Recently I described how to develop an employee advocacy program. Naturally, one’s first thought is “Do I really need an entire program? Can’t I simply deploy employee advocacy tactics and get the same results?” Let’s look at the reasons to have an employee advocacy program in place compared to an ad hoc, informal approach to employee advocacy.
Those of us who’ve been marketers for a number of years have probably used employee advocacy in fits and starts throughout our careers. Perhaps we’re not reaching our lead or social media goals in a particular month or someone on the exec team discovers that employees aren’t engaging with company content on social media channels. So we once again implore our co-workers during internal meetings and in email communications to help us amplify company messages. We may even launch a quarterly contest every once in a while to motivate employee advocacy. But once the campaign is over, we and our co-workers go back to business as usual, so we never see sustained results from employee advocacy.
To achieve real results, you need more than a one-and-done approach to employee advocacy. It has to become an ongoing program like SEO or content marketing that’s part of the marketing team’s day-to-day.
Consistency also develops good habits for employees outside of the marketing team. Because the program includes an easy, consistent way for employees to see company messages, employees will not only become used to posting these messages on their social media channels, but they will also use the program as a convenient way to stay updated on company news.
As part of a formal employee advocacy program, an employee advocacy plan is reviewed and approved by senior execs. There’s nothing like having executive support to motivate your employees to share company messages and content. When your C-level executives communicate that employee advocacy is something they encourage and track, employees will make it a higher priority in their work day.
With a program in place, you agree on and establish goals in your documented plan. Your employee advocacy platform lets you track results so you can show progress against your plan and make changes if you’re not hitting your goals. You can also measure ROI to show your execs that your employee advocacy initiatives are paying off. You can also demonstrate how your employee advocacy program is boosting business results including increased web traffic, leads and conversion rates.
Efficiency and Scalability
Because a program includes a documented process with assigned responsibilities and automation, employee advocacy evolves into an efficient and consistent marketing practice. With automation in place, the program can scale to include an increased number of employees as the company grows, without having to add a proportional number of marketing resources.
Also, employee advocacy tasks are clearly documented in the document plan, making it easy to train both existing marketing team members as well as new hires on how to run an employee advocacy program, ensuring continuity of the program despite changes in the marketing team.
A well-documented program with commitment from execs to communicate results companywide on a regular basis ensures, along with an easy-to-use solution will ensure quick and broad adoption among employees. The program should also include a way to train new employees as part of regular onboarding so that new hires quickly become consistent advocates.
Unlike using an ad hoc approach, an employee advocacy program includes the ability to regularly monitor results and find out what’s working over time and what’s not. A program allows you to make adjustments, measure performance and make the necessary changes to continually drive success.
Ongoing Employee Recognition
Because you’re using a consistent approach to employee advocacy, you can show periodic results achieved, including how employee advocates have contributed to goals by sharing company content. This will encourage employees to continue to be advocates and to improve their efforts.
With an employee advocacy solution like Please Share, you can boost motivation even more with periodic contests powered by a leaderboard.
By establishing and implementing an employee advocacy program, employee advocacy evolves into a good, daily habit that’s easy to track and manage for the marketing team and company employees. Now that you know the reasons to have an employee advocacy program, take the first step by signing up for Please Share’s free trial. We’d love to help you on this journey and hear about your progress!