Boost Your Brand's Reach, Authenticity, and All-Around Awesomeness with These Employee Activation Insights

October 20, 2015

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Getting more of the right people to see your content is a goal all content and social media marketing pros share. It turns out, the solution may be right in front of you: your company’s employees.

Here are a few reasons why marketing leaders are prioritizing employee activation initiatives:

  • The average company’s employees have 10 times as many connections as a company has followers
  • People are three times more likely to trust company information from employees than from the CEO
  • Socially engaged companies are 57 percent more likely to increase sales leads, 58 percent more likely to attract top talent, and 20 percent more likely to retain top employees

Read on for insights that can help you gain buy-in for your employee activation initiative, tackle corporate culture considerations, and facilitate authentic sharing at your company.

Gaining Organizational Buy-In for Employee Activation

Convey the Importance of Employee Advocacy

Getting C-level executives to sign off on employee activation programs means demonstrating the bang for its buck. Show them the stats we packed into this post, and emphasize low up-front costs and increased ROI.

Show the Connection to Customer Satisfaction

Another way to get the C-Suite on board is by showing how it relates to the people who matter most: customers. Research indicates that 80 percent of customer satisfaction is owed to engaged employees, who are also twice as productive as their non-engaged counterparts.

Tie it Back to Company Revenue

If you want to get the C-suite excited about a new initiative, showing how it will lead to increased revenue is surefire way to do it. Studies show that a 12 percent increase in brand advocacy leads to a 2x increase in revenue growth, which makes sense considering that leads resulting from employee social media activity are seven times more likely to convert.

Understanding Corporate Culture Considerations

Start by Building a Culture of Trust

Employees don’t want to feel micro-managed or mistrusted, which is why flexibility and transparency serve as the foundation for employee activation. Employees should know how powerful they can be, and they should be given the freedom to advocate in a way that also aligns with their personal brands. As Jay Baer says, “Advocacy is born from culture, not technology or marketing.”

Realize Employees Want to Share

According to SocialChorus, 50 percent of employees already share company content on social media. Employees at your company want to spread the good word, and equipping them with proper training, tools, and freedom makes it easier for them to advocate for your brand.

Mitigate Fears

If you work in a highly-regulated industry, like finance or healthcare, it can be intimidating for employees to talk about your company on social media without worrying about what they can or can’t say. Training them and providing clear examples of dos and don’ts is a great way to empower your employees to share positive brand messages with confidence.

Be Transparent

If your company’s stance on employee social engagement stays in the shadows, employees might avoid advocating out of uncertainty, or even apathy. To activate them, make sure social media policies aren’t kept secret. Brian Fanzo recently proclaimed, “The great social businesses of the future will invest, empower and utilize employee advocacy programs, focusing on creating a collaborative, social and transparent culture that creates new community experiences! Embrace Change!”

Speaking of transparency, Marketo and Kodak have made their social media policies available to the public. Feel free to use them as inspiration when developing an employee activation program for your company.

Facilitating Authentic Sharing

Give Props to Your Social Employees

It’s natural for employees to ask, “What’s in it for me?” Ensure your employee activation program highlights ways employees can improve their personal brands in the process. Rewards work, too. Maybe there’s an “Advocate of the Month” award or sharing-inspired swag in your company’s future. “Thanking and recognizing employees is critical to keeping employees engaged,” says Social Chorus VP of Marketing & Sales Development Dave Hawley.

Train, Train, and Train Some More

Empower your employees with tools (like the new LinkedIn Elevate), policy information, and ongoing social media training they need to engage with confidence. As LinkedIn’s Penry Price says, “The goal should be to educate employees on how to be effective advocates for their companies while achieving their professional goals.”

Foster Personalization

All employees are unique. Some will want to share, others create, and others just want to click “like.” That’s okay. You can give them control over their social activity and help by providing a steady stream of diverse content they’ll be proud to support. Century Link Senior Marketing Manager Christa Gorham recommends providing employees with a mix of both branded and industry content.

Improving the reach and authenticity of your brand’s social media marketing efforts is much easier when employees are on board. By gaining organizational buy-in, navigating corporate culture considerations, and facilitating authentic sharing, you can boost brand awareness and affinity simultaneously.

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