Brand advocacy programs involve a marketing strategy where employees and associates spread favorable word-of-mouth about the brand. It involves proactively engaging employees to promote an organization in their personal network. They become the brand ambassadors over social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other relevant channels.
Launching such a program can have the following challenges:
Converting followers to ambassadors:
Brand ambassadors should not be confused as social media followers. ollowers may read your content and get engaged at times, whereas, brand ambassadors support and promote your brand always. They spread awareness and are more valuable than followers to an organization. Therefore, it is necessary for organizations to know who their ambassadors are and differentiate them from followers.
Building a relationship:
Your advocates need to feel important in the organization. To do so, you need to build a relationship of trust and support with your employees. But as the organization grows, it may not be possible to connect at an interpersonal level. Which is why, it is necessary that you empathize and systemize a way to stay connected with your advocates always.
Connecting with global followers:
As your organization grows, you would want to spread the word globally too. Your advocates can reach out to their network but to build a global community, you need to connect to them at a larger scale. To give the global audience an appropriate experience, you need to empower regional advocates to take responsibility and spread the word about your brand.
Finding reliable advocates:
It can’t be denied that employees of any company go through ups and downs. Their career aspirations can differ and as they move-on, other things can occupy their time on the internet. As an organization, you need to recognize the right candidates who can lead the brand advocacy platform. You need to provide valid reasons to empower and motivate them to share your content.
Making brand advocacy valuable:
Launching a brand advocacy platform can have its challenges but making it valuable is critical to your brand’s success. Advocacy programs can enable you to measure your brand’s ROI and take corrective measures to improve returns and the relationship with your workforce.
Although brand advocacy can have its challenges, you can try the following tips to encourage your employees.
Communicate brand messages and maintain transparency:
Your employees need to feel valuable to connect to your organization. You can communicate the right information to them so that they can advocate your brand accordingly. You need to explain what message you want to spread. It will also provide a formal alignment of the mission statement, key message and values of the company.
Provide the right tools:
Though your employees would want to be advocates for your organization, if spreading the message is a tedious task, it can discourage them. You can make advocacy easier by providing simplified tools to reduce their effort of sharing across all social media channels. When the process of sharing is simplified, your employees would be encouraged to share more often.
Appreciate and incentivize:
Organizations need to appreciate and motivate employees to share brand content. They need to be made aware of their importance in achieving the goals of the advocacy program. Apart from appreciation, you can incentivize your employees with rewards. You can keep them engaged through gamification too. Appreciating, incentivizing and engaging your employees can help you achieve your advocacy goals organically.
An engaged workforce is not only beneficial for the employers but also the employees. In a recent ‘Hinge Research Institute and Social Media Today’ survey of over 550 professionals, 79.1% of respondents reported increased brand visibility when they had an employee advocacy program. Further, 65% saw improved brand recognition and 33.7% had better brand loyalty.
For solutions on how to launch Brand Advocacy Programs to overcoming the challenges after launching, you can contact us. SOCXO is an ROI-driven employee advocacy platform.