How to Identify and Empower Your Company’s Social Media Champions

June 22, 2017

Employee Advocacy

As social media sites restrict organic access and filter news feeds, socially active employees can be the key to extending your brand reach.

The term employee advocacy refers to a strategic, sustained program that empowers and inspires employees to share on their own networks, on the brand’s behalf.

Odds are most of your employees are already active on social media. To create an employee advocacy program with staying power, however, not just any socially savvy employee will do. It’s important to start with the champions who can be successful right out of the gate, to generate the momentum your program needs to succeed.

Use these tips to find the right starting group of advocates and equip them to excel.

Identify Your Champions

Your employees are already active on social media. Nurturing their social savviness will empower them to help improve brand awareness, bring in new leads, and even shorten sales cycles.

The key is to zero in on the ones who are the best fit for your program.

First, assess your employees’ level of engagement and social media ability.  You can start by conducting a poll about social media habits--just make it clear you’re looking for social media superstars, not coming after people Facebooking on company time.

Use Elevate to Zero In

The right employee advocacy program can make it easier to find the most likely to succeed. LinkedIn Elevate, for example, can help you determine:

  • The size of employees’ LinkedIn networks

  • Frequency and type of activity on LinkedIn that is either industry or topically relevant

  • The number of people who respond/engage with the content they share

Choose Relevance instead of Size of Network

Don’t discount a highly socially active employee with a relatively small social network. If that person has a high percentage of the right connections, he or she is probably more valuable than a somewhat socially active employee with a huge social network and a small percentage of the right connections.

Explain the Benefits 

You are essentially asking your employees to tap into their social networks on behalf of your business. To secure their buy-in, explain how employee advocacy benefits the company and them.

Share the company’s goals in regards to marketing, sales and talent acquisition. Then outline how their participation helps them grow their professional reputation and network, while helping your organization achieve its goals.

Provide guidelines

Even though they are already socially active, your employees might be nervous about making a misstep while officially sharing on the company’s behalf.

You can’t – and shouldn’t – try to control every step your employees take on social media. Doing so would undermine the very authenticity at the heart of your employee advocacy program. Your main focus should be explaining in plain language what is and is not acceptable. Here’s how to create an effective social media policy.

Wherever it makes sense, outline all regulations and laws that impact your organization on social media. Remember: The shorter and more memorable you can make the guidelines, the more likely they’ll be put to use.

Conduct Training 

To make sure everyone grasps the guidelines, host regular social media 101 trainings, whether lunch-and-learns, webinars, or short on-demand videos. And provide a way for your employees to ask questions once they’re participating in the program.

Scale with Your Champions

By selecting the right champions and setting them up for success, you pave the way for a long-lasting employee advocacy program. These champions will help you measurably impact your company’s goals and expand the program. With the right employees at launch, your program can quickly lift off and continually rise to new heights.

LinkedIn Elevate is the smarter employee advocacy solution that leverages LinkedIn data to maximize program success. Learn more about LinkedIn Elevate.