Business challenges with employee social advocacy

August 17, 2016

 

 

I’ve been a fan of social advocacy for years and there are millions of stats out there that prove how important this is for brands.  Here’s just a few:

 

Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7

times more frequently than other leads. (Source: IBM)

 

Brand messages are re-shared 24x more frequently when distributed by employees vs brand (Source: socialsellinglabs.com)

 

We all know how important this is, the question that still needs to be answered though is how do we get staff to be social evangelists.  After all, their social profile is their personal space, not one controlled by their employment.

 

Whether you are lucky enough to run a SME where everybody just loves what they do and will happily share everything the business puts up or you are part of a corporate giant with a 9-5 workforce, there are standard things that can be done.

 

For us, this is a 3 step process.

  1. Educate

  2. Inform

  3. Reward

 

Educate

We’ve all seen the headlines ‘Employee X sacked for social post.’  Whether that while they have been off ‘sick’ or had a particularly bad week at work, these types of post/headlines harm both the employee and the business.  I wonder how many of these organisations operate an active social training programme?  Not many I would assume.

 

Our challenge, how can we change their minds, educate them on correct employee etiquette while online and get them into a positive way of thinking about the business (socially anyway).  We run social education programmes for businesses which can be repeated internally to arm both the employer and employee about how best to approach social.

 

Inform

Nobody likes a top-down directive telling them to do something.  Especially if it’s as boring as sharing the company end of year results. We need to provide them with easy access to what has been posted that day/week, let them make their mind up about what platforms & posts they want to share and leave them to do what they see fit. 

Obviously there’s a million different ways to do this from a weekly email with easy post and share functionality to a mobile app allowing them to process all this from their phone. 

 

By making this process as simple as possible, we remove the barriers of it being a pain to do and them not having the information at their fingertips.

 

Reward

The final piece of the puzzle.  But ultimately the one that gets the action we desire.  Rather than a company just expect that people will share their content, look at creating a reward scheme for doing so.

 

There’s lots of tools out there that facilitate this.  This article lists over 30: 

http://socialmediagovernance.com/social-employee-advocacy-software-buying-guide/

 

But if you don’t want to implement one of them, there are some simple things that can be done.  By introducing regular ‘social awards’ or something along these lines you can select the employee that has done most for the business on their social profiles for a special prize.  Do this monthly, provide a decent prize and you will quite quickly have a team of people actively sharing your business content for you.

 

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