3 steps to build better brand engagement from within your company today, through employee advocacy. Better engagement within your brand will lead to better service and happier customers.
Employee happiness and brand engagement have always been crucial ingredients for successful businesses. Employees who are passionate about their work are more likely to offer better service, the same can certainly be said if they’re happy too. Social media may now be over a decade in the making, but even some of the world’s leading firms are only just making the connection between online marketing and employee power.
What is the connection? Well, the principle behind Employee Advocacy is a recognition that employees have a huge potential social reach and knowledge that can far outweigh a company’s own social efforts alone. By tapping into that potential, companies can utilise the very people who are best placed for influencing customers.
Put it this way, the same piece of company content can be twice as effective at attracting views when shared by an employee than when it’s shared by the company – this is according to LinkedIn. In effect, great brands are built from within, based on employee engagement.
So, how can you build better engagement and encourage your employees to become valuable brand advocates online?
Step 1 – Empower advocacy
According to our own research, 70% of employees believe that supporting their employer’s social media efforts can make a valuable contribution to a company’s commercial success. So, why isn’t everybody doing it?
Again, our own research shows that there are certain risks attached to social sharing from an employee’s perspective. ‘Am I sharing the right thing’, ‘am I even allowed to share stuff’, these are common thoughts in their minds.
It may sound simple, but the best course of action should be to let your teams know that it’s OK to share approved company content, in fact it’s encouraged! You might also want to establish some ground rules for using social media at work too. This isn’t just to protect your own brand, but also to avoid any uncertainty from the employee’s perspective. If you’re still unsure about the idea, read our article about why staff should use social media at work.
Step 2 – Encourage with great content
Now that your employees feel empowered to share company content, you’re off to a great start and this next step should be easy. Your marketing team are no doubt producing great content already and your social media manager will be grateful for all of the extra clicks and shares it’ll be getting.
But there’s more benefit to employee advocacy than a bigger audience. With employees now more engaged with your content, your content marketers will gain better insight into what works best. What are employees sharing the most? What’s getting the best from your new captive audience?
Once these questions have been answered you can take it a step further by inviting ideas and insight from your powerful advocates… and so the positive cycle continues to build steam. The more engaged your advocates are with content, the more likely they are to share it and the more likely their networks are going to love it. In a 2016 study by MAVRCK, user generated content containing a brand gained 6.9X higher engagement than brand generated content alone.
Step 3 – Reward advocacy
The rewards for advocacy can be enjoyed on a number of levels by everyone. Of course, the brands enjoy better engagement with their content and it is true, happier employees can be no bad thing.
But what if we said that 86% of employees who act as advocates credit their social media activity as having a positive impact on their career (Post Beyond), or that 87% of employees have expanded their network through social advocacy (Hinge). Suddenly the rewards emphasis doesn’t lie so heavily with the business.
There’s certainly a lot to be said for rewarding your advocates in other ways too. Gamification and challenges are a great way of rewarding successful social employees, not to mention adding a slice of healthy competition too – that’s why the DSMN8 platform has a leaderboard feature and offers reports on stacks of useful analytics.
Perhaps on that note, it’s worth saying that if your company is really serious about enhancing its social engagement, then it’s definitely worth looking into a dedicated platform for managing it.
Improving brand engagement has its obvious benefits within your company as well as from customers, but the build begins within. Social media has given us an incredible opportunity to turn passionate employees into powerful advocates, thus perpetuating the positive cycle of growing engagement. It’s also already proven that employee advocacy rewards not just the prospects of the business’s bottom line, but can reward employees too, by helping them climb the career ladder.