What`s the future of Employee Advocacy ?
Having witnessed the rise of employee advocacy first-handedly,- and especially how our bold and brave customers have embraced the concept - I´ve noticed a change in both use areas, metrics and focus areas. Changes that potentially could promise for an even brighter future for employee advocacy!
Adoption is on the rise!
Firstly, we have seen a vast increase in companies implementing employee advocacy programs. And - while it used to be Comms being the main driver, HR is now speeding up, while Marketing is still lagging behind for some mysterious reason… The combo of Comm`s and HR are in my opinion a great cocktail, and it gives staggering results in employer branding, talent attraction and social recruitment.
The move from advocacy to employee advocacy
One of the biggest mistakes in implementing employee advocacy is to diminish it to just advocacy. Many have fallen into the trap of playing it safe and only invite a few select employees to the party, surprisingly the few percentages of employees that are all ready active on social media, highly engaged and SoMe savvy…in other words; the usual suspects.
The outcome of this is totally predictable, metrics are useless and it does not bring any value to either employees or the company. And - it has been a quite expensive experiment, as it is usually driven by expensive consultants. Luckily, this seems to be in decline, and clever companies looks for programs embracing all employees.
“Nilly-willy” metrics are over and out
If you are measuring your employee advocacy effort by counting views, impressions, likes, thumbs-up`s, and all sorts of emoji`s, do not expect to get funding to continue the program. Direct measurement on employee advocacy should be based on the business impact by creating and sustaining a high employee brand engagement.
“Count the impressed - not the impressions”
Why focus on employee brand engagement?
As the saying go “Happy Wife - Happy Life”;-), engaged, motivated and involved employees makes customers and talents engaged and involved in your brand.
Employee Advocacy brings you day to day metric`s on your employees brand engagement - and gives you insights in how to optimize and sustain the effort.
Your corporate presences on social media are useless, unless you involve your employees
Many companies have invested heavily in corporate presences on social media, just to experience engagement rates averaging 2-3%, even with thousands of followers.
It`s a dead end to believe that this should change over night - and thinking that the next big content hype could change this is just wishful thinking.
The latest fad videos is right now dominating LinkedIn company pages, but it has not changed engagement rates at all.
No one wants to talk to your logo - but they`ll love to talk to your employees.
A corporate presence is a pulse - not a campaign
Campaigns on social media gives you short spanned attention, a row of spikes in your metrics based on your budget and ability to create viral content. Kind of “Now you`re there - now your not..” in the eyes of your customers and the talent you wish to attract.
Employee Advocacy supports your corporate presence with a steady, always present pulse supporting your brand efforts constantly - instead of momentarily.
You can run - but you cant hide
Social media has changed a lot of things, the ways of doing business and how we interact - but foremost it has brought glasslike transparency in to our company in the eyes of our customers, future colleagues and business partners. And our employees are part of it as everything they do and say on social media is including our brand.
We can do as many policies and guidelines as the xerox can spit out, but it will never beat the effect of involving and motivating employees to take conscious part in our brand. Many companies are these days investing time and money in their corporate reputation, but it`s a waste of time and money if they do not include employees in the effort.
“We are not quite ready for employee advocacy…”
Above comes up at every EA event we host, and I usually respond that it does`nt really matter if you are ready - your employees and your brand are. Your customers, prospects and future employees are. So if you are not ready, they will find someone who are.
Playing the waiting game is risky business!
Typically 3 months into their employee advocacy program our customers experience that they leave their nearest competition behind in reach, engagement and traffic on social media. Digging deeper they see increase in conversion and audiences “time on site” compared to existing channels. So, playing the waiting game is not a viable EA strategy.
Skip the “why” and fast forward to “when”
Starting out with employee advocacy does not have to be “Simon Sinek`ed”…For all the reasons above go directly to the “When”.
In other words - don`t overthink it. Your employees are smart people, and they are just waiting to be invited to the party;-)