Below you’ll learn how to inspire participation in your employee advocacy initiatives and how to keep that engagement growing for long-term results.
 
Employees can be one of your company’s biggest assets when advocating for your business on social media. They can generate new leads and customers, attract top talent, and be the voice for your brand.

All simply by using their distinct personality and voice to talk up your industry, work culture, products, and services on their personal social networks.

But many employees aren’t automatically going to be on board with your company’s employee advocacy initiatives or want to get more involved with their personal social media accounts.

They need to be convinced it’s worth their time and that they can make a meaningful contribution. Essentially, it’s the “what’s in it for me” mentality.

Thus, it’s important to show them how much you value their advocacy – and to give them the training they need to be successful employee advocates.
 

Employee Participation

Before we get into how your company can inspire employees to care about your employee advocacy initiatives, it’s important to note a few things.

As mentioned above, your employees are intelligent and will see how this process can clearly benefit the company. But, for them to truly be invested in employee advocacy too, they also need to see how it helps them as well.

However, it’s also important and should be clear to them that:

  • Employee advocacy participation is never required, only encouraged
  • There are social guidelines in place but that you trust them to be involved

 

5 Key Ways to Inspire Employee Advocacy on Social Media

 

1. Help your employees develop a personal brand:

98% of employees use at least one social media site for personal use, of which 50% are already posting about their company. (Weber Shandwick)

The above stat is also growing and shows that your employees probably are advocating on social already, maybe without you realizing. Yet, it also shows there is plenty of room for others to be your brand champions.

And many other employees probably will want to advocate for your brand on social media, but they may be nervous that they’ll just sound like a mouthpiece for their employer.

When employees develop a personal brand, they learn how to speak in their own voice, and they learn how to write in a way that reflects their own values and tastes. You can help your employees develop their personal brand by offering coaching sessions and other ongoing training opportunities.

This is something that Dell focused on and drove more than 10,000 employees to be actively engaged and participating in their employee advocacy initiatives. Learn more in our case study here.
 

2. Encourage the development of thought leadership:

Employees who are particularly talented can do more than just develop a personal brand and speak about your business in their own voice; they can become thought leaders.

Yes, it may be one of those terms you roll your eyes at hearing, but thought leadership is alive and well on social media.

Thought leadership involves developing subject-matter experts among your employees who write regularly about news and trends in your niche industry, and who develop an authoritative voice in the process.

Employees who are interested stand out among their peers, help increase their social reach, learn and develop in their careers, and provides additional professional opportunities (writing and speaking engagements for example).Plus, thought leaders know how to effectively advocate for your business and your brand, while simultaneously giving their social-media followers compelling, engaging, meaningful content.

Your business should train and cultivate thought leadership among employees who show particular promise and aptitude for social media.
 
Related: Learn how to Transform Your Employees Into Thought Leaders. Get your guide.
 

3. Show employees the big picture:

Employees tend to perform better at any task when they understand why they’re supposed to do it. You should tap into this innate tendency by always showing them the big picture of any employee advocacy initiative.

This means the mission statement, goals of a program, improving communications and work culture, etc.
Yet, your company has to practice what you preach. Managers and executives should be involved and participate if they want other employees to care.

You know the saying, lead by example. Exactly what needs to happen for employees to see the value in social media advocacy.

It’s important your company explains why the business has decided to get social, be more active in building an online community, and how each social media post by an employee can help further the goals of the campaign.
 

4. Create incentives for participation:

Given that your employees tend to be more motivated to churn out a better product when they’re promised a tangible reward, there’s nothing wrong with strengthening your employee advocacy program by creating incentives, including rewards, contests and prizes.

You can even use a leaderboard to let employees see how they stack up in their social-media advocacy involvement – and to fuel a spirit of competition among other employees or departments.

Highlight employees who are doing well on social media, in your company newsletter, etc. Give them opportunities to write, take over corporate social media, lunch with the CEO, or whatever you can creatively think of that would rally employees.

But you should also be cautious. You should not base an entire employee advocacy program around gamification or lead with it to drive engagement. It’s a good feature to have, but this can quickly turn in a spam contest of sharing.

Not what employee advocacy is about.
 
Related: Gamification strategy applies to more than just apps and games, it can be used in businesses to enhance employee engagement, marketing efforts, and more. Here Are 6 Gamification Strategy Tips for Your Business.
 

5. Invest in the right platform to track employees’ social media advocacy:

Employee advocacy initiatives need a simple platform to not only manage content and measure share results but one that employees can easily interact with consistently.

Nothing is more detrimental to the success of any of your company initiatives than weak, confusing and frustrating tech that goes with it. It limits employee engagement and interest by your organization wanes quickly.

You want something that employees can quickly get in, find what they want, is useful, engaging, and is not a major hassle for them to use. That’s why we built EveryoneSocial, one of the first employee advocacy platforms for companies to leverage.

More importantly, we built a philosophy that you are buying success, not just software. Our team aims to provide ongoing training and support so your company continues to success and growth.

If you are interested in our platform, use cases, and customers, schedule your demo today to learn more.
 

Final Thoughts

Inspiring employees to become brand ambassadors on social media is essential to the success of any business’s social media initiatives.

Fortunately, with a little time and investment, you can give your employees the skills and empowerment they need to advocate for your business long-term.

The keys to success are to train employees in building a personal brand and thought leadership, to show them how their efforts fit into big-picture goals, to incentivize their participation and to track their advocacy efforts in a systematic way.
 

Interested in learning more about successfully launching your employee advocacy program? Download our detailed launch guide to ensure continued success

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