There are many reasons why it is important to have employees who are happy with their workplace. One of these reasons of course, is that they will advocate for your company. Whether or not you are the owner, we all want employees who will advocate for the company. After all, if the employees will not advocate for the company, how can we expect customers to? Employee advocacy can pertain to a number of topics, but today we are focusing on employee advocacy on social media.
What is Employee Advocacy?
Employee advocacy is the concept of empowering employees to be brand advocates. In other words, allowing and encouraging the hard working individuals behind the business to promote the company’s values and services because they genuinely believe in them. Employee advocacy cannot be forced. It must be natural and authentic.
Employee advocacy in social media is the idea that employees will promote a company’s social media efforts because they believe in the mission of the company and want to help it grow.
Why is Employee Advocacy Important?
There are several key reasons why employee advocacy is important for your business:
- Your employees can be your biggest fans
Who knows the company better than your employees? Who will be able to trust and believe in the company better than your employees? The answer to both of these questions is no one. They ARE your biggest fans.
- This is essentially ‘free’ marketing
Of course your employees are paid to work for your company, but they are not paid to market it on their own time. They do this because they want to see the business succeed. Thus, employees logging onto Facebook to share a company status with their friends is essentially free marketing.
- If they don’t support you, how can you expect anyone else to?
If your employees are not supportive of your company (which is an entirely different issue) then your company morale is probably very low. If your company morale is low, your employees are probably not performing their duties effectively. This will be evident to your customers, casting doubt on their trust in your organization. If your employees aren’t advocates, it will be difficult for your customers to be.
4 Ways to Achieve Employee Advocacy
- Allow them to access social media during work hours
This is a business decision that takes some consideration. Think of it this way, if you’re asking your employees to follow the company on Twitter, share Facebook statuses, invite friends and family to like the page, you cannot mandate that they do this on their free time. Your employees will feel taken advantage of. Even if it is a limited window of time, show your employees you trust them by allowing them to access their social media sites during work hours.
- Make it easy for them to advocate
Your employees have jobs to do and you probably don’t want them spending all of their time on Facebook with an impending deadline. Make it easy for them to advocate by providing clear direction on posting and sharing statuses. Have a Facebook status you want them to like? Email the link to the team. They will be more likely to participate if it is made easy.
- Explain the importance
Let your employees know why this is important to the company. Social media plays a huge role in digital marketing. Increased engagement on a Facebook post will lead to a greater reach. Once your employees understand the importance, they will be more likely to participate.
- Make a game out of it
Have fun with employee advocacy. Offer a prize to the employee with the best Facebook status promoting your new product or service. Have the team invite their Facebook friends to like your company page and challenge them to reach a certain goal by the end of the day. The team will have fun watching the numbers go up and knowing that the support is coming from their own, personal networks.
A Few Reminders
Here are a few things to remember when campaigning for employee advocacy:
- Train them effectively on what to post and how to post. If your industry is highly-regulated, you will want to make sure you have outlined guidelines on posts and comments.
- Make sure they feel empowered, not coerced. If your employees feel as if they are being forced to advocate, this is a lost cause. Their advocacy must be genuine.
- Ask for their feedback. See what your employees like to do on social media if they have any fun new ideas, and other ways they would feel more empowered.
Remember that employee advocacy starts with company morale. Once you know you have that positive environment and your employees are happy, advocacy can fall into place. Employee advocacy on social media requires some guidance. If you need help with social media management or employee advocacy on social media, contact Informatics.