How to Measure the Success of Your Employee Advocacy Program

October 13, 2016

Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy is a hot trend at the moment, and it’s easy to see why. Part of it is just common sense: If you’re looking for a credible, authentic source to tell your brand story, it makes sense to start with the people who work for your organization.   

The biggest reason that enterprise-level companies are embracing employee advocacy is, quite simply, that it works. It works because employees have up to ten times the followers of their company’s social pages. Our own research confirms employee shares are also more effective: On average, content shared by an employee gets twice the click through rate as the same content shared by a company.

There are potential rewards for companies and employees alike from a successful employee advocacy program. That said, it takes a strategic approach to build a program that benefits everyone involved.

Measurement is a crucial part of a successful employee advocacy strategy. Choosing the right metrics and monitoring progress can help keep employees motivated, help the program improve over time, and demonstrate ROI to upper management.

There are three categories of metrics to monitor: content engagement, employee activation, and business outcomes. Here’s a quick guide to all three.

Content Engagement

The first set of metrics deals with how the content your employees are sharing resonates with your target audience. The rationale for measuring this engagement is to continue to refine your content mix to maximize your potential reach.

Take a look at the number and quality of comments on each share. Does asking a question in the headline lead to more comments? Does adding an opinion help spark discussion? See how the method of sharing encouraged or discouraged interaction.

Then check the amount of sharing by type of content. Does your audience prefer to share blog posts? Videos? SlideShare presentations? Podcasts? Sharing is a big part of extending your reach beyond your employee’s networks, so it’s important to see what gets the most shares.

Finally, look at the content that got the most likes, shares, and comments. That’s the key to honing in on what your audience really cares about. Make a note of the topics that gained the most traction so you can increase their presence in your mix.

Employee Activation

The next set of metrics is related directly to the continuing success of the program. It’s vital to know exactly who is sharing and how much to avoid a slow-down after the initial enthusiasm passes. The goal is to create a sustained effort, and measuring activity can help you avert a slowdown before it starts.

Look at how many users in your company share on a regular basis. Then see how much content they are sharing, and how much engagement each share has generated.

With that information in hand, you’re well-equipped to recognize and reward your top performers, and give support to those who have fallen out of the habit.

Business Outcomes

For outcomes, what you measure will depend on the goals established for your program. If your goal is increasing awareness or brand lift, look at the demographics of the audience you engaged and how that compares with your target audience. See how your employees’ sharing has influenced additional followers to your Company Page and increased site traffic.

If your goal is driving leads, see how your content engagement is creating opportunities for sales, and bringing decision makers into your employee’s networks.

How LinkedIn Elevate Can Help

LinkedIn Elevate is the only platform that is also a social network and content provider. As such, it has access to robust, full-funnel data. All of the metrics covered above are available through the platform’s analytics: the audience demographics of your engagement, employee performance, and impression data to track engagement rates.

Employee advocacy is a powerful marketing tactic that also contributes to a healthier corporate culture. When employee advocacy meets the unique capabilities of LinkedIn, it’s easier to start a program, evaluate results, and improve over time.

LinkedIn Elevate helps you make it easy for your employees to be brand advocates, build their professional networks, and develop thought leadership. Learn more about LinkedIn Elevate.