10 Best Practices to Improve your Employee Advocacy Strategy
It’s not enough to introduce your employee advocacy strategy once and expect it to evolve from there. These best practices will help to ensure that it is successful for your business.
1. Offer employee advocacy training to all employees
Everyone should be on board with the idea that they can participate in the employee advocacy program. All employees, from managers to administrative staff and those who work in the warehouse, should be offered training on the company’s employee advocacy program.
The program is something everyone has the potential to contribute to, and all voices are welcome.
Someone who is relatively quiet while on the job may be quite active online and have plenty to share with their online followers. Even someone who is new to social media has the potential to have a post go viral because of its content. Your employees do not have to be experts in social media to start participating.
2. Help employees by offering sharable content regularly.
Once your employees have some knowledge about social media and how it works, their next question is likely to be, “What should we be sharing on the company’s behalf?” Let your team know that they can share links to official press releases and company announcements with the internal employee advocacy tool. Start a company newsletter that includes a feature on an “Employee of the Month” or recognizes top performers in certain departments. These features can be included on social media as a way for potential customers and job seekers to get to know your company.
3. Show, don’t tell your employees how to be the kind of brand ambassadors you want for your company.
Ideally, top-level managers should be participating in your employee advocacy program as well as employees holding entry-level positions. You want to demonstrate to all team members that everyone is welcome to participate. Everyone’s social media posts are welcome, since all employees who decide to share something are helping to promote the company in a positive manner.
4. Find social media leaders within your company and ask them to help others.
Some people in your company will emerge as natural social media users. These are the people who you should approach to be leaders of your employee advocacy program. The people selected for this role should also be people who are prepared to post positive messages about the company and the brand.
This is a perfect opportunity for people who are already familiar with social media platforms to share their knowledge with those who are less comfortable with how these sites work.
5. Create opportunities within the company so that employees can interact with each other.
It’s important to keep workers engaged with their jobs and each other if you want to make your employee advocacy plan a success. To this end, come up with various opportunities where employees from different departments and at different levels can interact together informally. The results of these interactions can then form the basis for social media posts that employees can share with their own followers. Each person then becomes an ambassador for the company by telling their own story.
6. Give employees instructions about how to respond to concerns that may arise about the company.
Since employees will be sending out posts about the company on their social media accounts, they need to have some direction about what to do if they encounter some negative pushback about what they are sharing. Some of your workers may never have encountered an online troll before. In most cases, the best thing to do is not to engage with someone who is clearly looking for a fight and report the user to the online platform’s administrator.
7. Share your goals for the employee advocacy program with your employees.
You want your team members to be your partners in sharing positive messages about the company. Be clear about what you want their efforts to accomplish (if they decide to participate). There may be times during the year when you want to focus more on generating new leads for the company. At other times, your business may need to step up its recruiting efforts. Bring these goals to your employees’ attention so they find it easier to help.
8. Set guidelines for social media interaction on behalf of the company.
You want to reassure your employees that you trust them when they are sharing messages about the company on social media and that they can say what they want to about your brand. At the same time, messages being shared about the company should be in line with how the company wants to present itself publicly.
In today’s business world, consumers and job seekers are interested in a company that is transparent in its dealings. A post that portrays the company in a less-than-positive light would be considered inappropriate.
9. Establish a framework so that your employees’ social media efforts are linked to your employee advocacy strategy.
Your team members may need some help with their social media activities to ensure that they are connected to the strategy outlined in your overall employee advocacy plan. You may want to create specific hashtags to be used on Twitter to promote certain company events or promotions, and encourage your team members to use them on social media. All social media posts connected to that topic can be identified through the hashtag, making it easier to track your results.
10. Track the results of your employee advocacy plan.
It’s impossible to determine the success of a social media campaign unless the results are tracked. It’s important to make note of the number of leads generated, candidates who have applied for available positions, and whether website traffic has changed over a set period.
Based on your results, you will know which strategies are working well and which ones should be tweaked slightly or changed altogether for your next campaign. Your strategy should be flexible enough so that you can make adjustments where necessary when your figures show you that something is not working well for your business. When you see that the online community is responding favorably to something you are doing (they like certain forms of content or are more interested in particular topics), then it is an indication that you should follow up with more of the same so as long as your audience continues to be engaged.