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Last Updated: 16th October 2023
When starting an employee advocacy program, one of the most important parts to get right is the training.
Here are our top tips on how to create the perfect employee advocacy training plan to get your team off to a flying start on social.
Most employee advocacy programs see a return on investment in the first month, and implementing a social media training plan is the best way to ensure success.
Here we cover everything from why employees need social media training to what you should include in a social media policy. Let’s go!
Why Employees Need Social Media Training
Whether your employees are digital natives or not, you’ll need to give them some social media training.
Even if your employees already use Twitter and LinkedIn on a daily basis, creating a social media training plan is super important.
- You need to get all your employees up to speed on how to use various social media platforms, and the terminology. There’s no point telling employees to use a branded hashtag if they don’t know what a hashtag is.
- There’s a difference between personal and professional social media use, so make sure everyone knows what’s okay and what isn’t.
- Social media etiquette is important. No one likes a spammer! 😳
If you work in a regulated industry, social media training becomes even more important. Employees need to know any applicable laws that need to be followed. You don’t want a legal headache later!
Tell Employees Why They Should Participate!
Don’t tell employees to post on social media, without telling them why.
Make it exciting! Talk about the opportunity employee advocacy presents and where you want it to go.
Think about all the incredible content your marketing team makes. They want it to be seen!
But don’t make it all about how their social media activity benefits your company. Let employees know how advocacy benefits them, for example, the career opportunities it can bring.
The first step is to set goals for your employee advocacy program.
The best way to set goals is by looking at the your company’s values and objectives, then aligning your advocacy goals with them.
Example goals might be:
Reach and engage with your target audience
Generate more high-quality leads for sales
Tell your employees what the goals and KPI’s are. This will allow them to understand what the purpose of employee advocacy is, then they can start working on reaching those goals!
Brand Vision & Values
Talk about your brand vision and values – how can your employees help with that on social media? 🤔
Is your company culture big on sustainability? Encourage employees to post about their volunteering on socials!
Give Them The Statistics
Sharing the stats is a great way to get employees excited about advocacy.
Here are some of our favorite employee advocacy statistics:
- Posts shared by employees have 800% more engagement than the same posts shared by official brand accounts. [Social Media Today]
- 76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content from individuals over content from brands. [AdWeek]
- There’s a 700% greater conversion frequency when leads come from employees on social media. [Marketing Advisory Network]
- 75% of B2B buyers use social media to support purchase decisions. [LinkedIn]
What's In It For Them?
Don’t forget to let employees know what’s in it for them.
Explain that you’re moving away from a ‘no social media at work’ mindset to a policy that encourages employees to build their own personal brand.
Fun Fact: 86% of employees in an advocacy program said their engagement on social media had a positive impact on their career, according to Hinge Research. 👏
Most importantly, make it clear you’re not forcing them to post on social media. 😫
How to Approach Employee Advocacy Training
We’ve covered the why, so let’s get on to the how.
Creating the perfect employee advocacy training plan is different for every company.
Think about the priorities, and follow the steps below to get started! 👇
Do This First
Survey employees before starting advocacy training to gauge how they use social media.
Do they use it for personal reasons, like keeping in touch with family, or do they post thought leadership content on LinkedIn for career development?
Depending on survey results, you may need to offer different training for different people, based on their social media experience.
Methods To Consider
Flexible training is the best approach, especially with remote / hybrid workers.
Host a Webinar. The great thing about webinars is that you can record it for anyone who missed it, and show it to any future new starters.
Would an in-person workshop be better for your company? If you’re a smaller team, this hands-on approach could work really well. Have employees experiment with the platform, create some content, and get feedback from your social media experts! For large enterprises, try an online workshop, or multiple sessions with smaller groups.
Train up some brand ambassadors, so they can train other employees. Appoint employee advocacy champions! 💪
Think about enrolling your employees in an online course. Hubspot offer some excellent free social media and content creation courses.
Create some helpful documents as part of your employee advocacy training plan. Your colleagues can refer to them when needed.
If you use an employee advocacy platform, do they offer training? (We do! More on that later…)
Don’t wait too long after launch before giving your staff some training.
Employees might sign up, then get confused if they haven’t had any training and give up. 🤦♀️
The first few months of an employee advocacy program are essential for driving and maintaining interest in the initiative. Read our guide on what to do during the first 60 days to set up for success.
What to Include in Your Employee Advocacy Training Plan
💡 Grab the Employee Advocacy Training Plan Checklist PDF for later.
First, allow employees access to social media at work. Don’t block Twitter!
Make sure your social media policy is up-to-date and ready to share with employees.
Social Media Training
This part is super important: social media training.
Start with the basics – which platforms you’d like employees to use, and how they work.
Teach them about social media image sizes, character limits and types of media to share on each platform.
