Alanna Jackson is a founding partner at Jackson Marketing, Inc., a marketing firm located in Dunedin, Florida. In addition to her work at Jackson Marketing, Alanna is a co-host of The B2B Mix Show podcast. You can follow Alanna on Twitter at @alanna_jax and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Informal Employee Advocacy Program: Guiding Your Wannabe Employee Advocates

Written by Alanna Jackson

June 3, 2019

Are your employees sharing about your brand on social media? That’s great, but do you have a formal employee advocacy program in place? No? Well, you’re not alone. Even without an official policy, you can still guide your staff from any social media missteps to protect your company.

Presenting some form of guidance can even prompt more employees to share since they will know what is okay to publish and what could get them in trouble. Use this blog post as a guide to easily show your employees how to represent the company without the effort of creating a formal employee advocacy strategy.

Cover the Employee Advocacy Program Basics

Much of your crew will already know their way around social media. But just because they know how to use Facebook and Twitter for personal use doesn’t mean they know the best practices for the professional aspects of social media. Consider writing a one pager that covers general social media do’s and don’ts. You can also include a few links to free, helpful online training. Hootsuite has excellent no-cost social media education available.

Another idea would be to have a staff meeting about social media and employee advocacy. Provide your employees with a social media basics page and then give them the opportunity to ask any questions. Having a group meeting will save time as your staff is likely to have similar queries and can learn from each other.

What to Share

The success of any social media employee advocacy program relies fundamentally on content. Ensure that your employees are sharing more than just company articles and white papers, though. That’s why you have company profiles. Their social media accounts should be a representation of themselves and build their thought leadership clout. Encourage employees to source from other places and possibly even share a little about their hobbies or home life. When prospects look at their profiles, they want to see a person, not just a regurgitation of branded content.

Your content should be high quality and about topics that individuals will want to share.

Allow your employees the opportunity to contribute to your blog either through guest posting or embedding their quotes into your material. They’ll be encouraged to amplify the content to their network and build credibility as a thought leader.

Do you have any content that you don’t want your employees to share? This is pretty unlikely if you’re creating evergreen content. Make people aware though if you have any old blog posts floating around that you no longer want to be distributed. Create a timeframe making it clear that any articles written past X date are not to be shared.

A useful tool to use and recommend for curation of external content is Feedly. It’s easily customized with a variety of online sources and provides a news feed of content to pull from. Another way to find OPC is using this tool from Hootsuite.

feedly for informal employee advocacy

Social Media Leaders

If you have an employee that is particularly knowledgeable about social media for business, mobilize them as a spearhead. Make it known that they are experienced with social media and may be able to help answer questions for other staff. Bear in mind that this person isn’t necessarily the 20-something-year-old millennial. Just because millennials “grew up on social media” and know their way around Instagram and Snapchat doesn’t mean that they know how to write up a post on LinkedIn or Facebook professionally. The experienced employee knows how to communicate professionally and may just need a little bit of training.

Review Results

Make time in your schedule to occasionally review the posts your employees are sharing. Create a branded hashtag that employees can use in their posts relevant to the business. A branded hashtag will allow you to scan relevant posts quickly and can let your employees’ audiences know the relationship they have with the brand.

If they see success on social media, you will benefit. Show gratitude to the individuals who amplify your content thereby encouraging them to share more. Providing your employees with training and guidance for increasing their reach and engagement will help you both, and hopefully, dodge any conflicts on social media.

I hope this post has shown you that a full-blown program is not necessary to involve employees in amplifying your content. Start with the recommendations above and who knows; you may see such great results that you decide to initiate a formal employee advocacy program.

 

Informal Employee Advocacy Informal Employee Advocacy Informal Employee Advocacy Informal Employee Advocacy

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