February 15, 2024
Employee advocacy is an excellent method to increase brand awareness and the total reach of each social media post.
However, if you’ve ever tried to execute an employee advocacy program, you probably know that getting employees to engage with your content consistently can be tricky.
To help you launch a successful employee advocacy program, this post provides a behind-the-scenes look at the exact strategies a handful of brands use to consistently engage their employees and tips to help you duplicate their success.
Buurst is a cloud software storage company that used employee advocacy to maximize its social media reach.
They used GaggleAMP to deploy an employee advocacy program, and the end result surpassed expectations by generating 700 website clicks, 1,600 social media interactions, and a total reach of 2.5 million in the first four months.
Most importantly, Buurst saved $20,000 on ad spend thanks to its effective employee advocacy campaign.
Buurst’s employees also gained over 950 connections on their personal social media accounts, which helped them position themselves as thought leaders.
When Buurst began its employee advocacy program, only a handful of employees were active on social media. Given that the main benefit of employee advocacy is that employees share brand initiatives with their networks, this was a challenge.
After some digging, the Buurst team identified that a key blocker preventing employees from engaging on social media was that employees didn’t have time to think of interesting or relevant content to post.
To solve this issue, the marketing team used GaggleAMP to assign prompts or suggest content for them to post/share. This significantly reduced the time investment required to think of a new idea or something insightful to say and made it easier for employees to post consistently.
Another key issue was that employees worried they might unintentionally say something off-brand or share content that doesn’t align with the brand’s social media policy.
So providing employees with a list of company-approved content to share or engage with (or even pre-writing text for employees) solved this issue.
Once employees had built a healthy social media following, it was easy for them to act as powerful brand ambassadors and occasionally share critical brand messages with their audience.
GaggleAMP’s analytics also made it easy for the social media marketing team to accurately assess the ROI of employee advocacy efforts and, more importantly, which campaigns were most successful. This way, the team could better optimize future campaigns based on past results.
Contrast Security is a cybersecurity platform, and the marketing team decided to do an overhaul on the brand's entire social media strategy. Using the GaggleAMP platform, they implemented an employee advocacy program that generated 10,000 social interactions and over 3,000 clicks in a nine-month period.
In addition, employees using the Gaggle platform earned an additional 13,000 personal connections.
Here’s how they deployed their employee advocacy strategy.
Contrast Security has an aggressive content strategy publishing between four and six social media posts each business day across four different social media channels. They publish a post for every new content asset, media reference, event, and job post.
Here’s a great example of a post their CTO shared:
So their strategy is mainly just publishing consistently. While this sounds simple, keeping employees actively engaged for the long term is challenging. After all, they have their own high-value tasks to execute for the company.
To solve this problem, they used GaggleAMP’s leaderboard to gamify the process. The leaderboard ranks employees by the number of points they have earned for completing various engagement activities (i.e., liking, sharing, or commenting on a post).
An example leaderboard is shown here to protect employee identification.
Each month, Contrast Security offers a prize to employees ranked at the top of the leaderboard. Even though it’s a small prize (usually an Amazon Gift Card or charity donation), it’s often enough to keep employees engaged and spark friendly competition.
If you want to use the employee advocacy platform that Contrast Security uses to consistently engage employees, schedule a demo of GaggleAMP today!
Magna5 offers managed IT services, though following a variety of M&A deals, they wanted to clarify the services they offer.
To accomplish this, the marketing team decided to double down on creating quality LinkedIn content and maximize reach using employee advocacy.
Using GaggleAMP, they leveraged 25 employees to deploy the initial iteration of their employee advocacy program, and the strategy helped them earn over 2,200 website clicks, 3,600 social media interactions, and a total reach of over 7 million within the first year.
In addition, their employee advocacy efforts resulted in direct leads. In fact, 8% of the company’s total sales pipeline and 16% of the company’s total sales came from employee advocacy!
When the Magna5 team decided to invest in employee advocacy, they were already producing content on LinkedIn, but their employees weren't actively engaging with the content. Before implementing the employee advocacy program, they knew that the two biggest barriers would be:
To remove as much friction as possible from the process, Magna5 leveraged the GaggleAMP platform to assign specific posts to specific employees.
