[Episode Six 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.
The BIGGEST employee advocacy blunder
I guess it’s the biggest blunder that happens when somebody runs an Employee Advocacy Program and it’s definitely the reason why some people feel strongly about having employee Advocacy technology because essentially, it’s the thing that goes wrong and that’s when people, companies, carpet bomb LinkedIn with a repetitive message from hundreds and thousands of their employees, all saying the same thing.
If you have connections at a company that already run an Employee Advocacy platform or a program with a platform, then you may have seen shared connections, sharing the same message, saying the exact same thing.
The moment you spot it is when you realise that it’s Employee Advocacy technology, and ultimately that’s what you want to avoid. So if you’re looking to launch a platform, launch a program with a platform. Then it’s a consideration that you need to think about.
And the way to think about Employee Advocacy overall is that it’s a tool.
The technology itself is a tool that can be used and some people use it well. Some people use it not so well.
In the same way, that if you were to buy a license for something, like Outreach or Salesloft as an example, where they’re promoting email sequencing, some people are going to send a very robotic message to somebody 13 times asking them for a meeting, which is a bad example of how to use email sequencing.
So the same applies to employee advocacy.
So when you think about a piece of content that you’re putting out on social, that might be a text-only post. If you’re running an Employee Advocacy Program, then it’s more likely that it’s going to be an asset of some description, whether that is a weblink that may have a blog post. Maybe you’re looking for people to sign up to a webinar, it could be an infographic.
Whatever it is, there’s going to be some kind of asset, and around that asset, you wrap that asset in text, whether that’s the post caption that you use when somebody shares the content and then you’ve also got the image that supports that, whether that’s the image Itself if it’s a say an infographic that you’re sharing or it’s the preview image for a link that you’re sharing.
So if. you think about the content asset that you’re sharing, that content asset has probably some kind of location, whether that’s viewing an infographic or it’s going to a web address, where you’re reading a blog or registering for a webinar. Around that, you have things like the post caption.
So what is the employee saying when they’re actually sharing the content? and then you have, say, the preview image for the URL and if you provide variations on that post caption and variations of the preview image, you essentially get many variations of the same piece of content that can be. shared by different people and if you have shared connections, then they’re not going to look as repetitive.
What YOU need for Employee Advocacy SUCCESS
But again, it requires the administrator taking a little bit of time and care in preparing that post to be shared, and when we talk to people about that, they can often feel that this is going to be a huge amount. of work for them to do.
But actually what we realise, is that about 70% of the content that goes into an advocacy program is what we would class as evergreen. So you could share that post now and a colleague could share it in nine months’ time, and providing that the content itself is still accurate, then it can still continue to be an asset that you utilise within your program.
So naturally, if it’s something that’s going to be used by many people over potentially, one to three years. Then you can invest in building that asset to make sure that it performs in a way that you want it to. And in that same notion, you could also decide to remove content that doesn’t work for you and even repackage it and think about new ways of presenting that content.
I definitely think that we see that the biggest factor of whether somebody is going to be a good advocacy client Is actually the program leader that we work with.
The Power of Dynamic Content
So you can have an amazing brand with fantastic exposure, and a big audience. But if the content itself is kind of, I don’t want to say lazy, but because I know people have running an advocacy program isn’t going to be someone’s only job. But taking the time and attention to actually package that asset up and have it ready to distribute makes a huge difference.
So most people wouldn’t have more than 2 or 3 shared connections in a given company unless they themselves, work there.
And that’s another problem when you think about launching an Advocacy Program, if you don’t spend the time to create multiple previews, multiple post captions, then it can almost set you up for fail, inside your organisation, because, let’s say one of our clients, as an example, I might be connected to six or seven people in that organisation but the CEO is probably connected to 100 or 200 people in the organisation and if everyone in those 200, shares the same piece of content with the same people, it’s going to be really noticeable to someone internally, and that’s definitely something that you want to avoid.
Time Effective Distribution = Continued Program Value
The other way that you can avoid this, feeling of, blasting LinkedIn. or Twitter, or any other social network with a repetitive message, is to distribute the content in a time-effective way that essentially allows space between the posts. So like I said, most content is evergreen, so there’s no harm in limiting the amount of people that can share that post to a day or, a couple of times a week and what that does is not only distributes the content over a longer period of time but it spaces out the sharing.
