Employee Advocates From Sound Social Media Policy
Everyone talks about engaging employees for the bottom line, but engaged employees are also “employee advocates” for your HR department and for your entire brand._
Can you really make Employee Advocates on Social Media?
Employee engagement is one of the biggest buzzwords ever to rattle HR departments.
Of course, interested people are going to do better work and show better results and productivity.
Happy and productive workers are going to do better at their own jobs, but they also tend to be infectious and do the work of a lot of other people at the same time.
People Trust People – Not Companies and Not Brands – PEOPLE!
Now imagine if your marketing department were able to rely on all of the people from all of the other areas of your business to do at least some of the marketing and messaging and publicity for them? You’d have a totally different image and a very different bottom line.
And it’s possible.
Beyond the obvious, beyond the productivity, and the positive numbers, turning your workers into intelligent human beings and professionals – you’re also them into publicists, recruiters and fans. That’s the first step toward converting more of your customers into fans too!
The thing you need to do now is to nail down a Corporate Social Media Policy that’s as strong as your attendance policy and your brand messaging.
Setting clear guidelines about employee social media use sounds like you are going to police every comma and period in your entire organization. But it doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful or a police state.
1) Define what is being shared – It can be news, coupons or stories, or any other content. It can and should be content that is relevant to your industry but not advertisements for your business. So if you sell houses, it can be relevant to your market, such as pricing indexes and neighborhood guides. Good news is best where ever possible. Worry about people being authentic, not about message.
2) Define the Rewards – What’s in it for me? Incentives play a major role, especially if your employees are not totally engaged. If they’re still on the fence about how great you are, a paid afternoon off should inspire them. If they are engaged then make it competitive.
3) Track Results – There are dozens of ways to keep track and even follow analytics but make them public, and do it regularly. Recognize those participating and reward them publicly.
4) Align everything with a corporate policy. But be reasonable too. Of course there will be a few things that are expressly forbidden like on the internet as a whole, and for most businesses they are exactly the same as on the Internet as a whole. But your employees will be pleasantly surprised (and further engaged) to learn how human upper management is (or can be).
Just like in the real world Internet, it’s totally optional, but the rewards are only for those who opt in.
You may need to seek further advice on defining and implementing a comprehensive social media policy for your entire organization. We’ll be returning to the theme of social media policy for HR in another post, because for some businesses with more sensitive or highly secure environments you really do have to look into it. But don’t ever think it is too difficult or too much work. The key thing is, the more you trust your engaged employees, the more rewards you’ll reap from them, and they from you!