When coached correctly, employees can be the greatest advocates for your organization. In a time when organizational social media literacy can be a source of a competitive edge, engaging your employees to successfully become ambassadors can easily improve your online reach exponentially.
5 Steps to Empower Employees to Become
Brand Advocates on Social Media
1. Identify Influencers
While all of the employees in your organization may not be ready to campaign on your behalf, many still have influencing power. An influencer uses their personal network to amplify your brand message. An advocate closely aligns with the company, and proactively promotes and defends your brand. To maximize your bottom line and spread your message you need both influencers and advocates. They key is to make sure both these groups are spreading the message you want communicated. When employees see great content, they think about it and share it, which fulfills their intrinsic desire for understanding and purpose in their work.
2. Adopt Employee Friendly Policies.
Develop in-house guidelines and training programs to ensure that your employees understand your social media policy. Reach out to employees, making it easy for them to get involved in and to leverage social media on behalf of the organization. Trust that employees will make the right decisions and use social media responsibly. If employees understand the policy and know they will be held accountable for what they post, that’s usually enough to deter them from posting anything inappropriate or private.
3. Develop a Sense of Pride.
Most Americans spend almost 50 hours a week at work, so they want to show friends and family members what they’re doing and how it matters. Does your business make social posts, submit press releases or publish work? Encourage individuals to share this information. It could be as easy as linking to a feature about new product on your website or posting a portfolio of pictures from a finished project.
Advocacy develops an understanding of the company. This is especially true of the millennial generation that values corporate social responsibility, which is why initiatives such as green environment practices and volunteering often produce the most shares. Information about the latest initiative, or a client testimonial can fuel feelings of gratification in employees.
4. Encourage Recognition.
One way to encourage employee advocacy is to encourage employees to celebrate success via social media. Recognize individuals and teams for a job well done. It’s like giving a big, digital high-five! Encourage executives to participate in this as well. When a boss retweets an employee’s comments or makes a shout out over Facebook, employees remember it and feel appreciated.
5. Measure and Reward Participation.
Before you begin encouraging employee advocacy, decide how you are going to measure the impact. Look for increases in the number of connections, reach, traffic, and/or leads generated. Track these metrics, looking for interactivity and engagement. Reward employees for being outstanding connectors or ambassadors.
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