How to Build Effective Employee Advocacy Program
If you build it the right way, an employee advocacy program can do more than generate leads and create brand awareness.
It can increase employee engagement, leading to higher work performance.
Implementing a powerful employee advocacy program can improve your company image and humanize your brand.
So, how do you build enough excitement among your employees that gets them to talk about your organization, its products, and its services?
Implement the right employee advocacy strategy by:
- Giving the participants of your employee advocacy program a reason to participate
- Ensuring your employees know how and where to promote your brand
- Using rewards to encourage more participation and increase commitment to the employee advocacy program
Let’s get into the details.
4 Tips to Build a Successful Employee Advocacy Program
Here are four practical ways to help you build an employee advocacy program for your business.
1. Set Your Goals
You can build a strong employee advocacy program by setting clear goals. Based on these goals, you can identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure your performance.
Your KPIs should be clear and relevant to your business.
Having goals gives your employees the “why” behind your employee advocacy program.
You can set goals, such as:
- Increase website traffic
- Boost social media follower count
- Enhance brand image
- Generate high-quality leads
Share these goals with the involved parties in a way that shows the benefits the employee advocacy program will have on them.
Teams Involved in the Employee Advocacy Program
The benefits may be obvious for a team like marketing, but not for a team like the procurement team.
You can point out that enhanced brand image leads to a positive brand. This, in turn, can help the team gain a competitive edge and attract top vendors.
Point out the benefits they’ll get for their careers.
For a sales representative, indicate how the thought leadership opportunities provided by employee advocacy can give their account-based prospecting strategy a jump-start.
Once all participants know what they’re getting from helping with the employee advocacy program, committing to it will be easier. You can include it in employee performance review processes so that employees participate in this program actively.
2. Define Your Preferred Channels
To build an effective employee advocacy program, identify the channels you want to focus on.
The channels you choose will depend on the objectives of your employee advocacy program.
For instance, if you’re trying to generate leads and increase brand awareness, your choice will depend on the main social media network your target audience uses.
If your objective is employer branding, a professional platform like LinkedIn should be your target.
The aim here is not to limit the channels your employees can use to share their advocacy content. Instead, it’s to communicate the channel that they should prioritize, which will bring you closer to your objective.
A good idea is to leverage an employee advocacy tool here. Using these tools, you can share content with your employees that they can publish on social media with the click of a button. This simplifies the process for your employees and also ensures that the content goes on the right platforms.
Apart from this, you need to keep monitoring employee activity in the workplace to avoid any misuse of this program and get better results.
3. Provide Training for the Employee Advocacy Program
To drive up your results from the employee advocacy program, it’s important to train your employees.
Implementing a customized training program can empower your workforce to overcome the hurdles they may face in the advocacy program. It can give them confidence in their advocacy skills.
Train your employees through webinars, workshops, or online courses to help them understand how to identify company-related data that they can share.
You can create videos for your remote working and office working team to demonstrate how they can improve their profiles, make the best use of the platforms’ features, and more.
Show them how to develop a personal brand on social media. If they can position themselves as industry experts, their followers will trust their content and your brand.
Just as brand voice matters in your marketing messages, personal voice is important in an employee advocacy program. This makes it necessary to emphasize the importance of authenticity.
Once your employees master how to create and share branded content, encourage them to personalize it without losing your brand messaging.
For instance, train them on how they can add a personal touch to a product demo video without changing the core message.
4. Incentivize Using Rewards and Perks
Build excitement and encourage participation in your employee advocacy program using company recognition, monetary incentives, and other rewards.
Reward everyone who participates in the employee advocacy program, irrespective of their performance. It’ll encourage other employees to join in and also boost employee experience.
For instance, you can upgrade the LinkedIn accounts of all participants to the premium level.
In addition to participation rewards, identify and acknowledge outstanding advocates.
Recognition for their hard work will keep them motivated to generate higher results. It’ll also challenge other advocates to work harder.
Get creative with your incentives. Here are some reward ideas that could get you on the path to becoming an employer of choice:
- Reward with hard-to-get tickets and VIP experiences to their favorite events
- Provide extra vacation days
- Provide tickets or make travel arrangements to conferences that can help them network and grow their talents and skills
- Give exclusive access to limited edition products or new product lines
You can also use tiers of rewards. This is where employees unlock rewards of higher value as they consistently share content and improve their performance.
Ready to Build a Robust Employee Advocacy Program?
Establishing an employee advocacy program can seem like a daunting task. But not if you work smart.
Guide your employees on how they can create the right content and distribute it through your preferred channels. Also, incentivize their participation to boost performance and provide a positive employee experience.
Remember to measure the performance of your employee advocacy program and identify areas to continually develop it. It’s the way forward to boosting your awareness, lead generation, and conversions.
Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost,...