How does a company get started with employee advocacy? I recently had a chat with Ben Donkor who is a Social Media, Online & Innovations Analyst at BT.
You can listen to the audio podcast above or keep reading for a summary of our conversation. A longer version is available at Link Humans. Questions by me, answers by Ben.
What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy is not just a buzzword. It is an expression that people use when they are referring to the exposure you can get when staff and employees share your content as themselves on their personal channels. Usually, the personal channels are social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and can also include other assets. That goes from email to chat to their own blogs perhaps, anything that’s online as well as share of voice, of course.
Where do you start with employee advocacy?
I would usually say start with KPIs, but employee advocacy is a fairly new campaign that companies are starting to do. The first thing you’ll need to do is get senior buy in. Get your senior management to actually buy in and trust that employee advocacy is useful. It might even be worth pointing out that your other competitors are doing something like that. So, you can say, “Our competitors are doing that. We could be even better if we were to do something like that.” Also, help them understand that, if you have a team, like a social team or digital team that is speaking on behalf of the brand, then you can trust your employees to speak around the brand and about the brand as well.
After you’ve done that, definitely start to do KPIs. Look at why you want to embark on employee advocacy. Look at what you want to achieve from it, as well. That could be metrics from reach or target audience. You may have to go for a tool that can give you that demographic data. You may also want to increase your brand awareness, your brand share of voice, all of these KPIs and targets need to be set before you start. Otherwise, employee advocacy can be quite easy to just spin out of control if you don’t know how to properly measure, or if you don’t know how to say whether it was successful or not successful.
What pitfalls should companies avoid?
The first pitfall is when you are setting guidelines, you might be tempted to impose those guidelines on employees. It’s fine to have barriers and boundaries just so you know that, “Okay, beyond this point, you do not share,” and it could be sensitive information or perhaps news you are not allowed to share with the public just yet. Just make sure those are reasonable guidelines and don’t appear as restrictions. Otherwise, it will just look like just another task or another duty to people.
Employee advocacy needs to be something appealing, something that your staff will want to do anyway. You’re just giving them a tool to do it, instead of turning that fun activity into just another chore they need to do in their 9-to-5.
Another pitfall is making sure that those guidelines cater to everything they pretty much everything they don’t want to happen, things like improper sharing, whether it’s speculations or sharing sensitive information. If your staff participates in any controversial conversations, those are things you don’t want to ideally deal with. So, make sure you have guidelines for that and also backup plans in case any of that happens. So, that could be a pitfall, that you’re not prepared for the worst. Always hope for the best, but just make sure you have a backup plan just in case anything happens.
How would you measure RoI on employee advocacy programs?
There are some soft metrics and, by soft metrics, I mean those based in metrics like reach or impressions, traffic, how much traffic are we directing. There are a few metrics that are more of interest to other teams, like your sales teams. How many sales have been driven through employees? When it comes to things like that, you need to stick with a currency value when you are talking to them. That would also fit into your ROI of employee advocacy.
Other really essential metrics would be NPS, Net Promoter Score. That measures the sentiment or brand perception around you as a company. You need to, first of all, measure that before you start the employee advocacy and then keep on measuring it on a regular basis throughout your employee advocacy program. Then, see how that employee advocacy scheme is helping you improve NPS as well as your share of voice out there as well.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: How To Implement Employee Advocacy At Your Company
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