What is Social Advocacy & How Do I Get Started?Published on September 26, 2017
In the past several years a new trend has started to form. Companies are acknowledging their limited resource and budget alongside the recognition that social messages don’t always connect with the best audience.
So, how do you engage with your target audience while still maintaining a measurable and cost-effective marketing impact?
Well, the rumours are true…it is social advocacy.
Advocacy is the act of supporting an idea, need, person, or group. Now, social advocacy is the concept of empowering a team or group of individuals to support your marketing strategy by sharing content and connecting with a larger audience. This team can consist of employees, stakeholders, customers or business partners which ensures they have a foundation of knowledge about your company and the message and objectives they are advocating.
An updated Trust survey from Edelman for 2018, positions Social Advocacy as a perfect tactic to build trust with your existing customers and with new prospects. Read about the updated report here
Ongoing Social Advocacy webinar:
Before we outline how to get started, we would like to explain two metrics that play a major role in and display the positive impact social advocacy has.
- Reach: this is the potential visibility of your content. Team members that share content will expand your reach beyond your brand accounts
- Influence: when people share content versus a company page it can be perceived as more authentic and trustworthy. So, through a social advocacy programme, your team members can become influencers within your industry by sharing relevant and trending content to help build trust with potential customers.
So, where do you start?
It’s simple. It starts with having the right ‘tool belt’. To reduce any PR risks and ensure the appropriate messages with the right tone of voice are being shared it is beneficial to have a unified and simple tool. There are different options in the market now to help, but a popular option is, GaggleAMP. It is an easy to use, an effective and intricate platform that fits all social advocacy needs. A tool as simple as GaggleAMP can encourage a unified and consistent effort to promote content, connect with a larger audience and build customer loyalty.
Understanding the tools/software will provide a structure around the process for your team which in turn will help align and outline expectations.
A common question that I’ve seen and been asked plenty of times is, how can you encourage participation from internal team members? Well, as you would implement any change, expectations must be set to guide your team to help achieve company objectives. As this is a team effort, the next step in your journey is to create trust and transparency by providing guidelines that express expectation to your team so they can confidently share your content.
Having clear guidelines will eliminate potential confusion in the future, and prevent a decrease in motivation. Your guidelines should not be too restrictive as you want your team members to feel empowered and accountable for their contribution.
Make the information easy to understand as each team member will have different levels of social media understanding. Within the guidelines it should state the following;
- What can be shared
- How to share using the new tool you’ve implemented
- Ideas on where content can come from
- Possible incentives
- Key stakeholders to connect with if they have any questions.
So, I’m going to emphasize the idea of incentives. Incentives can be a very powerful motivator. As stated in the previously, a tool like GaggleAMP can help facilitate incentives as it monitors participation by each team member. It also allows your team to monitor each other to see who is posting more, and who is getting the most engagement. This can help persuade team members to participate more and help promote your content.
Your guidelines should be written to encourage and motivate your team members to participate as you can’t force them to do so on a consistent basis. Along with written guidelines, a complimentary motivator is to have regular training sessions. It will reconnect your team members to the overall objective, and allow them to provide feedback.