Recently we had the privilege of having social media expert, Neal Schaffer, join us for our webinar on Influencer Marketing Is The New Employee Advocacy. This webinar stood out to me particularly because of the number of questions the audience asked.
There were several great questions from “how can we help motivate our employees to want to be advocates on social in a cost-effective way?” to “Is there a right time to do employee advocacy program?” and even specific questions like “How does a company that does B2C tourism marketing fit in something like employee advocacy?” Since we didn’t get through everything asked during the webinar, this article tackles the top questions asked.
Chances are if someone is asking a question, there are probably a few people who are itching for the same answer. So, we’ve selected the top 5 questions on everyone’s mind about employee advocacy and influencer marketing and asked our in-house experts and customers for the best answers.
Top questions about employee advocacy and influencer marketing:
- How can we help motivate our employees to want to be advocates on social in a cost-effective way?
- Is there a right time to do an employee advocacy program?
- What is the best compensation structure or incentive for employee advocacy programs?
- How would you recommend tracking engagement stats or scheduled posts in general?
- How can I convince upper management that we should invest in influencer marketing?
1. How can we help motivate our employees to want to be advocates on social media in a cost-effective way?
That’s one question we get often from customers. There isn’t a silver bullet to motivate your employees to be advocates in a cost-effective way. However, here are five proven strategies to motivate your employees to be advocates on social media.
i. Employee Recognition
Recognizing employees with monetary prizes can promote unhealthy advocacy, as employees may start to share content for the wrong reasons. That’s why it’s important to celebrate employees with recognition rather than simply monetary rewards. An easy way to do this is to give a shoutout during your team stand-up meeting, a trophy, or even a small in-office celebration.
At PostBeyond, we celebrate our monthly winners with our very own World Employee Advocacy Championship belt.
ii. Executive Support
Having leadership support is undoubtedly powerful for an employee advocacy program to flourish, even more so when they play a hand in recognizing top performers. Executives can boost morale and encourage employees to join an advocacy program. Make sure you get executive buy-in as early as possible.
Recommended Resources: [eBook] How to Drive Adoption For Your Employee Advocacy Program
Leaderboards really ramp up the competitive nature amongst employees and is a great way to gamify your employee advocacy program. A leaderboard makes it easy for employees to see their own performance and it pushes them to hit their sharing goals as well as drives overall employee advocacy performance.
One of our customers, VTS frequently uses the leaderboard to motivate their sales team to participate. They’re a very competitive team which has helped increase their likelihood to share content on social media.
Recommended Resources: [Case Study] How VTS Increased Their Social Media Reach to Over 1.7M People
iv. Contests Rewards
Give awards to employees who are performing the best. Awards can be given for being number one on the leadership and even for employees who generated the most shares or traffic from your content. You can hold week-long mini-contests or for longer periods to reflect any compelling events such as quarter end. Keeping a consistent cadence of contests can keep employees motivated and engaged.
v. Making Employee Advocacy Exclusive
One interesting way to incentivize an employee advocacy program is to make the entire program an exclusive membership. For example, BCD Travel positions its program internally as a privilege. Users are hand-selected to be a part of the program and are encouraged to participate as much as possible. This exclusivity keeps the program tightly knit, promotes word-of-mouth about the program internally and ensures employees are always engaged.
Recommended Resource: [Case Study] How BCD Travel Builds Buzz and Empowers Sales Through Employee Advocacy
2. Is there a right time to do an Employee Advocacy program?
The right time is an important step for launching an employee advocacy program. As marketers, we’re often faced with a constantly increasing to-do list of priorities. If you’re in the same boat then don’t fret.
Launching an employee advocacy program can be determined by how mature your social media strategy is. Also, the timing could be aligned with other priorities as well. Here are five real-life examples of how our customers determined a timeline for their employee advocacy program:
- New Website and Rebranding
- Sales Kickoff
- Major Trade Show or Event
- Improve Social Media Marketing
- Hiring Top Talent
Recommended Resource: Too Many Priorities, Not Enough Employee Advocacy
3. How would you recommend tracking engagement stats or scheduled posts in general?
One of our webinar attendees asked this question and followed up with “I’m working out of an Excel sheet and it’s crazy difficult to keep track of which of our influencers have/have not posted for the month (monthly posting schedule) and what their stats look like once they post.” If you’re also organizing and tracking your employee advocacy efforts with an excel spreadsheet then you’re not alone. This is the number one starting point for many marketers is a spreadsheet.
Among the many downsides of a spreadsheet tracking system, the major ones include:
- How much time it consumes
- Difficulty tracking metrics
- Inability to scale
When we work with both our customers, we focus on several core metrics that would
Recommended Resource: [On-Demand Webinar] Beyond Vanity Metrics For Employee Advocacy Success
5. How can I convince upper management that we should invest in influencer marketing?
This is a great question! Throughout all of our best-in-class programs, there’s one underlying factor they all share in common: executive buy-in. Regardless of company size or industry, leadership buy-in and support remains consistent across all employee advocacy programs.
In order to convince upper management to invest in influencer marketing, management will need to see a well thought out plan with the right goals in place. In addition to a formalized plan, it is important to be clear on the value of employee advocacy. There are a lot of competing priorities for your leaders and often times, the list just keeps growing and growing.
Before you communicate with your management team, make sure you do your due diligence. Research the numerous benefits of employee advocacy and how it can impact business results. Gather data from industry benchmarks or research to demonstrate to your leadership team why employee advocacy is important and why it’s important now.
Check out this video of Mitch, our Customer Success Manager, give you actionable advice on how to get executive buy-in for employee advocacy.
You Have Questions? We Have Answers
Have a burning question about employee advocacy? Don’t know how to get started? Or, want to know to take your program to the next level? We’re here to help! Reach out to us and we’ll be happy to provide the best possible answers for you to start off on the right foot.