Posts Tagged ‘employee amplification’

Employee Advocacy starts with Passion

August 23, 2016

You have your EA program completely wrong!

Let’s start clarifying with a definition: “Employee advocacy” is a term used to describe the exposure that employees generate for brands using their own online assets. While social media is often the main medium for employee advocacy, these “online assets” include email, chat, forums, discussion boards and more.” (Source: Linkhumans).

ea

Going through a  large number of post on how to start an Employee Advocacy Program, I found the following recurring elements.  Most include some kind of a mission; creating trust and freedom quickly followed by social media policy (of course);  a set of advocacy tools;  some kind of an incentive plan; company generated and focused content;  and finally possibly some training.

The focus of the program is on Reach and KPIs as measurement criteria.  Though this might make sense from a company’s point of view, it does not from the advocate’s point of view.

passion

What is really needed to get to advocacy going is “Passion”.  Few (or no) programs are addressing this.  Let me dig a little deeper on what I mean by passion.

Passion for the company

Passionate employee are those that pay attention to the company’s strategies and tactics.  They follow every step the company is taking to be successful. Sometimes they might question these steps. They see their role in that success.  They defend their company every time without being asked and not because someone in the company ordered them.  Most importantly, they are not motivated by money.

Without that passion there is no employee advocacy.

Passion for the culture

Companies must have a passionate work culture that translates into devotion, recognition and long-term employment.  Open communications, honesty are key components that must exist within the company.  A lot of the times, you team culture springs to mind.  And as the expression goes: there is no I in Team!  And yes, EA is about creating trust and freedom!

Without that passion there is no employee advocacy.

Passion for products and services

The next level is that your employees need to be passionate about their products and services.  They see how these products make a difference and what their contribution to that success is.  It makes them proud!

Without that passion there is no employee advocacy.

Passion for helping

Yet another key element for advocacy is that you give freely without expecting any immediate return or otherwise stated the giver does not specify what should be given in return but rather accepts that the recipient is free might decide to give something  at some point.  As a giver you are trying to add value to your network and community.

Without that passion there is no employee advocacy.

Passion for social

Employees also have to have a passion for social media.  And I do not mean obsessed with constant updates but more about that internal fire to share and contribute without asking the ‘return’ questions.  So if they have no or limited social media accounts they will not suddenly create them and start sharing information because you ask them (via a amplification platform using gamification techniques).

Without that passion there is no employee advocacy.

Passion for personal branding

Finally, there must be a need/want of the employee to do personal branding and that using content that is either handed to them or they curated/created themselves.  The WIIIFM factor is and must be high and add value to the network of the individual.

i in team

And yes, there is an “I” in team when it comes to employee advocacy. Here is the magic formula:

                Employee Advocacy = Team + I

Without that passion there is no employee advocacy.

Remember that Passion and authenticity are hard to fake and people see through it easily.  Of course, this comes at a cost: the cost of failing and changing direction at some point. That’s okay because it lets you know it is time to move on and follow new passions.

passion 2

So when you set up an Employee Advocacy program release the passion first!

With that passion there is employee advocacy.

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Why organizations fail at Employee Advocacy?

July 26, 2016

low-hanging-fruitThe low hanging fruit for ambassadorship is Employee Advocacy and yet many (not to say most) companies are failing miserably at it.

 

Why and what to get it on the rails of for many one of the burning questions on the table.

4 golden rules for Employee Advocacy and Sharing

When it comes to Employee Advocacy there are 4 golden and simple rules:

  1. You employees follow your company accounts
  2. There is a culture of sharing
  3. The WIIIFM factor (for the employees) of posts is high
  4. Content is generated by the employees

Let’s take a look at the above rules and answer the question of why and what

Employees follow corporate accounts

social-media-newsroom-banner

This seems so obvious but it is not.  Sometimes because companies have not asked, sometimes because of ignorance and even sometime because employee choose not to.  Few companies take the time to promote their own social accounts internally even though externally thousands of dollars/euros are spent to get followers/fans.  Companies assume employees will find and follow the accounts anyway.  But how do you expect your employees  to look for them and even going one step further to share from there.

Why not run an internal campaign to promote social media accounts and content as  first step to true Employee Advocacy?

