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Nov 09, 2015

Approx. 4 min. read

The Art of Choosing an Employee Advocate

In his recent video How to Hack the Amplification Process – Whiteboard Friday, Rand Fishkin, Moz explained that too few content marketers try to...

In his recent video How to Hack the Amplification Process – Whiteboard FridayRand Fishkin, Moz explained that too few content marketers try to identify their potential audience and discover what influences those audiences. Because of that many amplifying mentions and links remain unreceived.


While watching, I realized something about choosing employee advocates. I believe most of employee advocates — at least when selecting the leading edge — are chosen because they belong to one or all of these groups:

  • Social media savvy
  • Digital native
  • Enthusiastic volunteer

In addition, I think they could be selected based on buyer personas.

Why? According to Edelman Trust Barometer 2014, a good number of people trust people similar to themselves.  To influence potential clients, you should also select employee advocates that match your buyer personas.


Customer comes first

I’m sure defining buyer personas is familiar to you, but let me summarize the basics: craft a generalization of your ideal customer into a persona. That persona should tell your content creators the following things:

  • Who the persona is: gender, age, location, occupation, hobbies
  • What are the personas goals: needs, problems, life goals
  • Why the persona might object: buying barriers
  • How to approach the persona: wording, channel choices, point of views

In the end, you should have a tiny family of personas, who clearly differ from each other. Traditionally you use them to craft your messages, to target your ads, etc.  Now you can use them while scanning your employees: Who is a lookalike of Mrs. Garamond? Who does the best imitation of Mr. Helvetica?

Or more likely:

  • Which of your employees are the most similar to the intended audience?
  • Who could influence this particular audience and develop a strong personal brand, because they trust him?
  • Who uses the same social networks as the audience you are after?
  • Who is on the same wavelength as the members of the audience and could easily earn the perks of Employee Advocacy while working among that audience?

Choose a group of similar employees to represent one buyer persona. You could even coach them in those groups because the social media usage between your buyer personas might deviate drastically.


Targeting in Smarpshare

In SmarpShare, you can set target audiences in company preferences and name those after your buyer personas.

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When you have your employee advocates ready in Smarpshare, you can sort them into groups by target audiences. Target audiences are visible to the employee advocate too.


Every piece of content you publish for sharing can be targeted for the right employee advocates. In addition to targeting the right ambassadors, I strongly recommend writing comment suggestions just right, once again keeping that certain persona in mind.



hanna takala

Hanna Takala, Zento

Hanna coaches Finnish organizations and their employee advocates to communicate better on social media. She is a trained visual designer and communications professional. Hanna is a regular guest blogger at


Image credits: Jesse Millan

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Hanna Takala

Hanna Takala


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