I recently organized an event together with “ADM – Where Business Meets ICT” on the subject of Employee Advocacy. It is a hot topic for many companies, as the low-hanging fruit for brand ambassadors has not been picked yet.
Let’s go through the basics of Employee Advocacy using practical examples from companies that are making inroads in implementing Employee Advocacy programs. RealDolmen, BBDO, and Microsoft in Belgium are forerunners in the field of Employee Advocacy and shared their journey with the members of ADM.
Setting the scene
Employee Advocacy is not new. The concept is as old as business itself. Just think about the referral programs that companies have in place to attract new talent (from your contacts & friends). The big difference today is that employees have larger networks both personally and professional thanks to social media. Since your employees are your best advocates companies are making serious strides to activate them.
Employee Advocacy will only happen when your company culture is right, and your employees are proud and happy. Both RealDolmen and BBDO started their journey by creating the right offline culture to kickstart their programs. Two key components are to make your employees proud to work for you and have a culture ofsharing. And by creating and using a #hashtag (#RDPROUD and #BBDOPROUD) in the offline journey the movement is carried over to social media organically.
Conversations happen around good content. “Good” from employee’s point of view and of value to their networks. Great content comes mostly from the employees themselves and not just from marketing or HR. All three companies found that stories by and from employees carry a lot further than informational / commercial company produced content. Microsoft’s, BBDO’s and RealDolmen’s advocacy is thriving on this.
In order to curate and share content, most companies rely on an Employee Advocacy software when implementing their initiative. This will help them to better capture, organize and make story-sharing easy. Additionally, many of these platforms are equipped with gamification features that add even greater engagement to the equation.
Like our three testimonials, many companies are putting in place an Employee Advocacy program consisting of a number of steps including defining KPIs, vendor selection, employee training, updating of social media policies, content creation and curation, content marketing, etc.
Are you ready to get started with Employee Advocacy? Start with a plan that starts with culture. Then create memorable content and finally deploy a platform for easy sharing!
This blog post was written by Mic Adam
Social Media Policy Creator – Social Selling Expert, Vanguard Leadership