How Vodafone Dials Up Employee Advocacy, with Kimberley Harcombe

How Vodafone Dials Up Employee Advocacy with Kimberley Harcombe

Vodafone. The world’s 2nd largest mobile phone operator. When you’re in the business of connecting people, you have to practise what you preach. So who they gonna call? Employee Advocacy.

I’ve had a chat with Kimberley Harcombe of Vodafone UK to get the inside scoop. Listen to the podcast interview below or keep reading for a summary of our conversation.



Tell us about Vodafone and what you do there?

I work for Vodafone UK, which is a part of the larger Vodafone Group, and it’s a mobile and fixed broadband provider. And we have around 18 million customers in the UK. We also have our roots in the UK, and we’re based in Newbury, and we actually started out here around 30 years ago. And we’re also known for making the first-ever mobile phone call. And as a business, we’re currently going through the stages of becoming a more digitally-savvy organisation, as I’m sure lots of our colleagues in other companies are. And digital is a massive priority for us at the minute.

As for me, I work in the Social Comms Team, and I’m responsible for managing our employee advocacy program, Go Social, our day-to-day community management for our social channels, that’s our Vodafone UK social channels, as well as Vodafone Social, which is our official consumer-facing blog. I’m also responsible for working on our campaigns from a social perspective. So I work with the Brand Team, work with our Customer Comms Teams, with Digital, and with our Social Care Teams to bring our campaigns, products, and position or positions to life in social.

What prompted Vodafone to launch an employee advocacy program?

Our team is responsible for Vodafone UK’s social media policy. And after doing some research around employee attitudes towards the policy and whether they understood it, whether they even knew it existed, we discovered that the majority of people we surveyed weren’t sure what they could and couldn’t share through their personal social media profiles. The results also showed the employees would be willing to share Vodafone-related content through their own profiles, if it was easy to do so. So we just joined the dots, and that’s when we introduced Go Social, which we work with Dynamic Signal, they’re our partners on it. And it gives us the opportunity to activate those advocates within the business, as well as make it explicitly clear what employees can and can’t share on social as a Vodafone UK employee.

What was the primary goal for the organisation?

First and foremost, it was always about reducing uncertainty around the expected social media behaviours, so really coming off the results of that survey. And then, second to that, was supporting the drive to increase ENPS, which is Employee Net Promoter Score, by identifying and mentoring our own advocates. And then, tertiary to that, was increasing the organic reach of our Vodafone UK content in social.

Go Social, Vodafone's #employeeadvocacy program makes it safer and easier for employees to share via @kharcombe Click To Tweet

Has employee advocacy replaced internal communications such as an intranet and emails?

Yeah, a little bit. So we do have internal communications channels. So we have a hub, and the internal content just introduced, Yammer, so we do have all of that. The ease of Go Social is just that you can share what you’ve read directly straightaway without having to, you know, find a link, the original link to a piece of content and, you know, taking the information from an internal source and then changing it for an external audience. So, I don’t want to say that it’s replacing internal content at all, because we still have our channels that have that purpose, but it certainly helps. It certainly makes the process a lot easier and a lot slicker for the content that is, obviously, externally shareable because there is some internal comments that are just for employees only.


Read more and listen to the entire conversation on the Link Humans blog.

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Jörgen Sundberg

CEO & Founder of Link Humans, a digital agency specialised in the people space. Has lived in Stockholm, Washington D.C. and Cologne, now resides in London. Keen long-distance runner and smoothie operator.