought leadership, this is just one aspect of an employee advocacy program. An employee advocacy platform also allows companies to pull in relevant third-party content from across the web. Content can be industry-specific (for example, an energy company might curate content for sustainability), but can also tie in with causes that are important to the organization. For example, philanthropy, CSR and leadership development. Prioritizing third-party content alongside company stories makes it easy for employees to share industry insights and establish a positioning with regard to key issues.
Finally, an employee advocacy program enables employees to develop thought leadership by becoming content creators. Users can submit posts they find on the web or write something from scratch. Content creation is a great way to highlight employees’ personal insights and encourage company teams to engage. Writing brand new content isn’t for everyone, and often comes more naturally to marketing departments or senior management. However, on an employee advocacy platform, it can be open to everyone while employees also have the opportunity to contribute in other ways. By importing and commenting on content that exists elsewhere on the web, for example.
More than Amplification
Employee advocacy is associated with the amplification of marketing messages and social selling- with good reason. It is also an incredibly effective way of engaging all employees. Even those who don’t work at a desk or don’t use social media as a generator of business. It helps them contribute, by creating content that positions them as thought leaders. It also increases the knowledge and awareness of their colleagues.
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