Company or people as digital advocates for your brand

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© Tweeter Linder 2016 – All rights reserved. Photo by iStock

Businesses have realized the high potential of employee advocacy programs.  Your employees acting as a valuable marketing force using social media channels. Your employees’ friends, families and connections represent an untapped marketing potential. But how do Brands need to tune marketing to come across as people rather than a company when using employees as the channel.

Your customers are on social to engage with people

Many studies have pointed out people trust friends more than companies. So brads create employee advocacy programs to reach their employees friends, families and connections.

To leverage this higher level of trust you need to be selective in what to communicate in this channel. Messages resonating in broadcast marketing channels are different. The ones designed for employee advocacy programs are more personal in nature.

Skip talking about what you do and focus on how/why you can help

The transition from outbound to inbound marketing requires a shift from first to second tense. Talk less about we, I and what we do, and use messages centered around you to put customers in focus. You want your employees to come across as focusing on your customers rather than themselves.

Second us social channels to help your customers to learn. Communicate less about your product and how it works. More about your customers’ situation and why it makes sense for them to buy and use your products and services.

What is easy, but centered around you and your offering. Positioning messages towards competition are also more focused on you than your customer. When focusing on how and why centered issues you become more centered in your customers.

Write one liners to your customers from your employees

A personal tone works best for curated corporate feeds in employee advocacy programs. Expect most employees to relay the offered one liners as you publish them. Unless your one liners are exciting and personal your program will get a spam stamp.

See yourself as a headline editor for a newspaper. What would grab the audience attention. Your own social channels are a great testing ground to learn about what make your personal audience excited.

Low hanging fruits

Targeting a  low hanging fruits first to improve your employee advocacy program:

  • Skip links to press releases – outbound centric content don’t work well in inbound channels.
  • Change tense – from first to second tense, you want to come across as the one having your customers in mind.
  • Dedicate time to your headlines – word-smithing and numbers pay of well here.

Questions for you and your team

  1. What dominate our curated messages today – corporate preaching or valuable teaching.
  2. Do we promote what we do or how/why we can help – only the latter generate interest
  3. Are your one liners written to sound like crafted by an employee – the tone of voice must be personal.
  4. Is your program limited by content quality or employee reach – both are critical for success.
  5. Which content creation policy changes do you need to deploy first – all messages need to pass a headline test.

Additional reading suggestions

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