Two years ago, LinkedIn rolled out its employee advocacy platform, Elevate, a paid mobile and desktop app that makes it easy for its users to discover and share content from experts at their company.
Designed for organizations with 2,000 or more employees, Elevate helps companies create and improve employee advocacy, and helps encourage employees to become more active professionals by providing opportunities to build thought leadership and a personal brand.
The platform works by allowing companies to select and categorize online content from internal and external sources, which will then be distributed to its employees as suggestions for them to share on their social media channels. The Elevate app also offers a metrics-tracking feature that allows companies to measure how the content their employees shared (via Elevate) performed (i.e., leads to website traffic, new hires and sales leads, etc.).
Although Elevate is designed for larger companies, the platform builds on the powerful business practice of employee advocacy – a focus that companies of all sizes can and should prioritize. We all know that brand advocacy is significant and many companies have campaigns in place to build influencer followings, but why not start with closer targets and work with your own employees to be advocates?
Below are three tips smaller companies can follow to create employee advocacy programs that are right for them:
Tap into your company culture: It’s important that advocacy feels authentic to your employees’ communication styles and to the company’s culture. Encourage employees to follow the company’s account on the social media platform that feels most authentic to them (i.e., Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook). Creating an employee advocacy program that is fun and interactive for employees will increase their likelihood to participate, and may also increase their willingness to develop and share advocacy content of their own. Lastly, it is important that content isn’t forced. Applying too much pressure or oversharing company information and messages can create a negative connotation toward your employee and your brand.
Create simple guidelines: When building an employee advocacy program, it can be helpful to create a few rules to give your employees a sense of direction and ensure that they are not feeling disorganized or stressed that the program is creating more work for them. For example, employers can create a quick one-sheet that outlines recommended times for posting, number of posts to share per week, approved and off-limit topics, tips for responding to and engaging with industry experts and target audiences, as well as advice to build and maintain a following.
Measure results: As with any marketing campaign or project, it is crucial to track results to understand if and how your efforts are making progress and adding value. When designing the advocacy program, create a benchmark and set a few KPIs that you can work toward and then track. Reach and influence are two metrics that should be on your radar when monitoring the performance of the advocacy program. After you’ve tracked results, it is important to share them with your employees. Recognizing their results will help them understand how their efforts are creating impact and encourage them to continue participating.
LinkedIn Elevate is just one method companies can use to generate employee advocates. Taking the time to understand the different engagement tools and strategies best suited for your company size and industry will help you design an advocacy program that is valuable to your employees and your brand.Tags: brand advocacy, Employee Advocacy, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Elevate