How to Start an Employee Advocacy Program
It is disheartening to ignite the flames of employee representation. there are a million questions about why it’s worth it (which I’m happy to answer, see here), will it be effective, etc. But how do you get it to glow afterwards? How do you make it work?
There are a couple of questions you need to answer first:
1) Do you have a steady flow of content?
Content is the most important thing when it comes to employee representation. If you don’t have items to share regularly, it won’t work. Promoting other people’s content can get you exposure, but it probably won’t get the kind of recognition that business brings. I recommend companies wait to introduce employee representation until they have created new content on average every week.
2) Are your employees using social media?
Social media has always been a generation thing. For example, the majority of Twitter users are between 25 and 34 years old. On LinkedIn, the age group is about ten years older. Depending on your job, you might work a little outside of it. The employee representatives use the existing networks of your employees. So if you don’t have social media accounts with audiences that are relevant to your business, then you should rethink your go-to-market.
If your employees are already on social media, you’ve come to the right place. The time has come to get them to share company content, and that takes a concerted effort.
3) is your audience there?
Is your ideal customer active on LinkedIn? Facebook? Instagram? No matter what you do or sell, be it toothbrushes in the shape of troll heads or senior legal services, make sure the social networks you use are appropriate for those audiences.
A common misconception is that LinkedIn is the only social network aimed at professionals. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The first rule of online marketing is: go where your competitors are not. Everyone and their dog market through LinkedIn, so check out Twitter and even Facebook. Both sites have far more active users who process a lot more content than on LinkedIn. Go where your competitors are not and you will have a much easier path to success.
If you answered yes to all of these questions, you are ready for the next step.
First, take a look at your content backlog. Personally, I’ve found it very useful to create a table and list all of the blog title, author name, category, url, and publication date. This gives you quick access to all of your content without having to search your blog or website.
Second, start by making lists of content that is evergreen. This content is timeless, in contrast to current. Even if you don’t post a lot of new content, you can get your employees to share at least two or three corporate content a week out of that backlog of evergreen content.
The final step is to send your employees email or text reminders to share. Building these campaigns can be time consuming when you have a small team, but there are many types of employee representation software available such as Clearview Social, Everyone Social, and Smarp. These can help you compile your content and send it to your employees quickly.
Clearview Social, which is my company in full disclosure, allows you to quickly compose an email of your content and send it straight to your employees’ inboxes. Instead of having to copy and paste URLs into the social media platform, Clearview has a “share” button right in the email, making it easy for your reps to share after opening an email and clicking a button be able.
Clearview then uses an AI program to schedule this content during the highest traffic times on social media and can even schedule your reps for the entire week of releases. You don’t have to use an employee advocacy tool like Clearview, but it automates several steps in your process and makes starting your program a lot easier.
Getting employee advocacy up and running isn’t too difficult and it will pay off in the long run. As social media continues to grow explosively, the question is not whether you should be using social media, but how to use it so you don’t get left in the rain. Light your fire with employee representatives.