Taking Employee Advocacy Advice from the Top Analysts

How do you examine a trend?

One way is to pay close attention to Google’s trends page. The company’s charts allow you to see when a topic’s popularity peaks. In the case of employee advocacy, 2015 has been a good year (see above).

But Google’s data-centric approach to trending topics has its limits. The chart above provides little context. It asks no questions. For more context and deeper research, you have to turn to the analysts.

This year, two major reports on employee advocacy have been published. Not only do the reports give us a lay of the land. They give us excellent tips for building strategies on top of that land. Let’s take a look at what the industry analysts have to say.

The Altimeter Group

At the end of July, Altimeter published its research on the state of social business. In it, Ed Terpening and his colleagues discuss companies’ external social media strategies, and they note:

Key Takeaway: For Success, Invest in an Organizational Strategy

While there has been tremendous growth in company’s interest in employee advocacy, Altimeter is quick to point out that advocacy is still in its infancy. For there to be success, businesses need to take the time and create a strategy.

One of the biggest barriers for programs is a lack of governance:

The importance of strategy is a point that Altimeter reiterates:

Take the time to identify your key stakeholders, establish your objectives, and create an enterprise-wide strategy.

To read Altimeter’s entire research report, click here.

451 Research

Like the Altimeter Group, Matt Mullen of 451 Research has noticed a growth in employee advocacy. He writes about the “renaissance” of employee advocacy, which, in his view, has been mired by stringent corporate policies:

Key Takeaway: Give Your Employees Leeway to Be Themselves

To truly have an impact, Mullen encourages organizations to loosen their policies and to trust their employees to represent their companies:

In other words, a little authenticity can go a long way.

To read 451 Research’s full report, click here.

Are You Ready?

Employee advocacy as a company-wide strategy is still an early opportunity, but the space is starting to mature. Creating clear processes — identifying key stakeholders and creating systems that empower team members to express themselves on social media — will be central to your future strategy.

Want Help Launching Your Employee Advocacy Strategy?

Grab a copy of The Rise of the Employee Marketer, and learn how to set yourself up for success.

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