We recently had the great pleasure of co-presenting a webinar with the brand experience team at Ericsson. Our VP of marketing, Dave Hawley, was joined by Sonia Boije, Director of Global Brand Experience at Ericsson and Lisa Smith-Strother, Sr. Director of Global Employer Brand, Recruitment Marketing and Diversity TA Head at Ericsson.
During the webinar, Sonia and Lisa shared how they scaled their employee advocacy program to involve over six thousands employees—and counting. By empowering employees to advocate for the company, they were able to increase Ericsson’s brand reach on social media, improve employee engagement and attract top talent. Since launching #TeamEricsson, employees have driven over 10.2 million social media impressions, 14,000 shares and 20,000 audience reactions per month.
However, Ericsson’s employee advocacy successes can be measured by more than numbers. For example, employee advocacy has also helped employees develop their personal and professional brands online. Employee advocacy gives participants a way to advance the company’s thought leadership goals by sharing brand content, coverage in the media and relevant industry articles. Employees also help attract top talent through posting job openings, referring qualified candidates and sharing about the company culture online.
1. Develop an Employee Advocacy Training Program
By now, most employees have seen the pitfalls and embarrassments that many brands have experienced when they make a mistake on social media. To show employees that you support their efforts to share about the brand online, provide employees with the right talking points and content they can safely share. At Ericsson, Sonia and Lisa provided employees all over the world with online training using video to educate employees on social media policy and best practices. They also provided group workshop training sessions to foster shared learning. To make sure that new hires can also participate, in-person trainings are held quarterly.
2. Recognize and Reward Employee Advocates
Rewarding the most active and influential advocates provides an incentive for employees to consistently engage with the program. This also allows employees to feel taken care of and rewarded for their effort and work. At Ericsson, rewards can include small prizes, employee recognition on digital screens across Ericsson campuses and even recognition in global articles or letters from senior executives.
3. Promote the Employee Advocacy Program Internally
At a company with thousands of employees, like Ericsson, internal promotion is vital if you want to get the whole company involved with your program. Ericsson promoted their program by first creating a “Task Force” of social media savvy employees. This team became the internal ambassadors for the program. Here are a few ways they helped to promote #TeamEricsson:
- LAUNCH an Employee Advocacy Task Force to promote and nurture employee advocates
- PROMOTE on a regular basis – through the Task Force and other internal tools.
- ENSURE all new and existing employees are aware of the employee advocacy program
- ENCOURAGE senior executives to get involved, showing the team that employee advocacy is encouraged and celebrated.
4. Make It Easy for Employees to Share
Using an employee advocacy platform is one way that companies make it easy for their employees to know what they can or can’t share on social media. It provides a destination for employees to easily discover, publish, share and amplify brand content across websites, blogs, and social networks. By merging sharing, publishing, and analytics in one platform, marketers can easily see what content is getting shared the most and employees can see how their efforts are advancing the brand.
Ericsson’s employee advocacy story is a great example of how companies can engage with and connect thousands of employees — across the world — through brand content and social media. By empowering employees to share about the brand, they’re able to deepen their own understanding of the industry, interact with customers, help attract top talent and develop their own personal brands.
To learn more, browse the presentation below or click here for the on-demand version of the webinar.