Did you know that when your employees share content, they see a 24 times higher reshare rate than when your company page shares the exact same content?That statistic is just one of many that reveal the importance of genuine Employee Advocacy— the promotion of your brand by your own employees. According to Nielsen Global's survey on online customers, 90 percent of online shoppers trust recommendations from people they know, while only 33 percent trust recommendations from a business or a brand. When employees share content about their company, they can boost engagement by up to 30 percent for the business.
To get those higher rates of social engagement and those increases in sales, your company needs to provide interesting, useful content that employees can share. Without easy access to information that is pertinent and engaging, your employees might not bother to talk about your brand online — and that's a scenario you can't afford. Discover how to help employees find information that's worth sharing with their friends and followers.
Announce the Location of Information
When you first roll out your company's initiative for Employee Advocacy, let everyone involved know where important brand documents and pieces of information are stored. Maybe there's a Google Drive folder or Dropbox where you store documents. Perhaps you have a company blog that employees can look at for up-to-date content.
Better yet, maybe your company has invested in a knowledge sharing platform such as Smarp — a platform that offers centralized access to the right information. No matter where the latest news and most pertinent details are located, let your employees know about it during the onboarding process.
Ideally, share the location info in a couple of different ways. You can give access to the documents in person at a meeting, including visuals on a screen during your presentation so everyone can see exactly where you're going to find the items. Send out an email afterward with written details and instructions for access.
Find Out What They Already Know
You also need to conduct a knowledge audit with your internal employees. What do they already know about your company? How does information flow? When a new product rolls out or a big change is made within the company, how is that news communicated?
With surveys, questionnaires, or interviews, find out the answers to all those questions. Map the current flow of information. Identify the gaps in your employees' company knowledge. How can you close those gaps and improve access to information?
Implement a Knowledge Sharing Platform
A knowledge sharing platform works far better than more rudimentary methods of information storage, like a Google Drive folder. If your business is serious about Employee Advocacy, you'll need to smooth your employees' path to the information. They're busy people, and if it's not easy and enjoyable to share brand news, they won't do it.
Using a knowledge sharing platform like Smarp actually changes the culture of your business. It creates a sense of transparency, excitement, and of collaboration. As your employees discover brand news or product details that are important to them, they can post those items using the internal communication system. Discussions open up, and ideas are exchanged. Since your employees are the ones working most closely with new leads and customers, your company gains fresh insight into the needs of your market as well.
Use a Master Document or Spreadsheet
As you do your internal knowledge audit and research information sharing systems, you may find that some of your employees or departments already have their own storage zones and methods of sharing information. These rogue communication channels are part of your company's "shadow IT"— apps and technology that your employees are using without your IT department's approval or knowledge.
What's the problem with having all these different channels for information? Your company's internal knowledge and communication processes become fragmented, inefficient, and possibly inaccurate.
Instead, encourage your employees to share their best sources of information. What publications or websites do they visit for industry-related news? Which industry influencers do they follow on social media? Your employees can post links to these sources in one central "master document" or master Excel spreadsheet. That master file becomes a valuable resource, a hub through which helpful resource links can be disseminated to everyone.
Communicate clearly to your employees about how fragmented channels and shadow IT can be counterproductive. Once they understand the issue, they'll be more likely to understand where you're coming from and work with you, using the same tools and software across the company.
Host an Information Workshop
For some of your employees, finding fresh, relevant external information might be the hard part. They know how to access information about your company, but when it comes to outside news and industry happenings, they just don't know where to look or what to share.
Invite some of your best Employee Advocates to conduct a workshop where they offer tips and tricks for finding engaging, reliable content. These social media experts can teach other employees where to look for information, how to discover industry trends, and which Facebook groups to join for hot news items.
As you improve information flow and leverage Employee Advocacy, take some time to investigate solutions like Smarp. We provide a 14-day fully featured free trial so you can experience what the platform has to offer. Contact Smarp today to find out how an internal content hub can stimulate growth for your brand and improve engagement with your employees and your customers.
Or feel free to digest more information on the topic by downloading our free guide on knowledge sharing below: