Ready, Set, Launch Employee Advocacy in 4 Easy Steps

June 1, 2016

We can probably all agree that employees are a company’s greatest asset. But, did you know that employees’ networks are 10x larger than a company’s followers, and while only 3% on average share company-related content they’re responsible for driving 30% overall increase in engagements?* (*LinkedIn Data) In fact, employee reshares of a company’s content have on average 2x the click-through rate* versus company posts. It’s no wonder then that more and more companies are starting to see the value of tapping into their employees’ networks.

And that is where employee advocacy comes in, empowering employees to easily share company-approved content with their social networks. This helps employees build their professional reputations while simultaneously helping their company market their products and drive awareness for its initiatives.

While it may seem daunting to start an employee advocacy program, it actually boils down to four simple steps.

Step 1: Set Your Strategy

The first step is to set your goals and program strategy. Think about what you want to get out of the program, such as an increase in reach and engagement or traffic to a site or marketing assets.

With these goals in mind, who is the right audience within the company for you to roll employee advocacy out to? LinkedIn Elevate, a leading employee advocacy tool, can help you identify your employees who are already social stars as well as the departments with the most appetite for sharing. Seed the program with these social stars first, and once you have momentum going, scale strategically to other departments.

It’s also important to keep your audience in mind as you set your content strategy. We recommend a balance between company-related, industry-related and general content such as leadership. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than 25% of your content be company-specific, as the goal is to drive engagement with employees and their networks, who have interests outside of what’s going on in your organization!

Step 2: Explain the Benefits

With your program strategy in place, it’s time to educate employees on what’s in it for them. Help them understand why building their professional reputations is important. You can let them know that sharing to their social networks not only helps them become known as thought leaders but also helps them scale marketing programs or general company awareness and affinity.

With the education in place, you need a simple way to empower employees to share. CEB, a best practice insight and technology company, found that Elevate made it easy for employees to share great content. In fact, shortly after deploying Elevate, more and more employees asked to use it and it has now rolled out to the entire organization.

You may find that there are varying levels of comfort with social media within your company. To make sure everyone is on the same page, hold Social Media 101 trainings, including how to build a top notch LinkedIn profile. Because not everyone may be used to sharing content on a company’s behalf, it’s also helpful to clearly outline your social media guidelines to ease any worries.

Step 3: Launch Your Program

You’ve set your goals and educated your employees on the benefits - now all that’s left to do is launch! Leverage your existing communication channels such as email, intranet postings, or a townhall or similar event where you have a captive audience.

Get leadership involved whenever you can. Include senior executives across departments and arm them with materials to share out with their groups, so that the call to action comes from these influencers within your company.

Your employee advocacy program doesn’t end once you’ve launched. Keep the momentum going with employees with regular reminders about the program and success you’re seeing, especially as you’re launching to new groups. LinkedIn Elevate also has several built-in features that keep employees engaged, for example reputation metrics such as profile views and engagements as well as notifications and daily emails.

Step 4: Measure Your Results

Remember those goals and KPIs you set at the beginning? It’s now time to track how your employee advocacy program is performing against those metrics.

You can see which curators are broadcasting the most, which of their shares received the most engagement, and what content topics resonate with employees and their networks. You can also see how engaged employees are by tracking the number of active users and share rates.

And finally, LinkedIn Elevate allows you to see downstream outcomes such as demographics of who you’ve engaged and the impact on new company followers and page views.

As you can see implementing an employee advocacy program doesn’t have to be a daunting task. To learn more about how LinkedIn Elevate can help you launch your own program, visit business.linkedin.com/elevate.

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