Our weekly LinkedIn Live series focuses on bringing together marketing, sales, and HR professionals to discuss their lessons in running employee activation programs on social media.
In one of our recent Lives, Tribal Impact’s CEO Sarah Goodall spoke to Angela Duggan, Senior Director of Digital Marketing at Teradata.
You can watch the full interview here, or check out the summary of what they discussed below.
Create a network of advocates
Brands are often still in the habit of using their advocacy tools as a place to share branded content, but this isn’t how you build and scale an advocacy program. It won’t keep employees engaged, either.
Having a network of advocates can make a quick impact on brand awareness. After all, consumers want to hear from their peers, and they trust what they have to say – much more so than when brands tell them something.
Angela found that posts shared by Teradata employees have 500% more reach than those shared by a branded profile. The difference that could make to any business is huge.
Support recruitment and talent retention
Since 80% of people look for jobs on social media, advocacy offers opportunities to show company culture before some candidates are even looking.
It also feels more authentic when it comes from employees instead of branded accounts, helping audiences to understand why a company works in a particular way and who they really are.
Teradata’s biggest employee advocacy success has been observed in recruitment and talent retention. ‘Social advocacy has been critical in attracting and retaining top talent, especially in the tech industry where we are,’ she said. The industry is so competitive right now that businesses who demonstrate how forward-thinking they are by using things like advocacy and social selling can really stand out from other tech businesses.
At Teradata, they started a pilot program where they took the 10 hottest jobs of the week and shared them on social media, encouraging relevant teams to share the job. For instance, if it was an engineering job, they’d encourage the engineers. If it was sales, they’d ask sales to share it. Spreading the word in this way has been really successful for the company because culture lives through the voice of employees.
Make joining the program easy
The easier something is for someone to do, the more likely they are to do it. Angela therefore starts by encouraging small wins, setting quick and measurable goals, and sharing them within the larger organisation.
She found that ‘as word of mouth spread, more and more people wanted to join the program,’ because it was so successful.
To encourage a culture of advocacy, Angela introduces new employees to the program from the start, training them in the right mindset and how to use the tool.
How to retain employee advocates
‘It's somewhat easy to attract your employees to start social advocacy, but in order to retain them, and to keep them wanting to be an advocate and to use the tool that you set up, you have to make it valuable for them,’ said Angela.
Employees may be working with customers all day, but it’s important they still know the latest regulations and news in the industry. They may not have time to do the research and find everything, but they may have 20 minutes every morning to log in to an advocacy tool where the latest news is curated for them. It’s a bit like how businesses used to use Google Alerts, expect it’s more tailored and therefore more valuable.
Gamification is another good way to retain advocates, particularly in competitive areas like sales. At Teradata, they create internal contests on things like who’s had the largest reach that month, or who’s shared the most articles and gotten the highest engagement.
Maintaining momentum to scale an employee advocacy program can be hard. Ensuring you’ve got people who are enthusiastic and active on social media is therefore really important. Other employees will see their success and want to be a part of it, too.
Keeping a regular stream of new content in your advocacy platform means that employees will be able to find the latest news from within their industry in one, easy to find place. This will train them to login to the platform every day, read what’s relevant to them, and hopefully share it with their audience.
Gamification and running short competitions can also help encourage employees to keep going and challenge themselves to build their reach. This helps to keep it fresh for them as well as the people running the program.