Determining Employee Advocacy Success Requires Robust Analytics

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Daniel Ku

You know it’s great when your employees share all the great content you’re posting on social media.

In theory, it drives your organic reach, builds brand credibility and increases your social media engagement. But how do you measure that in practice?

Once you’ve launched a marketing campaign, you want to make sure you understand the importance of robust analytics and measurement.

But with employee advocacy, analytics, benchmarks and specific measurements are extremely important for monitoring progress and keeping in tune with how well your efforts are paying off.

Why Having Robust Analytics And Reporting Is Important For Employee Advocacy Programs

You wouldn’t want to implement a new program without the ability to monitor its effectiveness. The results of using that program are critical to the continuation of success.

Changing the way you operate even small parts of your program should be something you pay attention to for some sign of a positive or negative result.

In short: using analytics and reporting is a must when it comes to your employee advocacy program.

There are a variety of metrics you can monitor for your specific program. The important thing is that you’re keeping your finger on the pulse of the many different metrics and analytics to see what works and what needs work.

You can use reporting and analytics as building blocks for the future of your employee advocacy program. In order for your efforts to matter, you need to track what you’re doing and the results you’re getting. Otherwise, you could be repeating mistakes and never learning from them, or missing the opportunity to strike gold.

What Key Metrics You Should Be Measuring

Potential Reach

Measuring your reach can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the social media websites you’re using. But it’s also one of the most important metrics to measure because it will directly inform you of just how many people have the potential to see your content on a regular basis.

Adoption Rate

One of the other most important analytics to keep track of from the beginning of your employee advocacy program is the adoption rate of your social media efforts.

If your employees aren’t participating in your advocacy program then you can’t expect much success. Look for ways to increase excitement and adoption from them if you start to notice dwindling numbers.

Engagement Rate

This is a bit of a wider net and can really be separated into a few different metrics but they all fit under the general “engagement” description. Engagement rate includes metrics such as comments, mentions, retweets, and likes. You might also consider the sharing of your content links, on an organic level, like engagement. Some even include blog commenting in their engagement rate analytics as well.

No matter what you choose to include in your engagement rate measurement, ensure it’s something you’re keeping track of regularly. This is a major part of your presence online and your ability to build both a community and, later, a customer base. Without any engagement, you’re really just shouting into the world with nobody listening to you.

Earned Media Value

Determining Earned Media Value (EMV) provides a dollar amount saved to get the same amount of people to view their content. It is the amount that your company would spend to drive the equivalent amount of engagement. Fortunately, there isn’t any media buying so the dollar value impact here is directly driven through your employee’s social engagement. Customers see EMV as an important metric to determine their return on investment.

Website Traffic

You can have the perfect engagement rates and reach a wide audience, but none of it will matter if nobody is visiting your website. Monitoring your website traffic is important for the success of your employee advocacy program. This is to make sure you’re appropriately mentioning your website and directing your community to it.

Most important: focus on the type of content that leads to higher website traffic. By paying attention to trends and how they relate to this metric can really give you a leg up when it comes to future content calendars.

Content Analytics

Monitoring the performance of specific pieces or categories of content can have serious benefits for your analytics and reporting plans. Overall monitoring of metrics like traffic, engagement, shares, and reach are great for general content and to get a big picture idea of your employee advocacy program. But when you want to focus on specific types of content, there can be benefits in doing so.

You may notice that certain types of content are shared to reach a larger audience or result in more impressions. Or you might see specific pieces getting more engagement on one specific social media platform over another, meaning you can focus it there instead of other areas.

Engagement Share Rates

Engagement share rates can provide valuable insight into how your content is being shared with wider audiences. It doesn’t have to be a priority to create content that can be easily shared, however, it should be something to pay attention to.

You can monitor the shareability and sharing trends of your posts when you begin to track engagement share rates. This makes it yet another valuable metric to keep in mind for your employee advocacy program.

Why Benchmarks are Important

One common question that comes up is, “how does my employee advocacy program compare with others like us?” This is where employee advocacy benchmarking data becomes helpful.

Essentially, benchmarking data helps companies compare their process and performance metrics to industry bests or to similar companies. In most cases, benchmark data can be segmented by industry, company size or use case.

Every employee advocacy program wants to be the best and nobody wants to see their performance lagging against their peers. Who has the highest adoption rate or engagement rate? Benchmarking data brings the competitiveness out of customers.

Benchmarks help you improve the efficiencies of your program with fresh new ideas, best practices, and processes that similar companies are succeeding with.

Segment Analytics by Content, Groups and Employees

Relevance is one of the points to focus on when measuring the success of your employee advocacy program.

By segmenting your program into relevant employee groups, you can get a better perspective out of your data. Employee segmentation is the division of employees into discrete groups and can be based on:

  1. Department, i.e. Sales, Marketing, Account Management, Engineering or Executive Leadership.
  2. Business Unit, i.e. specific markets, product lines, services or customer groups.
  3. Geographical regions, i.e. AMERS, EMEA or APAC and even more granular such as the United States, Netherlands and Japan.

As a program admin, the level of analytics available should be comprehensive yet easy to digest. You should have full visibility into the overall success of your employee advocacy program. More importantly, the additional capability of getting more granular. This includes reporting on how your posts are performing on social media and which employees are most engaged in your program.

The data becomes increasingly more valuable when you can segment reporting by groups of employees. As an example, you can determine how your Sales team in APAC is performing relative to the Sales team in EMEA. Another way for measuring regions such as AMERS is by filtering down into how Canada, United States and Mexico are performing.

To dive even deeper, you can then report which employees in those groups are performing and see the content they’ve shared.

How To Simplify Reporting and Analytics

There are many different ways to report and track analytics for the variety of metrics you need to track.

Unfortunately, keeping track of each of those can be pretty mystifying — or sometimes feel impossible. Tools such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics can simplify some aspects for certain areas of your reporting, but they can’t do it all. Using a platform with robust analytics for your employee advocacy program can make your reporting much simpler.

You can even view leaderboards for employees that help to gamify the experience of employee advocacy and increase participation as well as adoption rates. This can help to increase engagement efforts. You’ll notice now that you’re tracking your analytics and measurements a bit more closely.

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