The Essential Elements of an Outstanding Employee Advocacy Program

September 7, 2017

It’s fact, not theory, that you can drive measurable business results with an employee advocacy program. The key is to combine the right elements to convert your employee advocacy program from something you just implement to something you ignite.

In other words, you need the right formula to maximize the potential.  Include these elements in your equation, and you’ll soon be on your way to employee advocacy that matters.

Make it Strategic

With so much potential riding on your employee advocacy program, you need to approach it like any good scientist. Start by documenting your hypotheses. What does your company think it can achieve with this program? Are you looking to increase engagement with prospective customers? Improve brand perceptions? Drive sales?

Once you have distilled your objectives, identify the most fitting employee groups, departments, and functions to participate in the program. Ultimately, you want every employee to partake. But start by conducting a small-scale test with employees who are most likely to help you achieve your goals and who are already socially savvy and active.

Make It Measurable

To raise the probability of your program delivering value over the long haul, you need to measure its impact and optimize the results over time. That’s why it’s essential to not only define relevant and measurable KPIs and success metrics, but also track them.

At the most basic level, you want to measure engagement rates on shared content. You also need insight into employee activity levels by tracking the number of active users, share rates, and engagement by content type.

And finally, you want to understand downstream outcomes such as demographics of those you’ve engaged, page views, and the impact on new followers. With the right platform, you will even be able to see how all this engagement has driven new site traffic, new hires, and additional sales.

Make It Organic

One of the guiding principles of social media networks is to engage with authenticity. That means you can’t force your employees to share content with their networks. Instead, you can serve as a catalyst for sharing by making sure your content is genuinely interesting and valuable to the target audience.

If employees don’t find content compelling, they won’t share. So be sure to find out what topics are of interest. Then help them understand that by regularly sharing quality content, they can build their professional reputations as thought leaders – which in turn helps build their professional network.

Now figure out how you will equip these employees to succeed. Remember: it takes time to create or find quality content. You can make it easy for employees by regularly suggesting content for them to share. Develop a model for curating and sharing content with them, and for training them on how to use it most effectively.

Make It Transparent

Your vision for an employee advocacy program will only crystallize if your employees understand the benefits of becoming a more socially savvy enterprise. To keep engagement levels high, you need to provide evidence to employees that they are impacting the business.

LinkedIn Elevate includes several features that help in this way:

  • Personalized reputation metrics and mobile notifications show how many times content employees shared has been liked, commented on, and reshared, and how many people it reached.

  • Audience demographic data lets employees know what industries and functions are engaging most with their shares.

Work with senior leadership to incorporate social metrics into their understanding of the business health of your company. When you hit important milestones in your journey to becoming a social enterprise, ask those leaders to highlight your success to the rest of the company.

Generating the best possible outcomes from your employee advocacy program hinges on the perfect synthesis of strategy, execution, measurement, and continual optimization. By approaching your program with a scientific mindset, calling upon the right elements, and injecting it with the right energy, your employee advocacy program can be a catalyst for greater business success.

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