(This gif will make WAY more sense shortly) ☝️
Ever seen a total employee advocacy/PR fail?
You know the ones.
You see a post from an employee who says they work at a company.
Let’s call this company ‘Banana’ 🍌
(and no, Apple has not done this…)
Let’s also say that the employee works in HR.
The employee puts out a tweet.
They want everyone to know about the latest Banana offering.
It could be a product.
Or a piece of Banana-related news.
Maybe they want to counter recent claims that Banana is a bad place to work 💡
Whatever it is.
You see it and you do a double-take.
Because there’s something not quite right about it.
It seems disingenuous.
Almost too enthusiastic.
And it’s as if this HR professional is trained in copywriting too 🤔
So you do a little digging.
You copy the opening line of the tweet.
And paste it into Twitter’s search bar.
Just like that.
You’re looking at 20+ identical tweets 🤦♂️
Low and behold…
This employee was not feeling especially enthusiastic about Banana on this occasion.
Instead, what you immediately think is:
“Oh, someone told them to say that” 😒
You might even think that the account isn’t real.
And that they’re not even a real person.
Whatever comes to mind.
It doesn’t look good for Banana as a company.
And you’ve seen right through this attempt at real advocacy.
Consumers want trust, transparency, and authenticity from brands in 2022.
And if they can’t trust your employees, then…
Well, who at Banana can they trust? 🤷♂️
We’ll get to the Star Wars gif, don’t worry.
How it’s Usually Done (Don’t Do This)
So, here’s the deal.
Here’s what most employee advocacy programs/platforms are doing wrong.
They allow you to upload content to the platform for your employees to share.
They allow some degree of content curation.
You can choose the title, the preview image used, the description, etc.
They then allow you to write a bit of text for your employees to use when sharing 🙌
That piece of content then goes live within the platform.
Employees are notified.
And one by one they log in and begin sharing it to their own socials.
…with the same image.
The same title.
And the same bit of text 🙈
Granted, some might write their own caption instead.
But the majority of employees will use the pre-approved text.
Within an hour, it’s an employee advocacy disaster.
Tens or hundreds of employees have shared the exact same thing at around the same time.
Now, if your employees’ networks don’t realise this mistake the first time.
With time, it will show.
Network overlap (shared connections) is increasingly common on sites like LinkedIn.
And it only takes one duplicate post in their feed for them to lose interest in what their connection has to say.
After all, in their eyes…
It’s not really that person who’s said what they’ve said.
Now, before we get into how this SHOULD be done.
Employee advocacy is not (and should not look like) spam 🙅♂️
And the reality is that asking your employees to share something isn’t a bad thing.
How you go about doing this, though, is essential.
Granted, employees should never be forced to share.
But simply encouraging advocacy is absolutely fine.
Brilliant, in fact! 🙌
And a great program can be a marketing, sales, or HR asset like no other!
You just have to get it right.
Employees should be educated on the benefits of personal branding.
And the ultimate goal is to get them sharing because they want to.
The result is more authentic posting 👌
Which will resonate with their audiences.
And benefit both the company and the employee alike.
Great employee advocacy is an art form.
But not one that you need years of training to perfect.
You simply need the right tools.
How it Should be Done (Do This!)
Once you’ve communicated the importance of having a social media presence to your employees.
You now need to provide them with the right tools 💪
That means finding the right employee advocacy platform.
One that will allow you to encourage as much sharing as you like.
Without seeing duplicated posts and employee advocacy #fails.
Of course, I can speak only for DSMN8 😉
But let’s go through the features you’ll need.
And discuss why they’re so important!
What You’ll Need
You NEED the ability to add multiple pre-approved text captions for people to use when sharing.
This is the big one.
The people running your platform should be able to add more than one bit of text for employees to use when sharing.
As many as they like!
With DSMN8, it looks a little like this:
Employees can then cycle through them and decide which works best for them when sharing.
After all, everyone has their own personality.
Their own tone of voice.
And they’ll know better than anyone what will resonate with their networks 💪
A senior member of staff, for example, might steer clear of the emoji-ridden caption.
And opt for something more formal and more “professional”.
(Although we are so here for CEOs showing a bit of personality!) 💃
If you really want to get specific with your pre-written text captions.
You can assign certain captions to certain teams or departments.
Your support team, for example.
Might want to say how this latest piece of news affects customers.
Similarly, your sales team might want to shout about a new feature or service.
And if you have a division of the business based in, say, Argentina.
Then it would be a good idea to include a few captions in Spanish too 🇪🇸
But please, get your Spanish-speaking colleagues to do this…
Just because you’re on a 10-day Duolingo streak does not mean “you got this” 😉
You SHOULD have the ability to add multiple preview images, titles, and descriptions.
Multiple text captions are one thing.
But this is the game-changer 🤩
An essential feature to seek out for your program.
(or something you should be using if you’ve already started with DSMN8!)
Is the ability to make each share look totally unique.
Naturally, using multiple captions alone could mean you still see duplicate posts.
If you have 20 employees sharing the same thing with just 5 captions to choose from…
Well then, naturally, there will be some duplication.
It’s less likely.
But it’s a possibility.
By adding multiple images and titles to choose from.
You’re able to totally mix things up 👌
Sure, one employee might share the same caption as another.
But the content appearing different in the feed will make it look totally unique.
If the preview image is different.
Then at first glance, it’s a different piece of content 💥
After all, if it’s a link that’s shared to LinkedIn, do you look at the content first or the caption?
Sure, it takes a while longer to curate each post.
But what you’ll get in return is an employee advocacy program that continues to generate results.
Going for quick wins is a no-no 🙅♂️
Sure, you’ll get more content out by quickly curating more posts.
But in the long run, you risk sabotaging your program.
And never seeing its full potential 📉
Employees’ posts will begin to appear inauthentic.
And their networks will cease to engage with them.
Getting it right is the difference between having your employees look like an army of stormtroopers or a team of unique (and kickass) Jedi Knights 👇
I told you I’d get back to that Star Wars gif!
What You Could be Doing (for Maximum Impact)
Okay, this is elite level employee advocacy we’re getting into here 🔥
But it’s absolutely worth a mention.
You could (and probably should!) encourage employees to create or suggest their own content.
Because what’s more unique than an employee posting their OWN content?
Better yet, creating and posting their own company-centric content.
You certainly don’t have to worry about duplicate posts!
Ask anyone trying to build their personal brand.
And they’ll tell you that sharing links is simply not enough.
Sure, it factors into their personal content strategy.
But keeping it varied is essential 👏
From links, to behind the scenes photos, to memes…
You need a bit of everything to keep your audience engaged.
If you’ve done a great job of educating your employees on the benefits of personal branding.
And provided a clear social media policy for them to operate within.
Then you should absolutely encourage them to create and share their own posts
The work you’re doing with your employee advocacy program will support this.
It allows them to build their audiences themselves before sharing more strategic and company-centric pieces that cement them as thought leaders.
Your employees will have their own unique point of view 💡
Let them express it!