Social media marketing campaigns are most effective when supported with social proof or advocated for online by accounts outside of an official branded profile.
By using employee advocacy to develop your marketing campaign you could:
- Enhance your credibility online
- Raise brand awareness
- Give your company a personal face
Let’s face it, the content shared by a company doesn’t have the power to come off quite as personal and human as that shared by an individual.
By encouraging your employees to advocate for your business on social media, you can increase the authenticity of your business and amplify the reach of your message.
The average user spends around 58.5 minutes a day on Facebook and Twitter has an average of 335 million users a month. When you encourage employees to advocate for you on these platforms, the reach of your business grows exponentially.
Not to mention the fact that employees that are engaged and invested in your business are more likely to stick around for the long haul.
Sites such as LinkedIn prove how far-reaching this impact can be. They found that while only 2% of employees share their employer’s company posts, they make up 20% of engagement.
Follow the tips below to find out how to use employee advocacy to grow your social media marketing campaign.
1# Emphasise the advantages for employees
86% of employees involved in formal advocacy programmes described them as having a positive impact on their career. This is something that you should emphasise to employees when implementing an employee advocacy strategy.
Create incentives that will encourage your employees to advocate on your brand’s behalf. While some people might advocate simply in order to grow their personal brand online, others may need a little extra motivation.
Advocating for your brand gives your employees the opportunity to act as a specialist in your niche. But you can also use the opportunity to offer smaller rewards within the company.
You could do this by offering small rewards, such as vouchers or chocolates – or making the results of your employee’s shares and engagement public and encouraging some healthy competition.
If you’re unsure what the best reward for this programme will be, speak with your employees. Find out what they feel the best incentive for their involvement would be.
#2 Give clear guidance
To avoid content veering too far off-brand, encourage employees to stick to specific guidelines when promoting the company on social media.
It’s better to ask employees to help develop these guidelines as opposed to forcing their use. This way they will come across more natural and authentic.
The guidance you decide upon shouldn’t restrict your employees too much and should instead promote a sense of trust.
Spend some time training employees on the best way to approach employee advocacy, reminding them of the incentives and perhaps appoint one individual to manage the programme. They can serve as a point of reference for those participating.
#3 But remember to ask
Remember that social media is their personal space outside of work. As such, what employees choose to share and not share is entirely up to them.
Find out the types of content they feel most comfortable sharing with their network and go from there.
If employees end up posting content that they are reluctant to share, this will be transparent to their followers – and may in fact do more harm than good for your brand.
#4 Make content easy to share
Many businesses will assume that because their employees use social media so frequently in their free time, no training is necessary. This is not true, as while they may be using social media, they may have never used social platforms for marketing purposes.
Be sure to offer training to your employees to make it as easy as possible for them to share your content. Regularly hold meetings to check-in and encourage employees to share.
Let them know the best tips and tricks of social media marketing – this way they are learning an additional skill for their CV too.
Teach employees the best times of day to post, the kinds of hashtags that might be most relevant and how to optimize their profiles. You could even help them with formulating captions – while of course, being sure to authentically capture the unique voice of each employee.
#5 Create shareable content
Remember that the content itself should also be shareable, this will increase the chances of your employee wanting to share it. If your company’s content is completely irrelevant to an employee’s social media community of contacts, they may be reluctant to share.
Try and create content that is easily shared by all of your employees. Or to avoid doing extra labour, rehash the old content that is most relevant.
You could encourage employees to share job advertisements, graphics such as memes or blog posts or webinars. What an employee share may depend on that individual and their interest area.
#6 Make the time for them
One setback you may face is that employees may be unwilling to spend a large amount of time outside of work advocating for the brand. Many people work with limited time constraints, so this is something you ought to take into consideration.
Consider allowing a small portion of the working day to be taken up with social media strategising and implementing the advocacy programme. This could be as little as five minutes at the end of the working day.
Follow the steps above to implement an effective employee advocacy strategy within your company and watch as you generate explosive online growth for your brand.