We’ve made it to Part 5 in our series! Since you’ve come so far, we know you will want to finish strong by learning about the most critical part of any successful employee advocacy program: Results.
We’ve already discussed goals and objectives, identifying the right audience, program management, and rewards and recognition, but all of those efforts will be wasted if you aren’t benchmarking and measuring along the way. The tracking and measurement of data is essential if you plan to maintain growth, scale, and long term success.
It’s important that you understand what metrics and results are possible to track, and which of them are meaningful to your particular program and business as a whole. You will want to align the real time data your advocates are generating with your marketing KPIs and objectives. This way, you can easily determine the impact of the program and make changes accordingly along the way.
Every company is unique, and places a different level of importance on any given set of results. But, we’ve found some common themes through our experience working with hundreds of companies over the past few years. The good news is, we want to bring that knowledge to you, so it’s easier for you to plan ahead, and measure the right metrics from day one.
I’ve broken down results into a few different buckets that we think just about every employee advocacy program manager will want to stay on top of in order to determine success.
Scratching the Surface
There are a handful of data points that you should very easily be able to view and extract insights from. When an advocate takes action they will generate an initial set of results we typically refer to as “vanity metrics.” These metrics are the starting point for you to better understand what’s working and what’s not in regards to content, cadence, location, and audience reaction. Examples of these would include:
- Shares (an advocate publishing a piece of your content on their personal social channels)
- Reactions (e.g. retweets, likes, favorites, comments)
- Clicks (a follower, friend, or connection of an advocate clicking on the shared content)
- Impressions (when shared content is displayed on an advocate’s social channel)
Of course it helps to have a powerful dashboard to track all of this. With VoiceStorm, program managers can easily view, export, and sort all of this data in a variety of different ways (e.g. by advocate, date range, social channel, member group, etc). Having these results at your fingertips, in real time, will allow you to tweak and cater your content to get maximum value out of it.
Convince and Convert
It’s great that your advocates are sharing your content, and evoking a reaction from their followers. But, if you stop measuring at that point you’re literally only scratching the surface. Your program is capable of so much more, and with VoiceStorm it’s easy to take the next step and track the results that really matter. To truly gauge success you must be able to track conversions, which in most cases means you’re turning a web visitor into a paying customer…or at least moving them closer to being one.
With the right technology it’s easy to associate the initial click with the end result. We’ve made a point to integrate with tools like Salesforce, Adobe Analytics, and others to ensure our clients can do just that. Some examples of conversions that can be tracked are:
- Downloads (a connection of an advocate downloading a gated piece of content)
- Registrations (a connection of an advocate registering for an online or physical event)
- Purchases (a connection of an advocate buying something online by clicking on shared content)
Are You Listening?
Another important set of data that we’ve seen clients track pertains to the amount of online chatter and conversation happening around a certain topic, phrase, keyword, or hashtag. This is known as “share of voice” and can give program managers valuable insight into the tone, sentiment, and amount of mentions circling their brand or campaign versus their competitors. Tracking SOV can be easy, or incredibly involved depending on how in depth you would like to get. In the end, it’s a simple metric that compares the number of voices talking about YOU versus everyone else (based on parameters you choose).
For example, Hitachi Data Systems worked with their advocates on a particular campaign over the course of a 24 hour period to increase its share of voice to 53% – its highest share ever. This was an excellent way to benchmark the impact of their advocate program by measuring the SOV pre and post campaign.
There are numerous ways to measure success for your program. We recommend starting with the concepts above and expanding as things progress. Make sure you are transparent with your employees about what is important to the program so they can be mindful of their actions. In the end, their activity will define the results that come from your efforts as a marketer. Track them all, and make them count!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our blog series 5 Steps to Employee Advocacy Success. Stay tuned to our blog in the future for more resources, insights, and success stories on employee advocacy, social media strategy, and digital business transformation.
If you have missed previous posts in the series here are quick links to check them out:
Part 1: Goals and Objectives
Part 2: Audience Identification
Part 3: Common Pitfalls of Program Management
Part 4: Rewards and Recogntion