Hi! We all have our “reasons” so let’s get to the points!
The five NOT-reasons upfront (read on below for what they entail):
- Building employees personal brands is not part of your company culture
- Social media is not a priority or valuable to your org
- You’re not interested in increasing social reach via employees
- Building an internal workplace community is not a priority for your org
- You don’t have internet, or use Netscape, and dislike puppies
But wait! Before I learn about EveryoneSocial, do I even want any more social media in my life?
Cue the ripple-dissolve to a philosophical flashback for a hot minute…
Preamble: Likes and Comments and Shares, Oh My!
Have you seen the new documentary Netflix series The Social Dilemma featuring ex-Googler tech whistleblower Tristan Harris?
**Honestly, I have not watched beyond the trailer, but I’ve kept abreast with the ideas presented by the series’ various guests for several years now so I’ll spare myself from yet another “binge.”
Shouldn’t we be stuffing social media back into the early-aughts Pandora’s Box from which it sprung?
Let’s be real, social media is everywhere, and more than ever it’s important to focus one’s engagement of social media to a specifically useful end.
What’s undeniable is that social media is only getting more popular and becoming more relevant to all aspects of the digitized enterprise.
Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels. (MSLGroup)
For almost a decade, there have been concerns about how social media affects our lives from the individual psychologically all the way to our global society at large.
Keep in mind however that not only have many of the guests featured in the The Social Dilemma expressed these concerns long before Netflix made a series, but other critical technologists have pointed out similar observations all along as well:
James Williams is an especially astute writer (ex-Googler as well) who reconsiders how social media can be reined in to serve us, instead of us serving it.
In much more practical terms, Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism is another resource that provides immediate solutions to our “social dilemma” in general.
Cal explores how social media is undeniably useful and essential for modern professionals, but needs to be deliberately engaged for reliably positive returns.
Social Media in the Workplace
But how can we be deliberate about our use of social media, especially when it comes to social media in the workplace?
You guessed it: employee advocacy!
Another way to say this is: social media is growing up and its future is employee advocacy, in which user engagement is reliably professional, respectful, and mutually beneficial.
There’s no better way to put social media to work for your company, brand, and personal career development than with employee advocacy.
The value of employee advocacy is increasing and its use is becoming central to every department in the modern organization.
With 98% of employees already on social media and most likely posting about their company, it only makes sense to empower them with a centralized platform such as EveryoneSocial. (Weber Shandwick)
But before you get onboard, consider these five reasons why employee advocacy and EveryoneSocial might “NOT” be a good fit for your company.
1. Building employees personal brands is not part of your company culture
Did you know that content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels? (Social Media Today)
Perhaps counterintuitive, but we’ve found that companies with the strongest corporate culture also foster and encourage employees to grow their personal brands.
Clients of ours like Adobe and Dell have a strong presence and are regarded as industry authorities on social media thanks to their employees sharing workplace experience and personal interests using EveryoneSocial.
Personal brands and the corporate brand dovetail and reinforce each other.
But if your company wants to maintain a monolithic brand sentiment and anonymous voice on social media, then employee advocacy is probably not useful for you.
If employees are not given license to represent their employer on social media, then your advocacy platform would quickly collect cobwebs.
- But just keep in mind that earned media (press, word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer referrals) drives 4x the brand lift as paid media. (Bazaar Voice)
- Peer-to-peer marketing is the leading driver behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions. (McKinsey)
These are some compelling numbers, and while maintaining brand authority seems like it is achieved through singular broadcasting, the reality today is: people relate to people, not faceless billboards or impersonal content.
Just remember, empowering employees does not mean your brand will become incoherent and fragmented – the exact opposite is seen online:
Passionate employees humanizing their employer (by sharing and creating content that is relevant to their personal brands) results in a stronger corporate brand.
2. Social media is not a priority or valuable to your org
Which only makes sense if your organization is allergic to people and money (surely such places exist, but examples escape me).
I’m stumped trying to identify which businesses would not benefit from engaging on social media, but if you can think of any, I’d honestly like to know! Please message me on LinkedIn with your findings! 😉
With 76% of individuals surveyed saying that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands, it’s really hard to make a case for not participating in social media conversations.
I hope we someday onboard the proprietor of a lemonade stand as even the smallest enterprise benefits from employee advocacy engagement.
The bigger the employee advocacy program, the easier it is for admins to optimize what’s working best and thus make big returns faster.
While your current organization or place of employment is most likely closer to the enterprise scale than the lemonade stand scale, we understand that social media has yet to be discovered by many executives.
And frankly: executives on social media have a huge impact on workplace adoption of (undeniably valuable) advocacy programs.
If a CEO gets on EveryoneSocial, it’s a giant greenlight for everyone else to do the same.
