Once you’ve decided to embark on an employee advocacy journey, there are several hurdles to overcome; first you need to sell the concept, relay the benefits, back it up with success stories. And not just to one person, it’s likely you'll have a whole heap of people to convince before you can get the ball rolling.
Getting C-level buy-in is one thing, but you also need to convince the employees themselves – they can be the toughest sell and a lot of the time companies simply don’t know how to pitch advocacy to their employees. But don’t despair, employee advocacy benefits employees just as much as it benefits the brand. In fact, almost 86% of advocates in a formal program said their involvement in social media had a positive impact on their career.
Inevitably there will be questions at the start of any new program and rightly so! Employee advocacy isn’t about forcing employees to do something they don’t want to do, nor is it about using them as a megaphone to shout your brand message.
Employees have the right to ask and understand what this means for their personal brand and how it will impact their workload - throwing stats at them isn’t going to cut it, they need solid answers to address any concerns.
Here at Tribal we have worked with many clients at varying stages of their employee advocacy journey and because of this, we’ve heard many of the questions that arise when employee advocacy is introduced.
Below is a collection of the most frequently asked questions from employees and how to answer them:
Why should I use social media in the workplace?
Using social media for work strengthens your online professional brand by building credibility, opening up opportunities and deepening and extending both your professional knowledge and network. However, it is entirely your choice as to whether or not to get involved.
Why is my employer encouraging me to do this?
Employees help build trust and credibility for the brand as well as having a far greater reach than the brand channel itself. Having an authentic voice helps ‘humanise’ the company by putting employees front and foremost in their digital strategy.
Won’t posting on social media take a lot of my time in an already busy day?
When you first start posting, it may take a little longer, but we believe you can post and do your engagement whilst grabbing a cup of coffee or standing in a queue, certainly no more than 15 mins a day.
Can I get into trouble for posting work related content on social media?
If you’re sharing content from an advocacy tool, there shouldn’t be any issues. If the company doesn’t have a tool, always ensure you are following the company social media policy and if you’re unsure of anything, ask.
We use an advocacy tool, won’t it look strange if everyone in my company is posting the same thing?
Even with popular posts it’s highly unlikely your network overlaps significantly with your colleagues’ network and with the way the algorithms work on the platforms, any shared contacts may not see the same post. Adding your own comments and perspectives also helps differentiate the content.
However, the team who manages the tool can take actions to reduce visibility or remove a post if they feel a post is being ‘over shared’.
How do I know what kind of content should I post?
If your employer is using an advocacy tool, you can source your content through this as it will have been approved by company admins for sharing. We’d always recommend adding your own comments to the content to make it authentic to you.
If you don’t have a tool, always check with your Marketing team what the policy is for sharing content.
We do recommend that you aim to share a variety of content so although using company content is a good place to start, posting content from other sources adds variety, interest and credibility to your professional brand. No surprises but we suggest you don’t post anything controversial or political.
How often should I post content on LinkedIn or Twitter?
For LinkedIn, posting a couple of times a week along with commenting and liking others’ posts gets the best results. The highest engagement activity is between 8 and 2pm during the working week, with Wednesdays the best day.
For Twitter, ideally you should be posting a couple of times a day and engaging on a 2/3 tweets a day (likes or retweets with comments). The most popular times are during the working week between 8am and 4pm with Tuesday and Wednesday driving the highest engagement activity.
What should I do if someone comments on my posts?
Unless it’s a negative comment, it’s always good etiquette to respond and engage. If you’re unsure, you should always check in with your advocacy/marketing contact within the company.
What should I do if I see a negative comment about our company on social media?
Do not engage but refer to your advocacy/marketing contact within the company.
Remember, there is likely to be employees that don’t want to participate in an employee advocacy program and that’s fine. Those that do want to get involved are still likely to ask these questions.
By being prepared and providing as much information as employees require at the start, you’re putting yourself and your participants on the path to a successful program.