Helping a client discover and get excited about something new is one of the best feelings you can get at work. A big part of my work is championing and introducing the concept of Employee Advocacy to people at events and meetings. The ensuing discussions often lead to content marketing and eventually to those rewarding eureka moments, so I thought I might as well highlight some of the most eye-opening realizations here.
1. Every Company Has Content, They Just Do Not Know It Yet
The most common concern I keep hearing about employee advocacy is that “We don’t have content”, which is almost never true. Even experienced marketing and communications professionals sometimes have a distorted view of suitable content. They might have a weekly internal or external newsletter filled with interesting content, but they do not regard it as worthy for employees to share on social media. The content does not have to be anything special, it can be as simple as open positions, upcoming events, or product launches for example. Heck, the content does not even have to be produced by the company! They can share anything that would be of interest to their stakeholders such as industry events, news or trends.
Furthermore, companies can involve their employees in sourcing the content. Their employees are most likely top experts in their respective industry, so who better to source and produce thought leadership content for everybody else to share.
2. Employee Networks > Company Followers
Based on our experience, employee networks are usually 10-15 times larger than the amount of company followers on social media. Still a lot of companies only focus on broadcasting content through their company profiles and accounts even though they could reach a much bigger and more relevant audience through their employees’ social networks.
3. Employees Want to Participate and Feel Empowered
The most revolutionary discussions usually concern employee reactions to employee advocacy initiatives. Our experience clearly shows that instead of a negative response, employees consistently embrace the opportunity and feel empowered to participate. Employees understand they benefit from the success of the company and they would be willing to share company and work related content to their social media networks if only they were encouraged to do so and knew what and where to share.
Whenever I see someone grasp these three fundamentals, there is usually a visible sign of relief and a moment of enlightenment in the counterpart. Community managers realize their work could be a lot easier, marketing and HR people realize they could reach a larger number of people in a more trustworthy fashion, and employees are excited to learn they can be more involved in collective communication efforts. These moments of enlightenment and gratitude make my job rewarding and reinforce my belief that we and everybody else working on Employee Advocacy solutions are positively transforming and shaping the future of communications.