During this episode, we talked about what we believe are the cornerstones to any employee advocacy program–trust, training, and tools, and the biggie, disclosure. We also talked about how to most effectively develop, roll out, and sustain an employee advocacy program. If this is something you’re focused on, here’s an overview of some of what we discussed.
Cornerstones of an Employee Advocacy Program
Trust. When you go down the path of trying to develop and build a legitimate employee advocacy program, the first thing you’ve got to understand is that your employees are your first client. Keeping them happy is what keeps the business running. So you have to work to build a corporate culture that is built on trust, mutual respect, and have a goal that is really more employee-centric than corporate centric. This is something that’s not always easy.
Training. As someone who does a ton of corporate training for clients, both on site and off, I’m very familiar with the uncertainties that employees in companies large and small have with regard to what is expected of them with regard to social media and/or what is appropriate. Some employees aren’t at all interested in being advocates for the company using their personal online channels, and it’s important that employers understand and respect that. Others do want to use social media channels and are excited about that, but are still unsure as to what to do, what to say, who will be watching, how the company might look at their own social profiles and the like. Add to that mass of confusion the fact that social media is changing on what seems like a day-by-day basis, and you can see why we are such big advocates of training.
Tools. Tools and training kind of go hand-in-hand, and the best employee advocacy programs are the ones that are developed in such a way that it is easy for your internal team to participate, to know the right kind of content and/or messaging to share, to be supported internally in their efforts and to have tools that make all that easy. The easier you can make it, the more you can serve up an easy button for your team, the more effective they will be in their advocacy efforts, and the happier they will be.
Disclosure. We talked about a lot of things in this podcast, but the last thing we covered was the topic of disclosure. There are new FCC guidelines that are very strict about disclosure. If someone on your team or within your organization is sharing content or information or bragging about the company in some way, it’s critical that they disclose properly. We’ll go into this in greater detail in another CMOTalk episode as well as in a blog post, but there will be a link at the bottom to the new guidelines that we encourage you to check out.
Want to Learn More About Employee Advocacy?
If employee advocacy is on your radar screen, we hope you’ll pop over and have a listen to the podcast. More importantly, we hope you’ll join us tomorrow for a webinar put on by our friends at The Marketing Scope featuring one of the smartest minds in the online space, Altimeter’s Charlene Li. Charlene is the author of five books, including The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation, Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead and, of course, one of the original manifestos on the power of social technology, Groundswell.
Charlene will be joined by Dynamic Signal’s An Le and the discussion will be moderated by my partner in crime, Daniel Newman. There’s still time to register – and this webinar is FREE, so there’s no reason to wait. The webinar is tomorrow, July 9th, at 1pm ET, 12 Noon CT and 10am PT. You can register here.
And if you’ve not yet subscribed to our CMOTalk Podcast, where we tackle issues of interest to marketers, tech leaders, sales teams and more, we hope you’ll check it out. I’m slightly biased, but I promise it doesn’t suck. You can do that here: CMOTalk Podcast.
Other Resources on this Topic: