Benefits of Running an Employee Advocacy Program
The goal of running an employee advocacy program is to increase exposure and engagement while positioning your company as an influential and authoritative resource in its particular market segment. The core end-goal objective is obviously to drive sales.
There's no better time than right now to run an employee advocacy program. If you'd like to administer the program from within your own company, that's fine. If you'd like our team to deliver the program for you, here's a LinkedIn Content Advocacy option that will provide you with a strong foundation for years to come.
Below, I've shared some of my employee advocacy notes for you to review so that you can decide whether you see any value in running a program at your company.
Low Participation Kills ROI
On paper, investing in an employee advocacy program, such as what LinkedIn offers through their LinkedIn Elevate platform, or what SproutSocial offers through their Bambu platform, looks great, but, in reality, the ROI that you're looking to achieve ultimately, may not be reached. The reason you may struggle to capture ROI is that employee advocacy programs need to be optional, and if posting content is left solely to the employee to manage, they'll tend to forget. Remembering daily to log into an employee advocacy program, finding something to share, and then sharing it, is not going to be a priority for most employees, so it's most likely not going to get done consistently.
When you sign up one-hundred employees to participate in an employee advocacy program, and only ten of them consistently use the platform, you end up paying a lot of money, while getting little ROI. Investing like this doesn't make too much financial sense, but what you can do instead is either administer the employee advocacy program for each employee or outsource this task in full through a plan like our LinkedIn Content Advocacy offers.
Participation Must be Voluntary
Now, you may be saying, "My employees will never let us set up, administer, and deliver content to their social media channels for them." But, if you take a minute to explain how it mutually benefits both parties, it makes total sense, especially if the employee is interested in increasing their exposure and authority on LinkedIn. Companies drive email marketing efforts via Marketo and MailChimp, as well as various other CRM driven email marketing platforms, from personal employee email addresses without any questions. Your employees haven't opted-in to this email program, and they never complain or say a word about it, so it's just a transition point in time as to the way employees communicate with their prospects and customers.
It's Time to Adapt
The way we did business a few years ago and how we communicate is way different today than what it used to be. If you don't get on board as a company, you're going to lose ground quickly to companies investing time and money into having their employees communicate online via social media in real-time. Sales opportunities are all over the place online: people asking questions, engaging with content, and so on, and if you're not at the party, you're going to miss opportunities.
The one point that I'd stress is the importance of educating employees on how to engage on social media. There's a fine line between oversharing, under sharing, and there are specific ways to act online that are important to understand so that everyone can enjoy all-around employee success.
Now, let me share the benefits for both parties, i.e., the employee and the employer, as to the positives in having an advocacy program run automatically for everyone that opts-in to the program. Opt-in being the keyword here. Participation in an employee advocacy program must be a choice for the employee, not a mandate. Like with all great relationships, both parties must mutually benefit.
Employee Gains Authority
The employee is going to gain authority. Having their social media feed filled with helpful, useful, timely, and engaging market segment-specific business information will help position them as the authoritative resource in their niche.
Employee Increases Engagement
Every online conversation starts with an initial engagement, and if an employee is never sharing anything, their engagement level will be obsolete. By merely having helpful content posted to their feed daily, they'll have an exponential number of opportunities to interact and engage with new contacts online.
Employee Grows Relationships
Online conversations lead to new relationships, and new relationships lead to new business opportunities. New business opportunities lead to new sales opportunities, and new sales opportunities lead to new referrals, and the benefits keep going on and on. The potential for growth is unlimited using social media.
Employer Gets Branded Content Shared Out
Maintaining consistent branding messages across social media channels is key to not giving people mixed signals about what the brand provides and what it stands for in terms of its mission statement. If a brand spends $20k making a short video, only to never have it shared out, it doesn't make much sense.
Employer Gets Legal Safety of Information
With social media, people are quick to share what they see, what they feel, and what they know. The inherent danger of an employee shooting from the hip with non-approved content is that the information they share may affect a customer, an investor, or another co-worker. It's a serious matter in today's busy online environment.
Employer Gets Constant Exposure
There's nothing better than consistent content being shared, from various people, at different times of the day, on your social media channels. Having this type of daily exposure is key to a brand's long-term success. The brands that are most fluid, and quick to react to real-time events, while delivering helpful market segment information, definitely have a distinct advantage over those brands that don't.
Introducing an opt-in employee advocacy program at your business will take all the employees' responsibility because you'll be doing all the hard daily work for them. Such as keeping their social media feed filled with engaging, timely, helpful, and useful content, which shares out at strategic times during the day when their audience is most likely to be online to view the content.
Responding to Comments
The employee will be responsible for replying to comments and engaging with people that have taken the time to like, comment, or reshare, what they've shared, thus keeping the personalized touch of social media and what it's all about, which is actively engaging in conversation. It makes total sense when you think about it from a business point of view.
Outsourcing your employee advocacy program provides a turnkey solution that takes minimal investment and delivers a healthy return. It also creates a win-win scenario, which is what you're looking for in terms of ROI, so it's a perfect fit, regardless of whether you're a startup company or an established Fortune 100 company, it works.
Get started with our LinkedIn Content Advocacy program today, so you can continue to position your company for future growth. Our professional social media consultants will set up, administer, and deliver a highly customized program for your specific market segment. We'll get the job done right and under budget.