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The Perfect Employee Advocacy Training Plan

By Emily Neal09/09/2022June 21st, 2024No Comments15 min read
the ultimate employee advocacy training plan

Last Updated: 12th March 2024

When starting an employee advocacy program, one of the most important parts to get right is the training. Providing your team with the tools they need for success is crucial for getting them on board, and increasing employee engagement.

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 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.

You will learn everything from why employees need social media training to what you should include in your social media policy and guidelines. 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 team already use LinkedIn on a daily basis, creating a training plan is incredibly important.

Here’s why:

  • You need to get employees up-to-speed on how to use the social media platforms you’d like them to share on, 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 you’ll need to ensure everyone knows what’s okay and what isn’t.
  • Social media etiquette is important. No one likes a spammer! 😳

If your organization is in a regulated industry, social media training becomes even more essential. 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 explaining why.

Make it exciting! Talk about the opportunity employee advocacy presents and where you want the initiative to go.

Explain that employee advocacy helps with marketing, social selling, and employer branding. 

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, such as the career opportunities it can bring, and how it can make their jobs easier.

5 employee advocacy goals

1. Set Your Goals

The first step is to set goals for your employee advocacy program.

The best way to establish goals is by looking at the your company’s values and objectives, then aligning your employees advocacy program with them.

For example, your program goals could be:

  • Reach and engage with your target audience on social media to build brand awareness and trust.

  • Showcase your company culture on social to attract top talent in your recruiting campaigns.

  • Generate more high-quality leads for your sales team.

Most importantly, tell your employees what the goals and KPI’s are.

They need to understand what the point of the program is or they’re unlikely to feel motivated to join.

2. Brand Vision & Values

Think about your brand vision and values – how can your employees help showcase that on social media? 🤔

Is your company culture big on sustainability?

Encourage employees to post about their volunteering on LinkedIn!

Does your company culture prioritize empowering women in the workplace?

Encourage your female leaders to share their insights and talk about their career journey to inspire other women in your sector.

Ensure that your entire team understands what your company values are, and give them ideas for demonstrating this on social. It’ll help attract the talent you’re looking for – the people your team want to have as colleagues.

Posts shared by employees gain 800% more engagement than the same posts shared by brands.

3. Give Them The Statistics

Sharing the stats is a great way to get employees excited about advocacy and understand how it helps make their job easier.

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]
infographic benefits of employee advocacy for employees

4. Emphasize 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.

The last thing employees want is to feel like a free marketing channel!

Check out our guide to the benefits of employee advocacy for employees for more on how building a professional personal brand supports their careers.

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 will be different for every company, but following these steps will get you on the right track.

Do This First

Send a survey to employees before starting any advocacy training to find out 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 your survey results, you may need to offer different training for different groups of people, based on their social media experience.

While social media has become a big part of modern life, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone uses it!

Alternatively, your team might already use LinkedIn daily. In this case, the training you offer should be a bit more in-depth than a ‘social media 101’.

Asking employees directly by sending out a simple survey allows you to accurately evaluate the training they’ll need. Avoid making assumptions.

Training 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. Getting your team to take our free Employee Advocacy Certification course is a great place to start.

Create documents as part of your employee advocacy training plan. Your colleagues can refer to them when needed. For example, your brand guidelines, tips for creating LinkedIn posts, hashtags to use on social, and social media banners to use on their profiles.

If you use an employee advocacy platform, do they offer training? (We do! More on that later…)

Don't Wait!

Don’t wait too long after launching an advocacy program before giving your staff some training.

Employees might sign up, then get confused, 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 Training Plan

The Perfect Employee Advocacy Training Plan Checklist

First, make sure your IT department allows employees to access social media at work. There’s no use asking your people to get social if Twitter is blocked.

Update your social media policy and have it ready to share with current employees and new starters.

1. Social Media Training

This part is super important: social media training.

Start with the basics. Which platforms you’d like employees to post on, 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 all be confusing for a beginner.

2. Social Media Etiquette

When talking about professional social media behavior, 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.

3. 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 your team 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.

Making this process quick and easy is key. You don’t want your team agonizing over whether their profile is perfect before they even start sharing content.

4. Content Creation

Now your team 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 inspiration. Find your own examples too – extra points if they’re in your industry! Encourage your colleagues to follow them on LinkedIn for ideas.

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!

5. Your Employee Advocacy Platform

If you’re using 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!

Ready to get started? Book a Demo

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 simply no need for a 45-page document detailing every single scenario an employee could face on social media. That would be more likely to deter employees from sharing content than encourage it!

Use our customizable social media policy template to get started.

Make sure to update your social media policy periodically, preferably every year.

Social media evolves very 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 outset 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 business goals and values, and why visibility is important.

Encourage your senior leadership team to set an example to the rest of your employees.

Spread the Word With Internal Comms

Whether you have an internal comms app, an intranet, or simply communicate by email… you’ll need to tell everyone about your new employee advocacy program!

If you decide to onboard a small team initially, keep a close eye on the results. Then once you decide to onboard the wider team, you can really emphasize how well employee advocacy works… and have the numbers to prove it.

Not sure which numbers to track? Read our guide on employee advocacy metrics.

Don’t let employee advocacy go stale 😫

Make social media part of your company culture. Share behind-the-scenes content, encourage new recruits to get involved, 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 Expert Customer Success Team

Whether you’re new to employee advocacy, or switching from another platform, DSMN8 has got your back.

Our customer success team takes you through the entire process, from setting up your advocacy platform, to training employees and leadership teams on how to use it.

We’ve got the experience and the resources to support your advocacy program, and tailor training to your company’s 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 support community-led growth through the voices of your employees.

Get Certified in Employee Advocacy

Want to become the employee advocacy expert at your organization?

Register for free access to our new course, the Employee Advocacy Certification.

The course features 12 modules of on-demand video training provided by DSMN8 CEO and employee advocacy practitioner, Bradley Keenan.

Become certified in employee advocacy today!

Ready to build a thriving community of employee advocates?

Book a demo of DSMN8, the #1 employee advocacy platform.

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Emily Neal

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.