Where to start with Employee Advocacy?
Can you believe we are almost at the end of Q1 2022? Crazy! For me personally, I’m still being guided by my word of the year “Accountability.” So far, so good. It’s helping me stay on track towards my goals. Let me know in the comments how your year is tracking.
The LinkedIn Pages team has given us many new features to improve Company Pages, and I will talk about them more in my “Good For Business” Company Page Newsletter. If you haven’t already please subscribe here to stay up to date.
Whilst I love features and functions as much as the next LinkedIn nerd, the true opportunity on LinkedIn comes from community, collaborations and conversations. Employee advocacy is your business secret weapon to go further faster by embracing all three.
If you haven’t used the search listening tool www.answerthepublic.com before it really is a great place to start to understand what questions people are asking on a particular subject. I ran the tool on the search term “employee advocacy” and this highlights all the questions people are searching for answers to.
What is Employee Advocacy?
Let’s keep this definition simple. It’s company employees promoting the company brand to their networks. Whilst the definition makes it sound simple the reality is it can be quite tricky to navigate.
Why Do Businesses Need Employee Advocacy?
The saying goes “many hands make light work”. Most employees will have access to larger networks and the company will benefit from leveraging this. In my research, it is quoted as anything up to 10X larger or maybe more in many cases.
The Top 3 Reasons Your Company Should Build an Employee Advocacy Programme
- Build your company brand credibility
- Amplify your company reach
- Increased revenue
Studies show that people are highly likely to trust recommendations from people they know.
How Do Employees Benefit from Employee Advocacy?
The trick to getting an employee advocacy programme to be successful is making sure that you have buy-in from all sides. Top-down, bottom-up – employees through to management.
When done well employees are engaged and recognise the benefits that come with the business support to build their personal brand.
When done poorly employees feel forced into something they don’t feel comfortable with or give up when they don’t feel their efforts are being recognised.
Listen in to the Good For Business Show Podcast “Tips to Build Employee Advocacy” featuring employee advocacy expert Danielle Guzman. (Follow her if you aren’t already!)
I always like to think about communities as it’s a long-term strategy. It’s not something that comes out of a box you can’t plug and play it. And it’s not a tactic. When people think I want to build a community they just figure there’s a checklist and they can just check the boxes and show up.
How Can LinkedIn Company Pages Be Used for Employee Advocacy?
LinkedIn is the world’s number one B2B platform. It is also the most trusted. It makes sense if you operate in the B2B space that you use this as part of your strategy. The tools to support employee advocacy whilst not perfect are rapidly evolving.
One simple tool to assist is the “Notify Employees” button you can use once every 24 hours. This alerts a % of employees depending on the size of your company of a new post that has been created.
The “My Company Tab” is another great tool for companies that have more than 10 employees. I won’t go into detail but you can find it all out “My Company” Tab on LinkedIn here.
Steps to Get Started on Your Employee Advocacy Programme
- Design & Strategy – this isn’t a checklist as Danielle says.
- Buy In – get the company vision aligned with the goals of the individual.
- Assessment – meet employees where they are at. Not everyone will be suitable and may have a different role to play in the background.
- Acknowledgement – CEOs, Business Owners, Senior Management you set the standard and can make or break the programme if you don’t give acknowledgment to active employees.
- Continuous Improvement – start off simple and work your way up. Track your progress with your analytics. This is a marathon so be patient and persistent.
Start thinking of ways that you can use your LinkedIn Company Page to build your employee personal brands. Highlight achievements in content, tag employees to let them know their work is being noticed.
Employee advocacy is a team sport. Whether you are the coach, the captain or a player you have a common goal. There is only an upside that comes with working together.
Wishing you All Good Vibes
If we haven’t already feel free to reach out and connect.
Michelle J Raymond is the Chief LinkedIn Strategist at her company Good Trading Co and a founding member of the LinkedIn Small Business Advisory Council for LinkedIn Pages. Michelle specialises in helping small to medium business owners make a real impact in business. As a leading global authority on LinkedIn Pages, her passion is to change the world by doing good business with good people.