And it’s for that reason we need to talk about it
SOCIAL MEDIA ADVOCACY OR EMPLOYEE ADVOCACY?
If you’re reading this article you have a network
Either you have a number of employees – aka employee advocacy
Or you attend networking groups and have a close group of contacts – aka social media advocacy
In a nutshell the way advocacy works is that you can utilise your team to help you spread your content on social media
Let’s say for instance you own a large solicitors practice in Greater Manchester
The main social account has 10,000 followers – but 20 of the staff have social media accounts which an average audience of 1000 followers each
The power of social media really comes in place when you have a plan in place to reach an extra 20,000 people by utilising your network
Social Media shouldn’t just be down to one person in the marketing department
Business networking isn’t about what happens in the room for 1 or 2 hours a week
It’s about everything in between the meeting
Your Business Networking group isn’t working properly if the group aren’t supporting each others businesses on social media
I find about 20% of a business networking group are doing 100% of the online promotion and social media support –
which means 80% are letting everyone else down
The best networking group are full of people who understand the importance of online networking as well as offline
Here are the steps to think about in implementing your Advocacy Program
1. DEFINE YOUR AMBASSADORS
Sitting down and carefully defining who your ambassadors are is a hugely important step
When you ambassadors are you employees it’s considerably easier, but let’s look at it, if you’re an owner managed business
Which are the natural synergies you already have in place in the real world
For a company like ours – Social Media sits nicely alongside PR, Website Design, Graphic Design, Printers, SEO, Copywriters and so on. Complimentary rather than competing businesses
For an accountant – the natural collaborators might be Business Coaches, IFA’s, Mortgage Advisors, Bank Managers and so on
For an electrician – it might be the network of trades from Window Companies, Plumbers, Joiners and so on
Once you know the who – start to look at the numbers – have these people got an audience? Or will they need to grow one?
2. PLAN THE COMMUNICATION
What is the best method of communication for your ambassadors
Is it email? Whatsapp? A private Facebook group?
Is there freedom for employees / connections to be creative with their shares or is there a strict policy of the correct wording to share?
Is there opportunity for a feedback loop of what’s working and what’s not?
And will you gamify it? Will there be incentives? A leader board of top sharers?
Buffer have reported that “Dell has over 10,000 employees who have gone through an internal social media certification program and are trained to support the company’s objectives in social media”
If you’re relying on employees or your network to spread your companies message it’s important they understand social media to a level they feel confident with
One of the biggest barriers to social sharing if people are scared of saying the wrong thing on social media or simply not knowing how to use the platforms
When you defined your ambassadors earlier it’s worth remembering that your best employees with a little training could become your best social media ambassadors over time
Think long term and don’t just go for the easy wins of employees or connections with an existing audience
If you can measure something, you can improve on it
Set KPI’s for your Social Media Advocacy Program and look at them on a regular basis
The KPI’S you might want to look at are
* Increased Number Of Social Media Followers
* Increased Reach Of Social Media Posts
* Increased Web Clicks
* Increased Sales
Patience is a virtue and whilst there should be some quick wins – think of this as an ongoing program rather than a one off action
Repeat Repeat Repeat
Social Media Advocacy can increase your social media reach by as much as 100-500x
There’s a value to that that needs to be harnessed ASAP
For most businesses it’s the untapped part of their Social Media Strategy
NEED HELP WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA?
Chat to about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation
We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you
Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email email@example.com
Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 400+ LinkedIn testimonials and is ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.