This way, all employees had to do was log into the GaggleAMP platform, view the handful of engagement assignments (e.g., “like this post,” “write this comment for this post,” etc.), and then schedule those assignments to go live throughout the week.
Notice that with GaggleAMP, employees never even have to log into the LinkedIn platform to engage. This is a huge bonus as many employees know they will get sucked into social media platforms and therefore avoid it altogether.
To tackle the second issue (increasing employees’ social media presence), the marketing team frequently assigned prompts to help employees create thought leadership content.
By helping employees create relevant thought leadership content, they grow their network, giving the brand more total reach when employees share brand initiatives.
In addition, because people tend to trust content shared by employees more than content shared by a brand, growing each employee’s follower count had an arguably greater impact than growing the company page’s follower count.
Here’s an excellent example of a blog post designed to help amplify brand awareness, but it’s still posted authentically by the employee and therefore performed better than the average branded post.
Colonial Life is a life and accident insurance company that originally avoided using social media altogether due to compliance concerns.
Though after finding GaggleAMP, they realized that the platform could help them safely turn employees into brand advocates by setting safe employee advocacy on social media guidelines and assigning specific actions (share, like, comment) and posts to individual employees.
It worked – Colonial Life employees helped branded content reach more than 16 million people. In addition, the average sales rep participating in the program saw 2-3x in sales growth.
Colonial Life’s content strategy focused mainly on posting newsworthy content and leveraging executives to promote it.
For example, their CEO recently gave a speech at an Advocacy Day event and the social media team took the opportunity to create an announcement post regarding the speech. The power of employee advocacy became abundantly clear as the CEO’s share of the post generated more than double the engagement of the original branded post.
It’s also worth noting that the quality of the engagement was much higher on the CEO’s post than the branded post. If you compare the two posts, the branded post didn’t receive any comments while the CEO’s post received many positive comments:
If you're having trouble engaging top executives, you can write the suggested text so that they only have to read, approve, and schedule the post to publish.
Ricoh Canada was consistently investing in organic and sponsored social media content, but they knew they'd have to implement a new strategy to grow more.
After evaluating a few different ideas, they decided to invest in employee advocacy and leveraged the GaggleAMP platform to make it happen.
The plan worked out as Ricoh Canada’s social media reach increased by over 500,000 in the three-month pilot program. After the program's initial success, Ricoh Canada's team continued to leverage employee advocacy and its total reach increased by over 2.6 million in the following six months.
The initial pilot program involved just nine sales reps, and the strategy was to promote company posts, content, and respond to activities.
When Ricoh Canada’s marketing team launched the program, they knew that properly onboarding employees and showing them how easy it is to schedule posts ahead of time would be critical to lasting success.
Another key reason they succeeded is that the entire team could see the leaderboard, which added friendly competition and acknowledged the most engaged employees for their effort. This gamification element made engaging fun and entertaining for team members.
In addition to assigning thought leadership content, some assignments are as simple as liking or sharing a key company post like the one below:
The key takeaway from Ricoh Canada is that significantly increasing reach (to 2.6 million plus people!) didn’t require any complicated company content strategy or advanced marketing strategies.
Increasing the brand’s reach really just came down to making it easy for employees to engage (even if it was just a like) and rewarding them for their efforts.
JBC is a staffing and recruiting team that helps companies find great employees. As most of their potential candidates are on social media, JBC decided to implement an employee advocacy platform to help generate more applicants.
The resulting program was a massive success, reaching over 226 million people in its first year alone and earning an additional 127,000 new social media connections. The estimated earned media value also came out to about $73,000.
JBC’s main goal was to generate more applications from job seekers through social media, so their employee advocacy strategy was to have their recruiters share job posts with their networks.
To systematize the process and ensure each job post received some promotion, they leveraged GaggleAMP by assigning various employees to engage with each social media post.
By using JBC employees to organically share and engage with a job post, the post reaches a larger audience, and the employees’ connections are much more likely to share and spread the news than if it was just another post on JBC’s branded page.
