When it comes to what they buy, consumers are becoming more and more careful about where they choose to shop. It’s becoming their world, and your job as a company is to learn how to thrive in it. You’re likely aware of the employee brand ambassador stats (they’re good — like, really good). Now that social media is at the forefront of digital marketing strategies everywhere, it is even more essential and can be even more effective. For a refresher, check out some of those stats:
- Brand messages are shared 24x more frequently when they come from an employee account rather than the brand account
- 79% of firms report increased engagement and visibility from an employee advocacy program
- Employee-shared content receives 8x more engagement
Increased engagement and conversions, better employee retention, an easier time hiring, a more visible brand, and saved marketing dollars? Sign me up. But how do you start an employee advocacy program specifically for social media? Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.
1. Set your goals
Employee advocacy can do plenty of things. From hiring to brand awareness to increased sales, figure out what exactly you want your program to accomplish. That will make it easier for you to set measurable progress checkpoints and articulate to your team exactly what makes a successful campaign.
2. Set the boundaries
Who doesn’t want an excuse to be on social media during work hours? Your employees might be excited to have a reason to pull out their phones and have a scroll. It’s important to set boundaries for what is acceptable when it comes to time spent posting and what posts are appropriate. Part of social media for a business is to establish a brand. You want to ensure that anything your team creates to reflect your business resonates with those values and further drives that brand message.
It’s also vital to help employees get set up and start things off on the right foot. Not everyone will be comfortable using social media or their accounts to promote work-related items. Some people might not have the platforms you want to work with. Create materials to help them get set up on a platform that is new to them. Be sure to provide as much cybersecurity information as possible to mitigate risks and give everyone a chance to opt-out.
Ghost-Tip: Have copy and posts your employees can choose from to post on their pages. That way, they don’t have to worry about coming up with content themselves, and they will know it’s on-brand with your business and the goals you’re trying to achieve.
Maybe you’re a fantastic company to work for, but that doesn’t mean your team will want to post about it on their accounts. Incentives will encourage your employees to a) post and b) post the messages that work towards the goals you established for the program. Incentives are also helpful because they can directly tie to the KPIs you want to monitor! Maybe they receive some fun company swag for a certain amount of engagement or a gift card for a restaurant when you sign a new employee directly from their social media referral. Whatever you choose, make sure it is exciting for your team and will keep them focused on that bottom line.
4. Encourage Authenticity
Car salesmen have a bad reputation. That’s because they were notorious for that false charm and giving people that “ick” feeling of being weaselled into a not-so-good deal. When it comes to social media, authenticity is important. If your employees don’t believe in your business or aren’t into the advocacy thing, the message they put out to the world will fall flat. Encourage your employees to be themselves, not like they need to “sell” your brand.
Remember when we said it’s important to set a goal for your employee advocacy program? Welcome to step #5 — monitoring your plan! Make sure your efforts are a success. Choose KPIs that make sense for your goal, and help your employees steer their efforts towards that. Set time aside at reasonable checkpoints to pull the analytics and ensure you’re on track. If you aren’t…
Go back to the drawing board and figure out where you can strengthen your program. Look at what posts have been working and what the elements of those successful posts were. Look at what isn’t working and cut it. Brainstorm new things to try and ask for feedback from your employees about the program. Because you’ll already be doing research to stay up to date with what the platforms need algorithmically, you will also have an idea of how and when you should shake things up with your content.
Speaking of content, if you need well-researched, effective, branded content for your company and your newly-minted employee advocate to post, you’ve come to the right place. Ghostit specializes in building sharable, likeable, and valuable content your audience will love. Plus, we’re pretty good at the whole strategizing thing.
If you’re interested in social media campaigns that basically run themselves or in receiving effective social content on a set schedule that you can give to your employees for their posts, send us a message to get started.