Now that you’ve put in some hard work laying out your employee advocacy program goals and objectives, and identifying your audience, it’s time to have some fun! Employee programs are hard work, but it’s worth it – the results are rewarding and can have a significant impact on your business.
Lets take a look at a number of common pitfalls to avoid when launching and managing the program with your advocates.
The Field of Dreams – Don’t get caught thinking that just because you’ve built it they will come. A successful program takes time to grow and mature. You will want to be vocal with your advocates and ensure they are made aware of new content and kept up to date with the success of the program. The more exposure and awareness you bring to the program the more likely your advocates are to engage with it. Keep it top of mind by broadcasting new posts, asking for feedback, and recognizing active participants. These types of actions will inspire employees to step up to the plate.
One Size Fits All – Personalization is extremely important in order for a program to succeed. Content needs to be targeted based on division, role, location and language. You risk alienating employees if you’re sending them content they do not relate to. Cater to your advocate’s interests and needs and deliver them information they will find interesting, and they will actually want to share with their connections.
Don’t be Seen as Spam – Employee Advocacy is more than a big red share button. Don’t spam your employees by over-saturating them with content to the point that they’ll see the program in a negative light. Suggest comments to them alongside the content you send, and always encourage them to add in their authentic voice. We’ve even seen companies have success by only appending a hashtag to posts, essentially forcing employees to add in their own original comment.
Any Content Will Do – Be thoughtful with your content strategy. If you are only distributing company press release and promotions your employees will eventually tune out, and so will their audiences. Think along the lines of the 4-1-1 rule; 4 parts thought leadership, 1 part self promotion, 1 part product announcement. This way your employees have valuable content to choose from that isn’t all about the bottom line. Additionally, you can offer content that is not shared from your company profiles, making them an exclusive source within their networks.
Measure What Matters – Dive deeper than the vanity metrics on the surface – don’t be satisfied with the basics. While impressions, shares, and clicks are great to quickly gauge program activity you shouldn’t stop there. Think about your program goals and the business impact Employee Advocacy has company wide. Make sure you are benchmarking the program and evaluating every month, and every quarter. By integrating with your internal systems (Adobe Marketing Cloud, Salesforce, marketing automation, social listening, etc.) you will be able to determine success along the way.
We’ve seen amazing results from clients who have made a point to measure what matters to them:
- 60% blog traffic from employee advocacy program
- 24% of earned media for a product launch and sign ups
- 10% increase in lead conversion
- Dominated SOV for the day for a campaign launch
It’s All Great, Right? – Your employee advocates are an excellent resource for feedback, suggestions, and ideas on your program. Survey them often to extract anecdotes and first hand knowledge on what’s working, what’s not, and how to fine tune your approach. Quantitative data is great, but to get the full story you’ll want to tap employees for qualitative comments…straight from the source. Our platform allows you to survey employees right from within the interface so it’s easy to execute surveys on an ongoing basis.
Going Silent – Silence may be golden, but it can also be very dangerous. Like we mentioned in the previous blog you “gotta be like Don King”, promote the program and keep employees excited and motivated. Make sure you stay top of mind with employees, and continually share content, stories, and data about the program to keep their interest. In fact, exposing the survey feedback can be a great way to inspire ongoing participation from others. Make it personal and draw attention to the successes of the program and the individuals who are standing out from the crowd.
Now that we’re half way through this blog series, we hope you’re feeling more empowered and excited than ever to implement and carry out an employee advocacy program. If you want to dive deeper of course our Customer Success team is always here to help!
Stay tuned next Monday as we discuss Rewards and Recognition, Part 4 of our 5 Steps to Employee Advocacy Success blog series.