Employee Advocacy on Social Media: Encouraging Engagement

Employee advocacy
Employee advocacy
Photo by Omkar Patyane from Pexels

Social media is a great tool for building brand awareness, widening your reach, and getting your message across. It’s also a perfect platform for leveraging user-generated content. Active engagement on social media is important for achieving these goals rather than simply building a large following on the platform. By harnessing the power of your employees, you offer the kind of behind-the-scenes activity and personification of an organization that drives such engagement. Your employees’ posts on social media, for example, are seen as much more trustworthy than promotional brand content. That’s why in order to gain a competitive edge nowadays, it’s a good idea to consider an employee advocacy program. Here are seven ways to encourage employees to post on social media.

Using employee advocacy programs to support your brand

Invest in your employees

Firstly, if you want to turn your employees into advocates for your brand you need to invest in them by ensuring you create a healthy environment for them at work, invest in their professional development, and treat them equitably. It’s also essential to protect your staff with efficient, equitable, and effective HR services. You could consider outsourcing these services to a reputable HR agency such as Syndeo HRO if you can’t afford to have a trained staff in your company. The more you work on employee satisfaction, the more likely they are to help you boost brand awareness.

A disgruntled employee can sink your reputation on social media, so even without an employee advocacy program, keep this in mind when it comes to creating a happy environment at work.

Outline your social media policy

Social media is a great digital marketing tool, but turning employees loose on your social media offers a myriad of dangers ranging from misrepresentation of your brand, mudding your brand image with off-point messaging, or insulting your customers. Below you can see how a post from a Chrysler exec didn’t do the brand any good.

manage global digital marketing

It’s important to give employees sufficient training as part of an employee advocacy program and to clearly outline your social media policy. This way you increase their confidence as to which type of content is appropriate to post and they’ll have proper guidance. This will make employee advocacy more effective and overcome some trepidation on the part of employees to post on social media about your brand.

Use an employee advocacy platform

You could consider using an employee advocacy platform to help you, such as EveryoneSocial. This is a popular tool for businesses as it outlines everything you need to know about posting on social media and offers training options, analytical tools, and more with an easy-to-use interface. Using tools such as these allow you to monitor and manage your social media campaigns and optimize them. It also helps you to set a standard for social media advocacy.

Suggest posting third-party content

Sometimes employees just don’t know what to post on social media regarding your brand. As well as reposting brand content developed for them to share it’s also very effective to post third-party content, such as industry news or sharing posts about other relevant businesses in the field. One of my past clients found it very effective to share news favorable to companies being courted by the sales team.

Posting 3rd party content helps build trust among followers and gives your business more credibility. Readers see you as an authority in the field more than if you just stick to self-promotional content. Suggest posting third-party content to your employees and teach them the right way to share third-party content to ensure the content is both interesting and relevant to ensure its effectiveness.

Offer incentives and rewards

You could offer incentives and rewards to the employees who get involved in social media marketing. The way you choose to incentivize your staff largely depends on your company culture and the type of business you run. You could offer small prizes for the highest number of posts or the most successful posts in terms of engagement. Encourage your employees to post third-party content by explaining that this is a great way for them to network and can help with professional development, as well. Often the best rewards are opportunities to progress and recognition in the role, so bear this in mind as if users learn that employees are getting tangible rewards for their advocacy, the effort might backfire.

Encourage staff feedback

Monitor your employee advocacy program closely and encourage staff feedback. It’s important to understand how they feel about the program, identify suggestions to improve the program, and listen to their opinions. Such feedback efforts not only make your marketing campaigns more effective but also ensure your employees feel valued. You could take anonymous feedback, hold one-on-one meetings, or group sessions with participants or those unwilling to participate. You could even try sending out quick surveys with closed and open questions. Choose the methods that your staff are more comfortable with. Here are a few more tips on how to encourage staff feedback.

Conclusion

Employee advocacy is only effective if it appears natural and genuine so it’s important not to force it. Encourage your employees to post on social media without turning it into a chore for them. Provide plenty of guidance and training and be available for help and support. Explain the benefits of creating this type of content on social media for both your brand and your staff. Networking on social media is also beneficial for your employees’ professional development as well as increasing brand exposure. It’s also a great experience for them and, with careful program construction, is fun. Getting your staff involved in social media marketing is often very advantageous and helps you reach out to today’s customers.

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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.