What do brands like Dell, T-Mobile, and Adobe have in common?
Social media has been an integral part of marketing operations for years, however, these three companies have managed to take it to the next level with activating their employees on social media. They’ve created training, support and facilitation programs to empower their sales employees to be active on social and have seen incredible results from doing that.
Dell calls it the Social Media University and it includes over 16,000 employees across the globe. Their goal is to turn all their employees into an employee advocate. And the results are amazing — content shared by Dell’s employees is eight times more engaging than anything the brand publishes! T-Mobile is a leader when it comes to building great employee stories. They highlight employees, quote them, use pictures of team members from outside work, and re-post employee-generated content, which adds to the workplace storytelling. Adobe also focuses heavily on storytelling and sharing their company culture. You can find their employee stories with the hashtag #AdobeLife on many social channels.
A 2018 survey on social advocacy in the workplace found that company-branded messages reach 561% further when shared by employees instead of through branded channels. 76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands. Each post your brand shares ends up in personal feeds, and this humanizes your brand. This works towards both improving brand awareness and reach, and also building up all-important consumer trust.
And the results are internal as well, employees taking more pride in their company does a lot for company morale and decreasing turnover. Besides that, what a powerful recruiting tool. Potential qualified candidates are drawn to a brand whose employees openly and authentically share their love for where they work.
So now we know all the reasons why this is so important for your business, let’s talk about how to create a strategy that works.
- Create new and shareable content, and provide learning opportunities for employees to know how to use it.
- Employees should be encouraged to post and not forced. The key is authenticity — craft posts that create drum up excitement about your offerings and initiatives, so your employees will want to share them, and not feel obligated to.
- Create guidelines around social posting — not having boundaries around how company content should be shared never ends well. Have a clear social media policy outlining your expectations for employee conduct online, and make sure everyone knows about it.
- Encourage employees to think outside the box — allow them to find and share their own content in addition to what is provided to them. There is a lot of untapped creativity sitting in your office building. Let’s put it to good use.
Creating an effective employee advocacy program is definitely a goal that every brand should be pursuing.