Employee advocacy is a hugely effective, cost-efficient way of expanding your reach through social networks, increasing engagement and ultimately attracting new leads. By connecting your leadership team’s social profiles to your CoSend account, you can easily manage their posting schedule, improve their presence and boost your brand’s reputation.
This is one of the easiest, most streamlined ways of conducting an employee advocacy scheme, as it ensures that all your employees’ profiles are posted to regularly and your brand message remains consistent.
Using CoSend to manage your team’s accounts will also greatly benefit your employees, since they don’t have to spend nearly as much time posting and their individual reputations will be improved through sharing of industry news and insights to their networks. To find out more about the benefits of employee advocacy and how it can help your business, read our blog post.
In this guide, we’ll share all our best practice recommendations and pro tips for starting an employee advocacy programme with CoSend.
Make a plan
Just like any other marketing campaign, you need to create a proper plan in order to get the best out of your employee advocacy programme. A robust strategy will keep you focused and guide you throughout, and a method of measurement will help you decipher what’s working and what’s not.
Ask yourself: What are your goals? What do you want to get out of this programme? How do you want to position your employees within their business community? Is there a specific type of content that you want them to share? As with any strategy, you need to ensure that your efforts line up with your existing business goals.
Here are a few common goals for employee advocacy:
- Improve organic reach.
- Increase traffic from social media.
- Lower your marketing costs.
- Get more social shares for your blog posts.
It’s also a good idea to decide on specific timescales and set rules for your programme. For example, how long do you want your marketing team to spend per week on posting to employee profiles? Or, if you want your employees to post to their own accounts through CoSend, how long do you expect them to spend on it per week?
You’ll also need to determine which members of your team you want to connect to CoSend. We recommend you begin by including only the most senior members of your company, who’ll have the most influence, and once you’re more accustomed to the process, you can add more employees to start building their networks.
Finally, if you’re planning to encourage your team to post to their own networks through CoSend, you’ll need to provide guidance and training to help them through the process – but more on that later!
Connect your team’s profiles
Once you’ve put together a comprehensive plan for your advocacy programme and are ready to get started with CoSend, the first thing you’ll need to do is connect up your chosen employee profiles.
CoSend currently connects to LinkedIn and Twitter personal accounts. Just select one of these options from the choices on the Manage Social Profiles page and follow the on-screen instructions to approve the connection.
Once their connected you can start posting right away and begin expanding your reach and boosting your reputation.
Curate content for employees to share
To streamline the scheduling process for your employees and make the most of your programme, you’ll need to make company content accessible through CoSend. Add any images and videos you want to include in posts to the Media Library and start creating posts in Post Groups.
If you want your employees to manage their own profiles, make sure they know where to find links to your blog and promotional content. Lighting the way to the type of content you want your employees to share is a great way to ensure you’re building the right reputation for your company from every available touchpoint.
However, avoid providing too much promotional content, as this can damage the authenticity that makes employee advocacy so successful in the first place. Make sure at least 90% of the posts your team are sharing are providing value to their networks through relevant and interesting insights, rather than advertising your product or service.
Share industry insights through Content Discovery
One of the best ways to increase the influence of your employees and position them as thought leaders in your industry is to share news and insights from their profiles. CoSend makes this easier than ever with the Content Discovery tool.
Search for relevant news articles and either schedule them straight to your calendar or add them to a Post Group in seconds. For best practices and pro tips on your Content Discovery, read our guide.
This is an ideal way to get instant content without any effort, and will help boost your corporate credibility through association with your influential employees.
Humanise your tone
If you’re choosing to let your marketing team post on behalf of your employees as part of your programme, it’s important to be conscious of the tone and language used. While you should aim to keep your brand messaging consistent, you want to avoid turning your team into robots. This will only damage their authenticity, as it will be obvious that the company is posting on their behalf.
Keep overly corporate language to a minimum and think about how that individual would phrase things usually. Read posts out loud to test their formality and make sure they aren’t just promoting the company.
Don’t share everything to every profile
Just like the last point, in order to avoid devaluing your team’s voices, don’t share every piece on content to every profile at once. When you create your content, ensure that it encompasses an array of interests, to reflect the diversity of opinions and voices amongst your employees. And when you encourage your employees to share the content, make sure it applies to them as a person, so they will continue to be seen as authentic, not just a cog in an organisation.
Encourage your employees to use the tool
As we’ve touched on throughout, there are two ways you can use CoSend to manage your employee advocacy programme. You can choose to let your marketing team post to all the profiles on their behalf, or you can encourage your employees to use CoSend themselves to streamline the scheduling process.
We actually recommend that you do a mixture of both. Allow some of the posts to be automated by your marketing experts, but also ask your team to create a certain number of posts per week themselves. This will provide a healthy balance of regular, consistent content and authentic, individual posts.
If you choose to do this, we recommend you offer some training and support to those team members who are less experienced with social media. This will help them know what to post to grow their reach and connect with their followers. Plus, the easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to put effort into it and do it well. Our blog is a good place to start, since it provides pro tips and best practice guides on how to get the most out of social media.
Furthermore, we suggest you send weekly reminders of all the content available to share to help your team stay active on their channels and prompt them to spend time on scheduling.
With these best practices in mind, it’s time to begin your employee advocacy programme and start reaping the benefits of organic social media marketing.