When Shannon Ma joined Instructure’s employee advocacy efforts, she admits she had some concerns about getting the edtech company’s workforce to use EveryoneSocial.
“I know the power of social media and word-of-mouth marketing in the digital age, so I knew there was potential with EveryoneSocial,” the global email marketing manager says. “But I also knew there’d be bumps in the road because it’s a new tool and we’re asking people to take time out of their day to do something in addition to their job.”
Ma’s team did more than simply inspire Instructure’s workforce to use EveryoneSocial, however. Their efforts also got employees so active on the platform that the organization even impressed us!
In just two months, Instructure grew its users by 336% and shares by an astounding 3,846% — and that’s only the beginning. Just take a look.
“It’s kind of crazy just how big it’s grown,” Ma says.
So we were thrilled that Ma sat down with us to detail exactly how Instructure activated its workforce. Read on, so you can replicate these results at your organization.
1. Form a dedicated employee advocacy team.
Ma says the first thing you need to kickstart your advocacy efforts is establish a team of people to be your company’s experts and cheerleaders.
Mark Boothe, Instructure’s senior director of customer marketing, used EveryoneSocial in a previous position at Adobe and spearheaded this move. He brought in Julie Lutz and Lillian Benwell from the social media team, as well as Ma.
“I think what really helped get more people involved is just having a dedicated resource to oversee the program and a team to continuously advocate for EveryoneSocial,” Ma says. “You need people to be passionate about the product and passionate about what they’re doing.
Once we had this team, we were all able to just really focus and say, ‘Okay, what can we do to increase engagement? What can we promote?’ Then the ideas are running, and people are excited, and we’re lighting that fire.”
2. Energize the right people.
Next, you need to get the word out about EveryoneSocial and start signing up users.
Many customers find it beneficial to target specific groups, such as social media-savvy departments like marketing and comms, while others focus on signing up existing advocates who already share company content with their network.
Instructure set its sights on the sales teams.
“We know that EveryoneSocial is very helpful for the sales department, in terms of sharing content about the company,” Ma says. “So we started going to global sales huddles and pitching the idea of EveryoneSocial, and that was our first initial action in rallying up the team.”
Ma and her team attended numerous Instructure global sales huddles, showcased the benefits of social selling, and let sales lead the way with employee advocacy.
3. Show off the platform.
To generate excitement about EveryoneSocial — and actually get employees to use it — Ma says it’s essential for people to see the platform in action.
She and her team found the perfect opportunity to do this at Instructure’s July 12 field kickoff, an internal event for sales, marketing, and revenue operations employees.
“We realized, ‘Everybody’s going to be there, so we’re going to take advantage of this. Let’s set up a booth to demonstrate the platform, promote the power of social selling, and recruit new members to EveryoneSocial,’” she says.
Ma, Benwell, and Lutz staffed the booth with their team of experts and advocates and set up a computer with a demo, so employees could use EveryoneSocial themselves.
“This was really exciting and effective because people can see the tool in action and then sign up on the spot,” she notes. “It felt more personal versus a mass meeting about the platform, and ever since that field kickoff, we’ve had a huge increase in users.”
4. Get leadership involved.
There are numerous reasons why executives should be active on social media, but one of the big ones? They lead by example.
“If your own boss isn’t doing it, then why should you do it?” Ma points out.
That’s why Instructure ensured members of its leadership team regularly used EveryoneSocial, engaged with users, and shared content.
“It’s helpful to have an executive consistently using it. Then everybody else follows,” she says.
5. Provide ongoing support and multiple points of communication.
Once you get employees signed up for EveryoneSocial, you need to keep them active and engaged. Instructure does this in several ways.
First, Ma and her team established a dedicated email for EveryoneSocial support so that employees can get the help they need.
They also set up a dedicated Slack channel for employee advocacy.
Because Instructure regularly uses Slack, this is an ideal way to share updates, suggest content for sharing, and provide a place for people to submit questions about the platform.
“The Slack channel is another layer of a continuous engagement,” Ma explains. “If you have any questions about EveryoneSocial or how to use it, best practices, tips, or tricks, then we have people post those there. We also do all of our announcements there, and we post our winners for any sharing contests that we have going on. Keeping that engagement consistent on the Slack channel helps also keep engagement going on EveryoneSocial.”
Instructure’s team also utilizes EveryoneSocial’s internal newsletter feature to keep employees informed and provide plenty of engaging content for them to share with their personal networks.
6. Tap into the power of gamification.
There are plenty of reasons for individuals to use EveryoneSocial — they can expand their network and build their personal brand, just to name a couple of motivators.
But Ma says a little incentive can go a long way. That’s why her team started using the EveryoneSocial leaderboard to drive participation.
Every week, employees had an opportunity to win an iPad or Amazon gift card as a reward for their social-sharing efforts, and this gamification was incredibly effective.
“Hosting contests is incentivizing and exciting, and it just relights that fire,” Ma says. “Plus, as you can see, it also continuously helps increase engagement. And when you reset the leaderboard every Monday, you get fresh content and records, which is really helpful to see who’s engaged and who isn’t.”
Clearly, as the table above illustrates, Instructure’s plan worked — really, really well. From June to August, the organization did the following:
- Expanded EveryoneSocial users by 336%
- Grew shares by an astounding 3,846%
- Increased engagement by 1,514%
- Grew clicks by an incredible 5,523%
Want to get your employees more engaged, inspire them to share company content, and improve your brand? Schedule an EveryoneSocial demo and see just how easy it is.