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Help your employees become advocates for your law firm, using social media

 


Developing an employee advocacy program will strengthen your online brand

Employee advocacy is when your employees promote your business, outside their day-to-day contractual requirements; the work you do, the way you work, your successes, your culture, your corporate social responsibility etc.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But not many businesses have a strategy in place that encourages employee advocacy. In this article, we’re going to look at employee advocacy through the use of social media.

Why is employee advocacy good for your business?

According to a survey by communications firm FleishmanHillard:

Thirty percent [of participants] agreed that employees who work in the company are the most reliable source, just behind the top answer, knowledgeable friends, family and colleagues, 34 percent. Leaders of companies scored 11 percent.

Aside from the fact that employees rate above leaders for trust, the highest ranking ‘trust index’ was for friends, family and colleagues. So, when your employees share your firm’s content online, they are sharing it with friends, family and possibly colleagues; that is, the highest ranking trust index.

Today, the largest social media platform Facebook has publicly announced, time and again, their algorithmic changes to reduce the impact of ‘brands’ in the feeds of individuals. For a number of reasons, there are still benefits to organic posting but that’s an article for another time.

However, what should not be dismissed here, is the power of an individual’s Facebook feed (or LinkedIn or Twitter etc) to reach a much bigger and diverse audience than a brand’s feed can.

Many, or possibly most of your employees will have a Facebook account. Imagine if they all shared your brand’s content to their, on average 300+ friends! You can view ‘average Facebook friends by age’ here.

Here’s how that might look:

  • Your firm posted your latest blog to your 500 followers
  • Organically, this will enter the feed of about 2% of those followers – 10 people (although the potential, of course, is 500 but unlikely to ever be achieved)
  • Assume you have 30 staff
  • Assume 15 of your staff are on Facebook
  • All 15 Facebook users in your firm share your update to their 300 friends
  • Now the potential reach is 4,500

And we’re not even going to get into the potential that one of those 4,500 people share it again to their 300 or so friends, and so on!

Employee advocacy is good for your firm. How do you turn your employees into advocates?

There is no one-size-fits-all option here. A lot of the answer to this question lies in the culture you have built for your firm.

There are numerous surveys over the last several years which clearly indicate that workplace culture has a direct effect on employee engagement and how much an employee loves their job.

A workplace that sees high employee engagement, trust and loyalty will be more capable of helping employees become brand ambassadors or employee advocates.

Options to build employee advocates

  • Bring your employees along on your brand building journey. Including them in your planning improves morale and the strength of workplace relationships, promotes a team culture and increases loyalty.
  • Share the successes of individuals, as well as the firm. Recognition is key to employee engagement.
  • Make employee advocacy using social media, easy. Remind your employees about your social media platforms, on a regular basis. You could even share your posts with them internally from time to time and ask them if they’d like to share.
  • Lead by example. You can’t expect your employees to do something that could be a considered a little ‘out of the ordinary’ if you’re not prepared to do it yourself.
  • Add incentives – yes, prizes! The person who shared the most posts in one month is a great starting point. Your prize doesn’t have to be huge. Imagine if it were something as simple as $50.00 cold hard cash. Who wouldn’t love that? And it’s far less than you might have to spend on advertising to achieve the same or similar result.
  • The double whammy of developing team culture whilst creating employee advocates – encourage employees to team up and develop their own strategies for sharing your firm’s online content.

This is not rocket science but does require dedication to the goal. It’s not simply a matter of getting it started and hoping it continues. You need to be there with it, every step of the way.

Finally, by way of a small reminder; an incentive to get you going

  • Your Facebook company page has 500 followers
  • Assume you have 30 staff
  • Assume 15 of them have a Facebook account
  • Each of those 15 has about 300 friends
  • When you post to Facebook, as a business, you have the potential to reach 500 followers (but you’re likely in reality, to only reach about 2% of that)
  • If your 15 staff with Facebook accounts share your content to their 300 friends, that’s a reach of 4,500

Just muse on that for a minute and then look at introducing an employee advocacy program for sharing of your firm’s online content.


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