6 Tips to Encourage Employee Advocacy on Social Media
Social media platforms are just overcrowded nowadays. This is why getting enough traction to connect with audiences is sometimes more challenging than it should. Yet, there is one way to stand out on social media that will get you the results you seek: leveraging the power of your employees. Here are 6 Ambassify-approved tips on setting up and kicking off a social strategy to turn your people into social employees.
Navigating the turbulent waters of social media marketing to raise brand awareness, connect with audiences, and sell products and services can be a tricky and often fruitless endeavor for many brands. And that’s just because all social media platforms are overcrowded, and users would rather tune all of that out.
Even among those who are actually interested, a certain degree of skepticism remains when it comes to brand promotion — according to the 2019 Edelman Brand Trust Survey1, 66% of consumers don’t believe branded social messages — they feel too much like brands tooting their own horn.
How to stand out and connect on social media
So in the midst of all this chaos, as you find yourself to be one of the thousands of brands that personally claim to be the best at what they do, how do you stand out? How do you genuinely and authentically connect with your target audience?
There is one simple way to do that, and that is tapping into your most valuable asset, one that prospects are more likely to find trustworthy: your employees.
By giving your employees a voice and encouraging them to share your content on social media, you’re not only expanding your organic reach on such platforms — which you are, because employees have much wider networks than companies — but you’re also creating a dynamic community that people immediately connect with and trust.
You’ll thus turn your employees into advocates of your brand and “social employees” who use social media tools for collaboration purposes and external engagement.
This combination of social media marketing, content marketing, and social selling is meant to tap into your employees’ social networks and reinforce your brand messaging and social proof.
Why? Because when employees post about their company, their posts are shared 24x more than when you post something through the company page2.
The key to success here is creating a social media strategy that encourages employee participation. Here are six practical tips that will help you create such a strategy, which we have implemented ourselves at Ambassify:
1. Include employees when creating your strategy
When creating a social media strategy, the biggest risk is that you’ll start with a bang, only to suffer burnout after a few months. To avoid burnout and fatigue, it’s best to involve as many employees as possible in the initial setup of your social strategy: this way, you’ll make sure that more and more employees feel involved and will not fall through in the long run.
This strategy will make sure that:
✔ People with an affinity with the tool and social media will quickly grow into their role as social employees
✔ Employees from completely unrelated departments can have the experience, ideas, and insights that prove to be indispensable for the success of the project.
✔ An inclusive approach to social media strategy creation helps foster transparency and trust within the organization.
And trust is an essential building block of employee engagement: no employee will want to put themselves on the line if they feel like they cannot trust you.
Only by being upfront and open about the policies you want to implement in the organization will you win the trust, respect, and engagement of your people.
2. Create clear guidelines
Create a clear set of guidelines for social media that your employees can follow when interacting on company pages. Feel free to keep things common sense and simple:
✔ DO share company content, posts, news, and events
✔ DO engage in social media activity during work hours if the purpose is to improve branding
✔ DON’T disclose any confidential information
✔ DON’T respond to negative comments and comments from competitors or engage in inflammatory discussions on the company’s social media pages
3. Provide social media training to boost employee advocacy
Not everyone in your company is a social media guru, but that doesn’t mean that everyone can’t become a fierce social employee and an advocate for the company.
Help them and encourage them to grow and learn, equip them with the tools to do so successfully, and they will become your most powerful asset.
The most challenging aspects here are communication and social selling skills. To tackle that, consider a two-way approach:
✔ Online tutorials — both written and video content will do the trick here. With good video production, your social media team can create quick how-to guides on the mechanics of different social networks.
✔ On-site training — your social media team can create quarterly training sessions for employees on how to communicate and sell on social networks.
Getting your employees involved in such a way shows dedication and that you don’t just want to use them as a money-making machine, but you actually care about their engagement and want to provide them with all the tools they need to do so.
4. Share employee stories on social media
One of the best ways to humanize your organization on social media is to focus on employee stories.
This is especially important if you’re using your social profiles to boost your initiatives. According to LinkedIn research: candidates trust the company’s employees 3x more than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there.3
If you’re building a strong and positive employer brand and ensuring that you’re attracting the best possible candidates, this is definitely the way to go.
Last but not least, an important aspect of featuring the day-to-day of your employees on social media is to put them in the spotlight. They will experience a sense of belonging, and a sense of ownership — not only in the social selling project but in the organization as well.
People want to belong and be part of something bigger, and if they trust you and your brand and are willing to be your ambassadors, they will love how that spotlight makes them feel.
5. Incentivize participation in social selling activities
What do your employees get out of participating in your social selling and advocacy activities?
Hopefully, it’s a sense of pride knowing that they’re going above and beyond for a company they feel would do the same for them.
Still, we all like to feel appreciated and valued for going that extra mile, which is why you should think about a rewards and recognition program to show your appreciation to your most talented and active social employees. A good and safe approach is to focus on the long-term gains of participating in an employee advocacy program on social media.
The two top benefits? The creation of their professional brand and positioning themselves (and the company) as thought leaders in the industry.
6. Measure success & share data with employees
You want to make sure that your focus on social media is financially justified. Once you have the relevant data to measure the success of your advocacy program, share the wins (and losses) with everyone in the company.
Less-than-stellar results might be what inspires your social employees to dig even deeper to improve various social metrics. Plus, transparency will foster a sense of belonging and trust — again, when a company shares information freely, employees are more likely to trust the management, and will throw their weight behind even more initiatives.
Power up your social selling & employee advocacy efforts with Ambassify
Maintaining a presence on social media sites can seem daunting. Most platforms are crowded and noisy, and your content gets lost in back-to-back torrential showers of business posts.
But, done right, every ounce of effort you pour into your social media will give back twice as much. Remember, nearly a third of millennials and generation Z members prefer brand communication via social media4.
The bottom line here? The key to winning on socials is your employees. Once you figure out how to turn them into true social employees and advocates, you’ll quickly realize that social media is a valuable asset, and can be used for brand-building, employer branding, traffic generation, and as a lead pipeline. And just in case you could use some help, we've got a Social Media Content Calendar available to download for free to get you started.
Ambassify is an all-in-one employee engagement & employee advocacy platform that lets you track social media shares and activities, measure (and incentivize) the efforts of your social employees, and a lot more.
If you're ready to take the next step to turn your employees into social media ambassadors and excel on social media?