The 5 Stages of Employee Advocacy Recruitment [Infographic]
By now, you understand how to set yourself up for success with employee advocacy. You’ve already recruited your first group of employee advocates, and now, you’re looking to add more people to your team. But how do you get your employees interested in your program?
To pique your employees’ interest, you need to put on your marketer’s hat. Your advocacy program is not going to publicize itself. So, you need to think of creative ways to market your advocacy program internally, every step of the way – from the awarness stage to the evangelist stage.
Below, you’ll find an image that will help you think through the 5 stages of employee advocacy recruitment. If you have any tips for recruiting advocates, we’d love to read about them in the comments section below.
The Recruitment Funnel
As a marketer, you’re familiar with the buyer’s journey and the sales funnel. You understand that some customers move slower through the funnel than others. You understand that some buyers leave the funnel before reaching a decision, and they never come back. Other people leave the funnel, and they come back 6 months later.
The same is true of recruiting employees for your advocacy program. Some of your co-workers will find out about your program, and they will become an advocate as soon as possible. Others will want to take their time and make an informed decision.
It’s your job to gauge the level of your employees’ interest and tailor your message to your employees appropriately. Take a look at the recruitment funnel to start getting some ideas. (Click here to see the image enlarged.)
During the awareness stage, your employees learn that your program exists. Since your program is not going to market itself, here are a few ways that you can call attention to your advocacy program:
1. Dole out compliments. Publicly praise your employees for their social media posts. When you say things like “I loved your tweet about the latest trends in artificial intelligence,” other employees’ ears might perk up. They may not know that they can use Twitter at work.
2. Call attention to your executive sponsor’s social media presence. Your program should have an executive sponsor. Not only should she be a vocal proponent of your program. She also should lead by example. Weave your executive sponsor’s social posts into conversations and presentations. Your employees might not realize that the executive team supports social media.
3. Celebrate your employees’ milestones. For example, imagine that a salesperson brings in his first deal that was influenced by social media interactions. Celebrate it, and let everyone know that social media pays off.
Just as your buyers don’t want to receive cold calls and cold pitches, neither do your prospective advocates. Lighter touches will indicate that social media is valued in your company. Furthermore, they give you the opportunity to introduce your advocacy program – without selling it too much.
This is the stage when employees develop an increasing interest in both your program, specifically, and social media, in general. They know that your program exists. They understand that social media is important to your company. They now want to learn more information about how your program can help them.
At this stage, you can rely on traditional marketing tactics. For example, you can give presentations to individual departments, and you can explain how social media will help members of that department grow. You might have a few one-page PDFs or some short videos that show the value of social media in the workplace.
But don’t be scared to be more creative and to have some fun. Think of alternative content types – like game boards and quizzes. For example, you might refer your sales team to Microsoft’s Social Sales IQ test. After your salespeople take the exam, you can show them how your program will help boost their IQ.
At this point, some advocates will be ready to commit to your program. They get it. They understand how social media will help them.
But there will be others who want more assurance. They will want to dive deeper into the specifics of your program and how it has helped your employees. That’s what the consideration stage is for.
For potential advocates in the consideration phase, prepare some advocate testimonials. Show your more reluctant advocates how social media has helped their colleagues. For example, you might include the story of a recent hire, who was swayed by an employee’s social media presence.
Or a salesperson can share his keys for success. In his testimonial, he can discuss how being active on social media has helped him hit his quota every quarter.
Once your employee has committed to the program, it’s time to set the employee up for success. You’ll want to do the following:
- Assess each employee’s current social media skills
- Offer training to the employee
- Introduce your company’s social media policy to the employee
- Help the employee create goals and milestones
Congratulations! Your advocate is part of your program! She is proudly representing your company on social media. Now, you want to secure your advocate’s commitment to your program. Furthermore, you want your best advocates to help you by referring new advocates to your social media program.
Here are a few ideas for turning your advocates into loyal evangelists for your program:
1. Make referrals easy. How can you make it easy for employees to refer prospective advocates to your program? Do you have an online form people can fill out?
2. Foster a culture of social media. Encourage your employees to talk about social media in meetings. Have them ask questions like, “How can social media help us solve this problem?” Try to create an environment where using social media is the norm in your workplace.
3. Value your employees’ feedback. As you constantly strive to evaluate your advocacy program, give your advocates a voice. Listen to your advocates’ ideas for improvement, and make it easy for employees to leave feedback. For example, you might ask them to fill out a quarterly or annual participation survey.
Your Best Asset
Happy, satisfied, and informed employees are one of the best marketing investments that your company can make. But your employees won’t become your biggest champions on their own. They need guidance and content along the way.
If you need help thinking through your advocacy recruitment strategy, feel free to contact us. We’d love to help.