Businesses of all sizes are waking up to the fact that a truly effective social media presence requires companies to what I recently refer to as Leverage The Other by engaging with and scaling social media efforts through the involvement of influencers, fans, partners, and/or employees. Employee Advocacy is a relatively new term used in social media, although the concept is not new, but it is so potentially important to any business that I introduce it in almost every presentation that I do, whether it be about Social Selling, Future-Proofing Your Social Media, Creating an Integrated Social Media System, or my Social Media Platforms class at the Rutgers University Business School Mini-Social Media MBA program.
As you know I am launching the Social Tools Summit in order to educate the social media community on the need to better utilize social media tools to be more effective as well as the reality that there are a plethora of social media tools companies that simply aren’t well-known enough to most businesses. The first company to sponsor the session on Advocacy is also the first platform that I have experience using and has been a partner of this Maximize Social Business blog: GaggleAMP.
Let’s now take a deeper look at how GaggleAMP helps you Leverage The Other.
1. Mobilize Your Advocates
GaggleAMP was built as a platform for you to leverage to mobilize your advocates, whether they be employees, partners, fans, or even influencers. By leveraging your reach through these “Others,” you can potentially exponentially multiply your visibility in social media because everyone is an influencer in their own network. Your marketers are your influencers. So are your customers, your employees, and your partners. Each of these segments have their own radius of influence, and if you partner with these groups, then your reach is amplified beyond your expectations. These groups of influencers that you can influence [in GaggleAMP terms they become called a “Gaggle”] can span way beyond your own brand reach and the platforms you are now visible on.
People trust recommendations from third-party sources more than the brand itself. This is the reason why we know that advocacy works.
Launching Your Program
Once you have identified those who will happily champion your brand, what do you do? Harness their passion and they will amplify your reach. These will become your true Brand Ambassadors. I recommend you begin with a small group of people that are both already active in social and already sharing information about your brand and/or industry to their networks.
Begin by engaging this initial group of advocates as essential members of your program by showing them the big picture. Involve them in discussions. Foster a relationship with each member. Acknowledge their passion, their expertise of your products and of social sites, and the value of their contribution in spreading the word about your company’s presence. Furthermore, Assure them of your support and offer training in the use of tools – or even professional social media concepts and personal branding – that will make them more valuable to you.
You need to ensure that they are proficient in policies and procedures that help protect you and them in their social interactions. Ensure that they are kept up-to-date on any changes and advances on every social media platform.
Finally, you need to provide them with the right tools like GaggleAMP that will make it easy for them to fulfill their mission – and for you to manage your program going forward.
2. Make Life Easy for Your Advocates
Many companies rely on email blasts to share word about their latest news in hopes that their advocates will share it.
Don’t become one of them. It simply makes it harder for them to do so.
Your success is assured if you can provide your advocates with the right tools that will allow them to easily share your message and you to ascertain that the content is spread out is within your guidelines and your pre-determined timing. You need to find yourself just the right software that will allow you to easily train your employees on how to customize each message on each network for the highest effectiveness. The right software will save your time and also that of your advocates.
GaggleAMP is one such tool that provides a user interface, automation options, and scheduling tools to allow your advocates to publish what they want, how they want, on what networks, and when they want to publish it.
3. Analytics Make Optimization a Breeze
Your Advocacy initiative is an on-going effort that will require you to listen to your advocates and optimize your content appropriately. It will also require you to report back to your superiors to ensure that you receive enough resources budgeted to maintain your program.
GaggleAMP provides you message feedback to see how effective your messages are by rich social and click tracking reports. ROI reporting displays in granular detail how your advocacy program is working on any given social network – or how much each member of your program is contributing to its success.
4. Optional Rewards for Sharing Messages
Whether or not you decide to reward your advocates or gamify your program and offer an incentive is up to you. What is important is that your Adovcacy platform can manage such rewards should you decide to implement this type of program.
GaggleAMP allows you to not only easily identify your top advocates but also has a built in point system and leader board to allow you to incentivize your efforts and be transparent in displaying how each member of your Gaggle is “performing.”
5. With GaggleAMP You Have It All at Your Fingertips
GaggleAMP is user-friendly. It gives you the ability to keep just enough control of the message you want to send out. Yet, it will engage your Advocates with the freedom to pick and choose what suits their own social media accounts – and it is all done from within GaggleAMP. If your solution isn’t user-friendly your employees simply won’t use it.
With GaggleAMP you have it all at your fingertips: You can easily Amplify your messages, Analyze the results and Align engagement efforts.
Don’t just take my word for it: Fellow marketer Tom Pick had this to say about GaggleAMP:
It helps companies …. create, implement and refine content-driven marketing campaigns by tapping into employee, partner and customer advocates, across the major social media networks….Gaggle members choose which content and types of content to share. They can also automate sharing of selected content types. Find out about the software that can make it all happen for you.
Hopefully you’re convinced both about GaggleAMP as a tool as well as the potential for Advocacy.