Work your core: Proven principals to drive Employee Advocacy results

This post provides a whole new meaning of “working your core”. These concepts will help you strengthen the results which your employees can drive by creating advocacy for your brand.

The target zone: Start small, be specific, choose wisely
Just like in a core body workout, seeing incremental results for the time and effort you put in, inspires you to keep with it. The same is true for building a employee* advocacy program for your brand. Start small, by choosing the best suited employees and partners, who will help you achieve and demonstrate incremental results more quickly. Be specific and choose wisely by applying the 1% rule (“90–9–1″) to your program recruiting. Focus on recruiting the best suited 1% of employees who have demonstrated they understand the value of building their reputation & are keen on increasing their visibility, committed to providing value to their network and sustain that commitment over time. Provided you’re conducting social listening, these select few are likely to naturally emerge in the social listening research as prominent and trusted experts in a topic that’s relevant to your business development goals. Use this intelligence wisely. Once you’ve prioritized this 1%, then set your sights on expanding to the 9%.

Consider establishing criteria which program participants must meet, here are a few examples I’ve found to be a winning recipe:

• A solid social footprint. Individuals that have worked to established a solid social footprint on their own and are focussed on participating actively in key social venues which are most relevant to the topic and/or network of interest.
• Accessible. Individuals who’ve proven to be natural collaborators and are comfortable with making themselves available to their network. They focus on responding & engaging in ways that provide value to their connections.
• Actions speak louder than words. Those that sustain engagement over time, are committed to sharing their expertise and helping others by demonstrating community leadership skills, drive superior results. They know well that it takes time, a commitment to consistency and engagement isn’t a hit-or-miss, occasional activity. They don’t just say they “get it”, they act on it. Engagement is a critical skill and is prioritized as an approach to the way they work.

Improve Reach: Focus on quality over quantity
At every stage of the customer experience, customers can talk about your brand within social media. As a result, you must nurture relationships in social media throughout the customer experience. Your employee advocates must be able to reach key target publics at each stage, get them engaged with your content, and motivate them to advocate on your behalf.

This is not easy to accomplish. It requires a focus, not just building a network for sheer volume, but rather building a quality network which shares common interest and benefits from the information your employees share. When your employee advocates nurture ongoing relationships with your audience in this way, they establish relationships with what we call a “social core”. The social core are simply people whom you reach, and have opted in to engage with you, and who would most likely advocate on your behalf.


Figure 5.5, The Social Core


Ultimately, the social core becomes an asset of the brand. An asset that you should mobilize your employees to nurture and build over time. In addition, you should continually evaluate and measure the health and strength of your social core so that you can continually improve the degree to which you are making it stronger.

See more details on these concepts and frameworks in The Most Powerful Brand on Earth – Chapter 5: You’ll measure new things in new ways


First published at: Work your core: Proven principals to drive Employee Advocacy results – Building Social Brands | Building Social Brands.

About Susan Emerick

Susan Emerick is recognized by industry leaders as the foremost authority on building, implementing, and measuring successful advocacy programs for leading brands.

Susan is the co-author of The Most Powerful Brand on Earth: How to Transform Teams, Empower Employees, Integrate Partners and Mobilize Customers to Beat the Competition in Digital and Social Media – A must read for anyone striving to build brand advocacy.

Prior Susan led global enterprise social business and digital marketing programs for IBM where she led the technology giant’s social media strategy including social media listening and planning, brand engagement guidelines, social media governance, policy and measurement standards.

She serves on the advisory board of Social Media Today and is an active member of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association where she serves on the Research and Measurement Council, and in 2013 she co-authored the WOMMA Influencer Guidebook. In 2011, Susan was named to the elite iMedia Top 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators.

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