[Episode Twenty Three of ‘The Employee Advocacy and Influence Podcast] 🎧👇
Test, Listen & Learn – Create Your Feedback Loop!
Organizations all over the world in every sector are driving strategic competitive advantage by scaling the impact of their employees’ voices… and now YOU can too! As we delve beyond the why and get straight to the how so that you can put employee-driven growth at the heart of your organization.
Hosted by employee advocacy practitioner and CEO of DSMN8, Bradley Keenan.
Welcome to this episode of The Employee Advocacy and Influence Podcast. My name is Bradley Keenan and I am the Founder and CEO of the Employee Advocacy Platform – DSMN8 and this is the 2nd episode of a 4 part special, where we’re talking about content that is going to be in a book we’re creating.
The book will be out in Q1 of 2023 and the idea of these 4 episodes is to try out some of the content and get some feedback from listeners on what they think. As I said in the last episode, if you want to be on the distribution list for the 1st batch of the book, just send me a LinkedIn message with your address. I’ll put you on a list. As soon as the book’s ready we’ll send it out to you.
We’ll do this for free in the hope that you will be kind enough to give us a review before we release the book to the wider industry. So as we did in the last episode, we’re going to pick a random number between 101 and I’m going to have the content of the book in front of me. I am going to pull that number out of the book and talk about whatever tip is that number, because the book is going to be essentially 101 tips on how to run a successful Employee Advocacy program and it’s pretty much everything we’ve learned in the last 6 years of building this business.
So, Alexa give me a number between 1 and 101.
This tip is Test, Learn and Listen with a feedback loop.
So what we’re speaking about in this tip is that, of course as a company, we’ve run and built Employee Advocacy programs for some of the biggest companies in the world. And there are common themes that work through all Employee Advocacy programs and a lot of those things are things we talk about on this podcast. But there are nuances that happen from one business to another, and you’re not going to come right out of the gate and nail your Employee Advocacy program the first time.
So as part of your ongoing running of the program, you should build in mechanisms to test and learn from essentially all the different ways that you add content to the platform. And even if you don’t have a platform, you just run an Employee Advocacy program and a lot of that comes from the content itself. So just taking the content that you’ve created to be from your corporate voice and pushing it from your employees may work in some environments and it may not work in others. So you have to build these tests and run them in the same way that if you were running an advertising campaign, you would look at different messaging. You need to do the same for your Employee Advocacy program, and that can touch all of the different parts of the program. So that might be how you invite users, it could be how the types of content that you add.
Authentic Tone Of Voice
A big part of it will actually be tone of voice, how you speak when you put content through the Advocacy program. Because a lot of people will just speak in the same tone as they do if they were to post on their corporate social media accounts while understanding that the last thing you want to do in an Employee Advocacy program is make a person sound like a corporation.
That’s why that’s essentially the number 1 thing people would complain about if they were speaking about an Employee Advocacy program.
Would Your Employees Share Content? Test & Learn
So you need to run these tests as unit tests and see what it does to the performance. Just like you do with ads and just like you do with any other marketing activity you do. Run a specific test and track the results.
The things that you want to track are the obvious ones. How many employees see that content in your program and say, yes, I’d like to share it? That gives you an idea of the appetite from the employee and whether that content resonates with them.
So that’s step 1 in the advocacy cycle, that is step 1. That is somebody saying, yes, I’ll share that content. So that’s the 1st thing that you track.
How To Tell If Employee Shares Resonate With Audiences
The 2nd thing that you track is now that they’ve actually taken the content and shared it, how does that resonate with their audience? And you do that by looking at positive interactions with the content.
So dark social is a component of this, which we’ll come on to that. I’ll try to remember to come onto that in a second. But let’s just look at pure positive interactions with the content the way that I would look at it is, I have a sales cycle that we are running, with prospects in it and I have an existing client base. They are the people that I care about. I don’t really care if someone I used to work with at a previous organization is interacting with my post about Employee Advocacy, unless they’re in the market, but let’s say they’re not.
So I care about are people in my ICP, my ideal client profile or my existing clients interacting with that content.
If yes, then the content resonates, that comes back into my test for that content. so tracking engagements, comments and website traffic as well. If you have tracking they’ll give you some kind of intent data based on which companies are engaged with the content. That’s pretty much what you should look at.
The Dark Social Impact of Employee Advocacy
Then the other side of it is the dark social component which is looking at how many people are coming into your pipeline through other areas that you can link to content or to the action of sharing content.
The challenge with doing that is that most people won’t see content and just click on it and then become attributable. They will read the content, go away go on Google, search a company name, go to the website for Google, and then you would attribute that to search when actually it’s come from the social content.
So there’s a component to this where you kind of need to feel it out with people and you can do that by self-reported attribution. Asking people how they heard of you, as an example. But you just get a feel for it and people will tell you, oh, I saw that thing you posted, it was really interesting.
Create Advocate Feedback Loops
So try and create a way, and this comes on to the final point of this tip to bring that back into your marketing team using some kind of feedback loop. And we’ve spoken about this loads of times on the podcast already, so apologies if this sounds like I am repeating myself, but having a feedback loop with your advocates where they can tell you what they’re hearing on the ground is far more powerful than any analytics that you’ll get, which are just binary numbers.
It’s having a salesperson say to you, “hey, I was on this call the other day and they mentioned the whitepaper we created, they mentioned the content”. So one thing that we get a lot is my salespeople say to me, they hate it because they don’t want me to take credit for their sales, but sometimes they’ll say, “oh, I speak to prospects and they listen to the podcast and they mentioned that it was really helpful”.
But the people that mention this, they’re not the same people who engage with the content. So it’s people that have seen it, registered it, and enjoyed it, but they didn’t like or share the content for me, so I had no way of attributing it.
So the feedback loop that comes from the people who are sharing that they like the content ticks the box of dark social, so you can pull that back in and you can essentially do more of what works.
Now, here is the BONUS content that I promised.
If you want to find out how active your employees are on social right now, if you click the link in the footnotes of the show, we will create a report for you that will show you not only how active your employees are on social, but also the competitors of your choosing. So you can see how you benchmark against your competitors.
And we will show you how this breaks down by seniority inside your organization and geography. So hit that link, and one of my team will be in contact. Thank you for taking the time to listen to this week’s episode, and we look forward to seeing you same time next week.
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