Employee Advocacy Program Concerns

Employee advocacy program questions and concerns are not surprising, learn how we respond to the most common ones we hear with prospects.
 
We’ve been in the employee advocacy and social selling space for quite some time now and have worked with 100+ companies that include Adobe, Dell, Coupa, EA Sports, Yahoo.

Before any company signs on with us, we are always happy to (and encourage) numerous product demos.

These sessions are important as we essentially teach our prospects about the importance of having an employee advocacy and social selling program in place.

Yet, after all these demos and training sessions, we noticed that there tended to be quite a bit of overlap in common concerns about investing in a program at their company.

We welcome questions and concerns though because we actively enjoy educating and helping businesses reach their full potential.

Since we’ve seen these concerns on almost every demo, we wanted to help arm you with advance knowledge as you research employee advocacy solutions for your company.
 
B2B Sales Person
 

”Our social networks are blocked at work…”

Knowing how important social media is to successful employee advocacy and social selling, this surprisingly has come up quite a few times on demo calls.

While not necessarily a concern or question, it’s a statement that has occasionally popped up.

Each time a prospect has mentioned that their company blocks social media accounts, it typically catches us off guard (at first).

What helps us, is that you are aware that this is a challenge and that you’ll be talking to the appropriate people within the company to change that.

Typically though when this comes up, we like to take a step back and share insights on why getting employees on social is important.

We like to help you get a plan in place and mention that until that internal company change happens, an employee advocacy solution will not make sense for your company…yet.

Rather than just dismissing the prospect or even continuing to go for the final sale, we educate the person(s) with data and insights that they can take to leadership and present why social media policies for employees need to change

Think of it this way if your company is currently blocking social media:

Employee advocacy for many organizations is a bit of a culture shift.

If the culture today is prohibitive of social media, what are you going to do to change that PRIOR to launching a program?
 
Looking for sample social media policies? Here are 7 social media policy samples.
 

“Would placing a platform in front of employee’s encourage them to spend more time, or even too much time on social?”

One of the most common and valid question we are asked, is does an employee advocacy platform encourage employees to spend too much time on social, disrupting getting their work done?

With that question, comes a few simple, yet important responses.

Our ethos is that better informed and better-educated employees are more engaged at work, and more valuable to both their organization and the industry as a whole.

Serving the right information and content to your employees in a single application is more efficient, and on average, we see that employees spend 15 min/day inside EveryoneSocial quickly consuming and sharing content, then they’re off.

Additionally:

  • Employee advocacy software has platform admins that have control on the main content and who is invited to participate in the program.
    Create specific guidelines ahead of launching employee advocacy.
  • Keep it simple, transparent, and clear for all to understand.
  • Our software actively does not show users followers and mentions. Instead, it keeps the focus primarily on the content to share and the engagement content is receiving.

 

”We don’t have the bandwidth required to be curating and approving articles all day for our employees to share…”

Another common statement and general concern we typically hear is even though the concept sounds great, we don’t have the bandwidth to approve and manage content all day for employees.

Everyone is busy and adding something else to their plate will only be more work.

However, it takes less time than you think, especially with a good software solution.

The most successful programs regularly have new content. Yet, the definition of “regularly” is close to 3-4 new articles/stream/week.

This equates to 20 minutes a day TOPS as an admin editing and approving content. That’s it.

And that short amount of time can generate high-quality leads, increase web traffic, and improve brand visibility while arming colleagues as thought leaders in their own social networks.
 
Evaluating which employee advocacy software you should choose? Consider asking the vendor these questions before making a final purchase decision.
 

”We don’t produce enough content…”

Most people are probably familiar with the statement: “Content is king.”

This will continue to hold true as quality content brings in leads, keeps people engaged, and draws new traffic organically and on social.

Yet, we also know not every company has the resources to dedicate countless hours to crafting long blog posts each week.

But is important to get your marketing team, and potentially leadership, crafting great content.

The crux of any employee advocacy program is going to be fresh content. Although you might have limited resources for content, there are ways to combat that.

Adding 3rd party industry publications is one huge win for the admin and the users.

You should be sharing related industry content from trusted outside sources. This shows knowledge in your space and builds a community around your content and fills the content gaps your copy might have.
 
The recommended mix is somewhere between 20-30% branded self-promotional content and 70-80% third party.
 
Second, giving users the ability to curate their own streams will also help offset any content challenges.

For instance, our software allows users to create their own personal content stream of RSS feeds, to encourage employees to build their own personal brand and thought leadership.
 

“Some employees might be more tenured and aren’t sure how to use social media…”

While you need some basic technology skills to be able to use social media, you certainly don’t need to be an advanced computer expert.

If you can use a smartphone, browse the web, download apps and send emails, then it certainly will not be a challenge.

However, we also found this concern to be somewhat debunked and it’s a fairly lame excuse thinking that older generations can not use social media.
 
Looking for more? Here are 4 Common Social Media Myths Debunked.
 
In one recent meeting, a prospect mentioned that their more senior employees are actually the ones that gravitate more towards using an advocacy tool because they finally have a way to elevate their personal brand beyond simply their tenure in the business.

They’ve already built a career, and this is a catapult to launch them ahead again in an otherwise stagnant senior position in the industry.

Additionally, the “millennials” have a tendency to use social media A LOT in their personal lives, but it is less common for them to gravitate towards using it professionally.

Since they have their own personality online, they tend to not want to mix professionalism with their personal social presence.

Now, this may vary by industry, country, culture, etc. But nevertheless, anyone working in your business can and has the ability to learn and participate in social media.
 

“We’ve been emailing content to our employees and encouraging them to share, but we don’t see a ton of engagement…”

Many employee advocacy programs begin this way, and it actually speaks volumes to laying the groundwork for a culture that is accepting/encouraging sharing of content.

If you’re doing this already, you’re one step ahead in laying a foundation.

So why is engagement low with a company newsletter?

The key to an employee advocacy program is one that is rooted in the interest of the employee first.

Oftentimes an email newsletter comes across as being rooted in the interest of the organization, and that isn’t an approach that lends itself well to encouraging participation.

Dell had this exact issue when we first had a conversation with them about their employee advocacy efforts.

By implementing our employee advocacy program and focusing on the employee interest, they saw an increase of 45,000+ clicks and got 10,000 employees active in content sharing on social. Essentially, getting a 38x lift in content sharing.

Putting a platform in place that serves significantly more content than a newsletter would, you change the conversation to one of enablement rather than an endorsement.
 

Employee Advocacy Program Concerns Conclusion

Hopefully, some of our employee advocacy program insight and common concerns we are asked will help in your research.

Since we’ve seen these questions and concerns on almost every demo or during in-person meetings, we wanted to help arm you with knowledge ahead of time, no matter which direction you go.

Do you have other concerns or questions about an employee advocacy program or how it can help your company? Let us know in the comments.
 

Has your company started implementing employee advocacy yet? See how our employee advocacy software can help turn employees into powerful marketers, sellers, and recruiters.