7 Fun Contest Ideas To Boost Your Employee Advocacy Participation

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What’s one way to ensure your employees consistently share content? What can you do to instill proper social sharing behaviors with your employee advocates?

Gamification.

When done correctly, It’s one tried and true tactic that will help improve your overall employee advocacy adoption and engagement. There are many ways to do gamification such as contests, leaderboards, giveaways and points systems.

employee advocacy contest winner

The benefit of gamification is that you can enable certain social sharing habits by adopting point systems and rewards. For example, you can adjust the point system of your program to focus on accomplishing different metrics such as website click-throughs or social engagement.

In this article, we cover seven different gamification and contest ideas for you to incorporate into your employee advocacy strategy.

The Truth About Gamification

First, we need to talk about the truth behind gamification.

It’s not going to solve all of your employee adoption problems. If your employees consistently show a lack of adoption and engagement then gamification won’t give you the consistent results you’re looking for. If you don’t have a consistent flow of fresh content then running a contest won’t instill more social sharing. Or if your employees don’t know how to use social media then gamification won’t solve that either.

But when done correctly, the results speak for themselves.

One customer started a contest six months after their initial program launch to re-engage users. During the contest, active users spiked to almost launch levels at contest period inception (86%). As a result, the contest generated:

  • The highest number of users sharing ever.
  • Most overall shares ever in a given period.
  • The highest number of interactions ever.

Gamification is like exercise, you have to be consistent to get results. You’ll definitely see an uplift in your program’s overall engagement every time you organize a contest. It works even better when you link gamification with both your overarching corporate goals and your employees’ personal development goals.

7 Fun Ideas To Implement In Your Program

Here are seven fun contest ideas that you can run for your employee advocacy program.

1. Most Engagement

Engagement is critical for the success of your employee advocacy program. Whether it’s comments and replies or likes and reshares, interactions on your employee’s social posts can boost your brand reach and engagement. More importantly, for customer-facing teams, engagement often leads to conversations with customers or job candidates.

By focusing on social engagement, you can now train and coach your employees on how to use social media to spark conversations and post valuable content. This inadvertently impacts metrics such as website traffic, website conversions and leads generated.

To organize a “Most Engagement” contest, you’ll have to weigh your points towards interaction-based social media metrics. This includes (but is not limited to) metrics such as reshares, comments, and likes. In some of our customer’s employee advocacy programs, this also includes website click-throughs as a form of engagement also.

2. Most Shares

The purpose of “Most Shares” is to focus all of your efforts on simply getting employees to share content on social media.

When you’re just launching an employee advocacy program, your employees might be hesitant or uncomfortable sharing content on social media. It’s completely normal because social media is a new skill for many.

To help kickstart social sharing, we often see our customers run a “Most Shares” contest in the first 30-90 days of their program. By focusing solely on sharing content as a metric, you’re helping employees get into a habit of sharing. What may have felt uncomfortable at first becomes a new behavior due to gamification.

To organize a “Most Shares” contest, you’ll weigh your points towards sharing content. If you focus on specific social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter then you can weigh more points towards the preferred network. Acknowledge all of your employees who made an effort to share and reward your top sharers.

The caveat to Most Shares is that you want to promote a consistent but not overwhelming level of shares. For example, if your employees are spamming their networks in order to win a contest then that’s a big detriment to your employee advocacy program and your brand image. Ensure your employees know exactly what cadence they should share by providing training, coaching and social media guidelines.

3. LinkedIn Champion

LinkedIn has over 760 million users, with more than 260 million monthly active users and that number continues to grow.

For B2B companies, it’s unquestionable that LinkedIn is the ideal platform. It’s where professionals engage and connect with like-minded individuals. This is the social network that your customers live on.

Organize a contest to focus solely on LinkedIn and weigh all of your points towards LinkedIn shares and engagement. It’ll guide your employees to follow the right behaviors by solely focusing on LinkedIn.

4. The Traffic Driver

If your corporate objective is to drive people to your company’s website then this is one contest you should run.

To organize a “Website Clickthroughs” contest, you’ll need more branded content than third-party within your platform. This is because the goal is to drive traffic from employee social posts. Of course, you can also track click-throughs to third-party publications but the goal should be singularly focused on your own website traffic.

In your program, you’ll need to simply weigh the majority of your points towards clickthroughs as a metric.

5. Most Improved Player

An objective of your employee advocacy program should be about professional development for your employees. This is an opportunity for each employee to build their professional brand on social media. Not only is it beneficial for your employees but when you focus on their development, you also positively impact your company’s brand reputation.

One way to focus on professional development is to organize a “Most Improved Player” contest. Unlike the top of the leaderboard, you’re recognizing and rewarding employees for the effort they put into improving their personal brand.

You’re emphasizing employees that want to grow. These individuals could be new to social media so they don’t have an established network yet. They may be new hires who are just getting familiar with social sharing.

6. Super Suggester

Are you down with EGC? I mean, employee-generated content?

It’s when you give your employees the capability to find, curate, and suggest content for their colleagues to share as well. It’s an important yet often underutilized tactic to get more engaging content into your employee advocacy program.

As a standalone program admin or content creator, any extra eyes and hands helping you curate fresh content are welcomed. This is why a “Super Suggester” contest works so well transforming your employees into mini-content creators.

To organize a “Super Suggester” contest, your employees will need the ability to suggest content to you. Whether it’s through an employee advocacy platform or they can forward you the content. You’ll need to weigh your points towards suggesting content in order to recognize your employees that have suggested content.

7. Campaign-Based Contests

If you’re launching a specific marketing campaign such as a major content asset, virtual event or webinar then we recommend organizing a contest focusing solely on it.

The first benefit is that it helps rally all of your employees towards one specific purpose. Secondly, integrating employee advocacy into your overall marketing campaigns can significantly impact that campaign’s results.

For example, if you’re organizing a webinar then your sole focus is on getting the right people to register. All of your social posts, captions and images should align with your webinar campaign. You’ll need to clearly communicate to employees that the key focus is on your webinar. The point system will also follow-suit.

The most important part is what you track and measure outside of your employee advocacy platform. It’s your actual webinar registrations which can be done through your marketing automation platform by using UTM or CID parameter tracking. Inform your employees on how many registrations they’ve personally driven. It’s not only great for your marketing campaigns but your employees will feel like they’re making a difference.

Create Relevant and Engaging Contests

Finally, if your employee advocacy program has hundreds to thousands of employees then having a singular contest or leaderboard may not work.

For example, if you have 1,000 employees then chances are whoever is ranked between #11 to #1,000 has already lost hope. How do you address this?

The best method is to segment contests by different departments, lines of business or even geographies. You’ll create more relevant leaderboards, more relevant contests with a smaller targeted group of employees. This ultimately impacts employee participation in your contests as well as overall adoption.

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