Employee advocacy means that employees develop into authentic brand ambassadors via social media. This will increase the online visibility of your company, attract new leads and sales, and boost the image of your organisation. That is, if you do it right. The thing is, it is difficult to keep employees motivated, especially in uncertain times. In this article, we will explain how to keep your employees motivated permanently.
But first, some information about the importance of employee advocacy.
Be noticed online with employee advocacy
If you want your company to be noticed online, you will need more than just some corporate posts and impersonal marketing campaigns. People nowadays prefer honest and authentic stories. Therefore, your employees, with their specific experiences and expertise, are of particular value. And that is exactly the focus of employee advocacy.
Employee advocacy not only creates opportunities for a company, but also for its staff; it allows employees to distinguish themselves online by sharing their specialties, and it forges new connections. However, the art of this strategy is to ensure continuity. In addition, it is essential that your ambassadors continue to post regularly on social media. In practice, however, this doesn’t always work out.
What, then, are the main obstacles preventing employees from sharing their content on a regular basis?
It takes time
First of all, employees want to do a good job, and don’t want to just copy the suggestions your company gave them. Therefore, they have to invest time in producing their content. Not only does the provision of relevant material from the field take time, but also the devising of a unique perspective. Especially with large amounts of content, this process can be time-consuming. That's why people tend to put it off. And everyone knows; procrastination is the thief of time.
It requires guts and skill
Employee advocacy requires your employees to be courageous. By sharing posts on their personal profiles, they become more visible as brand ambassadors, and to them that might feel vulnerable. Posts can provoke a wide range of responses, from lofty praise to harsh criticism. So, people must be willing to step out of their comfort zone to present themselves online.
In addition, it requires knowledge and skill to tell an authentic story. Copywriting skills and creativity are decisive for truly original content. Without these skills, it is very difficult to guarantee continuity of activity on social media.
Customization is lacking
The suggestions companies provide to help their employees present themselves are not always sufficiently tailored to the individual. A general suggestion may seem sufficient, but every employee has their unique specialties and network. If you don’t take this into account in your suggestions, people will quickly drop out because it is not relevant to them.
Also, it is not always clear what the brand ambassador position will bring the employee. Many employees are willing to do something for their company, but if it doesn’t bring them anything in the long run, their motivation will fade.
How can I motivate my employees permanently?
Regarding the obstacles mentioned above, it is important to learn how to keep your employees active in employee advocacy. Therefore, we’ll offer you three tips for sustaining engagement.
1. Build personal branding
First of all, it is fundamental to clarify the goals of your brand ambassadors. Work together with your employees in developing a personal brand. Discover their needs and motivations, and organise team workshops to identify the themes that match their preferences and talents. In doing so, let them discover why being an ambassador is important, and what expectations it brings.
Together, find an answer to the question: what do I hope to achieve as an online ambassador? Although one individual may want to present them self as an expert in one field, the other may want to gain new contacts in the sector. Let your employees map their online network. This helps you discover where to find opportunities and how to make the most of them.
What expertise do your employees have collectively, and how can you use it to create effective content? Only when you formulate the individuals’ goals clearly will you be able to stimulate the intrinsic motivation of your employees and make them really enthusiastic.
2. Allay their fears
In addition, there is often resistance to actively creating and sharing content due to a lack of skills. As mentioned, copywriting skills are indispensable when you want to reach the public in an accessible, attractive way. Therefore, guide your ambassadors in creating content; train them through courses and workshops, and teach them how to turn their know-how into, for example, a fascinating blog article for LinkedIn.
In addition, the fear of negative reactions can cause them to hesitate in sharing personal stories. It is important that you reach out to your ambassadors on this aspect. Train your employees in how to deal with comments to make them less nervous about sharing content and creating valuable interactions. The result: confident brand ambassadors.
3. Make it easy and fun
In addition, provide employees with enough time to perform their role as brand ambassador. Take into account their individual needs and qualities. As mentioned, training and workshops provide the necessary tools, but this is not enough. To facilitate their access to the desired social media channels, the right infrastructure is equally important. A good employee advocacy platform is an excellent starting point, so make sure your employees have all the necessary tools on their business laptops and smartphones. This way, sharing relevant content is as easy as possible.
Furthermore, it is important to stimulate and inspire your brand ambassadors in an enjoyable way. For example, view the results of posts on the dashboard of the platform you're collectively using. You can offer rewards for certain achievements. For instance, you could hand out nice prizes for the posts that generate the most comments, or give a voucher every so often to the ambassador with the highest number of contributions or the most striking content. With the help of gamification, online challenges, and e-learning, you will inspire your employees to maintain their involvement.
Employees as brand ambassadors: cherish each other's unique qualities
Sometimes, employee advocacy can be difficult, especially when it comes to permanently motivating your employees. But good, lasting support can get you a long way. Use the tips above, and create a road map to guide your employees and further develop their skills. It will absolutely pay off! Not only in terms of conversions, but also brand identity. In the end, the successes you achieve will be thanks to the combined effort of you and your employees. Cherish their qualities and help them where necessary. This way, they will stay motivated, and your company can make the most of the power of social media.
Get in touch with expert Koen Jordaans to discuss the options within your organization!