Employee advocacy is a way to reach and leave an impression on potential customers and employees, but it’s still not used as much as it could be. It refers to the promotion of an organization directly by the people working there. It can take various forms, but there’s no doubt that today, the most common channel is social media.
According to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report, “employees are more than twice as trusted as a CEO, senior executive, or activist consumer to communicate on topics related to the treatment of customers or employees”.
Let’s take this a step further. According to the Pew Research Center, on average, an Internet user in the United States has 200 Facebook friends and 61 Twitter followers. Now imagine the following scenario: you’re employing 20 people in your organization and start leveraging employee advocacy. By doing this, you can reach up to 5,000 people, just through your staff.
However, all these stats and study results lead to one big question: if employee advocacy is already in check, is there any way to make this process even better? The answer is simple: yes, by also having a knowledge sharing platform in place.
According to Perficient Digital, there are three main types of employees, each of them with an important role in implementing employee advocacy in a company:
- Social native: those who are a constant online presence and have a social brand. Usually, they share and engage with their followers all the time and will have no problem with sharing content.
- Detractors: They don’t care about the company’s brand at all and don’t want to share content related to it.
- Up and comers: They want to be social, but they don’t know how this can be done. Yet.
Ok, so how can you combine employee advocacy and knowledge sharing, for the best results? By following a few key steps, of course:
1. Motivate employees through personal branding. This is a great opportunity, as it enables others to learn from personal experiences and grow in their own jobs.
2. Make knowledge sharing a company culture. A workplace environment where knowledge sharing is constantly encouraged will benefit both the organization and the people in it. We’ve discussed this in detail in an article about building confidence at the workplace.
3. Leverage content. Advocacy platforms should put great content at their employees’ disposal, so they can learn from it and share the most interesting aspects they found on social media.
4. Encourage brainstorming and training. Employees should be able to attend group sessions, in order to exchange new ideas. And newcomers should be also invited, as they may come with a fresh perspective.
5. Make employees active on social media. Show them how to find potential followers on social media and how to start engaging with them.
6. Help them become thought leaders. Employees should be encouraged to work on their personal brands, by learning how to speak, then being present at speaking gigs, and more.
7. Get employees on your side. After creating an attractive workplace environment, you should encourage your employees to advocate on your behalf.
8. Set goals and KPIs. In order to maintain an efficient employee advocacy program, you need an organized system, able to track the results of the posts your colleagues are sharing on social media.
9. Set social media posting guidelines. You want to see specific things being posted about your company, so having a social media policy is excellent, as it takes all the guesswork out of posting and interacting with followers.
10. Keep everyone up to date with the best practices. Your employees’ level of social media knowledge will differ, so it’s highly recommended to keep everybody up to date with the best practices, as well as algorithm updates, in order to make sure their messages reach the right people.
11. Appoint employee advocacy leaders. If your organization is large enough, you can easily outsource various employee advocacy roles to specific employees. They will pass the message down to their teams and encourage them to stay engaged.
We know what you’re thinking: at first, this might sound a bit complicated, especially if both these concepts are somewhat new to you. However, using dedicated tools can make the entire process easier. What tools are you using to foster employee advocacy and knowledge sharing? Let us know by dropping a tweet at @QuandoraQA.