Keys to Employee Advocacy: Social Media Tools and Content Strategy

by Patrick O'Brien 26 Jul 2013 Blog Post, Whitepapers

The Social Business Council recently ran a survey on social media tools and how companies are using them to achieve business objectives. The Council, composed of individuals working on Social Business initiatives in large companies around the world, is a fascinating source of adoption data from the cutting edge of the Social Business landscape. The survey exposed some counter intuitive data surrounding the use of social tools:

If everyone agrees that employees are a critical resource for their business programs, why are they struggling so mightily to activate them? 

Challenge: How do you leverage your employees to amplify company messaging?

Employees are becoming an increasingly important source of trusted advocacy for enterprises. Think about it – employees are trusted experts about your company with decades of experience in your industry. Plus if your company prospers they will also, so it’s to their benefit to support your brand. The result is that if employees retweet or share contgramaphoneent published by their marketing department, they could save their company thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising costs.

But interestingly, there are  serious inconsistencies in the data surrounding employee advocacy at large organizations. Here is what we found:

  • The great news is that 41% of the survey respondents agree or strongly agree that their company’s employees are motivated to share content their brand publishes.
  • It seems odd then that 53% of the survey respondents disagree or strongly disagree that they could coordinate large employee social participation. And “large” is only defined as “10% or more” of the workforce.
  • Also 67% of respondents said that if their company hired a new CEO, less than 5% of employees would share the news.

The bottom line is that employees are not amplifying company messaging, despite the fact that social marketers believe they are motivated to do so.


Keys to Activating Your Employees: Social Media Tools and Content Strategy

Create Shareable Content – A little exploration will reveal what your employees are likely to share. Do they use their social channels for business or personal reasons? Create content that will bring value to the social ecosystem your employees live in.

Make It Easy - In digital, friction is death. Forget about emailing your employees to remind them to retweet your content. There are social media tools that solve this problem.

At Dachis Group, we have a portal to log into where we see content we might want to share. We click on what we find interesting and it’s shared instantly via the channels we preselect. It’s also gamified so that people are ranked according to how much earned media they produce for the company. Find out more about this solution here.

If you are not leveraging your workforce to amplify your brand’s social initiatives, you are missing out on an incredible opportunity. Focus on content strategy and finding the right social media tool to facilitate employee activation.

Download the Full Social Media Tools Survey

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  • Adi Gaskell

    Interesting findings Patrick. Was there any insight into how many companies are tapping into their entire workforce for internal decision making?

  • Patrick O’Brien

    Adi, interesting question. This survey focused on using social media marketing tools to amplify brand messaging out into the wild. My first thought when you say “internal decision making” is that an ESN would be the best tool.
    Some of Dachis Group’s platform features would go a long way in facilitating the adoption of internal decision making programs.
    -Company-wide access to “decision ready” content.
    -Gamification of participation.
    Instead of marketing content, perhaps a company could post an issue employees can vote on. Personally I haven’t run into this. How about you?