Whether you’re already participating in an employee advocacy program or just getting started, it should come as no surprise that “thought leadership” can have a huge positive impact on your career. But with multiple social networks, tons of available content, and a typically busy schedule, how does one become a top employee advocate, without spending too much time on it? Check out our 6 ultimate tips!
1. Be mindful of your posting frequency
Do you know anyone who shares 10 posts in 5 minutes? Don’t we all!
To become a top employee advocate, cross out “spamming” as a social media strategy.
If you think about the time when social networks first emerged, our news feeds presented EVERY post available. But as time went on – and algorithms became more sophisticated – our social media feeds started to prioritize content by highlighting some posts and hiding others.
In other words, not every piece of content you share is visible to all your followers, which is why you shouldn’t be sharing the exact same posts every few minutes.
A smarter approach would be to schedule out your posts.
For instance, you may notice that posts shared during certain hours of the day attract greater attention. Using an employee advocacy platform, you can time your posts accordingly and make sure they go live when your friends and industry peers are more likely to see them. For maximum reach, make sure your posts are evenly dispersed across the week or month.
2. Don’t be lazy, customize your posts
Companies often use employee advocacy to echo their corporate voice by providing you with ready-made social posts to share with one click.
While this method seems quick and effortless, it also turns your personal channels into a company mouthpiece that’s untrustworthy.
To become a top employee advocate, you’ll need to find your own, distinct voice on social – and take a few more minutes to customize the posts so they sound authentic and personal!
It’s also important to zero in on your audience pain points and topics-of-interest – and share with them content around these elements. If most of your LinkedIn connections are concerned about GDPR, share with them a piece on GDPR. If your Facebook friends are interested in recruiting trends, post an article with cutting-edge strategies.
Following this tactic will not only turn you into a source of knowledge and expertise, it will also position you as a true thought leader in your network.
3. Engage back with your audience
Nobody likes to be ignored.
If someone leaves a comment on a post you shared, be sure to reply immediately! And if for some reason they asked you a question and you’re unsure of the answer, you can always circle back after consulting with a colleague.
Use company content as an “icebreaker” for starting a conversation with industry peers and influencers. After all, every relationship you form as an employee advocate could potentially lead to cross-company collaboration, not to mention a business or sales opportunity for your company.
4. Tag company pages and profiles
Becoming a top employee advocate also involves getting your content in front of the right crowd, beyond your immediate network.
The key is to mention (@) other company or individual pages where deemed relevant. Tagging is a simple, yet important part of any social media strategy in that it offers a direct way to reach people and get their friends or colleagues’ attention.
So how do you go about tagging?
If, for example, the article you’re sharing refers directly to other companies, there’s a good opportunity to tag them. And even if it doesn’t refer to them directly (but you think the content could be valuable for them), go ahead and mention them.
‘Value’ could be interpreted in many ways: a funny post, a unique piece of research, or an interesting opinion. Think wisely about tagging (and don’t abuse them). Unless your post adds value to a given audience member, don’t mention them, as they will either ignore you or report you as spam.
It’s important to understand that the “tag” itself sends an immediate signal to that person or company, letting them know “hey, I want to talk to you” or “hey, I think you’ll find this relevant”. More often than not, people will appreciate you mentioning them and reply with a thoughtful comment on your post.
Going back to tip #3, engaging with your audience gives you an opportunity to expand your professional network and become a top employee advocate.
5. Add relevant hashtags
Similar to mentions, hashtags are a powerful tool used to stand out amongst the crowd by tagging relevant keywords or phrases, which make it easier for users to find your content, without having to follow you.
While hashtags aren’t as popular on Facebook, other networks like Twitter, Instagram, and more recently, LinkedIn, thrive on hashtags as a content discovery and engagement tool.
But what’s the best way to choose the right hashtag for your post?
You can always play a guessing game by typing related hashtags that fall under the same topic of your post. For example, if your post offers budgeting tips, you can easily include hashtags like #budget #bugdettips #money.
To take it a step further, a great tool that many social media managers use is hashtest.io, which allows you to check the popularity level of tags and rates them from “best” to “useless”.
Another common marketing method is using ‘trending hashtags’on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. There are different ways to approach this: you can go for nostalgic hashtags (#throwbackthursday), inspirational hashtags (#mondaymotivation), or just pure fun hashtags (#photooftheday), and the list goes on.
6. Share your posts directly to groups
As many social networks continue to emphasize “community” as the central pillar of connecting between users, Groups are an untapped platform for becoming a top employee advocate.
LinkedIn and Facebook Groups are inherently designed to uphold audience engagement by encouraging members to share content around a specific topic or goal. With hundreds of groups out there, take the time to discover and join communities focused on your industry, so you can directly share content with them.
No matter what, don’t abuse your Group privilege to further your advocacy efforts – you should only share content that aligns with the group’s interests, values, or cause. This way, you’ll be able to make the content experience a personal one as well as garner the likes and shares you need to become a top employee advocate in your company.
Go the extra mile!
There’s no doubt that being an employee advocate offers many benefits to expand your professional network, boost your personal brand, and ultimately, become a thought leader. But in order to reap them, a “click-and-go” approach isn’t going to be enough.
Invest those extra minutes during the day to customize your posts, increase their visibility, and reach people beyond your networks. In the long-run, those minimal efforts will pay big dividends, turning you into a top employee advocate!
To learn more, check out our guide to Becoming a Top Employee Advocate on Social Media.