Sharing culture

HiRes_small

It must be said that some people and even nations share more than others.  Us Belgians are renounded for not sharing.  Sharing must be encouraged (via the social media policy) and done by example.  The management team and the social media lead by example for the rest of the organization to follow.  How do you expect employees to share what management and others do not share themselves.

Social media usage (also for private reasons during worktime) must be encouraged but forced upon your employees.

Oh by-the-way, the corporate account might want to share some of the content posted by its employees and this without being told to do so.

WIIIFM

what-is-in-it-for-me

People share if the content they share makes them look good of entertaining to their audience, friends, fans and followers.  As a company post creator you should keep that in mind and not the promotion of company products and/or services.  Most company post do not hold the potential for people to share and look good!

User-Generated Content

content-people-01Sharing is a 2-way process and successful posts have a high level of human factor embedded in them.  Showing off your employees (and no, they will not be stolen away from you) and their content will make sharing so much more attractive.  One step further is using content from your employees on your corporate account will dramatically increase even more the level of sharing.  See it as a pat on the back and recognition for having great content.

And then there are tools

Since Employee Advocacy is seen as the golden egg, companies are looking for ways to make it hatch faster.  Here come the tools to help (aka“force”) the sharing actions.  These tools even come with incentive programs (gamification) to make sharing even more attractive. But gamification will only work so long.  In my humble opinion no longer than 3 to 6 months.  And yes, internal promotion will be required.   Let me clear these tools have their role to play and are a good way to kick start social sharing of company posts but they are no longtime cure.  There are a lot of great tools out there to help you with social sharing and employee advocacy.

However, the real cure lies in adhering to the above 4 rules to make Employee Advocacy a success!

Feel free to agree of disagree with me and sharing this in the comment field below.

Corporate Social Media Amplified!

January 2, 2013

One of trends for 2013 will be “Amplification”. The times that companies and people rely on asking others to redistribute their posts and messages is over.  Just like with email, you as a fan are getting too many messages and notifications (many of you are turning them off) and thus ignoring these requests.

brand advocateAs more and more of the employees are becoming active on social media, companies are realizing that they are low hanging fruit when it comes to brand ambassadorship.  They want to enlist them as ambassadors and are setting up awareness sessions in the hope these employees will actually help spread the word.  .

Companies are also looking for new ways to get their messages promoted. Help is on the way in form of Social Media Amplification Applications.  The concept is simple: Leverage employees, partners, customers and fans to share your company’s social media messages on your behalf.  The objective is to drive traffic to websites, campaign or blogs to generate leads.

How does it work?

Step 1: Find amplication application

There are a number of these applications available today.  I predict that there will be more coming in 2013.  GaggleAMP, SocialSeeder, Spread.US and Socialtoaster are in the forefront today.  For more details, see below.

Step 2: Recruit fans

You will invite and recruit fans, influencers and employees to join your distribution community.  You might have to implement some form of gamification (2nd trends for 2013) in order for them to join your circle of amplifiers.

Step 3: Create Messages

Create the content you want to get distributed through the community. And make it easy for your amplifiers to distribute it in their social networks

Step 4: Amplication Process

The amplification application will inform by email (or other forms) your community there are messages ready for distribution.  The amplifiers then can select which messages they distribute in which social network.

Step 5: Monitor & analyze

As with any campaign, you need to monitor the process, analyze the results and fine-tune your next steps. Continue to engage your community of amplifiers.

Who are some players?

GaggleAMP, US based company, is the social marketing platform that lets companies amplify their social media reach by leveraging individual employees, customers and partners. (source GaggleAMP)

gaggleamp logoGaggleAMP empowers a company’s stakeholders (both internal and external – employees, customers, constituents etc.) to promote synchronized messages across social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Users can share these messages on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn automatically, by e-mail notification or from the website thus giving the user full control of what is getting shared where.  The gamification option makes this tool more engaging.

In addition to the message amplification, GaggleAMP provides a myriad of unique analytics about how the messages perform in the various social media networks including message reach, clicks, comments, Likes, shares, re-tweets and more.

Pricing starts at $25/month for 50 messages shared.  There is a 7 day free trail period.

More info: http://www.gaggleamp.com

SocialSeeder, a Belgian company, unlocks the power of your true influencers.