Try creating a checklist of social media terminology to help your less social-media-savvy employees! Hashtags, stories, lives, shares, likes, connections… it can be confusing for a beginner.
Social Media Etiquette
Cover things like…
- Language and tone-of-voice. Keep it positive!
- How to reach out and connect with people on LinkedIn.
- Controversial opinions. Make it clear that you’re not attempting to stifle free speech, but that employees should remember that they are representing the company. Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want your boss to hear!
Consider putting together an FAQ document, so your employees know how to answer questions and where to direct other queries they may receive.
Optimizing Social Profiles
After they’ve got to grips with professional social media use, terminology and etiquette, employees need to optimize their social profiles.
Give them guidance on how to make their profiles public, and provide branding assets.
Using your color scheme, logo and font is a great way to make employee profiles consistent. Consider making profile picture and header templates on Canva for employees to use.
Check out our post on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for a detailed guide on getting started. Be sure to download our LinkedIn profile checklist to give your employees. Make it easy! 👏
Now everyone knows why they should be active on social media and how to use it. Their profiles are optimized and ready to go.
It’s time for the fun part: content creation!
Now, some of your employees might already be great at this. You’ve probably got some secret writers amongst your team.
Writing and creating content might not come naturally to others, so it’s a good idea to give everyone a few pointers.
The best way to do this is by using examples. Read our post featuring 8 brands who are absolutely smashing it on social media for some ideas. Find your own examples too – extra points if they’re in your industry! Encourage your colleagues to follow them on LinkedIn for inspiration.
Get your marketing team to give tips on things like brand voice, and provide some of their best-performing social posts for inspiration. They’re the experts!
Your Employee Advocacy Platform
If you use an employee advocacy platform, it’s imperative that employees know how to get the most from it.
Your employee advocacy solution is likely to provide this training themselves – we do here at DSMN8.
We love our platform, and want everyone to know how to use it for the best results!
How To Create a Social Media Policy
OK, so you know that a social media policy is important.
But what should it include?
Here’s the key: make it simple. 💡
There’s just no need for a 45-page document detailing every single scenario an employee could face on social media.
We’ve created a free customizable social media policy template to help you get started!
Make sure to update your social media policy periodically, preferably every year. Social media changes so rapidly, and you’ve gotta stay with the times. Do you want employees to post TikTok videos, or stick to LinkedIn?
Get Leadership Involved
One of the fundamentals of ensuring employee advocacy success from the get-go is to get senior leadership involved.
If it’s backed by c-suite executives, the rest of your company is likely to follow suit.
These key staff members are more likely to have a larger social media following, and may already share thought leadership content.
Plus they know your company inside out! They know your brand voice, what to post, and why visibility is important.
Encourage your senior leadership to set an example to the rest of your employees.
Use Internal Comms
Whether you have an internal comms app, an intranet, or simply communicate by email… it’s important to tell everyone about your new employee advocacy program!
If you decide to onboard a small team initially, keep track of the results. Once you decide to onboard the wider team, you can really emphasize how well employee advocacy works… with the numbers to prove it.
Don’t let employee advocacy go stale. 😫
Make social media part of your company culture. Share behind-the-scenes content, encourage new starters to participate, and provide social media post inspiration!
A great way to maintain interest in your advocacy program is by celebrating successes and recognizing employees for their social media efforts. Keep it fun, and use the power of FOMO (fear of missing out) to get more people involved.
Using internal comms to keep everyone up-to-date is key: if your company has recently won an award, or introduced a new sustainability project, make everyone aware. This gives your employees ideas for their social posts.
Read our post all about Employee Engagement vs Employee Advocacy for more tips!
DSMN8’s Dedicated Customer Success Team
Whether you’re new to employee advocacy, or switching from another platform, DSMN8 has got your back.
Our dedicated customer success team takes you through the entire process, from setting up your advocacy platform, to training employees and leadership on how to use it.
We’ve got the experience and the resources to support your advocacy program.
We tailor our employee advocacy training to your company needs. ✅
- Want to train several admins, who will then train your employees? Great.
- Want to onboard a small team, then later introduce it to the wider company? No problem.
- Want us to train your entire company? We can do it!
Your customer success manager can host training webinars with your employees. They’ll provide video tutorials and a bunch of resources to support you. 👏
Our experts have a huge knowledge base, and are ready to take your advocacy program to the next level!
Get Certified in Employee Advocacy
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Register for free early access to the upcoming course Employee Advocacy 101.
Featuring 12 modules of video training provided by DSMN8 CEO and employee advocacy practitioner, Bradley Keenan.
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SEO and Content Specialist at DSMN8. Emily has 10 years experience blogging, and is a pro at Pinterest Marketing, reaching 1 million monthly views. She’s all about empowering employees to grow their personal brands and become influencers.