“I say tomato, you say tomato….”. (Don’t know the song? Check out the video at the end.)

While a tomato is a red fruit no matter how you pronounce it, the nascent practice of “employee advocacy” means different things to different vendors and the companies implementing these programs. Picking the right technology to take full advantage of your most precious resource (your employees) can therefore be a confusing and daunting task. I don’t blame marketers who’d rather call the whole thing off.

But please don’t throw the tomato out with the bathwater.

Just because technology vendors are pushing the agenda, doesn’t mean you should start your inquiry into an employee advocacy program from a technology angle.

As always, start with your goals.

What we have found is that marketers typically think about employee advocacy in one of these two ways: 1 ) Employees as a distribution channel for marketing messages, or 2) employees as an extension of the brand.

In the first scenario employees are typically not actively contributing to or shaping the message. This is what most organizations think of as employees as “advocates” or “brand ambassadors.  The second approach, is more oriented toward simplifying employees’ personal voice and insights as a way to lends credibility to the organization that employs them. I like to call this “employee branding” or “co-branding” as the the employee is both the medium and the message, as opposed to just being a medium for a “prepared” marketing message.

What works best for you really depends on your organization and the role employees play in your business success. For industries where employees are be more easily replaced without any impact on the business, the first option may be OK. For industries where a key differentiator is the talent you employ, the second option is really the only viable path.

If looking for solutions for option 2, consider these…

1 – Our focus is driving traffic to your site. While social media is an important distribution mechanism, it’s not the final destination. With Meddle, every piece of content, every social share, drives traffic to your site, even if the employee is sharing 3rd party content.

2 – We make it easy for employees to create original content. We believe that content is most credible when the person sharing is also the author, rather than somebody repeating corporate marketing messages. We have therefore made great strides to lower the bar for content creation so that anybody can create and share content in their own voice.

3 – Corporate brand = sum of personal brands. We believe that strong corporate brands are built from the talent of their employees, especially on social networks, where corporations have little currency. Therefore, our platform is designed to highlight and amplify your internal expertise, and showcase your brand as the sum of your talent. Nothing is more authentic and trustworthy.

Where Meddle fits into your toolset

Meddle can be your first employee advocacy tool or one of many that you rely on. Meddle need not replace your current content marketing or advocacy solutions if they are working for you. Meddle is designed to extend content authorship to a broader set of employees – generating more content, social sharing and SEO, and differentiating your company by the talent you employ.

If this sounds like a solution for you, you can learn more here or contact us for a demo. Just “don’t call the whole thing off.”

Enjoy the video below.


About Vidar Brekke

Vidar, a serial entrepreneur, is the CEO and Co-founder of Meddle.it.

He is passionate about entrepreneurship with a penchant for building social technologies that promote knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Previously he also held positions such as Chief Product Officer for social media agency Converseon, VP of Marketing for JPMorgan, and Brand Strategist at Ogilvy. He also served as an officer in the Norwegian Navy.

Originally from Norway, he now lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.

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