Introducing an employee advocacy programme requires a mindset shift within an organisation. Particularly if social media is seen as the marketing team’s job and everyone else traditionally stays away from it.
Change management may take time, but it’s worth the investment. The more time you take to introduce it, the more robust your employee advocacy programme will be, and the more likely it’ll be to succeed.
Let’s look at how you can scale the change management needed to implement an employee advocacy programme.
Identify Your Early Adopters
The first step is to identify your early adopters. There are always going to be employees who are already active on social media, even if that’s just in terms of social listening rather than regularly posting.
These employees may not understand social selling or employee advocacy, but they have an interest in social media – that’s what you’re looking for. You can then turn these employees into your change management allies.
One of the personality traits you also need to look for is a confidence in working things out as they go.
There’s no one else for them to learn from, so they have to enjoy the learning process that comes along with being an early adopter. If they’re not motivated and inspired by learning new things, they might be a better fit for later in the programme.
The confidence and eagerness of early adopters will be contagious, so make sure that the employees who get onboard in these crucial first stages set an example with their mindset as well as their content quality.
The next step is to use your early adopters to inspire others. The brighter the spotlight you shine on them, the more employees who’ll see the real difference early adopters are making to the business.
Make a big deal out of their employee advocacy and what they’re doing – show how it’s benefitting the organisation and advocates’ personal brands. You could do this on internal networks, emails, social media posts, or by offering rewards or incentives.
It takes real courage to be an early adopter, so celebrating what they’re doing will encourage them to keep going and show other employees what could happen if they joined in, too.
Make sure to connect your early adopters to each other, too – they’ll be able to share their learnings with each other and keep inspiring and motivating each other, too.
Early adopters are also great for teaching social media skills to other employees.
Every early adopter will have a different skill set and level of comfortableness sharing their skills; you want to lean into whatever theirs is.
Maybe they like to share examples of best practices. Or they’re interested in being more hands-on and becoming a coach.
Sometimes all an employee needs to get over their fear of posting on social media is someone else to check over what they’ve written before they publish it. This reassurance and feedback can build their confidence, meaning they’re more likely to keep posting.
Any feedback they’re given will also help them understand what works on social media and allow them to lean into doing more of that type of content going forwards.
Over time, they’ll need less help and could go on to become coaches themselves.
Coaches could also do training sessions to dissect examples of posts and explain why they do/don’t work. This kind of information can really help others to visualise what types of content they can create to get the most out of social media.
Find Their Why
Everyone is motivated by different things. To get people onboard, you need to find what motivates them. This will be influenced by the department they work in, as well as their personal and professional interests.
Once they tap into what motivates them, and find why they’re getting involved in employee advocacy, they’re going to be much more likely to enjoy being an employee advocate and keep doing it long term.
Embracing and encouraging early adopters is really important to the longevity of an employee advocacy programme.
The energy and enthusiasm that they exude will inspire other employees, and encourage them to join, too.
Those early adopters can then share their skills and what they’ve learned so far with other employees, inspiring the mindset shift that’s required to scale an advocacy programme.