Although social media in the workplace and employee advocacy has been around for a few years, getting budget and approval for a platform can still be challenging. When organizations make a program and strategy a priority, we’ve seen big ROI and cost-savings.
But generally for those who are new to it, it can be an unproven model that is intimidating and hard to put a decent budget towards. But in this section, you’ll learn about being prepared to get executive buy-in.
The Business Value of Employee Advocacy
First, it’s important to think about the value that employee advocacy programs can bring.For example, social media advertising costs are continually on the rise. Depending on your company size, you might be spending a few thousand each month or six-figures plus!
These ads become more competitive, expensive, and people are becoming increasingly immune to ads and engage less. Alternatively, the cost of an employee advocacy program can be 1/10th the cost of paid ads.
And there have been numerous studies that show people trust content and information from friends, colleagues, and family members over other forms of media (like ads).
On average, an employee advocacy program involving 1,000 active participants can generate $1,900,000 in advertising value. Plus, your results including cost-per-click, conversions, traffic, and social engagement will all be improved.
But conditional on your goals for employee advocacy, think about the pain points that an advocacy program will solve. Run the numbers, read case studies, and build your own case for the impact on ROI and cost savings it can have. After all, executives and management are all about the costs and the ultimate business impact.
This is just scratching the surface. Download our business justification guide to arm yourself with stats, data, and insights to build the case for a program and strategy at your organization.
Employee Network Reach
We also have to talk about employee network reach when it comes to building the case for employee advocacy. The costs, ROI, and other various data points are going to be the real strength to getting executive buy-in and truly selling a program in the beginning.
But another data point that is incredibly interesting, is the potential employee network reach that can impact your brand.
Even if you work for a well-known brand, there is still a massively untapped market of people that your company pages and ads just won’t reach. And it doesn’t feel forced or read like ad copy (as employees will not insincerely spam their own networks).
Think about the impact 1,000 employees active in your employee advocacy program can have. Let’s say they have an average of 1,500 social media connections. That’s a social reach of 1,500,000! For many organizations, that reach can be more than all the company social media accounts combined. We’ve seen it time and time again.
Be Prepared And Have A Plan
Getting buy-in will be about the results and the business outcome. It comes down to proving ROI and the impact it will have on the company. But another important piece to executive buy-in is to be extremely prepared and to have a plan.
Certainly you might not have any complete plan laid out immediately, but you want to check off all the boxes such that not only do you have the data and ROI, but you know your goals and how you’ll deploy your advocacy program.
Vendors should be active in this step as well, so keep an eye out for support even before you roll a program out. EveryoneSocial is happy to collaborate with you to identify your goals, KPI and ROI targets, and of course assist with deployment and every step of the way forward.
The use case for employee advocacy can be one goal (like for marketing), a combination, or maybe to go companywide to activate the entire business. Whatever the desired result, you need to have specific and defined goals for your executives.
Again, if a vendor is not willing or able to help discuss what your goals might be before deployment, then they might not be the supportive partner you want moving forward. That means knowing what they are, why they are important, and how you plan to track progress and report the results.
When you are presenting the case, speak to the language of whatever use case you are referring too. If it’s marketing for example, use terms like cost-per-click, brand reach, increasing lead volume, saving on paid advertising costs, etc.
Deployment Plan For Program
Another key item to have is your deployment plan, or how to get the program launched and activate employees.
Your vendor as mentioned earlier should be your partner. When it comes to getting approval, they should be willing to work with you on a deployment plan. At EveryoneSocial we have launched small and large deployments, so we will work with you on your deployment plan.
Every organization is different with their knowledge and understanding of social media. Aspects of a deployment plan can include a social media policy update, training and information sessions about a program, how you’ll get employees engaged, and more.
There is plenty more to understand with getting buy-in, budgeting, scaling, and adoption. We packaged this into a massive Buyer’s Guide that will be extremely helpful. Download your copy here.