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Social Employee Advocacy: Tapping into the Power of an Engaged Social Workforce

How should employees be part of my marketing mix? Can I extend the reach of my brand’s messages through employees in social media? Can I drive increased engagement of employees at work? Does the shift of social media from organic messaging to paid advertising concern you? Will there be a time when my employees will carry my messages further than our brand's social pages? If so, this research report is for you.

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Social Employee Advocacy: Tapping into the Power of an Engaged Social Workforce

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  1. [WEBINAR] Social Employee Advocacy: Tapping into the power of an engaged social workforce Ed Terpening Industry Analyst, Altimeter @EdTerpening Aubrey Littleton Researcher, Altimeter @AubreyLittleton

  2. “I bristle at the notion that employee advocacy is a new thing. In many ways, it’s something we’ve been trying to do for a long time, and only recently have the stars aligned between culture, technology, and product to be able to roll it out at scale.” Matt Switzer, Hootsuite

  3. “When we first launched our [employee advocacy] pilot, I found an old essay that the President of General Mills had written in the 1940s that said: ‘PR is everybody’s job.’ That’s especially true today; we all have a role to play in promoting the company and this is just the 2015 version of that.” Kevin Hunt, General Mills

  4. Key Findings

  5. 1. Planning and adoption of employee advocacy is quickly growing

  6. 2015 State of Social Business 45% of strategists indicated employee advocacy was a top priority – a 191% increase in interest over 2013. 191% Source: “The 2015 State of Social Business: Priorities Shift from Scaling to Integrating”, by Ed Terpening and Charlene Li, 2015

  7. 90% of brands are pursuing employee advocacy Our latest research shows that 90% of brands are now pursuing some form of employee advocacy – a further 2x increase over 2015. Source: “Social Media Employee Advocacy: Tapping Into The Power of An Engaged Social Workforce” by Ed Terpening, 2016

  8. The top business drivers for employee advocacy 1st Increase reach of our messages in social networks 2nd Drive increased understanding and brand health of our organization 3rd Engage employees more deeply in our company mission and their work

  9. 2. Consumer response to employee advocacy content is encouraging Employee posted content out-performs social ads

  10. Employee advocacy promotes brand health 31% of consumers say they “better understand” companies whose employees share content 47% of brands cite “increased understanding and brand health” as priority for employee advocacy Source: “Social Media Employee Advocacy: Tapping Into The Power of An Engaged Social Workforce” by Ed Terpening, 2016

  11. 3. Employee advocacy amounts to native advertising in social

  12. Native Advertising in Social Media 21% of consumers report “liking” employee posts 8% of consumers report “sharing” employee posts Source: “Social Media Employee Advocacy: Tapping Into The Power of An Engaged Social Workforce” by Ed Terpening, 2016

  13. 4. But, employee posts can backfire Like anyone struggling with information overload, followers will block those that over-post or post irrelevant content.

  14. Backlash can be significant 20% of consumers report they have blocked or un-followed a connection based on posts about work “Have you ever blocked/unfollowed/unfriended someone because of their posts about work?” Global consumer survey, Q1’16, n=2286 Source: “Social Media Employee Advocacy: Tapping Into The Power of An Engaged Social Workforce” by Ed Terpening, 2016

  15. 5. Employee advocacy drives employee engagement

  16. How do you feelwhen sharing your employer’s content? “I feel more connected and enthusiastic about the company I work for.”

  17. 5. Europe lags North America in adoption

  18. Europeans share less, overall • Greater desire for work-life separation

  19. Motivations & employer tool provision differ • Europeans less interested in connecting work life with social networks

  20. Best Practices for Planning Action

  21. 1 Define Scope and Business Objectives

  22. ✓ Set Expectations “The biggest barrier is a psychological barrier in expectation.” Glenn Gaudet, GaggleAMP • Have realistic targets for adoption • Begin pilots with manageable groups

  23. ✓ Work Inside-Out • Employee engagement goals lead to consumer-based outcomes. “Alignment is the key to unlock advocacy at the scale required to drive true business impact.” Nicole Alvino, SocialChorus

  24. ✓ Engage Leaders “We have a really open culture - we are allowed to ‘try and fail’.” Sarah Mortensen, Cisco EMEA • Seek executive support to: • Cross silos • Procure resources • Motivate employees to participate • Allow for initial missteps

  25. 2 Research and Baseline

  26. ✓ Understand Organic Activity • Who is already sharing within your organization? • What motivates these “organic advocates”? What results do they see and what motivates them?

  27. ✓ Mine your ESN • Use an Enterprise Social Network to create and reinforce culture of sharing internally. • Translate that culture externally with employee advocacy.

  28. 3 Departmental Alignment

  29. Departmental Alignment

  30. 4 Pilot: “Test and Learn”

  31. ✓ Start Low-Tech “Our program is really quite an old one. We started it as an email, with anywhere from five to ten pre-written, legally-approved tweets for people to copy-and-paste into Twitter.” Nolan Carleton, AT&T • Don’t shy away from low-tech pilots, but be aware that they won’t scale. • Typically, even large brands begin employee advocacy efforts with as few as 25 - 75 employees.

  32. ✓ Employee Training Convey… …the benefit to the employee Source: “Social Media Employee Advocacy: Tapping Into The Power of An Engaged Social Workforce” by Ed Terpening, Altimeter Group, 2016

  33. ✓ Employee Training Convey… …the benefit to the brand Source: “Social Media Employee Advocacy: Tapping Into The Power of An Engaged Social Workforce” by Ed Terpening, Altimeter Group, 2016

  34. ✓ Employee Training Convey… …the shared benefits Source: “Social Media Employee Advocacy: Tapping Into The Power of An Engaged Social Workforce” by Ed Terpening, Altimeter Group, 2016

  35. ✓ Training “People are so fearful of getting out there in social media, but once they do it…it’s amazing the pivot they make. Make sure whatever materials you have about your program are fun and engaging. Don’t make your program any scarier than it needs to be.” Nolan Carleton, AT&T

  36. 5 Scale

  37. ✓ Benchmarking • What does good scale look like? • Average employee adoption seems to run between 10-40%

  38. ✓ ROI • Look for connections between employee engagement and consumer response • Give employees proof metrics, too, to encourage participation

  39. ✓ Retirees • Some retirees may have unique social graphs with significant influence

  40. ✓ Content • Consider the content mix and tools • Curate content to differing teams interests and areas of expertise

  41. ✓ Content 27% 58% 43% 48% 58% 62%

  42. ✓ Governance • Have clear policy • Training / mentoring • Have monitoring in place

  43. Disclaimer: Although the information and data used in this report have been produced and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or use of the information. The authors and contributors of the information and data shall have no liability for errors or omissions contained herein or for interpretations thereof. Reference herein to any specific product or vendor by trade name, trademark or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the authors or contributors and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Thank You Recent, related research cited in this presentation. Ed Terpening Industry Analyst ed@altimetergroup.com @edterpening Altimeter provides research and advisory for companies challenged by business disruptions, enabling them to pursue new opportunities and business models.

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