So the probability that I’m going to remember when one of my connections that shares that post and another person shares it in a couple of weeks time is actually highly unlikely. But again, it just comes down to taking the time to invest in the program and to build something that has I guess, sustainability and can continue to deliver results for you.
If you just treat every single piece of content as a moment in time, then you’re always going to be chasing adding more and more content, when actually there’s probably a huge amount of assets that you’ve already produced that can continue to offer you value.
Another consideration to make when you’re providing unique post captions for different groups of people is to think about the seniority of the people within the organisation. So your C-suite and your senior-level executives probably want to, maybe speak, and this is a generalisation, of course, but maybe they will speak in a more formal tone than, say, an intern as an example, and provide unique post captions to certain groups of people within the organisation, not only stops, that, the probability that somebody is going to see the same message, but it also means that your CEO isn’t sharing the exact same point of view and perspective as a junior that’s just joined the organisation.
The TRUE Aim is Authenticity
But ultimately, what we’re thinking about here is really what we consider to be trying to think of a better way of explaining I’m not going to say the lowest common denominator, but the entry point to Employee Advocacy is taking content is already being produced for you, packaged in a certain way, and you just take that content in and say, “yep, I’m happy to use it in that exact form” and then I’m going to share that onto LinkedIn.
But what we want to do is, as people receive the content we think about Advocacy as more of a library of content that’s there to spark ideas. And when we receive that content as an executive, I’m going to take that content I’m going to add my own perspective to it. So when I share it, it’s my own presentation of that piece of content and that doesn’t happen on day one. You’re going to get a group of people who will do that naturally by themselves because they want to stand out.
But like I said in a previous episode providing positive affirmation that what they’ve done by adding their own perspective did make a big difference.
More and more people are going to going to take that approach and actually start to customise the copy so think of it as a journey you’re taking somebody through.
So if somebody joins your Advocacy Program on day one then let’s assume that they haven’t regularly posted content onto social for some time and they probably haven’t done it consistently, whether that’s one, two or three posts a week. So this is new to them. So they’re probably going to feel that they would rather share in a safe space. and that safe space being that marketing of already produced content and it’s essentially ready for them to share. So then we move them through into this sophistication journey, almost where they start to add their own perspectives on the content and when they do that, they’re going to see more engagement.
Because it just has that extra layer of authenticity and it’s interesting because when we were planning for this podcast, thinking about this idea of starting off one way and then finding your voice through the process.
The reason why we do that is that you’re seeing positive signals that are happening from the first version of advocacy, meaning that, you’re just taking content, produced for you. And it’s encouraging you to do more.
So for us, we’re in episode six of the podcast and episodes one to five were to, I’d say, we planned them and planned them and we wanted the content to be good and what happened in the process of doing that is actually when I got feedback from the team
“How does the podcast sound?”
And one of the guys in marketing, Lewis, said that it was really good, but it didn’t sound like me and I think he was being polite, but basically what he was saying was, I sounded too polished and I was pronouncing my T’s maybe more than I would in in in the real world, putting the podcast out there and then starting to see that people have engaged with it. and inbound leads come from it.
You start to go, Oh, actually, this podcast thing, this marketing tool I’m using has value and now it’s worth me investing a little bit more time and putting my own personality on it and I think the exact same thing happens to Employee Advocacy, but without that feedback loop that we mentioned in the last podcast, then how. does somebody know that the thing that they’re doing is actually working?
So I guess the key takeaways from this podcast, is to know when you see Employee Advocacy done badly don’t assume that that’s what your Employee Advocacy program is going to behave like because the fact that you’re even listening to this podcast means that you’re taking it seriously and trust me that that already puts you way ahead of where most people are when they just think that a piece of technology is going to do all of the work for them.
The next takeaway is to see this as a journey that you’re helping people go through and the technology’s there as a framework to build upon, it’s not the destination of where you want to get to.
So thank you for taking the time to listen to episode number six of our podcast. I hope I gave you plenty to think about. Again, as always, contact details for me will be available in the footnotes of the show. We’ll also put some additional resources in there. But please do feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn and share any stories you have from launching your own Advocacy Program. Thank you so much.