Marketers today face many challenges in content amplification. Employee Advocacy is a new communication channel available for marketers to amplify brand content through employees’ personal social channels. It plays a pivotal role in empowering your employees to become a trusted brand advocates in today’s trust-based economy.
Modern marketers have started adopting Employee Advocacy as part of their marketing strategy. They feel it’s an authentic and cost-effective marketing channel in today’s hyper-connected world, and it enables them to measure earned media contribution against paid media spend.
Due to a proliferation of digital technologies, employees have a wide variety of tools in their communication arsenal. The real challenge lies in the adoption of communication tools among employees. To overcome this challenge, Employee Advocacy should become a part of your company culture. Here are six key steps to launch an Employee Advocacy program within your organization.
1. Set clear business goals
First and foremost, you should establish clear business goals to measure the impact of an Employee Advocacy program within your organization. These business goals may include increasing your brand awareness, improving employee engagement, increasing qualified leads and so on. This enables you to drive a real marketing outcome from the Employee Advocacy program.
2. Get executive buy-in
An Employee Advocacy program should be under the custodian of an Executive champion – be it a CMO, CDO or CHRO. They act as change agents to lead this program effectively. Prepare an actionable plan, get their approval for its long-term success and the active participation of potential employee brand advocates.
3. Select the right resources
Always choose a right cross-cultural team – sales, marketing, human resources, product management and corporate communication to run an effective Employee Advocacy program. Being a new-gen marketing channel, it’s better to identify a sponsor preferably from C-suite on a rotational basis who leads this program successfully.
4. Impart Training
After choosing your cross-cultural team, the onus lies with a sponsor to provide a hands-on Employee Advocacy software training to your potential employee brand advocates. Go ahead and impart training in the form of face-face, virtual and best practices sessions to maximize content amplification of your brand.
Simultaneously, make sure your employees build their online reputation by becoming industry thought leaders. Include Employee Advocacy training to employee on-boarding sessions, making sure that Employee Advocacy will become a part of your company culture. In the future, trained employee brand advocates can volunteer to spearhead this new-gen concept among future employee advocates.
5. Recommend quality content
Don’t force your potential employee advocates to amplify all your brand content. Understand their motivation and willingness to share different types of brand content through their personal social channels. Develop high-quality content and encourage employees to curate content to maximize their online reputation as well as the brand’s.
6. Reward your employee advocates
Understand the intrinsic motivation of your employee brand advocates after rolling-out your Employee Advocacy program. Don’t miss to acknowledge the efforts of your employee brand advocates. There are numerous ways to reward and recognize employees’ participation.
Moreover, Employee Advocacy tools today often have a built-in gamification engine to recognize their efforts. Give shout-outs to your top brand advocates during town-hall and team meetings, email newsletters; give discount coupons, VIP luncheons, share leader boards on social media and intranet etc.
In a nutshell, launching an Employee Advocacy program is a herculean task. Hence it requires conscientious efforts to make it a proven success within your organization. By using the above steps effectively, on-board, nurture and engage your potential employee brand advocates for building a social brand online.