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What’s Next for Employee Advocacy? – Casey Hall

By 21/01/2020 February 3rd, 2020 No Comments
Casey Hall DSMN8

This interview was conducted and written by Casey Hall. Casey is a Social Media Consultant and President of Lumperjack Social LLC. This interview originally posted by Casey on LinkedIN as part of the #EmployeeAdvocacy2020 series. You can check out the original post here.

I’m always on the lookout for the next trend, tool, or best practice for Employee Advocacy. To help myself (and you) keep on top of things, I’ve been talking to some of the people on the leading edge of Employee Advocacy technology and strategy. Recently I had a chance to chat with Jody Leon, Marketing Director for DSMN8. Here is my  #EmployeeAdvocacy2020 interview with Jody:

Casey: What will be the most important thing for us to know about Employee Advocacy in 2020?

Jody: Well, we are starting to see the discipline mature and evolve as more and more brands realize the benefits of embracing employees as part of a well-rounded communications strategy and capitalizing on employee-led growth.

Fundamentally this is being driven by several key factors;

  1.  The desire for authentic brand-building fueled by an ever more conscious consumer.

  2. The growth of micro-influencers to drive thought leadership and quality engagement.

  3. The development of employer brands and a focus on transparent company culture.

  4. The emergence of employee advocacy as a performance marketing tactic to drive site referrals, low cost-per-reach/clicks/conversions, fueled by the evolution of social selling.

All of which is underpinned by a constant desire for improved marketing, sales, and cost-to-hire efficiencies & effectiveness that Employee Advocacy programs can deliver for organizations.

What is it that Employee Advocacy programs are uniquely good at?

As previously mentioned, there are many benefits of Employee Advocacy programs, depending on the organization’s objectives and key challenges. Perhaps that is unique in itself, in that that activity can provide such widespread benefits.

However, at a basic level, an Employee Advocacy program can help foster improved employee engagement and communication throughout an organization by making it easy to keep employees informed and aligned with organization news, key topics, and business priorities.

We have also seen a number of clients move from ‘do not post on social‘ strategies to ‘post on social’ strategies. An Employee Advocacy program can help provide the framework, clarity, and education to support employees in developing confidence and personal brands as the organizations transitions smoothly to this new approach.

From a brand perspective, it provides the organization with an authentic voice at scale as employees are empowered, leveraging word of mouth, and introducing a new, low-cost, highly-effective channel into their activity.

Employees are not always convinced of the benefits of participating in an employee advocacy program. Is this an issue of insufficiently communicating the benefits, or do we need to make changes in our programs to increase the benefit to the employees? Both?

I would say both. We’ve seen huge benefits to employees of becoming more active across social channels and participating in employee advocacy programs. These range from supporting professional development, personal brand building, and increasing employee reputation. This often then leads to increased profile views, connection requests, and improved post performance.

While some of the above may be viewed as vanity metrics, the benefits don’t stop there. We’ve seen harder metrics such as leads, conversions, and sales increase by having a more socially active workforce, leading to shorter sales cycles and increases in inbound sales. Partners have also explained how they have seen previously hard to reach targets come directly to them, after seeing thought leadership and employees professionals reputation increasing. Outside of this, we have also seen employees invited to speak at industry events and Ted Talks.

That said, many programs can be optimized to motivate and incentivize employee adoption even further. With DSMN8, we have a built-in points-based gamification engine that enables brands to utilize company-wide, market, or departmental specific leaderboards and the option to introduce employee rewards such as gift vouchers, charitable donations or specific prizes.

What compliance, regulatory, privacy, or platform changes will most impact employee advocacy in 2020?

While we can never truly tell what the platforms will change next, we firmly believe that a focus on users, relevancy, and transparency will ensure the tactic of employee advocacy and influencer will remain one of most authentic and powerful in a organizations toolkit in 2020.

It is essential organizations provide the platform and culture that empowers employees to grow their networks, develop thought leadership, and raise awareness of company values authentically and transparently. Fostering an environment that encourages employee proactivity in this way will significantly benefit the organization.

With the DSMN8 platform, we also have built-in safeguards that ensure only brand-approved content is made available for employee use. This helps to ensure that even the toughest of industry compliance and regulatory guidelines can be followed at all times.

I feel like Employee Advocacy, Social Selling, Executive Social Activation, and Influencer Marketing all live on the same spectrum. How do you see them all fitting together?

Absolutely! We are incredibly passionate that this is the case. Employee Advocacy has moved beyond brands merely asking employees to re-share content to a more rounded employee communication program that can help facilitate knowledge, inspire employees, and aid professional development.

At DSMN8, we believe that we are helping to drive this change to an all-encompassing discipline through our suite of employee content creation solutions. We make it easy for employees to create original and authentic written, photo, and video content. Scaling organizations’ content production like never before and making advocacy, social selling, executive activation, and employee influence a reality for all organizations.

What are you most excited about from DSMN8 for 2020?

We’re immensely proud of the brands we partner with as we continue to support them on their journey to activating employees as influencers and brand advocates. We have also recently launched our new Lens and Author solutions, which further complement our Advocacy All-In-One Employee Influencer Platform, and the initial response has been fantastic.

So we are very excited to introduce more organizations to crowdsourced on-brand and authentic content at scale through the people closest to their business, their employees in 2020 and beyond.

To read more of Casey’s #EmployeeAdvocacy2020 interviews, click here. Check out The Ultimate Guide to Employee Influencers to learn more about how to showcase your company culture, and how to turn your employees into full-blown influencers. The Guide covers everything from trends driving the demand for employee influencers, to an all-encompassing business case. It also includes industry leader insights, infographics, and checklists for success. To book a demo or to get in contact, simply click here.

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