Recently I had the opportunity to attend a webinar hosted by Social Media Today on the power of employee advocacy. Social media advocates are those who promote a brand or company because they believe in it. Similarly, employee advocates promote their brand, but are not necessarily part of corporate marketing. The objective of the webinar was to call out some of the benefits of employee advocacy and explore ways to successfully execute a advocate strategy. The panelists included Ted Rubin: social media strategist and thought leader and Sarah Goodall: social business lead at SAP.
Without getting into too much detail here are some of the key takeaways:
Why do Employees make the best advocates?
- Authenticity – Employees know the company better than anyone and customers would rather hear from an individual than corporate marketing.
- Employees connect with many people who otherwise may never hear about your company and 90% of people trust recommendation from people they know.
- 50% of employees what to share information about their company. If they are going to do it anyway, give them the tools to send the right message
- It would cost thousands to generate the views created by advocates AND engagement is better
How to do it right
- It starts with leadership. Management has to buy in and participate for others to follow suit.
- It takes time. Give advocates time each week to be social (recommended 1hr)
- Highlight the personal and professional benefits of social growth. Social media is a skill in demand.
- Training is key. Provide detailed training on how to build a profile, a network, dashboards and more.
- Great Quote “What if we train them and they leave? What if we don’t and they stay?”
- Let people know they are being heard. Employees are also a great source of feedback. Listen to what they are saying and enable them to engage customers
- Reward People with access to executives, thought leaders, and knowledge sharing. The best content will come from those who are well informed.
You can listen to the recorded webinar here
And read the social conversation on Storify