Employee advocacy is a powerful tool when used right. It can help build brand awareness, drive sales, and boost your company’s reputation. But what exactly is employee advocacy, and how can you use it to boost your digital strategy?
Here’s a primer on employee advocacy in digital strategy, what it is, and three steps you can take to make better use of it.
What is Employee Advocacy?
In a nutshell, employee advocacy is the promotion of a brand or business by its own workforce.
This might mean workers sharing information about specific campaigns or products. It might mean they’re sharing brand content that could be helpful to anyone in the business’s field of expertise. Or, it might mean that workers deliberately offer insight into the company culture.
All of these actions can help boost your brand’s reputation with both potential new recruits and customers.
There are both on and offline forms of employee advocacy, but the most effective channel in 2021 is social media.
Why is Employee Advocacy so Important?
Employee advocacy benefits brands in three key ways:
- It increases brand awareness and positive perception, thereby boosting growth and sales.
- It improves staff engagement, recruitment, and retention, thereby having a positive impact on your human capital.
- It improves your brand’s reputation and helps with issue management.
How to Use Employee Advocacy in Digital Strategy
Some of your workers may already be sharing brand content on their personal social media channels, particularly if they’re enthusiastic about their work.
An employee advocacy program takes that and makes it official. You’re able to create resources, guidelines, and rewards for employees who post about the business. In essence, it helps to standardize how workers share your content and makes it easier for them to do so.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Address your workplace culture
In order for workers to become brand ambassadors, they need to value their jobs beyond just their income. This is where a positive workplace culture comes in.
A positive workplace culture is about more than providing a ping pong table for afternoon matches. It’s about laying out your core values and providing employees with the freedom and support they need to help you achieve them.
- Promote diversity and inclusivity
- Show support for employees in times of need
- Prioritize respect
- Create an employee recognition program
- Accept and use your employees’ feedback
- Be transparent
Employees want to feel respected and valuable within a workplace. The more comfortable they are in a workplace environment, the more likely they are to espouse the ideals of your brand.
2. Set goals
Workers might already be posting about their work on social media, but without goals and an organized system in place, you have no means of tracking any results.
The more time you spend clearly defining your goals, the easier it will be for your workers to glean what’s most valuable.
Say your goal is to increase brand awareness: you ought to encourage workers to share and post about the company in general. If you’re introducing a new product, create content employees would be happy to share.
A solid advocacy campaign will align with at least one of your brand’s primary business goals. Once this aim is set, you can choose which social media metrics to monitor. This might include leads, website traffic, or share of voice.
Once your advocacy campaign finishes, summarize the results in a report. This will give you a clear ROI. Make sure to include information on employee engagement and general metrics.
Some main metrics to monitor might include:
- Top contributors: Who’s sharing the most?
- Organic reach: How many users are seeing the content your employees are sharing?
- Engagement: Are people leaving comments, clicking links, or re-sharing content?
- Traffic: How much traffic was driven to your website?
- Brand sentiment: How has the campaign impacted your company’s brand sentiment?
3. Establish social media guidelines
Workers need to know the best way to communicate a branded message. This might include answering questions like:
- What kind of language is appropriate?
- How often should I post?
- How should I respond to comments?
An advocacy style guide and social media policy will answer these questions and more.
When drafting your guidelines, get your employees’ input. The more involved they are from the beginning, the more likely they are to engage fully with the program.
You should also keep in mind that each of your workers will have a different comfort level with social media. It can be helpful to bring everyone up to speed on the different channels first to put them on a level playing field.
Use Employee Advocacy in Your Digital Strategy
Employee advocacy is a great way to boost your digital marketing efforts. By addressing your workplace culture, setting clear goals, and establishing solid guidelines, you’ll be better able to use employee advocacy in your digital strategy.
Have questions about your digital strategy and how to get started? Get in touch with us here at Vervology. We’d be happy to help you.