There are so many brand benefits to be gained from employee advocacy. In addition to all the company benefits, there are huge personal wins for salespeople who participate.
We call this the WIIFM factor aka What’s In It For Me. So what’s in employee advocacy for the sales team?
- Developing thought leadership presence
- Building their network
- Connecting with prospects
And for companies, with more robust employee advocacy attribution tracking, individuals can even be tied as the inbound lead source for traffic and closed deals.
Employee advocacy provides your sales team with a competitive advantage in the market and a way to stand out from their peers.
Sounds like a win-win right? Well, employee advocacy on social media can also be time-consuming and tricky. Leaving a lot of sales professionals feeling like it’s not worth the possible trade-offs.
Social Sharing Deterrent
Having your busy sales team scan through numerous articles every day to find value-add industry news, that is on brand and doesn’t reference any competitors is tedious. Not to mention their possible embarrassment if they accidentally promote a competitor or a piece of news which is off-brand.
They may try to share only company news instead, but without a robust intranet finding the latest news from the other departments is nearly impossible. Or they may accidentally share out-of-date marketing and sales materials saved in their own files. Plus, simply sharing company news or old promotional material will not provide them with enough quality content to develop their thought leadership.
After time, and lack of results, almost all of your sales team will stop participating. Without a solid strategy and the right technology, employee advocacy programs will be tedious for sales and hard for marketers to manage and control.
How to Simplify Content Sharing
In order to see program value, sharing content needs to be easy. As part of the marketing department, it is your responsibility to make sure sharing content is as simple and compliant as possible. In addition to creating social media policies to help safeguard sharing, leveraging technology to streamline processes will increase adoption.
Easy to Find
Hunting around for fresh industry-relevant content is a big deterrent for many possible brand advocates because it cuts into time for actual sales activities. Minimizing the time it takes them to source content helps increase program adoption and sharing.
- Employee advocacy software will create one centralized content library. Employees will never have to search multiple websites for fresh industry news or worry if the content is non-compliant. They will only need to access this one source where all the content has been reviewed and approved.
- Your sales team will also only see a filtered content view. Meaning the only content visible through their account is relevant to them (industry, seniority, location, etc.)
- Having one content source not only saves valuable time, it allows marketers to control which messages and iterations of branded content are being shared out.
Easy to Share
Besides the possible mishaps of sharing the wrong content, many don’t share because the process is too time-consuming. Cutting and pasting messages and links to multiple platforms, multiple times a day is not efficient.
- Employee advocacy technology also streamlines this process by connecting all social networks to the one centralized content source.
- Sharing is as simple as a few clicks and employees even have the capability to queue posts to share throughout the day/week allowing them to participate in employee advocacy while minimizing their time investment.
Safe to Share
In addition to making it easy to share, employee advocacy needs to be easy for marketers to manage and be compliant. Without real-time compliance, users don’t have the ability to share in an authentic and appropriate manner.
- Continuously creating and curating content for a platform can become a full-time job for marketing. However, allowing your employees to suggest content for the entire team can provide you with insight into what content your sales team wants to share. Also, it ensures your time is focused on quality, not quantity by monitoring the content that is suggested.
- Leveraging an employee advocacy platform with a built-in chrome extension for suggesting content will relieve some of marketing’s burden.
- Control over content is paramount to mitigating mistakes on social. Having a strong review and approval process will help mitigate the sharing of old or off-brand content.
Cutting Down the Barriers to Social Sharing
Improving adoption of employee advocacy and increasing the amount of content shared doesn’t need to be an all-encompassing job. It is important that marketing communicates the benefits to sales, sets them up with solid guidelines, and simplifies the process. By making social sharing accessible, sales teams will be more inclined to participate, and once they see results they’ll be hooked.
Looking to encourage your sales team to share on social? Download (and print out) our handy one-page Social Media Cheat Sheet to help guide employees on which content works best for each social network.