The best content comes from within. Whether you’re posting about a job or sharing a team moment from the office, your content is only as successful as your employee advocacy strategy. One of the biggest challenges we face in employer branding is motivating our team members to get out there and start posting, liking, commenting and sharing. Whether it’s lack of interest, a fear of getting into trouble, a shortage of content or a combination of all of the above, your ability to bridge the gap is vital to the impact of your recruitment marketing initiatives.
Regardless of industry, size of the organization or tenure, the difficulties we encounter when it comes to activating our colleagues are consistent across the board. There is no secret recipe or sure-fire roadmap. This arena will most likely always be difficult to navigate but there are some tactics you can employ to de-mystify the notion of speaking on behalf of the brand:
Lunch and Learns
More often than not, company social media policies raise more questions than answers. Employees would prefer to avoid posting than to run into trouble and if you’ve ever completed a training yourself, you probably can’t blame them. Take the time to negate the mystery. Hosting lunch and learns or roadshows is a great way to create a safe forum in which employees can vocalize their inquiries and you can shine a light on the points that are going to be most note-worthy as they venture into this exciting frontier. Start small, target certain lines of business or perhaps your intern population and build from there. The ideal is to inspire everyone to engage but the reality is, the more selective the group the more likely attendees are to ask the questions that are relevant to them.
Upping the Ante
At the end of the day, bribery goes a long way. We’re constantly running into the question “what’s in it for me?” and if you’re asking something of your team members, it’s in your best interest to be able to answer. Launching contests with prizes of interest can get that momentum going. You’ll want to define your audience, design your communication strategy – should be consistent, alluring and frequent, create your collateral – hashtags, design templates, tweet sheets etc. and develop a clear vision around what you’re trying to accomplish. Be sure to measure the impact weekly and use the first time out as a pilot for generating the buy-in around other ideas.
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Social Media Newsletters
One of the most frequently asked questions by employees, is, “what the heck can I post?”. Most team members won’t do it if it’s not easy. A weekly newsletter containing approved content will help them to get started, feel empowered and gain an understanding of the type of content you’d like them to promote. Better yet – provide it in the form of ready-made social copy so they can simply cut and paste.
Featuring Real Employees
What do people love to talk about the most? Themselves! If you’re looking to strike a balance between professional and authentic, featuring real employees is absolutely the way to go. We’re over the stock photography, candidates don’t buy into messaging coming straight from the corporate website and you’ll lose your audience completely if they don’t relate to the story you’re trying to tell. By featuring real employees, you’re far more likely to increase your engagement while personalizing the motivation behind becoming socially active.
The percentage of employees who are taking part in the advocacy and brand ambassadorship effort won’t improve overnight. This is a process and one that takes persistence, encouragement, incentivizing and the right buy-in. Make your content compelling, address the roadblocks and continue empowering your teams by reminding them of just how important their part is in the overarching strategy. What advice can you offer someone who is trying to get an employee advocacy program off of the ground?