Brands need to find new ways to connect with and engage their audience: 69% of consumers distrust advertising and 42% don’t trust brands. On a global scale, 11% of Internet users are blocking ads on the web.
Encouraging employees to share company-related content on social media is a great way to add a human touch to your brand, as consumers trust recommendations from their peers over advertising. So what are the best practices when it comes to employee advocacy, what content can be shared to connect with consumers, how to encourage employees to spread the word? We had a chat on that topic with Lilach Bullock, content marketing and social media specialist:
Hi Lilach, you help companies building their social media strategies. What are the main challenges that social media experts are facing nowadays?
One of the biggest challenges is probably demonstrating social media ROI (return on investment). It’s been the no. 1 challenge for marketers for years now and that hasn’t changed. The problem is that although we have so much access to analytics, it’s difficult to tie in those results with actual revenue. Particularly when it comes to engagement – what is a ‘like’ worth, what is a ‘comment’ worth?
Another big challenge, quite simply, is getting results - there's simply so much noise and so many accounts competing for attention - companies and marketers need to find ways to stand out.
A brand may lose followers by posting content that sounds too promotional. To engage their followers, businesses may share brand-related content but also tips, industry-related news and third-party content, can you tell us a bit more about this approach?
Basically, if you only post updates about yourself, promoting yourself, your followers will most likely be put off – and stop following you, and definitely stop engaging with you.
People are on social media for all kinds of reasons, but the only reason why they would follow a company online is if they get some kind of value out of it. Sure, some are big fans of different brands and they follow them for company news and exclusive offers. But generally, there isn’t much of an incentive for people to follow a company – unless they share the type of content they like to see in their feeds: news, interesting articles, funny images, and so on.
When employees become ambassadors on social media, they also increase the company's reach, what are according to you the main benefits of employee advocacy on social media?
Even though employees might have considerably fewer friends/followers on social media than their employer has (as a company), they actually hold much more influence over that circle of friends, followers, and family.
As I mentioned before, people trust other people more than they ever could trust a company; and that makes them read their updates, click on their links, and engage with them.
Plus, even though your employees might not have that big of an audience, they will still make a big difference to your reach on social media and help you build up trust and generate better results overall: more traffic, more engagement, more shares, and so on.
If you had to pick 5 best practices for launching an employee advocacy program, what would they be?
My first tip would probably be that you need a strategy; take some time to think through what you want to achieve with your employee advocacy program, and to put it all down on paper – being organised and strategic always helps you with both your results and with time management.
Secondly, you need to make it easy for your team; build a hub where you share content, where your employees can ask any questions they might have, and so on.
Third, make it fun! You ideally want your employees to help spread the word because not only they love their job and the company they work for but they also want to help in any way they can.
To encourage your employees to share more and be more active on social media, try gamifying the process – it’s a fun way to compete with your colleagues and it gets your employees to share more.
And since they’re putting in all this extra effort to help your company grow, consider rewarding them for their work: a nice lunch, some swag, gift certificates, and so on.
About Lilach: Lilach Bullock is a content marketing and social media specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker and well-recognised influencer. She launched her first business Asklilach in 2006. She started off by helping clients get the most out of social media. Three years later, she decided to sell her business so that she could focus on giving one-to-one advice to clients. A few years later, she founded an international digital marketing agency to help businesses implementing effective social media strategies. In parallel, she built up a multi-site blog and online marketing portfolio that was soon attracting over 600,000 visitors a month. Forbes listed Lilach as one of the Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers, Career Experts made her their Number 1 Digital Marketing Influencer, and Oracle named her the Social Influencer of Europe. Follow Lilach’s activities on Twitter and LinkedIn!
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