Employee Advocacy is a great way to boost marketing and sales, but having the right technology is key.
Trust has become a marketing currency in today’s digital world. With the advent of social media technologies, online reviews can make or break the business. 84% of consumers value recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising (source: Nielsen).
Employee advocacy has strategic business potential but a lack of familiarity with the concept can be a challenge for organizations. For a modern marketer, there are many choices available in the marketplace for choosing an Employee Advocacy tool that matches your business requirements.
An ideal Employee Advocacy tool comprises of the following key features to run an effective Employee Advocacy program in organizations of any size:
- Internal Communication
1. Internal communication
Employee Advocacy empowers and enables employees to be aware of important company news and information. It’s misconstrued as just being content amplification for the external world but in reality, Employee Advocacy tools can replace traditional intranets in organizations of any size. They can be used as internal communication tools to keep employees informed about recent happenings within the organization and the industry.
Similar to external content amplification, the employee feed comprises of non-shareable internal content such as competitive news, sales win, product beta videos, training materials, blogs, confidential information and so forth, which employees can share internally and comment on.
Today, Employee Advocacy tools are available as native Android and iOS apps as well as fully responsive browser apps. This, in turn, makes sure that employees stay up-to-date in the diverse context of internal communication. Employees can engage with co-employees by sharing, commenting on and interacting with company-wide updates in real time. In a nutshell, internal communication features of an Employee Advocacy tool can improve the overall employee experience in a typical employee lifecycle and gather all information in one place.
The analytics part of an Employee Advocacy tool is highly important for businesses to be able to measure the program’s performance against specific goals. Like with other marketing programs, Employee Advocacy should be executed against certain KPIs to be able to showcase successes and adjust direction, when necessary. A good Employee Advocacy tool has a built-in analytics engine that measures the results of both the company’s and advocates’ real-time performance.
The company analytics enable admins to select the top performing advocates, best-performing content and relevant engagement metrics. There should be an option to integrate with Google Analytics and other online marketing platforms to show the earned media value of the Employee Advocacy programs. In a nutshell, modern marketers should be aware of how Employee Advocacy increases in web traffic and how conversions compare to other paid media spending.
Moreover, one primary objective of an Employee Advocacy program is to build employees’ personal brands online. This is why marketers should look for a tool that provides both company and personal analytics to measure the overall success of this new-gen marketing program across the organization. The analytics engine should reveal actionable insights on brand advocates’ performance in the external world on behalf of company’s brand. The tool should calculate an index or score similar to Klout that acts as social proof for employee advocates’ influence on their social media channels.
Human behavior is one of the hardest things to change. Employees may perceive an employee communication tool as one more add-on to the organizational communication arsenal. Hence, it can be difficult to get initial adoption of this tool across organization.
At this juncture, gamification comes into play to bring a change in employees’ mindset and behavior. Rewards and recognition play an important role in employee engagement. You should always choose an Employee Advocacy platform that comes with built-in gamification features such as leaderboards, points system, rewards design and redemption mechanisms. The sky is the limit for designing monetary and non-monetary rewards for your potential employee brand advocates to build a culture of collaborative sharing.
In summation, an ideal Employee Advocacy tool should comprise of these three key features that enables marketers to become ‘Data-Driven Marketers.’ Investing in tools that have internal communication features, solid analytics and a gamified experience can lead to desired business outcomes in today's digital world.