For any successful employee advocacy program, it’s important to know who your employees are, and what kind of attention they need.
Employees in any workplace fall into one of three categories as it relates to employee advocacy.
- Employees who promote content already.
- Employees who don’t want to promote content.
- Employees who want to promote content but aren’t for a variety of reasons.
In a perfect world, 100% of your employees will be extremely active in your employee advocacy program, but we know that won’t happen – at least not right away. Instead, what you should do is focus on the third group of employees by enabling them to be part of the program. At the same time, you can work with those who are initially hesitant to get stronger long-term results. Let’s break down how to work with all three segments of your employees.
Employees who promote content already
The employees who already share work-related content is the smallest segment, however, they’re further along in your employee advocacy initiative. They’re familiar with social media, they already have accounts set up, and they already have the passion for their company to talk about it online.
These are employees who already share on social media without any kind of direction from marketing or any kind of program in place, so you’re already getting a return from them. What you can do to better serve them is steer them towards what content and initiatives you’d like them to promote.
What they can do for you is help recruit other employees into your program. If they are promoting content on their own, it’s likely because they’ve seen the benefit of their activity. Sharing the results they’ve seen with employees who aren’t promoting content will help get them motivated to start doing it themselves.
But these employees may want to keep doing things their own way, and it’s just a small segment of your employees. That is why these employees are not your main focus of your employee advocacy program.
Employees who don’t want to promote content
In every office there are employees who want no part of an employee advocacy program, and that’s totally fine.
The most common reasons why some employees resist employee advocacy programs are that they think they’ll overwhelm their social networks with work-related content, they’ll be viewed as a company robot or it’ll take too much time away from their core responsibilities.
What you can do for this segment of employees is explain to them why these concerns are unfounded. You can also explain the personal benefits of employee advocacy, and many of your employees will be more receptive. Some of these benefits include building up their own personal brand, gaining a better understanding of their organization and industry, building a better connection to their job, and becoming a more valuable employee.
But at the end of the day, your focus isn’t on changing their minds. Employee advocacy is voluntary, and if some employees don’t want to be part of it, that’s OK. What you need to do is focus on the ones who’ll help you the most.
Employees who want to promote content but aren’t for a variety of reasons
This is the core segment of your employees that you want to target for your employee advocacy program. Over half of your employees want to promote your organization's initiatives but don’t know the right way to go about it. They either don’t know what to promote or how to promote it. These people want your guidance, and you need to give it to them.
A strong employee advocacy program will greatly help these employees by directing them to the right content to promote while making it easy for them to do so. Your marketing team will write captions for these employees’ posts, so the employees won’t spend time trying to think of what to write for each piece of content.
Employee advocacy is a powerful method for organizations to leverage. Companies with an employee advocacy program have a 26% increase in year-over-year revenue compared to those that don’t, according to the Aberdeen Group. By working with these employees early, your organization can move faster towards this goal.
Another step to consider is social media training because employees post more frequently and have better engagement results after they’ve undergone training. Investing in social media training for your employees and bringing them on board an employee advocacy program can pay huge dividends for your organization.
Again, these are employees who want to be a part of your initiative. By building your employee advocacy around them and guiding them in the right direction, you’ll be in great shape in reaching your marketing potential.