How Dun & Bradstreet Uses Employee Advocacy to Boost Influencer Marketing

October 5, 2017

Dun & Bradstreet Uses Employee Advocacy to Boost Influencer Marketing

Dun & Bradstreet has been helping companies do business with each other for the last 176 years. Our credit reporting, sales and marketing solutions, and the D&B D-U-N-S® number all serve our core mission of helping companies build trust and form profitable business relationships.

Even an institution with our storied history has to move with the times, though. We knew that, for the company to continue to grow and thrive, we needed to get our senior executives more active on social media.

We started a pilot program with LinkedIn Elevate to help boost our C-suite’s posts. The idea was to encourage engagement and interaction with their posts, which would make executives more motivated to post, which would boost their thought leadership.

As it turns out, thought leadership isn’t just for executives anymore. We were quickly able to see the benefits of using employee advocacy to boost thought leadership throughout the organization.

Early in our pilot program I also saw the potential for using employee advocacy to engage with influencers in the industry. Influencer marketing requires a lot of relationship building, and that means sharing and engaging with the content influencers create. Using Elevate, it was easy to promote influencer content and start conversations.

Here’s how your employee advocacy program can build relationships with influencers, boost thought leadership, and more.

Curate Influencer Content

Curation is one of the most crucial components of a successful employee advocacy program. It’s vital to keep the content queue full of share-worthy articles on a variety of topics. So, our team took a strategic approach to curation with influencers in mind.

For each topic, we made a list of influencers who were knowledgeable on the topic, and with whom we wanted to engage. We used that list to source articles for the queue. Then we made sure employees were tagging the influencers when they shared the content.

Encourage Conversations

It’s not enough to just get the content out there with the influencer tagged, however. The goal is to foster engagement beyond likes and shares. To make sure our advocates were focused on starting conversations, we created an “engagement score” to track progress where we heavily weighted conversations--posts and replies--in that score, with other forms of engagement receiving fewer points.

This engagement score helped our team focus on the interactions that matter most. We made sure to share the engagement scores with the whole team, praising our top performers. And we publish a weekly email with tips on fostering engagement and links to the week’s top conversations.

Promote Top Engagers

As our program continues to grow, it’s important to keep the content queue fresh. We were able to expand the topics we cover and keep content flowing by promoting some of our top performers to be curators. At the beginning, it was just me and one other person doing all the curating--now we have a team of over 15 people adding content to the queue.

Adding more curators means we can continue to add more sharers, which means we can share more content and connect with a wider variety of influencers.

Emphasize the Intrinsic Benefits

We did a fair bit of gamification when the program started, offering tangible incentives to our top performers. We still have a rewards program going, but the primary motivation for employees now is intrinsic. They share because they see their peers connecting with influencers and thought leaders, engaging in conversation, and even becoming thought leaders in their own right.

Odds are you have employees in your organization who are already writing content, trying to build a following and establish their thought leadership. I was surprised how many we have at Dun & Bradstreet. Our employee advocate program helps us recognize and lift them up, and connect them with people who can advance their thought leadership in the industry.

Enjoy Unexpected Results

What started as a way to promote our executives on social media has become a democratized effort to boost thought leadership in our entire organization. It’s remarkable how fast the program took off once these benefits became apparent. During our pilot program, we saw a 20% increase in engagement week-over-week over the entire twelve weeks.

All this influencer engagement and thought leadership development has had an unexpected side effect: More people want to work at Dun & Bradstreet. It turns out that when your employees have a reputation for thought leadership, other thought leaders want to join the organization. We have seen a 6x increase in job views, and a 4x increase in job applications.

Employee advocacy has helped our people expand their networks, have productive conversations with influencers, and promote our organization as a sought-after place to work. And as for our initial goal--yes, our C-suite is more active on social media, too.

Ready to sign up for some employee advocacy wins of your own? Learn more about LinkedIn Elevate.

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