How gamifying employee advocacy can boost your program’s success
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How gamifying employee advocacy can boost your program’s success

Gamifying employee advocacy is the key to a successful employee advocacy program.

Employee advocacy is a game-changer for your brand’s success. But, without your employees willing to participate, your strategy will fall at the first hurdle. No advocates, big problem.

So, to avoid this *very* large hurdle, you’ll want to build their enthusiasm and engagement for your strategy. This is where gamification comes into play.

By making advocacy fun and a team sport, your employees are much more likely to get involved – we all love a bit of friendly competition, don’t we?

Here’s everything you need to know about gamifying employee advocacy, from why you need it to a step-by-step framework you can put in place today for your next competition.

Jump Ahead:

  • The psychology of motivation
  • Why gamifying employee advocacy is essential
  • Gamifying your Employee Advocacy Program
  • Ready, set, post

    The psychology of motivation

    Our enthusiasm for friendly competition is rooted in the psychology of motivation, a key driving force of our actions. Harnessing this motivation is essential for increasing excitement and participation in advocacy competitions.

    At its core, motivation comprises two types: intrinsic, which is the personal satisfaction from contributing to the team, and extrinsic, which includes tangible incentives like prizes or recognition. Utilizing both can dramatically enhance engagement in advocacy programs, expanding participation and cultivating a community of passionate brand ambassadors.

    Why gamifying employee advocacy is essential

    Gamification leverages motivational factors, which significantly enhance the effectiveness of employee advocacy programs. Here’s how:

    • Boosts participation: Motivational dynamics of gamification encourage higher engagement levels, sparking enthusiasm among participants.
    • Elevates employee engagement: Introducing fun and competition, gamification makes participation more enjoyable and sustains interest over time.
    • Fulfills motivational needs: The pursuit of goals and rewards meets employees’ needs for satisfaction and recognition, enhancing their sense of achievement.
    • Strengthens community: Gamified advocacy fosters a positive work culture, promoting teamwork and collaboration among employees.
    • Rewards and recognition: Tangible rewards and public acknowledgment of contributions heighten morale and provide a substantial sense of accomplishment.

    Gamifying your Employee Advocacy Program

    Gamification has the power to encourage long-term engagement in your advocacy program. To harness its full potential, you first need to definite your long-term goals and establish a structured approach. Here is our recommended process:

    Define your goals

    While your contest is all fun and games for your advocates, the last thing you want to do is motivate them in the wrong direction. Before you leap into announcing your competition, you first need to decide on what your primary goals are for your advocacy program.

    While tracking shares is an easy metric to measure, it’s actually counterintuitive to solely encourage your advocates to win by sharing. It’s important to note if you are getting your advocacy program off the ground, at this point, shares will be extremely important to you, but approach this with caution.

    If you already have a solid strategy with advocates sharing content, consider focusing on another goal. If your advocates are sharing multiple posts a day it will appear spammy and inauthentic, and they won’t understand the true value of advocacy for their career or your organization. Instead, align your contests with metrics that contribute to your broader social media goals and will deliver tangible results.

    Here are a few examples of how you integrate your goals into your gamification efforts:

    • For increased brand mentions, reward the advocate who tags your brand most frequently across posts, comments, and conversations.
    • To boost website conversions and visits, focus the competition on who generates the most clicks.
    • If enhancing engagement and brand conversations is your goal, measure and reward likes, comments, reactions, and reposts generated by your advocates.

    We suggest organizing quarterly contests to maintain engagement without dragging it out too long, ensuring your advocates stay motivated and the competition remains exciting.

    Organizing your contest

    With your goals set, it’s time to establish a clear framework for your competition.

    Crafting the rules

    You want to keep your competition exciting and inclusive so that every advocate feels like they stand a chance to win. There are a multitude of directions you can take your contest in, and this depends on what you are looking to achieve.

    Here are a few examples of competitions:

    1. Select the metric that matters most to you as the basis of deciding a winner. For example, monitoring which advocate received the most clicks from advocacy sharing.
    2. Award the top three advocates who send in the most amount of suggested content that you deem worthy to end up on the board.
    3. Crown the advocate that attends the most training sessions as the winner.
    4. If your goal is to ensure your advocates are sharing unique content, base your competition around having the highest advocate edit ratio.
    5. To encourage your least engaged advocates to take part, have them compete for the title “Rising Star” and award the advocate who has become the most engaged within a certain timeframe.

    Whatever you choose to do, remember to keep this in mind: if the same three people are at the top of your leaderboard the whole time, you won’t keep your advocates engaged.

    If this is an issue at your organization, consider introducing a point system. A point system will build up more anticipation and competitive spirit, which is what you need to keep your advocates engaged. This can also work to your benefit if you have multiple goals that you want to achieve.

    For example, award each share one point, each brand mention three points, and each link click five points. If you’re trying to avoid solely rewarding shares while encouraging your advocates to take part, this strategy can put more weight and importance on brand mentions and link clicks than sharing.

    Determine your winners

    Will you award first, second, and third place? Or will you split your advocates into teams and crown the winning team?

    Utilize leaderboards

    This will not only help you easily define your winner but a leaderboard that your advocates have access to plays an intrinsic role in keeping up their motivation and building up their excitement. It provides a real-time view of where they rank and fosters healthy competition.

    Select your prizes

    No competition is complete without a prize. Ensure you have a recognition or reward waiting for your winner(s) when they cross the finish line. Prizes are essential for motivation, regardless of your budget.

    You can reward your winners with small prizes such as a gift card or company merch. Or if you have a bigger budget, you can present them with larger gifts such as an iPad or AirPods.

    If you don’t have the budget, that isn’t a problem. Give your winners the public recognition they deserve, this is equally as rewarding. Employee shoutouts and spotlights on your company’s social media accounts create a positive culture, boost motivation, and enhance engagement.

    Launch your competition

    Make sure you kick off your competition with the level of excitement you want your advocates to have throughout the contest.

    We suggest providing your advocates with a training refresher to set them up for success. This support is crucial to any advocacy program. Launch your competition with a training session that covers best practices and essential updates. You can then leverage this time to announce your competition in a company-wide meeting.

    If it’s too hard to coordinate a company-wide meeting, announce your competition in an email or to the advocates involved in your program.

    Either way, make sure you clearly explain the rules of the competition, the timeframe, goals, and rewards.

    Ready, set, post

    Whoever said work can’t be fun, obviously hasn’t taken part in a company employee advocacy competition.

    Without your employees, you can’t leverage the full benefits of what employee advocacy can bring you. Gamifying employee advocacy is a crucial way to encourage this participation and motivate your employees.

    The good news is that simplifying gamification is achievable with the right tools. Oktopost’s employee advocacy platform offers a comprehensive solution—from a content-sharing board and a performance-tracking leaderboard to social analytics to help you determine your winners hassle-free.

    Ready to gamify your advocacy efforts? Let the games begin!

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