Prior to the fall of last year, Jen Spencer of SmartBug Media, an inbound marketing agency, wrestled with several methods to get coworkers involved with the SMB’s employee advocacy initiative, but nothing worked as well as she wanted.At first, she tried putting together a daily company-wide email that included examples of social media posts with images, hashtags and links to content. She also tried messaging employees on Zoom Chat, asking them to like or share specific posts that were gaining traction. Despite her efforts, Spencer quickly found she needed a new strategy.
“Being a marketing agency, you would think it would be really easy for all of these marketers to be extremely active on social media and share all of this amazing content we’re writing,” said Spencer, VP of Sales and Marketing at SmartBug. “But sharing content within the team’s networks was a challenge because they’re just so busy…it was just falling to the wayside.”
Not only was this process unsuccessful, but it was also extremely time consuming for the internal marketing team to set up. Even when employees actually contributed, they ended up promoting the same content at the same time, which looked robotic. SmartBug, which consists of 40 employees and publishes 3-to-5 blog posts every week, needed an effective employee advocacy program.
The New Process: Using GaggleAMP
It wasn’t until September 2017 when SmartBug started using GaggleAMP that it saw a huge improvement in its KPIs. Just five months after adoption, SmartBug increased its website traffic from social media by 28% month-over-month. It also saw a 31% month-over-month growth in leads. Lastly, 28% of the website’s monthly social media visits came from employees' networks.
“It helped give us a process, and it provided us with metrics to validate that the effort is worthwhile,” Spencer said. “Every month and every quarter we can say, ‘Ok, team, you contributed X amount of revenue for this organization by participating in this.’”
The marketing team has more control over the timing of employees’ social posts, so the promotions look more authentic. Not only is this easy for SmartBug’s marketing team to set up, but it’s also easy for the employees to contribute, which plays into its 91% active user rate.
Early Days: Platform Testing and Feedback
When Spencer first considered adopting GaggleAMP, she was skeptical that it would lead to better results than the emailing process. In order to quell any concerns, she had six people in her company test the software before pursuing full adoption. This way, she could make sure GaggleAMP is something employees like. No matter how effective the software could be, and how easy it is to manage on the admin-side, if the users don’t like it, they won’t use it.
After two weeks, Spencer received positive feedback from the six testers who were more than happy to help onboard other employees at SmartBug.
“I knew that we would be more successful in gaining full company adoption if I had a core group of leaders inside the organization who were advocates,” Spencer said.
Culture Change: Using Employee Advocacy to Scale
GaggleAMP training is now part of SmartBug’s onboarding process, and its employee advocacy program is another way for staff to contribute to the company.
Spencer acknowledges the top contributors to the program every month and every quarter by sending out an image of the leaderboard to all SmartBug employees. This serves as a motivator for them to take part. SmartBug employees are not expected to share every single post or be part of every task, but they are asked to advocate for the company when they can.
“It’s very easy for anybody to be a strong contributor,” Spencer said. “You don’t have to be a seasoned team member. You could be brand new to the organization and skyrocket up the leaderboard. This is a way for me to encourage the efforts people are making.”
SmartBug turned around its employee advocacy efforts through GaggleAMP and looks to build on the achievements it has made. To learn more about how GaggleAMP can help your company, click on the link below.