If your org does not prioritize social media, try broaching the subject with your C-Suite directly; chances are they will be receptive to your observations.
Let us know if you need any assistance providing information for such a conversation with your company’s leadership, we’re always here to advocate for advocacy!
3. You’re not interested in increasing social or brand reach via employees
Maybe your official brand accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter, Insta or Facebook are performing great.
Congrats, sorry to be a buzzkill but: chances are your success is anomalous and probably short lived.
There are so many stats on why word-of-mouth and peer-to-peer advocacy outperforms official brand channels and ads, but consider the importance of “WOM” (word of mouth) for hiring, marketing, sales, and retail!
EveryoneSocial is built for go-go-gadget increasing your reach for solutions in marketing, HR, employer branding, frontline enablement, and channel partner cooperation.
If you don’t trust your employees to advocate for your brand, that’s either a company culture issue or a hiring problem.
If you believe in your employees however, then give them the best tools to take their brand and their company brand to new heights (and new lengths of reach!)
Say no to social spamming
But what about half-trusting your employees, that’s enough, right? Say, you only want employees spamming social networks with the same content. What could possibly go wrong.
You guessed it: this is a waste of everyone’s time.
Not only are such content-relaying social strategies the exact same as boosting official brand channels (from the perspective of the end user/audience), but the employees instrumentalized to that (ineffective) end are not allowed to be themselves!
And your employees will get salty that their own social capital is being scraped off by their employer at no benefit to the ones sharing.
This broaches an important aspect of employee advocacy: it works amazingly well when the employee and the employer both benefit.
Prioritizing the value of the participating employees will ensure strong employer branding, but exploiting employee networks for company spamming is an unsustainable social strategy to say the least.
It’s like burning your furniture to stay warm; don’t do it.
Spamming the same company content on social media from employee profiles doesn’t cut it – audiences see right through this and it can foster negative brand sentiment as well.
More and more, the imperative is: authenticity of user generated content. Employer UGC is the gold standard.
Connect employees to their respective audiences and let them represent their brand as it relates to their own interests and connections!
4. Building an internal workplace community is not a priority for your org
Community and internal comms go hand in hand. Consider how internal communications is important to your organization:
- Keeps your people more informed
- Helps build your organization’s work culture
- Increases employee engagement
- Creates transparency and trust among the entire company
- Provides more opportunities for people within the company to learn, be trained, and feel connected
- Creates an environment open to feedback, debate, and discussion
- Improves overall employee experience
Perhaps these reasons are new to you, or have not been prioritized yet.
But with most companies allowing for permanent remote-work schedules (either fully or partially), establishing a central hub for hosting original company content and employee generated content (also known as “UGC” or user generated content) is not just the trend, it’s of crucial importance!
More than 80% of Americans say employee communication is key to developing trust with their employers. (Lexicon)
There’s no doubt that your employees and colleagues are creating engaging authentic content that can help establish your brand as an authority within its space on LinkedIn and elsewhere.
The key to creating momentum with UGC is to have all the right internal comms tech in place, and from there to encourage engagement that will substantiate your workplace community, even if your company is decentralized.
After activating employees on an advocacy platform like EveryoneSocial, workers in any location: remote, HQ, and satellite-offices will all be able to participate in their company community.
Your company will be better equipped to create an internal meeting place from anywhere employees are working. Employees of all departments can:
- Create content for internal consumption
- Share ideas and knowledge from their day to day
- Stay informed of the latest company news and content
- Engage in co-works content (liking, commenting, or tagging others)
Same goes for frontline and retail workers – even if they don’t have a company email address, they can be active and stay informed with EveryoneSocial.
5. You don’t have internet, you use Netscape, or you dislike puppies
Currently, employee advocacy requires the internet, NOT-Netscape, and sometimes our pets (you never know when a VP-of-whatever is a fan of your LinkedIn puppy post!)
In all seriousness, we can understand why you might not want to buy EveryoneSocial if social media has no place in your company.
But assuming you’re operating in the 21st century with the rest of us, chances are your brand is at least partially digitized, if not fully socialized online.
Trusting employees to be the face of the brand is for sure a prerequisite for achieving success with whatever advocacy platform you decide to implement.
Of course, a social media policy is also very important and can help employees gain clarity on where the boundaries are in terms of ideal content and what to avoid as well.
Many brands have effective social media policies for their employees, and if you’re considering advocacy, seeing what’s already effective can assuage any concerns about activating employees for social engagement.
Lastly, take a look at our product fans and see for yourself how EveryoneSocial stacks up against the alternatives.
We’ll let our client reviews speak for themselves, but of course we’re always happy to answer any questions or set up a demo.