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What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy is a powerful marketing strategy that leverages the combined networks and influence of employees to promote an organisation’s brand, products, or services. By empowering employees to share company-related content and information, businesses can extend their reach, improve brand recognition, and foster trust among potential customers.
In today’s digital age, social media platforms like LinkedIn have become essential tools for implementing successful employee advocacy programs.
In this article, we’ll delve into the concept of employee advocacy and provide a comprehensive guide on how to use LinkedIn to create an effective employee advocacy programme.
The benefits of employee advocacy are numerous and include:
- Increased brand visibility: Employees have social media networks that reach far beyond the organisation’s own followers. By sharing content, they extend the brand’s reach, thus increasing visibility.
- Enhanced employer branding: Employee advocacy fosters a positive brand image, as it demonstrates that employees are proud to work for the organisation and believe in its products or services.
- Improved employee engagement: Involving employees in the advocacy program can strengthen their sense of belonging and increase overall engagement.
- Cost-effective marketing: Employees can amplify the organisation’s message at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising methods.
LinkedIn as a Platform for Employee Advocacy
Search engine optimisation (SEO) for your LinkedIn company page can enhance its visibility and increase organic traffic. By optimising your page, you can attract more potential clients, customers, and employees. Here are some tips to optimize your LinkedIn company page for search engines:
- Choose a relevant and concise page name: Your LinkedIn company page name should reflect your organisation’s official name. Keep it concise and easy to remember, as this will help with search engine indexing and brand recognition.
- Customise your LinkedIn company page URL: Claim a custom URL for your LinkedIn company page (e.g., linkedin.com/company/your-company-name). A customised URL not only looks more professional, but it also improves your page’s searchability.
- Use relevant keywords: Identify the keywords that best represent your industry, products, and services. Incorporate these keywords strategically throughout your company page, including the tagline, “About” section, and job postings. This will help search engines understand your page’s relevance and improve its ranking.
- Optimise your “About” section: Write a compelling and keyword-rich “About” section that accurately describes your organisation’s mission, products, services, and values. This section should be informative and engaging, as it plays a crucial role in attracting visitors and improving search engine ranking.
- Share high-quality content regularly: Publish valuable and engaging content on your company page, such as blog posts, articles, videos, and infographics. Frequent updates not only keep your followers engaged but also signal search engines that your page is active and relevant.
- Add your company’s location: Including your company’s location can improve local search visibility. Make sure to add your organisation’s complete and accurate address to the company page.
- Encourage employee engagement: Encourage your employees to engage with your company page by liking, commenting, and sharing content. Their connections can extend the reach of your content, and their engagement signals to search engines that your page is valuable and relevant.
- Use hashtags: Incorporate relevant and popular hashtags into your content to increase its visibility in LinkedIn’s search results. Be selective and strategic with your hashtags to ensure they resonate with your target audience.
- Promote your LinkedIn company page: Share your LinkedIn company page on your website, email signatures, and other social media platforms to drive more traffic and increase its search engine visibility.
- Monitor your page analytics: Regularly analyse your LinkedIn company page’s performance using the built-in analytics dashboard. Identify trends, engagement patterns, and areas for improvement. Use this data to refine your content strategy and SEO efforts.
How to Create an Effective Employee Advocacy Programme on LinkedIn
- Develop a clear strategy: Before launching your employee advocacy program, determine your objectives, target audience, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Having a clear strategy will ensure that your efforts are focused and effective.
- Provide training and guidelines: Educate your employees on the importance of advocacy, how to use LinkedIn effectively, and what content to share. Develop a set of guidelines that outline best practices for sharing, commenting, and engaging with others on the platform.
(Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for support creating your social media policy)
- Curate and create shareable content: To encourage employee participation, provide them with a steady stream of shareable content. This can include blog posts, articles, infographics, and videos that showcase your organisation’s expertise, culture, and values. Encourage employees to share their thoughts and experiences by writing articles or creating videos on LinkedIn.
- Empower employees to build their personal brand: Support employees in building their personal brand on LinkedIn by offering profile optimisation tips, endorsing their skills, and providing recommendations. A strong personal brand will make their advocacy efforts more effective and credible.
- Recognise and reward participation: Acknowledge and celebrate employees who actively participate in the advocacy program. This can be done through shout-outs, incentives, or gamification. Recognising employees’ efforts will motivate them to continue advocating for your organisation.
- Monitor and measure results: Track the performance of your employee advocacy program using analytics tools available on LinkedIn or through third-party solutions. Monitor engagement, reach, and conversion metrics to assess the program’s effectiveness and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Best Practices for Employee Advocacy on LinkedIn
- Encourage authenticity: Authenticity is key to successful employee advocacy. Encourage employees to share content in their own voice and to engage genuinely with their connections. This will make their advocacy more relatable and trustworthy.
- Maintain a consistent brand image: Ensure that employees have a clear understanding of your organisation’s brand, values, and messaging. This will help maintain consistency across all advocacy efforts and reinforce your brand image.
- Focus on value-driven content: Share content that provides value to your employees’ connections, such as industry insights, thought leadership, and educational resources. This will position your organisation as a knowledgeable and valuable resource in your industry.
- Leverage employee expertise: Encourage employees to share their own expertise and experiences by writing articles, participating in LinkedIn groups, or answering questions on the platform. This will not only enhance their personal brand but also showcase your organisation’s industry expertise.
- Optimise posting times: Schedule content sharing during peak engagement times on LinkedIn, typically during weekdays and work hours. This will maximize the visibility and reach of your employees’ shared content.
- Foster a culture of advocacy: Make employee advocacy an integral part of your organisation’s culture by consistently promoting its importance and benefits. Encourage open communication and collaboration to create a supportive environment where employees feel empowered to advocate for your brand.
- Balance promotional and non-promotional content: While it’s essential to promote your organisation’s products or services, avoid overloading your employees’ networks with promotional content. Strive for a healthy mix of promotional and non-promotional content to keep their connections engaged and interested.
- Set realistic expectations: Understand that not all employees will become active advocates, and that’s okay. Focus on supporting and nurturing those who are enthusiastic and engaged in the program, while continuing to educate and encourage others.
- Regularly evaluate and iterate: Regularly assess your employee advocacy program’s performance, and use the insights to refine your strategy, content, and approach. Be open to making changes based on feedback from employees and the results of your monitoring efforts.
- Lead by example: Encourage management and leadership to actively participate in employee advocacy efforts on LinkedIn. This sets the tone for the rest of the organisation and demonstrates the importance of advocacy at all levels.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform for implementing an effective employee advocacy program. By leveraging its professional networking features and following best practices, organisations can significantly enhance their brand visibility, improve employee engagement, and boost overall marketing efforts.
Is it worth the investment?
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