[Episode Five of ‘The Employee Advocacy and Influence Podcast] 🎧👇
Empower your employees like NEVER before!
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.
How to Master User Adoption with your Employee Advocacy Program
Now, user engagement takes two forms.
Firstly, we’ve got user adoption, which essentially is what happens upfront. So bringing people into the program. But then we want to keep them in the program long-term so they become ambassadors throughout their career within your company.
So I’m going to give you five tips that you can use to ensure that users continue to engage with your investor program way beyond the initial launch phase. And the first tip is to lead from the front.
How to Lead From the Front
Now, this might not be a very popular thing to say, but we work with many marketing teams and there’s a common theme that marketers tend to subscribe to, and that is, that some of them think that they’re actually above needing to use an ambassador program or specifically, an employee advocacy tool themselves.
I think what happens is because they’re marketing trained, they feel like this is something that they can do by themselves. However, the statistics just do not support that.
I looked at the finance sector earlier today. Specifically in the US with companies with over a thousand employees and on the whole about 6% of people are regularly sharing content on LinkedIn.
Now when you filter that and actually look at people who just work in marketing the statistics do not change a huge amount. It goes to about 10%. So, yes, that’s a big leap on the 6%. But still, 90% of people who work in marketing roles are not actively sharing content on LinkedIn.
Now, beyond the fact that you as a leader who’s launching an advocacy program may or may not need to use it yourselves by demonstrating to your ambassador network that this is something that you subscribe to and it’s something that you yourself do on a regular basis will make a big difference when it comes to user adoption.
The last thing that you want as an advocacy program leader is to be seen as somebody who doesn’t use the product yourself. So you really have to live it to encourage others to participate.
The next hit is to create a feedback loop.
The Benefits of Creating a Feedback Loop
So a feedback loop is a way to communicate to your active users about the success of the program that you’ve actually launched. Believe it or not, it’s really common for people to launch an advocacy program, bring on thousands of people into a program to ask them to share content, and then to never tell those people what the output of the content that they’re sharing is actually generating.
Now, like most things, we need positive affirmation for behaviours that are to be encouraged. So if you’re asked. To share content and you never actually see what it’s doing to the business, then it’s no surprise that some users disengage. And you can do this in a number of ways.
So most companies have some form of a newsletter. In many companies, they have many, many newsletters and some would argue maybe too many. But using that as a way to communicate to the entire company what the advocacy program is delivering will encourage people to participate. Not just new users, but also the existing leaders of the program.
Now, if you’re using technology to power your advocacy program, then the probability is that you have some function in the program that would enable you to send push notifications out to your community. So those push notifications can be used to celebrate small victories.
So you may say that a certain person is the most active on social, or that somebody generated a sales lead from their social selling. But having a function enables you to send regular messages to your community is something that we would really recommend.
The third tip is to create a viral component within your invitation program.
So let’s say, for instance, you have a sales leader in the business who hasn’t shared any content for months and months, and then all of a sudden they start sharing really thoughtful content. It looks great. The copy is fantastic. Then naturally their coworker is going to say to them. What’s happening? How is this? How have you all of a sudden become a social media superstar overnight? And what you want is the ability for that person to essentially advocate for the program and to onboard their coworkers.
Now, if you use a piece of technology, the probability is that there’s going to be the functionality in the program for users to invite one another. But if you’re not using technology and you’re using more of a manual, organic process then I would still encourage you to create a mechanism that enables coworkers to share that process with their coworkers.
Ultimately, what I’m saying is, just don’t make it difficult for people to join your program.
Harnessing the POWER of New Recruits
A fourth tip is to harness the power of new recruits.
So naturally, when you launch a program you’re going to invite people who work in your organization right now but over time some of those people are going to leave the organization to retire or to go work in other organizations. So because of that, you need to build a mechanism that onboard new recruits as they join the organization.
Now, I’m not saying that you ask every single new recruit to go and share your most recent blog post on their first day. Obviously, that may be seen a little bit too much, but you probably have a social media policy document and hopefully, you have some training that tells people what is acceptable on social and what’s not acceptable. But as part of that you should be making people aware that there is an ambassador program for them to use and really show them that this is something that is encouraged by the company.
How you can Re-engage Lapsed Users
And don’t be afraid of re-engaging users who seem to have disengaged. So most people have had the experience of going on holiday and spending two weeks out of the business only to come back and sit at the desk and think to themselves, I can’t remember what I did in this job and there’s a little bit of recalibration that has to take place in any job. When you come back to Holiday and. Rut,
Being an employee advocate inside an organization is not going to be someone’s primary responsibility. So as they come back into the business it’s possible that the role of the employee advocacy program will fall by the wayside. So just because somebody disengaged from your program, that doesn’t mean that they’ve disengaged because they didn’t like it. It’s just that habits take time to form. So we would recommend that if you’re running an advocacy program, have some kind of training that you run, even if it’s on a quarterly basis, that’s focused on reengaging users who have previously shared before and then invite those people to participate.
If you’re running it as a webinar obviously you can record it and send it to those people after the event, but also maybe even look at running surveys to ask people why they disengaged. You might find that people like the idea of being a employee influencer, but they didn’t like the content. Equally, they might have liked the content, but they didn’t like the technology. Either way, engaging with those disengaged users will only enable you to provide a better advocacy program as you go forward.
So let’s summarize.
We’ve spoken about you yourself becoming almost the model employee advocate that others can follow.
We’ve covered creating a feedback loop so we can essentially communicate with people and show them that the work that they’re doing is being recognized.
We covered enabling your users to become essentially recruiters for other employee advocates using peer-to-peer invitations.
We then covered inviting people who have just joined the business so they can become new employee advocates, but also re-engaging users who were once previously active.
So thank you for taking the time to listen to episode number five of our podcast. I hope you got some value from it.
As. Always. Contact details for me will be in the footnotes of the show along with some additional resources and you can always contact me on LinkedIn.
I am really keen to hear from people if they would like to be guests on the show. Either you have run an advocacy program before or you are in the early stages of planning but it would be great to hear from you, so please do feel free to get in touch with me on LinkedIn.