A social media advocacy program is a strategic initiative that encourages employees, customers, and other stakeholders to share positive messages about a brand on social media. It empowers those emotionally (and otherwise) invested in your business to become brand advocates.
What is Social Advocacy?
Social media advocacy works similarly to influencer marketing. Statistics show that consumers are highly likely to trust the recommendations of their friends, family, and colleagues. When they see those people advocating for your brand, your business benefits. By activating social media advocates, organizations can increase brand awareness, build trust and credibility with target audiences, and ultimately generate sales.
By implementing a well-structured social media advocacy program, your brand can tap into a network of powerful brand ambassadors to amplify your content, increase brand awareness, and make progress toward your business goals. Here are key steps in building a solid social media advocacy strategy.
Also, see our guide: How to Increase Your Social Media ROI with Corporate Posting
Social Media Advocacy Strategy
Social media advocacy doesn’t happen without a plan. You’ll need a clear strategy and the right tools to succeed at brand advocacy through digital media. Learn how to use social media for advocacy and start empowering your best ambassadors to share your content:
1. Determine your goal
Social media advocacy can be used for long-term priorities, such as increasing customer loyalty, or for short-term campaigns. For instance, a short-term campaign goal could be, “Launch a brand advocacy program to grow my LinkedIn followers by 10% over the next six months.”
Social media advocacy programs have a number of benefits. You could create a network of social media advocates to:
- Increase brand awareness and reach
- Drive traffic to your website or social media channels
- Generate leads and sales
- Develop thought leadership
- Recruit top talent
- Respond to customer feedback
Often, social media advocacy satisfies one or more of the above outcomes. For your strategy, define a goal that’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) so you can determine how well your program is working.
2. Identify your brand advocates
Social media advocates are what make your program a success. To find these ambassadors, you can choose from a variety of different groups, such as your loyal customers, your vendor partners, and your employees.
There’s a strong business case for using your employees as social media advocates. For one, the link between your customer experience and your employee experience is quantifiable. According to Harvard Business Review, companies that have strong company cultures and benefits see measurable increases in revenue and profit. Engaged employees may already be growing your business organically. Capturing that momentum with social media advocacy can exponentially improve your results.
Plus, an employee advocacy program can serve multiple purposes, such as recruiting, employer branding, developing thought leadership, and increasing brand awareness.
3. Put the right tools in place
Once you’ve identified a group of social media advocates, it’s time to put your plan into action. Make it easy for your advocates by using a platform that manages the planning, creation, and distribution of content.
For example, Clearview Social’s Employee Advocacy Software simplifies sharing news about your company. Execute your social media advocacy strategy by creating great content to share on your company pages and with your employee advocates. The Social Shuffle AI feature semi-automates the process of writing captions for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter posts. Select copy from two, five, 10, or more variations and edit captions right in the Clearview Social dashboard.
Then, distribute these options to employees via email or Slack message. Employees participating in your social media advocacy program can choose which content to share on their personal channels. Clearview Social makes it easy to share in just one click.
4. Gamify social posting and reward your team
Whether you choose to work with employees or with other partners, reward those who participate in your social media advocacy with prizes and incentives. Company swag or discounts can motivate participants to share your content and compete with one another for results.
Clearview Social’s platform includes gamification features that make it fun for employees to share social media for advocacy campaigns. You can set up contests that reward employees for specific actions, such as sharing, likes, and comments, that boost your brand’s visibility, build your reputation, and increase your reach.
The leaderboard shows who is performing best. Employees who share content often, customize their posts, and engage with other team members’ posts can see their social rank skyrocket. And your results will improve as the team competes to see who can win your top prize.
Best practices for developing a social media advocacy program
First and foremost, it’s important to track the results of your campaign to see what’s working. There are a number of social media analytics tools available that can help you track your progress and measure the impact of your campaigns.
Clearview Social’s platform shows you key analytics, such as how many employees shared your company posts, how many clicks these shares received, and how much that traffic would be worth if you bought it in Google. This feature will monitor which team members have signed up and shared content in your social media advocacy program.
In addition to tracking your results, make sure your efforts are consistent. Posting regularly on social media and engaging with your audience will help you to build relationships and keep your cause top-of-mind. Advocacy has to be authentic: your content should be genuine, and the advocates you tap to join the program should be passionate about your brand.
Finally, encourage employees or customers to generate their own user-generated content (UGC). Sharing information from your brand is great, but UGC is useful in other ways, such as in adjacent marketing campaigns and sharing across different channels.
How can Clearview Social help?
Social media advocacy can take many forms—one of which is employee advocacy. Your employees are often your best social media advocates because they know your business inside and out and can share what makes your brand great in an authentic way. Learn more about how Clearview Social makes it easy to manage an employee advocacy program. Request a demo today.