Employee advocacy is a proven method for making deeper impressions with larger audiences, but there are common challenges getting in the way of a successful employee advocacy program.

Organizations of all sizes want to promote their initiatives, content and brand, and employee advocacy programs can certainly do that. Employees’ social media accounts reach larger combined audiences than that of corporate accounts, and people trust posts coming from employees more than the same posts coming from the companies they work for. This is why it’s such a powerful tactic to leverage, but there are some common concerns from employees that can prevent an employee advocacy program from taking off. 

Here, we’ll go through some of these obstacles and how to overcome them.

Employees don’t want to share work related content

This is the biggest hurdle to employee advocacy programs. 30% of employees who choose not to share information about their company on social media said they don’t use social media for business reasons at all, according to a survey by The Marketing Advisory Network. An additional 15% said they don’t want to overwhelm their network with posts about their company, and  another 15% said they don’t want to sound like a company robot.

This is a common problem, but it’s also easy to overcome. Employees need to buy into their company’s mission and be passionate about its goals on social media in order to get on board with the employee advocacy program. It also doesn’t hurt to put incentives in place to give these employees a little extra push. Whether it’s monetary or giving public recognition, incentives are always a good motivator for employees. A few good ways to get their attention include offering a financial bonus to the employee who participates the most or to those who reach certain goals.

Personalization is also important. Employees need to be able to edit posts before they share them so they can write posts in their own voices. This will make them more inclined to share and help eliminate the concern of sounding like “a company robot.” Organizations should also mix in appropriate third-party content for employees to share. This way the employees aren’t sharing content from their organization too often, but will be influencers by posting interesting articles about their industry.

Lastly, giving employees the option of choosing what, when and how often they post, also alleviates the “company robot” concern and the concern of overwhelming their personal feed.

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Some employees don’t use social media

It’s hard to be an advocate on social media without having an account. This won't be a problem for an entire employee population of course, but the more employees you can get in your employee advocacy program, the more successful it’ll be.

According to The Marketing Advisory Network, baby boomers are far less likely to share content on social media than millennials. This is actually a good thing because millennials make up most of the workforce today. As for the generation Xers in your office, they're typically not far behind millenials in their social media skills.

Whether baby boomers don’t have social media accounts or they they simply don’t want to share work content, they may be hesitant to change. This is why encouraging employees to buy in is so important. Again offering training, and incentives can help. Incentives let them know they are doing something to help their organization, but also have a personal gain. Training simply makes it easier for the employees to know what they should be doing and how to do it, which makes them more likely to contribute to the employee advocacy program.

Some employees want to help but don’t know what to promote or how to promote it.

This is the best problem to have because a good employee advocacy program easily solves this problem. The marketing team or social media strategist at your organization can help guide employees down the right path. 

Employees need to know what pieces of content to share, what to write in posts and what social media platforms to share them in. Sending employees content to promote and an appropriate caption for a post makes the job easy for employees. This makes them more likely to contribute and gives the organization the results they want. They can also suggest to employees what posts to like, share, who to follow and what types of people to engage with.

A strong employee advocacy tool such as GaggleAMP can help you solve these and other problems as it relates to employee advocacy programs.

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