Another way that JBC is leveraging the power of employee advocacy is by celebrating the new positions that talent is starting at their client’s companies. Here’s a great example:
Sharing new job positions is a unique way to use employee advocacy as it celebrates how JBC is helping people find great jobs without directly advertising JBC's services. It’s also the kind of content that people naturally want to celebrate, so rather than trying to generate interest in company initiatives, consider how you can align your brand's agenda with popular content.
The Predictive Index was preparing to launch into a new market category (talent optimization), and the plan was to leverage social media to promote it.
They partnered with GaggleAMP to execute the employee advocacy program, and the results speak for themselves:
Here’s a peek inside their strategy.
Former content marketing manager, Erin Balsa, wanted to implement employee advocacy, but she quickly discovered that getting employees to consistently engage is time-consuming and challenging.
So she turned to GaggleAMP to help her automate the engagement activity assignment process and accurately track the ROI of each campaign.
In addition, she fostered a company culture that supports brand advocacy by using the public leaderboard to award the most engaged employees an Amazon gift card at the end of the month.
This strategy has inspired employees to create their own content and grow their personal social media profiles.
Here’s an excellent example of how their VP of Marketing announced that she’s at an industry event in a fun and engaging manner. Notice that it performed much better than the branded post making the same announcement:
If you’re feeling stuck and don’t know where to start, ask employees to post about conferences they attend, company events, and any workplace culture topics.
SmartBug is an inbound marketing agency, and given that the team is always focused on their client's marketing efforts, it was difficult to keep up with their own marketing.
CEO Jen Spencer tried everything from daily company-wide newsletters with examples of great social media posts, links, and hashtags, to messaging employees to share content through Zoom Chat.
Despite these efforts, constantly encouraging employees to engage was exhausting and didn’t work very well. To solve this problem, she eventually invested in GaggleAMP, and the results speak for themselves:
SmartBug is a team of talented marketers, so the key to unlocking next-level social media growth was streamlining internal communication and making it easy for employees to strategically share content.
Many of their employees share posts about company culture, which has helped them improve their personal brands and promote the company. Here’s a great example of this in action:
The SmartBug team is a group of highly skilled marketers, so it’s no surprise that each post is also well optimized with an image, appropriate hashtags, and great copy!
When SendGrid, an email marketing platform, decided to focus on growing critical social media KPIs (clicks, impressions, and shares), they chose to implement an employee advocacy strategy.
The initial version of their strategy was simply emailing employees when a new post was published and asking them to engage. Unfortunately, this wasn’t very effective as there was no way to track which employees were most engaged or accurately assess the total reach/clicks/shares earned from employee accounts.
That’s when they implemented GaggleAMP so that they could automate post assignments and employees received timely notifications. Judging by the results below, it worked out pretty well!
SendGrid took a two-pronged approach to its employee advocacy program:
They took a segmented approach, meaning each department covered different initiatives.
They incorporated gamification to optimize the program to last over time.
Let’s discuss each of these in detail.
First, segmenting the content means that each department has a slightly different strategy. For example, Human Resources is responsible for sharing content about career tips, hiring, and culture, while the sales team might create content around new features, case studies, and client success.
While this may seem obvious, it’s a major headache to constantly sort through hundreds of employees and ensure the right people share the right content.
So they used GaggleAMP to create groups of employees (e.g., “executives,” “sales team,” “HR,” etc.) and then push relevant content to those employees with just one click. Employees still receive a personalized list of posts to share, but assigning the post only requires a second of the manager's time.
They use the leaderboard to track employee engagement, and the friendly competition makes the employee advocacy strategy sustainable. They also reward employees that achieve a certain number of points with merchandise and other prizes once per quarter to show their appreciation.
Hopefully, these employee advocacy examples gave you some inspiration that will help you start your own successful employee advocacy program. The key to making employee advocacy work really comes down to making it easy for employees to engage and recognizing them for their efforts.
That’s why we built GaggleAMP. With GaggleAMP, you can assign specific engagement activities to particular employees (or groups of employees) in just a few minutes per day. GaggleAMP also makes it super easy for employees to participate as they can log into their personal Gaggle, view a handful of engagement activity assignments, complete them all in a few minutes, and schedule them to go live at a future time/date.
By removing as much friction as possible from the process, you’ll be able to make employee advocacy sustainable and fun. See for yourself by scheduling a demo of GaggleAMP today!
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