Is your employee brand advocacy program meeting your goals? Or are you finding it to be a challenge to widen your range of engagement? Are you sure that your employees know that you want them to regularly share company news through social?
You may think that your intentions are clear when it comes to encouraging employee social engagement. But one of the most common obstacles that businesses are facing is hesitation from employees. They don’t know what exactly they should be sharing, and they’re afraid of sharing something that gets them into trouble. Don’t just take my word for it—take a look at the recent research from Bambu by Sprout.
So how do you ensure employees know that you want them to share work-related content on social? You need to tell them it’s OK to do so. That’s a message to repeat early and often—starting with employee onboarding. Include an employee brand advocacy module in every new employee onboarding training plan. This helps you connect with enthusiastic new recruits as they start their journey with your company. It’s a great opportunity to give them the tools and guidance they need to fuel comfortable with advocating on behalf of your brand.
Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for employee brand advocacy during onboarding, I recommend including the following elements:
1. An introduction to the brand’s social channels
At Anaplan, we included an employee brand advocacy component in our new hire orientations. This included a tour of the company’s official social media channels. The session facilitator encouraged the new recruits to accompany the presentation online and follow the social channels as we walked through them. We tapped our social media manager or one of our engaged employee advocates for this session, to bring it to life.
Additionally, we gave concrete examples of the sort of employee advocacy activities the company was looking to encourage. For example, following the company’s LinkedIn page and twitter account to keep informed of corporate news and marketing activities, and liking or sharing content.
If you have multiple brand channels on a social network, such as having dedicated recruiting or customer service handles on twitter, this is a good time to explain the different strategies and owners for these channels. Do company employees use special hashtags to define themselves or for tagging life at the office posts? Be sure to let the newbies in on them.
If time allows, also consider including some social media best practices or gamification based upon recent employee online interactions.
We often assume that everyone we hire has experience navigating social media conversations, but that’s not necessarily the case. Put together a packet with a few brief tip sheets or tutorials to give your new hires information they can use to conduct themselves in the best professional light.