At Salesforce, we have close to two million followers across our corporate social media accounts.
We're thrilled to have an engaged community of this size, but I'm here to let you in on a little secret: We also have thousands of empowered employees who are also regularly sharing our content.
We've estimated that the reach of these employees' networks is about 10x that of our corporate channels. That's pretty powerful. But, of course, it isn't just about the size of the audience. Research shows that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from someone they know more than they do any other form of branded advertising.
Regardless of what your company does, or how many employees you have, exploring employee advocacy as part of your marketing mix is an opportunity that shouldn't be missed. Here are a few tips for activating your own workforce to become advocates for your brand on social media.
Though employees may be enthusiastic about sharing company content, if the process isn't easy, they aren't as likely to participate. For many, this might be outside the scope of their day-to-day job, and having the process be as simple as possible is crucial. Pre-draft copy, provide images to use, and have a way for them to share easily.
Think about what social networks employees are active on or what tools or forms of communication are used most in your office. Does your team prefer email, chat programs, or maybe an internal network?
Incorporating social sharing into processes that your employees are already familiar with can help increase participation. At Salesforce, we host shareable content in Chatter and our Salesforce1 app — two places where our employees already spend a lot of time.
Building a successful employee advocacy program isn't just about asking your employees to do something for the brand. In turn, you should also helping them!
Provide training and resources for employees to help them better talk about your company — and simultaneously improve their own personal brand on social channels.
Gamifying your program or offering incentives for social sharing can be great ways to motivate employees, or even encourage some friendly competition. Keep in mind that rewards don't necessarily have to be monetary. Consider ways to give employees recognition among their peers, or offer experiential rewards (for example: lunch with a top executive, or access to an exclusive company event).
Feedback from your employees will be invaluable in helping to shape the program. Consistently ask for feedback or send out a survey to participants to understand what's working and what can be improved. After all, creating a program around your employees' specific needs will only make them more likely to continue to be contribute and stay active.
Empowering your employees to become advocates for your brand on social media might be one of the most powerful things you can do for your brand. Learn more about how Salesforce mobilized thousands of global advocates in an upcoming webinar.