Strategizing for success: How to successfully run an employee advocacy program

There are multiple ways of making your brand visible in a market filled with countless options for consumers.

You can have a star Indian cricketer endorse your brand. You can book ad slots on prime TV. You can even have a customized front page for your brand in a leading newspaper. Any of these options is going to have a hefty cost and may only result in a spike in brand awareness for a short span of time.

In a changing media landscape, what you need for your brand to have a lasting impression is a strategy that values brand association in the long run. One way to do that is to utilise people who are closest to your brand — your employees. With a relatively smaller investment, you can create brand evangelists out of your employees. Using social media, they are capable of spreading the word about your brand among their networks.

Understanding How Employee Advocacy Works:

Employees are regarded as influencers for your brand. They know a lot about your brand as well as its products and values. Your brand story can be disseminated to the personal networks of employees through social media and word of mouth.

From a business standpoint, benefits of employee advocacy are impossible to ignore. Consumers are more likely to believe an employee and read employee posts; similar messages from your marketing initiatives are often ignored. This also results in higher brand engagement. And the best part — leads generated through employee social marketing are more likely to convert to sales.

However, as with any initiative, challenges are part of the game. Sustaining and gaining measurable results from your employee advocacy requires a coherent strategy. Here are some ways on going about creating one:
 
 


1. Ensure Company-Wide Enrolment & Participation

It’s a simple proposition: The more people become part of your program, the better reach you can have. However, that comes with a caveat. Keep employee participation voluntary regardless of your organisations’ employee advocacy policies. Forcing people to join in may have a detrimental effect on the morale and overall work culture.

Instead, focus on how employee advocacy can be mutually beneficial. Can you articulate the benefits of participation for employees? While the company benefits, employees will also be able to expand their networks and publicise their domain expertise.

It is also important to involve employees across job profiles and business functions. It is a misconception that employee advocacy is solely for the marketing team. Every person in the organization has something unique to say about a company’s products and services, as well as its ethos.
 
 


2. Let Employees Curate Content

It’s natural for businesses to project their brands in the best light and exercise control over content. Curating, writing, approving, and managing relevant content is a mammoth task. Many organisations will have dedicated teams for this task. However, what this also means is that employees have no voice or involvement in the content they are supposed to share.

To effectively deal with this problem, Engagelyee allows your employees to curate content on their own. The content curator can then review this content and approve or share feedback. This process not only makes employees feel equally involved but also provides a source of authentic crowd sourced content to your brand. Moreover, Engagelyee allows employees to add a personalised caption or message while sharing content from the platform.
 
 


3. Train, Reskill and Motivate Employees

You have to make your employees realize the potential of employee advocacy. Explain to them how becoming an advocate can help them grow their professional circle. By reading and sharing content, they can stay up-to-date with the latest trends and even become thought leaders in the industry. They have an opportunity to develop certain skills that are in demand.

For instance, 78% of employees who use social media for sales outperformed their non-social media peers1 . This is also a good opportunity for employees to practise their social media skills. You can train your employees to customise content for different platforms using hashtags and to engage with followers.

If your brand has apprehensions about brand content, you can control the process at certain stages. A tool like Engagelyee allows you to decide the ideal platform for the kind of content you wish to put out. Content shareability can be limited to selected platforms.
 
 


4. Share Relevant Content

Another challenge that brands face while implementing an employee advocacy program is finding content that appeals to a wide section of an audience. Is your content aligned to the brand’s tonality and goals? Keeping an eye on every social media platform in the hope that you’ll find a suitable subject or trending topic to talk about will take up a lot of your time and energy.

However, Engagelyee’s content recommendation engine solves the problem of content discovery and recommendation. It delivers relevant messages and content to employees no matter where they are. Engagelyee automates this process so that your brand never runs out of shareable content.
 
 


5. Measure Performance

A key part of your strategy should revolve around measuring the impact of your program. Without insights into what has worked and what hasn’t, you risk inefficiency, untapped potential and stagnation. Real-time social media reports, insights into campaign performance, social listening, sentiment tracking and alerts help your brand track progress and measure impact effortlessly.

To setup a result-oriented employee advocacy program with Engagelyee, get in touch with us today,

Reference(s): ForbesImages Source: Freepik

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