As a company tapping into the potential of social media your holy grail is to find and identify super influencers to quickly spread news and create a buzz on new products & services.

socialseeder logoSocialSeeder facilitates employees, clients, fans, partners & other influencers to seed the messages you want to bring across via social media and allows to measure the impact in full detail through a personalised dashboard. (Source – SocialSeeder).

SocialSeeder, is focusing on Social Media Campaigns.  You start by creating your list of amplifiers (Influencers & Ambassadors).  You follow this up with the creation of campaign which will result in an email being created where you ask the amplifiers to distribute via the networks of their choice (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or even email). The user has full control of which message gets distributed where.

A comprehensive number of statistics are available to both track each amplifier and message amplification by platform and hits.

Pricing starts at 25€ per campaign/month.

More info: http://www.socialseeder.com

SocialToaster, a US based company, allows an organization to recruit supporters to help automatically create word-of-mouth referrals and traffic through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. (Source – Socialtoaster).

socialtoaster logoSocialToaster amplifies corporate messaging on brands’ social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn), proving that there is immense value in social media engagement. Loyal fans of a brand called ‘Super Fans’ are mobilized with an email whenever the brand has blog postings, events, articles, or promotions for them to promote. With just one click, Super Fans share the brand’s content with peers across all of their selected social networking sites. The visibility of the message increases exponentially as the content is shared. (Source Socialtoaster)

Socialtoaster allows you to run in the cloud and on your own servers.  Other interesting features are gamification and viral recruitment formulas.

Pricing starts at $399/month.

More info: http://www.socialtoaster.com

Spread.us,, US based company, is a twitter-only tool that allows you to promote campaigns and blog posts. It enables website readers to automatically share and distribute newly published content from their favorite content or blog on Twitter. (source: Spread.us).

spread us logoFirst you enlist the support of your supporters by inviting them.  You then create the perfect tweet which will get distributed automatically via their accounts.  Then you track the performance of the post through a number of statistics.  The biggest drawback of this tool is the lack of control on the user’s side.  Opting out is the list only option for the end user to stop tweets being posted through his/her account.

Pricing starts at $0 for up to 5 subscribers.  Between 6 to 25 subscribers (fans) you will pay $4/month with variable pricing if fans increase or decrease.

More info: http://www.spread.us

I am sure there are other programs out there.  So if you know of any please let me know and I will add them in my next review cycle.

What are your thoughts on these applications?  Good thing or not?

I look forward to your reactions, comments, feedback and input.

The Employee Engagement Index

October 22, 2012
Companies want to pick the low hanging fruit, but when it comes to social media, it seems they are not seeing the ‘low hanging fruit.  Many companies are creating corporate social media accounts but fail not only to communicate them to their clients but also their employees.  A lot of companies do not mention their social media accounts on their website allthough that is changing.

Companies, especially the marketeers, are struggling to get engaged fans/followers/connections, etc.  A lot of effort is put in creative marketing to be able to attract clients and have them become ambassadors. Through these fans/followers they hope to get their messages amplified.

But what about engaging your employees as ambassadors and amplificators.   During a series of awareness sessions in different companies, i could not help to see that few people were actually following their company on platforms such as twitter, facebook or linkedin. The main reason being a lack of information and awareness. Companies expect their employees to follow these account automatically. There are a few simple solutions to address this situation and could include:

  • Social media awareness sessions
  • Mention all  accounts in the social media policy
  • Training program includes following all company accounts
  • Email and intranet campaign to increase account awareness
  • Adding links to intranet and website

How do you measure if you are successful? Why not create an Employee Engagement Index.   The number could reflect a ratio such as:

  1. # of employees  following corporate accounts divided by total employee count
  2. # of employees that follow corporate accounts divided by the employees on social media (or specific platform)

This number by itself is not so important. It serves as a baseline. Tracking the progression as you undertake social media awareness building is more important. It will provide you with insight of how well you are doing.

The next challenge is get corporate messages amplified by these people. Here too there are several scenario’s. The best of all worlds is that your employees take the initiative to share message by themselves but we all know this is the most difficult route.  the WIIFM factor has to big. Alternatively, you could offer tools to re-publish but that is really a bad idea. People want to be in control of what they share with their network.  And then there are some tools available (www.gaggleamp.com) that allow users to select what they forward. In any case, the network of your employees is the first step to client engagement and conversation.

Which innovating techniques and tools are you using to use your employees as amplificators and ambassadors?