The Secret to a Great Employee Advocacy Program
Let’s face it…you may have the best content in the world, but if it’s not reaching the people you want to reach, you might as well throw it in the trash. OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic. The point is if no one is aware of your content, then they won’t see how awesome you and your company are.
So, how do you make others aware of your content? No, not just aware of your content, but actually read your content? Now, that’s a big difference. The answer lies in your employees. An employee advocacy program is an excellent way to involve your staff and attract new eyes to your content.
Employees Are More Credible Than Leaders
Yes, you read that right. While the leaders in your company may be credible, your employees are more credible to the majority of your audience. According to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, trust matters and your employees have the trust of their peers. People are more prone to buy from companies they trust.
As you can see from the above chart, trust is vital to the growth of your company and that trust lies in the hands of your employees. So, implementing an employee advocacy program should be a part of your company’s content marketing strategy. The more your employees share and talk about industry trends and the things your company is doing, then the more visibility you will have. That can build up your trust with your audience.
In the chart below from the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, you can see that everyday people (AKA – your employees) are gaining status in the area of expertise. They are right up there with technical and academic experts. So, don’t underestimate the power that your employees have in helping your company gain more exposure for your brand.
(Image Source: Edelman.com)
The Right Environment Matters
Here’s the deal though…you can’t just force people to share your content and then be done with it. If you truly want your employee advocacy program to be successful, then you need to create the right environment for your staff. The right environment – corporate culture – can have an effect on the outcome of your employee advocacy program. Remember, happy employees will be more willing to advocate for your brand to help make the company more successful.
Shiva Rajgopal, an accounting professor at Columbia Business School, teamed up with three others from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business to conduct a study on corporate culture. They surveyed more than 1,400 North American CEOs and CFOs over 13 months to gain insight. They found that that the majority of the executives said that a healthy corporate culture is vital to the company’s ability to thrive. Below are some of the findings from the study.
“More than 90% said that culture was important at their firms.”
“92% said they believed improving their firm’s corporate culture would improve the value of the company.”
“More than 50% said corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value and growth rates.”
“Only 15% said their firm’s corporate culture was where it needed to be.”
*All quote above from Source: Forbes
Create The Right Environment for Employee Advocacy
As you can see, your company culture can have a significant impact on your company’s growth and it can also affect the success of your employee advocacy program. You may be wondering how to create the right environment that cultivates a thriving program. Here are some examples to help you start moving in the right direction.
Set An Example – If you and your management team are not sharing company content, then why should your employees? Leading by example is essential if you want to gain the respect of your team. Be the leader that your staff looks up to, trusts, and admires.
Show Appreciation – If your employees feel unappreciated, then they will be less likely to spread the word about your company in a positive light. Let them know in various ways that you notice their hard work and show them a little love with some form of recognition. This will help to create a happy team.
Create a Sense of Ownership – Include employees in the overall big picture of the company and help them to understand their part in the social sharing strategy. This will help them understand how they can make a difference in the success of the company. It helps make them more willing to take ownership and do what is required to make the company successful.
Alleviate Confusion & Frustration – If there’s confusion about what you want employees to do or how you expect them to do it, that creates frustration. Provide solid guidelines for the initiative. Create documentation that they can refer back to if they have questions. Identify a point of contact to handle questions that arise. It’s important to have ways for your employees to get answers.
Provide An Employee Advocacy Platform – Invest in an employee advocacy platform like GaggleAMP to make it easy for your program participants to share content. This will help ensure they are sharing things that are in accordance with your guidelines, and it will make it easy for them. They won’t have to take too much time away from their everyday activities.
There are many moving parts to a successful employee advocacy program. These are just a few ideas to help get your company ready so that your program is successful.
Trust. That’s what it all boils down to. An employee advocacy program will build trust for your company. And trust is what will help to grow your business.
Here are some additional resources you might want to check out.
Six Components of a Great Corporate Culture – Harvard Business Review
Every CEO Should Invest in their Company’s Employee Advocacy Program – Maximize Social Business
Featured Image Source: GraphicStock – https://www.graphicstock.com/stock-image/group-of-business-partners-applauding-at-conference