Building a Powerful Brand with Social Media Employee Advocacy

— November 15, 2016

Since its inception social media has steadily evolved and grown into an indispensable marketing tool. In the last few years, market research organizations have proved time and again that a solid social media marketing presence can show actual impact on a company’s marketing and business goals.

The importance of a strong social media brand presence

78% of the US population is active on social media. Further, 70% of the consumers who participated in a survey said they used social media to research companies before making a purchase. To capture that massive market, it is essential for your brand to develop an influential presence on social media.

The challenges faced by most companies on social media

Achieving wide exposure on social media is no easy task. Feeds on social media platforms are quick-paced and crowded leaving little to no room for a company to broadcast its content and catch the attention of potential clients. Facebook alone has over 4 billion posts shared each day! Rising above this personal chatter is an important challenge for companies to overcome to reach their target audience. There is paid advertising, but that tactic limits your reach to the budget that you have in hand and the stigma that a significant amount of people have towards ads.

Friends and family are ranked among the top trusted sources for information on the internet. If implemented right, your employee advocacy program can help you build a powerful brand, reach a wider audience and connect with them better. It can also help you keep your employees engaged.

What is social media employee advocacy?

Employee advocates are employees who actively share company content on social media. By enabling employees to share, you increase the impact of your content marketing by increasing your reach, credibility and brand presence. In addition to branding, there are other interesting employee advocacy use-cases, like social selling, social recruitment and event marketing.

The case for social media employee advocacy

Turning your employees into brand advocates has many advantages, the following being the most important among them.

1. Added credibility: As per a Nielsen report, 90% of all social media users trust recommendations made by their social connections over those made by brands or anyone else.

2. Amplified reach: This claim can be corroborated with simple math. Consider the number of followers your brand pages have in total and compare that number with the social connections that all your employees have when put together. Employee advocacy extends your reach substantially.

3. Increased conversions: According to research conducted by IBM, leads generated by social employee advocacy are seven times as likely to convert as leads generated by other means.

Implementing employee advocacy

1. Choose an employee advocacy platform to organize and streamline your employee advocacy program

Decide on an employee advocacy platform to manage your program. The platform should make it easy for you to connect with your employees and share content with them. Your employees should also be able to share the content your curate directly to their social media accounts with ease. It also helps to have a system to track your employees’ activity, so you can measure the impact of your content among your employees and on social media. The platform that you use should also have a system to motivate and drive employees to actively participate and make the program a success.

If you’re used to working with emails, is a good platform choice. On the platform, you can create and share content newsletters with your employees on a daily basis. Through the newsletters, employees can share content to their social media accounts.

DrumUp Employee Advocacy Platform is a also great choice because it allows employees to share to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter directly out of your curated feed, includes an analytics system, and is simple to use.

If you have a solid presence on LinkedIn, and if most of your business is generated from the platform, LinkedIn Elevate is a great way to expand on your efforts.

2. Enlist the help of active employees to manage activities and create enthusiasm for the program

Appoint a community leader to monitor the program and manage the flow. The leader should be able to manage communicate between participants and the management, and keep the enthusiasm up for consistency in performance.

Your community leader can also take charge of themes, post suggestions and keep the program upbeat and fun for your employees.

3. Identify the most popular content among employees and your social media audience

Share content that is popular among employees and audience alike. Unless the content you share is well-liked by employees, it won’t get past stage one and be shared, and if it isn’t capable of attracting your target audience on social media, the shares are wasted effort.

Track shares that each content piece receives per employee and engagement per post on social media to identify the content that clears both qualifiers.

4. Offer encouragement and exciting incentives

Incentivize the activity. Unless your employees are motivated to participate, the program won’t show its full potential of success. Recognition of your best participants is also just as necessary.
According to this study, 78% of working US citizens claim that recognition at work motivates them to perform better on the job.

5. Track the impact and success of your employee advocacy program

Measure your ROI. Key performance indicators that correlate with employee advocacy are social media engagement metrics, impressions and equivalent advertising value for those impressions.
Measuring your metrics is key to understanding the impact of your program and optimizing your results.

You could refer to these case studies or this employee advocacy guide for inspiration.

You currently have all the resources you require to increase your social media reach a 100 times over or possibly more, but are probably not using it. How far away are you from creating your own social media advocate army?

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Author: Aditi Prakash

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