Build Brand Awareness with an Employee Social Advocacy Program
A study by business solutions provider, Edelman, has shown that company employees are trusted twice as much on social media as the CEO and other senior staff. The average social media user has about 200 Facebook friends and around 70 Twitter followers. Apply these results to a small business with 50 employees and quickly social media exposure expands to 13,500 people just through its internal staff. An employee social advocacy program is one in which employees are encouraged to discuss the company and products on social media to develop the brand’s exposure. Leveraging employees passion for the industry and company is a powerful and effective strategy for building brand ambassadors. Here are tips for putting such a social media marketing program into place.
Have goals and objectives
Create defined objectives for your employee social advocacy program. Devise metrics and share them with the employees who are going to get involved with the program. Metrics on a high level can be items such as an increase in brand awareness, employee engagement, and revenue. On a more granular level, the metrics can include conversions, leads, shares, clicks, and comments. Objectives can be set to include both overall objectives and personal objectives for each employee.
Set up social media guidelines
Make sure that your brand’s message will be communicated properly and consistently before you begin encouraging your team members to post on social media. Even though the aim is not to control the employee’s online behaviors when they are not at work, it is important that all employees know what it means to be a representative of your brand online. It is critical to set policies and guidelines around online behavior. Such policies should include brand guidelines that outline how employees should refer to your products and services online. There should also be guidelines for interaction such as avoiding abusive or intolerant language at all costs. Finally, make sure to provide employees with information and resources so they can properly respond to any questions or comments that come up in online discussions.
Employee training is essential for a successful employee social advocacy program. Employees should be educated about the important points of the program including the goals, measures of success, proper online behavior and FTC guidelines among other things. Employee training should be comprehensive as well as adapted to the level of experience on social media. Employees will require differing levels of training. Some may need basic social media training, including help setting up their profiles and instructions on how to tweet and post. Others may be social media experts and interested in more strategic, high-level training. The watchword here is that at the end of the training all participants are fully aware of the policies and guidelines, they can deliver the brand messages clearly and have demonstrated the ability to interact effectively online.
Have Metrics and Analytics
It is important to gather data as your social advocacy program progresses, so include outgoing measures such as quantity of posts and inbound metrics such as leads to the website from the social media site. From those baseline metrics, a set of analytics can arise to measure the results. Once baseline metrics are in place, brands can start monitoring their performance against their benchmarks. As the employee social advocacy program progresses, more data can be collected, and new metrics can be created. Continuous improvement is the intended result. It will also show those contributing to the program in case there is a rewards program for the effort.
Since many company employees have social media accounts, the wise business might consider creating an employee social advocacy program. Such a program requires a lot of planning and monitoring. To learn more and discuss setting up a social media program for your business, contact KEO Marketing or call us at 888-702-0679.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.