Consider this: 1,000 employee advocates can reach up to a million customers, which can drive up to 50,000 social engagements and create up to 5,000 unique pieces of content. That all adds up to a massive potential to get your brand and your products in front of a larger audience—so even if you’re not sure what employee advocacy is, the answer has to be ‘yes!’
What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy is the exposure that employees can generate for brands using marketing assets. It generally takes place on social media, but can encompass email, chat forums, discussion boards and blogs. The concept has been around for some time, but with the advent of social media, it’s become a buzzword as businesses are starting to see employees as people who can help maintain and nurture relationships and, more importantly, attract new customers. However, liking the idea of employee advocacy and having a strategy in place are miles apart.
Standing in the way of a strategy
With 93% of businesses failing to implement an employee advocacy strategy, there must be a problem. In fact, there are several:
- 93% of sales executives have had no formal training on social selling
- 19% of sales people are unaware of the value of social media
- communicating employee advocacy to employees can be difficult
- sustaining growth and increasing engagement requires ongoing effort
- measuring and reporting the success of an employee advocacy programme can be problematic
But given that your employees have on average ten times the number of followers than corporate social accounts, and brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when distributed by employees, you can’t afford to miss this opportunity. Employee advocacy is an important weapon in your marketing arsenal.
The 5 steps to employee advocacy success
The only way to succeed with employee advocacy is to devise and implement a strategy. We’ve identified five steps you’ll need to take.
- Plan—you need to define your brand and tone for social media content, as consistency is important for building recognition. Set goals using SMART objectives and initiate social media training plans. Preparing high-quality content is vital if you’re going to compete online.
- Implement—think big but start with a small group of engaged advocates who can act as role models. Even a small number of people can dramatically improve your reach very quickly. Choose your most active and connected employees and run a pilot.
- Communicate—keep your team on track by communicating your project plans and your implementation schedule. Involve more employees and partners to increase your reach and provide support to those who are new to social media.
- Encourage—remind your advocates to share posts, set realistic goals and provide incentives like a monthly competition. B2B social media platforms such as Oktopost can send content reminders. Benchmark your previous month’s results as a successful campaign will motivate your team.
- Report—it’s important to track shares, comments and conversions, so it makes sense to use a social media platform that provides you with this information. Sharing the results with your key stakeholders will help you justify your social advocacy programme.
For a more detailed examination of how to devise and implement a social media programme, including a case study of content management platform Kapost, watch this SuccessFlow/Oktopost webinar:
Social Media Success Through Employee Advocacy
Presented by Samson Kovacs of SuccessFlow and Martin Fuchs of Oktopost