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The Employee As Brand & How to Launch Your Internal Advocacy Program

Posted on 08/20/2015

In a recent webinar, Jen McClure, the VP of Digital and Social Media, and Joel Leeman, Digital Communications Specialist, of Thomson Reuters discussed the internal advocacy program at Thomson Reuters, employees as brand and how to launch your own internal advocacy program. Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals; combining industry expertise and innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers.

“Imagine what we could achieve by activating our employees.”

Engagement: The New Metric

The social employee is a new way to elevate and humanize your brand reputation and value proposition while activating the voice of the employees. Further, they help you amplify your content reach, messaging and reach new audiences as well as drive leads, sales and genuine customer conversations while strengthening relationships with key stakeholders.

You can gain social employees by offering education and resources to help your employees use best practices to share your story with their social networks. Another tactic is increasing the number of employee contributors to digital and social media channels to help evangelize internal advocacy among colleagues. Further, making the process of sharing branded content simple, measurable and fun will help attract social employees.

Employees as Brand is Scary

One of the biggest concerns in launching an internal advocacy program is that the brand message will come across as “spammy” if everyone is pushing out the same message, but statistics show that there is only an 8% overlap between employees and brands pages as well as the fact that employees have very diverse audiences. This means that the content and posts will be distributed across a broad audience and your brand’s message won’t come across as “spam”.

Additionally, brands can get nervous about having their employees represent the brand on social media but the fact of the matter is that employees are going to be on social media regardless, so why not train them and educate them so that you can feel confident in that they are representing your brand appropriately and according to your guidelines. Beyond that, these employees are already representing your company on the phone and at conferences- you trust them! So why wouldn’t you trust them on social media too?

Before You Post, THINK

In order to determine the frequency that leads to internal advocacy success, you need to understand the balance of content so as to not overload your channels with “white noise”. The key to this is to share content that your followers care about and post valuable information that is an asset to them. In the Thomson Reuter’s Internal Advocacy training program, they have have a rule: Before you post, THINK!

  • Is it True?
  • Is it Helpful?
  • Is it Informative?
  • Is it Necessary?
  • Does it extend Knowledge?