Social media has become an indispensable tool for businesses looking to engage with their audience and increase their brand visibility. However, with so much noise on social media, it can be challenging to cut through the clutter and reach your target audience. That’s where employee advocacy comes in.
Employee advocacy is the process of encouraging employees to share company content and messaging on their personal social media channels. It’s a powerful way to amplify your brand’s reach, establish thought leadership, and increase engagement with your audience. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to master the art and science of employee advocacy on social media.
Why Employee Advocacy is Important
Employee advocacy is important for two main reasons: trust and reach.
Firstly, people trust people more than they trust brands. According to a study by Edelman Trust Barometer, 61% of people trust the voices of “people like me” over businesses. Employees are viewed as trusted sources of information about their company and its products/services. When they share content on social media, it’s seen as more authentic and trustworthy than if the same content was shared by the company itself.
Secondly, employee advocacy extends your brand’s reach on social media. Each employee has their own network of connections on social media. When they share your company’s content, it reaches a wider audience than your brand’s social media channels alone.
How to Encourage Employee Advocacy on Social Media
Encouraging employee advocacy on social media requires a thoughtful approach. Here are some steps you can take to get started:
1. Provide Training and Guidelines
Before you encourage employees to share company content on social media, it’s important to provide them with training and guidelines. This should include:
– An overview of your company’s social media strategy and goals
– The type of content to share (e.g., blog posts, infographics, videos)
– How to share content (e.g., which platforms to use, how to tag the company)
– Guidelines on what not to share (e.g., confidential information, negative comments about competitors)
By providing your employees with clear guidelines, you can ensure that they’re sharing content in a way that’s aligned with your brand’s values and messaging.
2. Make it Easy and Convenient
To encourage employee advocacy, you need to make it easy and convenient for employees to share content on social media. This can include:
– Providing a library of pre-approved content for employees to share
– Creating social media templates that employees can customize (e.g., adding their own commentary to a pre-written tweet)
– Offering tools to schedule social media posts in advance (e.g., Hootsuite, Buffer)
By removing any barriers to sharing content, you can increase the likelihood that employees will participate in your employee advocacy program.
3. Recognize and Reward Participation
People are more likely to continue doing something if they’re rewarded for it. Recognizing and rewarding employees for their participation in your employee advocacy program can go a long way in encouraging continued engagement. This can include:
– Highlighting top-performing employees on a leaderboard
– Offering incentives (e.g., gift cards, company swag) for sharing content or generating engagement
– Recognizing employees in company-wide communications (e.g., newsletters, all-hands meetings)
Not only does this encourage continued participation, but it also shows employees that their efforts are valued and appreciated.
Best Practices for Employee Advocacy on Social Media
In addition to the above steps, there are some best practices to keep in mind when implementing an employee advocacy program on social media:
1. Ensure Authenticity
One of the key advantages of employee advocacy is the authenticity it brings to your social media presence. However, this can only be achieved if employees are sharing content in a way that’s authentic to them. Avoid scripting social media posts too heavily and instead encourage employees to add their own voice and perspective to the content they’re sharing.
2. Encourage Two-Way Conversation
Employee advocacy isn’t just about sharing content; it’s also about engaging with your audience on social media. Encourage employees to respond to comments and questions on the content they share. This can help to establish a genuine relationship with your audience and increase engagement.
3. Monitor and Measure Results
Like any social media program, it’s important to monitor and measure the results of your employee advocacy efforts. This can include metrics such as:
– Reach (how many people were reached through employee advocacy)
– Engagement (how many likes, comments, and shares were generated)
– Website traffic (how much traffic was driven to your website through employee advocacy)
By analyzing these metrics, you can identify which content is resonating with your audience and adjust your employee advocacy program accordingly.
Examples of Employee Advocacy on Social Media
Looking for inspiration? Here are some examples of companies that are doing employee advocacy well:
Dell has a comprehensive employee advocacy program called “Dell Social Media and Communities University.” The program provides employees with training, guidelines, and tools to participate in the company’s social media efforts. Dell also recognizes and rewards top-performing employees through their “Social Media Rockstar” program.
HubSpot’s employee advocacy program is called “HubSpot Amplify.” The program encourages employees to share content on their personal social media channels and provides them with a library of pre-approved content to choose from. Hubspot also offers incentives for participation, including swag and a grand prize for top performers.
Zappos takes a more organic approach to employee advocacy, encouraging employees to share content on social media in a way that feels natural to them. This includes everything from sharing photos of the company culture to showcasing new product releases. Zappos also amplifies employee voices by featuring posts from employees on the company’s social media channels.
Employee advocacy on social media is a powerful way to increase your brand’s reach and establish thought leadership. By providing employees with training, guidelines, and incentives, you can encourage them to share your company’s messaging with their personal networks on social media. However, it’s important to ensure authenticity and encourage two-way conversations with your audience. By following these best practices and taking inspiration from successful employee advocacy programs, you can master the art and science of employee advocacy on social media.