How American Family Insurance Empowers Their Brand Advocates Online

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Social media can be tough for regulated industries that require a bit more compliance and careful social planning.

For good reason, organizations in the finance and insurance industries tend to be more cautious when it comes to enabling their employees for social media engagement.

While that is certainly an important move, ignoring social media altogether is a huge missed opportunity. Identifying the value of workplace social engagement early on, American Family Insurance has led the way by using employee advocacy.

Since those early days of social media, American Family Insurance has highly visible social accounts, executive leaders that have made social a priority, and the organization encourages employees to be part of their employee advocacy program.

What is American Family Insurance?

American Family Insurance has been around for over 85 years and has established themselves as one of the most trusted insurance companies in the United States.

The company strives to build long-term relationships with their policyholders and to treat them like family. Something our team at EveryoneSocial truly resonates with.

AmFam (as they are often referred to) provides various options for insurance, including:

  • Vehicle Insurance (Auto, Boat, RV, Motorcycle, etc.)
  • Property Insurance (Home, Condo, Renters, etc.)
  • And Other Forms of Insurance (Travel, Umbrella, Life, etc.)

And while the insurance company has built a great reputation over the years, they also wanted a way to reach more people and share their employees’ stories with the world. That’s where social media and employee advocacy became important to the organization’s strategy.

Why is Social Media and Employee Advocacy Important to AmFam?

The employee advocacy program at American Family Insurance is valuable for many aspects of their business: to enhance marketing, communications, media relations, recruiting, community investment and strategic partnership efforts.

“From senior leadership to front-line employees, it’s our goal to empower our people to find their voices – something that starts with our CEO, but helps everyone stay connected across our enterprise of companies. “ – Tom Buchheim, who leads the employee advocacy strategy and program at AmFam.

He also stated, “Employee advocacy complements every facet of our digital and social brand presence – which is extensive and broad-based. It also enhances the storytelling of our internal communications. So, we offer a wide variety of content choices for our advocates to share.”

What’s awesome about their social program is that even in a regulated industry, they are not afraid to let their advocates have some freedoms.

“How you show up on social media is an individual choice, and our employee advocacy program, content choices and tools allow for complete autonomy and control by our people. We wouldn’t want it any other way.”

EveryoneSocial + American Family Insurance

The social media team at AmFam knew they wanted to get employee advocates involved in their strategy, but wanted to find the right platform. Since they are in a regulated industry, having disclosures around the branded content was going to be important.

They also wanted to ensure that social sharing was incredibly easy and that accessing content was never difficult. This includes a strong design, easy mobile options, and a simple way to organize content to customize the advocate experience with topics that would be unique to them.

This is where the EveryoneSocial platform became important for AmFam’s social success.

“We have a number of objectives associated with employee advocacy. We’re in a regulated industry and need to ensure proper disclosure around branded content our people share. We wanted to make sharing our stories easy, mobile and something our people felt supported in doing. Our program provides them the tools to do this, plus customizes their experience with topics and content unique to them.”

Additionally, AmFam got their recruiting teams on EveryoneSocial and active in social media, using their platforms to connect with prospective talent for our company.

With EveryoneSocial, the AmFam employee advocacy program has made it easy for everyone to quickly and efficiently share their company’s story with their audiences, but also providing them with info that positions them as leaders in the talent acquisition space.

“Our recruiters are rockstars on social media, and the results they’re achieving through our program solidifies that status.”

The Highlights

With a strategic approach and use of EveryoneSocial, AmFam has created a unique social experience for their employee advocates. Here are a few highlights of their strong social program.

Leadership support

With leadership support and use, employee advocacy can become even more effective for an organization. By showing the value and using an intuitive platform, AmFam got executive support which is a greenlight for the rest of the company signaling that social engagement in the workplace is not only permissible but encouraged.

For example, AmFam’s CEO Jack Salzwedel has been recognized as one of the most engaged and active CEOs on social media. He provides direction and motivation for the AmFam leaders as well as their people. He’s a terrific role model for how to use social media effectively as a leader.

Made their disclosure part of culture

Being in a regulated industry, AmFam developed their hashtag #iwork4AmFam as a disclosure parameter in EveryoneSocial.

But using this with unique content, it became a badge of honor for employees to represent the hashtag on social media when they talk about their work, colleagues, and their company. This adds more to their recruiting and employer branding efforts.

Tom mentioned, “To me, that shows the true power of an employee advocacy program at American Family Insurance, and reinforces how social media is now ingrained in our company culture.”

The numbers

American Family Insurance focused their social strategy on their brand advocates and executives to help drive their stories and brand to new networks.

They currently have over 250 employee advocates that have a social reach of 360,000+ and have over 41,000 connections.

And what is really impressive is that through their employee advocacy efforts, their social shares are averaging 16 clicks per share! This is a testament to the combination of good content strategy and easy access to content creation and sharing through advocacy.

The Future of AmFam Employee Advocacy

AmFam is looking to expand and test their employee advocacy program across some of their operating companies. Since they have been successful with their initial approach, they are experimenting and looking at ways to get more people activated and sharing their stories from those organizations.

Additionally, AmFam is planning on getting more of the leadership teams and executives fully engaged as advocacy lighthouse users, all the while helping them find their voices online.

Ready to organize employees to increase marketing reach, drive authentic social conversations, and improve employer brand? Schedule your demo with EveryoneSocial to learn more.


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