Marketing teams sink tonnes of hours into creating great content. However, many companies are struggling to share what they produce with prospective clients. But, if no one sees your content you, how will it make a difference?
You can put your efforts into reaching people via paid ads, social media engagement, etc. but ultimately, your employees could be the key to unlocking the reach you need.
LinkedIn is a powerful channel that a lot of employees use every day. By sharing content through your employees, you could be reaching more pairs of eyes than you could ever imagine. But only 13% of global employees are engaged, so what can be done to turn this around?
So, how can you inspire them to share and turn your employees into advocates on LinkedIn? Let’s find out.
What are the Benefits of Turning Employees into Advocates?
Employee advocacy involves engaging your employees to advocate for your brand in order to grow your reach and generate more leads. Here are just a few benefits of employee advocacy:
- More engagement: Content shared by employees gets far more engagement than the same content shared by a company. People would much rather interact with another person than a brand.
- Larger reach: According to LinkedIn, employees have a network 10 times larger than a company’s follower base, so are able to reach a much wider audience.
- Talent: Companies who have lots of employees who are all sharing quality content via LinkedIn are 58% more likely to attract talent. This offers up even more opportunities inside your business.
- Response: LinkedIn members are more likely to respond to a member connected to your employees via inMail, compared to not being connected.
Before moving on, let’s take a look at some real-life examples of how employee advocacy works, and how it can benefit your brand.
Arnas Stuopelis is a Chairman at Hostinger, a very popular cheap WordPress hosting provider with over 15,000 new sign-ups every day. Arnas has over 1800 followers on LinkedIn, and his posts tend to generate high engagement. He uses the hashtag Hostinger on many of his LinkedIn posts, often getting 30+ likes and multiple comments.
Now imagine 100 more employees were doing the same, that’s a potential reach of 3000+. Can you see the benefits yet?
1. Plan your Advocacy Program
The first step to any successful program is to plan and strategise. Without a solid strategy, you and your employees won’t have a framework to work with, so it’s really important to understand the main objective for your advocacy program.
Decide on Content
You’ll need to decide what type of content is suitable for your employees to share, and what isn’t. By creating a policy, you and your employees will have clear guidelines on what is acceptable to share on social media, offering them more confidence to engage and advocate your brand.
You could nominate a named superstar, or superstars, within your company who have a large network on social media, and who are active on social media already. These people are advocates not only for your brand but also for other employees to encourage them to get on board with your advocacy program.
As well as deciding what content is acceptable to share, you may want to consider creating a plan as to when and how you will share content. It’s no good your employees bombarding their network with multiple pieces of content at once, so it’s essential to plan a strategy for content distribution.
2. Talk to Employees About Your Brand
When you’ve started a new job, have you ever had a ‘training’ day, or week-long initiate program before joining the team? The purpose of this is to educate your employees about your brand – how it started, where it came from, and where it aims to be. Once your employees understand your brand, you can introduce them to your LinkedIn profile and offer training on how to use LinkedIn in the hope they’ll become advocates on the platform.
Before doing so, your employees will need their own LinkedIn profile and you’ll need to show them how to connect to your company and build out their networks to increase their reach. This is both good for your business and great for your employees, who will build up a presence on the world’s most influential B2B network.
3. Make Use of Tools
Once you have your employees and plan fired up and raring to go, you’ll want to get stuck into the action. Whilst you can offer your employees some guidelines for sharing content and encouraging them to use the right hashtags, you can also make use of a very handy tool called LinkedIn Elevate.
Elevate brings all your source material into one place, along with employee suggestions, industry trends, and much more. Employees can access content that has been published or is scheduled to be published, along with the most relevant topic associated with it. They can easily broadcast any content that is ready to be shared. Plus, you can use the Elevate Dashboard to see how things are ticking along.
4. Monitor and Improve
Using LinkedIn Elevate, you can access analytics on trends, reach, and engagement. You’ll be able to see what content is working for your advocates and their network, and what isn’t. You can also see which employees are sharing the most and the audiences they are engaging with.
While the aim isn’t to punish employees who aren’t performing as highly as others, there are plenty of opportunities to boost the advocates that are leading your program to success. This allows you to provide them with more content on the topics that are working and offer rewards for their hard work.
How you measure the success of your advocate program is entirely up to you. Once you’ve established your success metrics, you can continue to monitor and improve your employee advocate program alongside evolving trends.
If managed correctly, an employee advocacy program can offer great benefits for you. As with any marketing strategy, your initial plan is the key to your success, along with continuous monitoring to ensure you are meeting your goals.
Without belief and trust in your company, employees aren’t going to buy into or want to advocate for your brand, so it’s essential that you offer a good work culture and harbor long-lasting relationships with your employees. After all, you are asking your employees to represent your brand, so feeling valued is going to be at the top of their list and should be important to your company too.
Author bio: “Georgie is a Content Contributor for UKWebHostReview. She is passionate about sharing her enthusiasm for technology through her content writing work, with a mission to help others learn and understand what makes the digital world so successful.”