If your business is positioning itself to enter the world of social media, or if you’re seeking to make a difference in your business’s social media efforts, then the biggest impact you have as an employee is to become an employee advocate. Employee advocates are among the most powerful assets any business has on social media.

When employees develop a strong social media voice and use it to talk convincingly and personably about their employer among their personal social media followings, they exponentially increase the reach their employer has on social media.

But what does it take to become a high-quality advocate in the eyes of your employer? Here are the top 5 ways to become a valuable employee advocate on social media:

  1. Develop a strong, passionate voice on social media: It’s easy to share and retweet, but the secret to success as an advocate for your company is to add your own original writing to the conversation. Your voice should be passionate about the company you work for and the industry you work in, and you must cultivate and optimize that personality for social media. For example: Are you funny, wry, serious, provocative? Do you inject strong opinions into the conversation, or are you more of a moderator who empowers others to share their opinions? Once you develop your voice, you must stick to it – because the people who become your followers will be attracted to this personality and over time will identify you (and your employer) by it.
  2. Practice writing clearly and with sophistication: The caliber of the people you attract on social media will be directly proportional to the clarity and sophistication that you bring to the social media content you share. Conversely, if your writing is amateurish and riddled with typos, misspellings and grammatical errors it will reflect poorly on the employer you’re advocating for. The best way to learn to write effectively on social media is to emulate folks who have built loyal followings by penning thoughtful, sophisticated content.
  3. Become a thought leader: Advocates who become subject-matter experts within their industry not only gain a loyal following on social media, but also can leverage that following to advocate more effectively for their employer. To become a thought leader, you’ll want to start by researching what other thought leaders are writing within your industry, and then build your writing niche around trying to fill the holes and deficiencies within the industry. As you read what others are saying, what you’ll find is that you think of ways to communicate your messages better and differently – and that will be the basis for how you’ll set yourself apart as a thought leader.
  4. Promote social media activity among your peers: Social media is all about building connections – and not just with an outside audience. You also want to build a strong social network of fellow employees who, when working together, collectively strengthen each employee’s individual social media value to your employer. By following each other on social media and interacting continuously with each other, you can share others’ company content, start conversations about your industry or product line, and steer and shift chatter into a more positive light for your business.
  5. Understand the demographics of your business’s target audience: If you take the time to develop a solid understanding of what type of people your business is trying to reach, you’ll instinctively figure out how to communicate with them more effectively on social media. In fact, you’ll find yourself adapting your content to resonate with their tastes, and finding ways to mimic their sensibilities. This will add tremendous value to your employee advocacy efforts.