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Raise Your Own Social Media Advocate Army

Since its inception social media has steadily evolved and found an application in the commerce and marketing industries for brand exposure and selling. 

Even though a good percentage of marketers still can't lay a finger on exactly how social activity affects a company's bottom line, the fact that there is a substantial impact can no longer be ignored. 

The importance of a strong social media brand presence 

70% of the B2B buyers who participated in this survey said they used social media to research B2B companies before making the purchase. To capture that massive market, it is essential for your brand to develop an influential presence on social media. 

The challenges faced by most companies on social media 

Achieving wide exposure on social media is no mean task. Feeds on social media platforms are quick-paced and crowded leaving little to no room for a company to broadcast its content and catch the attention of potential clients. 

Additionally, content self-broadcast by a company on social media is limited by the reach of the company's social accounts and questionable credibility (social media users can smell a promotion from miles away).

Paving the way forward with social media advocacy 

From a purely content and social media marketing perspective, there are a few approaches you could try to breach the barrier of noise on social media and reach your intended users. 

Among them is social employee advocacy, where you include your most valuable and ignored assets (employees) in your strategy. 

What is social employee advocacy? 

Encouraging your employees to share brand communication (for branding and sales promotions) on social media as an attempt to amplify the number of shares and impact. 

When ardent employees become brand advocates on social media

Three reasons that substantiate conversion of employees to social media brand advocates:

1. Added credibility: As per a Nielsen report, 90% of all social media users trust recommendations made by their social connections over those made by brands or anyone else.

2. Amplified reach: This claim can be corroborated with simple math. Consider the number of followers your brand pages have in total and compare that number with the social connections all your employees have put together. There's no doubt which is higher, and how incredibly so.

3. Increased conversions: According to research conducted by IBM, leads generated by social employee advocacy are seven times as likely to convert as leads generated by other means 

Implementing employee advocacy

1. Decide on an employee advocacy platform to manage your program. DrumUp Employee Advocacy Platform is a great choice because it has the essentials and is simple to use. The platform you choose must have easy content share with employees, gamification to encourage their participation and analytics to measure your employees activity and its impact on social media.

If you intend to use employee advocacy for better recruitment, Brand Amper's Employee Advocacy Program is the way to go.If you're already well set-up on LinkedIn, you could use LinkedIn Elevate to run your employee advocacy program. 

2. Appoint a community leader to monitor the program and manage the flow. The leader must communicate between participants and management and keep the enthusiasm up for consistency in performance.

3. Share content that is popular among employees and audience alike. Unless the content you share is well-liked by employees, it won't get past stage one and be shared, and if it isn't capable of attracting your target audience on social media, the shares are wasted effort.

Track shares per employee and engagement per share to identify the content that clears both qualifiers. 

4. Incentivize the activity. Unless your employees are motivated to participate, the program won't show its full potential of success. Recognition of your best participants is also just as necessary.

According to this study, 78% of working US citizens claim that recognition at work motivates them to perform better on the job.  5. Measure your ROI. Key performance indicators that correlate with employee advocacy are social media engagement metrics, impressions and equivalent advertizing value for those impressions. 

Note: As a B2B business your focus platform should be LinkedIn, but if you research states that your target market is also present on other platforms as well, you could encourage your employees to share content  accordingly. 

You could refer to these case studies for inspiration. 

You currently have all the resources you require to increase your social media reach a 100 times over or possibly more, but are probably not using it. How far away are you from creating your own social media advocate army?